MAY 15, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday I went to Briarcliff Junior College in Westchester County, New York. Mrs. William H. Good, and Mr. and Mrs. Norman Cousins went out with me on the train, and we had a very pleasant trip and reached our destination all too quickly. On the platform with a group of attractive girls, were Mrs. Ordway Tead, the president of the college, and the representatives of various groups, such as the Red Cross. The meeting was attended by the students of the Briarcliff Junior College, representatives from high schools in neighboring towns and villages, and individuals from various organizations.
The blossoms were out and the country looked most beautifully green. There is no doubt abouts its being a late spring, however, and I can well imagine that what the papers say about crops being way behind, at least three or four weeks later than usual, is truthful as far as New York State goes. The sun was warm, however, and after the meeting we walked to Mrs. Tead's house.
I shook hands with all the guests and then had a cup of tea while the girls sat around on the floor, and I told them more of my experiences in Great Britain than I had been able to cover in the 25-minute speech. Then we went back to the train, and again we had a pleasant conversation to the New York City station. I had a friend dine with and then we spent a quite evening together. This morning Miss Thompson and I return to Washington.
I have a letter from two ladies, Miss Elizabeth Bryan and Miss Katherine Bonnell, who tell me that they have been looking into possibilities for training open to women at the present time, who want to take war jobs in the strict sense of the word. They have written two articles in a weekly magazine.
One of them describes a two week course, given in the Northern New Jersey area, for women desiring to go into aircraft factories. The secret, of course, for the rapidity of this training, is that the woman is trained for just one operation. A real mechanic or skilled machinist, can probably do all the different operations involved on any type of machine in the shop where he works. For the moment we are interested in mass production, and this can be more quickly accomplished by teaching each individual only one operation.
These writers also investigated training for farm work and described that as being most successful in one of the New England states. We shall shortly discover what the British discovered—that setting up enough training schools insures obtaining people who can do an acceptable job, even when they are women!