The Expansion And Introduction Of Industries Throughout The St. Louis Region

2182 Words Apr 12th, 2016 9 Pages
The expansion and introduction of industries throughout the St. Louis region, deemed it necessary for a change in labor practices. Across the country women began to leave their households, which had been their sphere of influence for generations, and entered the workforce in order to support the United States during the war. By 1943, three-fourths of all laborers at the U.S. Cartridge plant were women. Women were in high demand during the 1940s in order to maximize war time assembly as industries needed laborers. St. Louis assembled a “hands on” demonstration fair in an attempt to excite women about working for the war. During the fair, they could walk through a defense plant, learn about the equipment, and at the end of the tour employment recruiters signed anyone up that showed even a hint of interest. For the majority of the war, companies could not find enough workers to fill their plants, mainly due to the fact that they refused to hire African Americans and put them on their production lines.
St. Louis has had a history of racial tension, and this did not change during the war, “a survey in the fall of 1942 showed that about 8,000 black men and women had found employment in war industries, but there were about five blacks jobless for each one hired.” Blacks in St. Louis became a part of the ‘forgotten revolution’ as “black leaders demanded defense jobs and integration of the armed forces.” These demands which expanded to include attempts at outright integration…

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