Los Angeles, California, April 19, 1940.
One of the phenomena of aircraft employment in the early months of 1940, after the cash and carry program had been put into effect, was the crowds of men in the lines outside the personnel departments of the aircraft plants. A line of two thousand a day was not unusual. After a few months the lines were reduced to about a hundred a day, due to the exhaustion of most of the available local material and the closer cooperation between vocational schools and plants. Many of the persons in the lines at this time had appointments.
About fifty to seventy-five percent of the applicants are young men in their late teens or early twenties. Many of them have had some aircraft experience in the Naval Reserve, the NYA aircraft shops or private industry. Others have had vocational training in sheet metal work or die and pattern work or have had experience as machinists. Many of them are here not because they need jobs but because they feel that working in an airplane factory is more romantic than pumping gas or whatever other job they may have. A recent general raise in wages in the skilled classification from an hourly rate of 90¢ to $1.02 is a more material inducement.