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Statement by the President Upon Signing the Manpower Development and Training Act.

March 15, 1962

I HAVE today signed S. 1991, the "Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962."

The Manpower Development and Training bill, which passed the Congress on Tuesday, is perhaps the most significant legislation in the area of employment since the historic Employment Act of 1946. For this reason, I have acted at the earliest opportunity to sign this measure into law. The new training program will give real meaning to the Act by making possible the training of the hundreds of thousands of workers who are denied employment because they do not possess the skills required by our constantly changing economy. Their training is important both to them as individuals and to the economic health of the entire Nation.

I commend the Congress for the support it has given to this important proposal of the Administration. The Administration will move promptly and vigorously to launch this program. Unemployed workers eligible under the program can expect:

--Up to 52 weeks of training in a skill needed to gain employment.

--Adequate allowances for heads of families to enable them to support their families and devote full attention to the task of acquiring new skills.

--Thorough guidance and assistance from the United States Employment Service in helping them to choose the kind of work for which they are best suited and a concerted effort to help assure that a suitable job rewards their initiative.

This far-reaching bill not only addresses itself to the problems of the present, but requires us to anticipate future needs as employment conditions change. This is the first in a series of needed employment programs and I am hopeful that all of the measures necessary for achieving a high and stable level of employment, recommended by this Administration, will be available to the federal Government in the near future.

Our success in fulfilling our world responsibilities rests upon the success of our efforts to maintain a strong and flexible economy at home. This act will make a significant contribution to these efforts.

Note: As enacted, S. 1991 is Public Law 87-415 (76 Stat. 23).

John F. Kennedy, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Manpower Development and Training Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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