Franklin D. Roosevelt

Proclamation 2552—National Employment Week

April 13, 1942

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Annually for the past three years I have designated a National Employment Week, urging all people of the Nation to give particular attention to the employment problem of older workers, and especially of veterans of the last World War. It is fitting to remember, with respect to the latter, that these men who were in the ranks of America's military forces in 1917 and 1918 not only can serve, but are vitally needed in the ranks of industry and agriculture today. They had something to give in youth and valor then; they have something to give in experience and skill today.

There is a place for these men and other workers past forty in the gigantic war production program in which we are engaged. There is a place for them in jobs for which they are already fitted, and there is a place for them in jobtraining courses designed to build up the skills of the Nation's manpower. While employment in many industries not essential to the prosecution of the war will be diminished, it is also true that as the war program accelerates, many Americans not now regularly employed will be called upon to take an active part in production vital to the war effort. Yet it is not on a basis of patriotism alone that employers are urged to open their doors to older workers, but on the basis of sound business sense as well, for it should not be forgotten that these older workers have qualifications that younger persons lack. Work experience, stability, and responsibility are assets we cannot afford to waste in this crisis.

The United States Employment Service with its far-flung network of full-time and part-time public employment offices has always made special efforts in behalf of workers past forty years of age. It is making them today. But it can be successful in placing men and women of middle years only to the extent that all employers cooperate, those in war industries, those in the manufacture or exchange of civilian goods, those in food production. While inviting the attention of private industry to the necessity for training and employing older men and women, I am also hereby calling upon all Federal agencies taking part in the training of workers in various skills to intensify their training activities for older workers in order that we may utilize our full manpower.

Now, Therefore, In Furtherance Of This Purpose, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning May 3, 1942, as National Employment Week and Sunday, May 3, 1942, as National Employment Sunday. I urge all churches, civic groups, chambers of commerce, boards of trade, veterans organizations, industry, labor, public-spirited citizens, the press and radio throughout the United States, to observe that week as National Employment Week to the end that our unemployed men and women over forty may be given the opportunity to take their place in and add their efforts to the war production program of the country.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this 13th day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-two and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-sixth.

Signature of Franklin D. Roosevelt

By the President:
Acting Secretary of State.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Proclamation 2552—National Employment Week Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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