History of SSA During the Johnson Administration 1963-1968


In addition to a commitment as an employer in cooperating with various Federally-funded job programs, the Social Security Administration has made a continuing effort to fulfill its role as a partner in the community wherever Social Security Administration installations exist. This includes participation in community projects concerned with identifying, training, and motivating the unemployed and underemployed individuals.{1}

It has also meant working closely vith organizations such as the College Placement Services, Inc. and the Urban League in effort to reach predominantly Negro college students to bring the message of Government careers to them and to aid their faculty and college administrators in vocational guidance.

The Social Security Administration also works closely with local community groups such as the Opportunities Industrialization Center, Metropolitan Employment Councils, Equal Opportunity Commissions, and others to reach the hard-core unemployed. The Social Security Administration participates in a number of joint group activities to foster understanding and communications between community employers and the unemployed.

The vocal Security Administration's role in this regard has taken many forms. Individual personnel specialists have addressed groups at urban high schools, community action agencies, inner-city churches, and others concerning Federal employment. Social Security Administration installations across the country have hosted open houses, job-o-ramas, and other similar meetings designed to bring area employers and the job seeker together in a kind of job "supermarket."

The Social Security Administration itself is a large employer, and has sought to fulfill its commitment as a community partner and employer in the overall effort to find meaningful employment for all citizens. Toward that end, it has been participating in a number of Federally funded and local community job and job-training programs. Social Security Administration presently employs or is providing on-the-job training for some 2,100 people through these programs. These people have been recruited under the auspices of such programs as the Neighborhood Youth Corps administered by the Department of Labor, Work-Study Programs administered by the Office of Education, Youth Opportunity Campaign as established by Executive Order 11330, Concentrated Employment Program funded by the Manpower Development and Training Act and the Economic Opportunity Act, Employment of Vietnam Era Veterans administered by the Veterans Administration and the Civil Service Commission, and other programs.

The Social Security Administration is also playing an active role in 68 of the 75 cities selected for planning grants under the new Model Cities Program.{2} District managers in these cities have been chosen to serve as Community Liaison Representatives. The Model Cities Program involves the coordinated efforts of the Departments of Health, Education, and Welfare, Housing and Urban Development, and Labor; Office of Economic Opportunity; Bureau of the Budget; and the selected communities to improve specific blighted areas, both in terms of physical improvements and, particularly, services to people.

A good portion of the community relations activities has been centered in the Employee Management Relations and Equal Opportunity Staff. It has carried on a continuous program of involvement with community, religious and civil rights groups. Social Security Administration employees have served on many area committees and worked in many community projects. The Social Security Administration has become increasingly more involved in cooperative projects affecting employees and potential employees and the community at large--such as Boy Scouts, the blood program, cooperation with Baltimore City Human Relations Commission in seminar on employment testing, open housing and public accommodations, etc.{3}

District Office Involvement in the Model Cities Program

When the first cities to receive planning grants under the Model Cities Program were being chosen, the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health, Education, and Welfare, and Labor and the Office of Economic Opportunity had to develop a means of establishing liaison between its regional organization and the city. The Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, recognizing the resources which the social security district managers presented, asked the Social Security Administration to make the district manager, or in a few cases some other district office official, available to act as the community liaison representative for each model city. This was done with the exception of regional office cities and Washington, D.C. In most cases the district manager is located in the model city itself, but in a few instances the model city does not have a district office and the role of the community liaison representative is filled by themanager of the office servicing the city or by the officer in charge a branch office. {4}

The job of the community liaison representative is to serve as the eyes and ears of the regional office in the city. He is responsible, in this capacity, to the regional community services coordinator on the staff of the regional director. He reports on the progress and problems arising in the city as the planning and development of the approach to the model neighborhood progresses. He responds to requests for technical assistance from city officials by making contact throuh the regional director's office with the appropriate resource person in the regional office. He may, when appropriate, suggest areas in which the expertise of the Department can be made available to the city.

The service of district managers or other Social Security Administration district office people as community liaison representatives has provided the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare with an unmatched resource for keeping informed about actions in the model city and for channeling information to the city. The officials in charge of the operation of the Model Cities Program in the Office of the Secretary have been so pleased with the performance of Social Security Administration people in the first group of cities that they have requested, and the Social Security Administration has agreed, to make similar designations for the second group of cities receiving model city planning grants, which is expected to be announced by mid-summer 1968.

Footnotes (Footnote numbers not same as in the printed version)

{1} SSA, "Special Employment Programs," May 27, 1968.

{2} For more detail see next section.

{3} The SSA Central Office Bulletin, September 1, 1967, and April 8, 1968, Valuable Protection for Blood Needs; "Partnership in Equal Employment," a Program at the Social Security Headquarters, September 22, 1967.

{4} Memorandum dated November 17, 1967, from the Bureau of District Office Operations No. 164 (109-67), 9to All Regional Representatives, DOO and District Managers: Subject--Participation by certain district mangers in the Model Cities Program.