J. W. B. Reports Shortage of Personnel in Community Centers

The National Jewish Welfare Board today issued a report stating that the critical shortage of professional personnel engaged by Jewish Community Centers and YM-YWHA’s worsened during the past year. “The expansion and increased demand for Center and “Y” personnel in evidence since 1946 continued,” the report said. “By the end of 1953 the number of full-time professional workers required totalled about 1,300. At that time more than 120 vacancies were on record, compared to 77 at the end of 1952.”

Reasons given for the growth of the field outstripping the available supply of manpower were the facts that only a few more than 40 Jewish students with an interest in group work were being graduated from schools of social work and that “competing attractions in the business world and other professional settings are draining specialists such as health educators and nursery school teachers.”

In spite of the decreasing supply of new workers, the report points out, the placement of workers in Center jobs totaled 215 in 1953, the highest figure in more than ten years. While the demand for workers was observed in all categories, proportionately the greatest increase of vacancies was in the executive class. The need for supervisory staff was also accelerated. Of significance too was the growing demand by national and other local Jewish organizations for personnel trained and experienced in group work.

To attempt to meet the personnel shortage, the Centers and JWB have explored ways and means of attracting young men and women to Center work and have conducted a number of projects such as a recruiting conference and scholarship funds.

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