We have had a busy summer attending many gatherings of social service agencies throughout Wayne Township, Fort Wayne, and Allen County. At these events, we bring along our display board of pictures and literature to inform and educate the public about what we do and what resources are available here at the Wayne Township Trustee Office. Each year, we wrap up the summer celebration season with a booth at the Labor Day Picnic at Headwaters Park. This event is sponsored by local organized labor unions to celebrate workers by serving up free food, drink, and entertainment to the whole community. This is always a big event drawing crowds in the thousands, and we love setting up our booth there as we get to see so many familiar faces.
The labor movement was born from the idea of making work fairer for the workers, putting so much of their energy into producing for the growing economy while often making barely enough money to feed their families. Before organized labor, “If you were a factory worker in the 1880s, you were probably toiling away at your job for an average of 60 hours a week, and it wasn’t unheard of for textile laborers in New York to make only 75 cents a day, which was a paltry sum, even for the time. To bring attention to these unfair working conditions, labor organizers coordinated the first Labor Day parade on Tuesday, September 5, 1882.”
The movement continued to grow, and by 1894, the year that then-President Grover Cleveland declared the first Monday in September a national holiday throughout the United States, more than half of the states had already been celebrating the labor movement in recognition of the worth of organized labor.
Here at Wayne Township, we are very much for people having good jobs that provide them with a livable income, fulfillment, and an opportunity to grow in a career. Two of our programs are aimed directly toward these goals. One is our Employment Program, which links employers with openings for our job-seeking clients. The second is our Workfare Program, which gives selected organizations and client partners the chance to “try out” an employment position. We are also particularly proud of our relationship with labor groups that offer apprenticeships for workers to learn and experience skilled labor jobs. Just last year, we introduced apprentices to solar energy jobs when we provided opportunities to work on installing new energy-efficient solar panels on the WTTO roof.
Our office will be closed in honor of Labor Day on Monday, September 4th, but we will be at our informational booth at the Labor Day Picnic at Headwaters Park. Come and join the celebration—Their flyer says, “Union members and their families, all workers, unemployed workers, and any other friends of working people are welcome.”
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- Thanking Public Servants ~ Voice Of The Township - December 24, 2023