and end the "buddy system" where civil
service is bypassed in hiring and advancement. Tinsley said she heard complaints
about "department heads posting job
notices on the back wall where nobody
could see it." She, too, has heard about
the "word of mouth recruitment."
Appel's commission called for an expansion of the affirmative action office so
that it would be more than a complaint
desk. Tinsley said Calloway's office is
The commission also called for training programs for entry into city jobs and
placement in advanced categories. Calloway's office is developing a survey to
determine what types of programs city
employees are interested in before the
city offers training. They plan to relate
that realistically to whatever vacancies are
available. Waghalter heard of classes
where 300 women were trained for a
Typist III position. "There weren't positions for these people," she said. "That
creates a high level of frustration," added
Back in 1977, the report noted that if
the progress of women employees continued along similar patterns, it would be
1994 before there was job equality.
"We're just trying to speed it up," said
Next month: Interviews with Erie Calloway, director of the affirmative action
division, and Al James, director of the
civil service department.
Janice Blue is an editor of Breakthrough.
Where to start?
BY FRANCES OTTO
The women that come to the Vocational
Guidance Service for help are either tired
of working in dead end jobs, or they are
homemakers who are attempting to reenter the job market.
"When a woman comes to us and is
unclear about what she wants to do with
her life, or doesn't know what her capabilities are, we give her in-depth vocational guidance counseling," says Gaye
Brown-Burke, Division Director of VGS.
"We show her the variety of jobs that are
open to her in order to broaden her
This first stage of the program is an
educational thrust. It is designed to explain what alternatives women have to
the traditional clerical job.
The program includes seminars and
workshops on developing job-seeking skills
such as how to write a resume and how to
dress for an interview. There are also
seminars to help women become aware
of themselves and of their capabilities
as well as their limitations.
"When someone comes to us and says
'I don't know where I'm going or what I
want to do.' we attempt to find the
unique skills that she possesses and then
qo from there," Brown-Burke says.
"Most of the women that come to
us need a job now," she says, "so not
many go back to school full time or even
part time. What we're really here for is
to link these women to the resources
that will help them make decisions on a
new career based on their interests and
After a woman has gone through the
seminars and workshops and has made a
decision as to the career she wants, the
guidance service then refers her to a job.
"We have a lot of contact with the
business community in finding jobs for
these women," Brown-Burke says. "Even
though the program is oriented towards
non-traditional careers for women, we
will work with women who have decided
they want a traditional job, although we
do introduce them to other occupations
so they know they have a variety of
Some of the careers women have
chosen in the past ranged from carpet
laying to printing to commission sales.
According to Brown-Burke, most women
who come to the guidance service are
looking for upward mobility and more
money. Especially more money.
Brown-Burke has been with the service
since 1971 and observes that the average
age level of women seeking help has gone
up considerably to about 30 years old.
She says they used to work a lot with
high school seniors and young women
VGS staff members (I to r): Terri Constable,
Carl Webster, and Gayle Brown-Burke help women entering and re-entering the job market.
just out of college.
Counseling and Placement
There is a second program offered by
the guidance service called the Counseling and Placement Program. This program
does much more extensive couseling and
is available to men as well as women.
In this program, counseling is on an
individual basis and usually lasts seven to
eight weeks, whereas Women Work for
Work is based on group participation in
seminars and lasts only as long as it is
necessary for the woman to decide on a
career she is interested in. There is a fee
to join the couseling and placement
program based on a sliding scale and your
ability to pay. The Women Work for
Work program is free with the exception
of an occasional small fee for a seminar.
"Each person is given a battery of interest, personality, IQ and aptitude
tests," Carl Webster says.
"We want these women to go out and
make some of the good money that men
have been making for years," says Webster,
a counselor in the program.
The Counseling and Placement
program was the original program in the
Jewish Vocational Guidance Service
which was started 34 years ago. Eventually the name was changed to the Vocational Guidance Service (VGS), and more
recently to VGS, Inc. The service is
located at 2525 San Jacinto and is a
United Way agency.
The service also has a third program
which began in September of 1979, in
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