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Pennsylvania Railroad Association
Human Issues in Management
www.humanissues.org, 23 April 2001 [cached]
Michener was succeeded in 1907 by Charles R. Towson.
...Towson was called from service as secretary of the Pennsylvania Railroad Association in Philadelphia.
Within a year Towson had organized industrial work by city Associations in four states and at major ports of entry for immigrants.
also introduced courses in first aid, safety and health instruction, and volunteer service projects in industry settings for engineering students, known as the industrial Service Movement, one of the YMCA precursors of works projects and youth service programs such as the WPA, the Peace Corps and VISTA
also introduced clubs for the children of workers, employed boys, and special programs for Negroes.
By 1916, the year the first industrial work dialogue was held at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, 200 secretaries were devoted to industrial work Linder the direction of Charles Towson
It was widely recognized that "Towson
[was] the big factor which sent industrial work forward with rapid strides.
...Charles R. Towson was its dean.
The resolution to this dilemma, invented by Charles Towson
, was to bring representatives of both labor and management together with the professional staff of the YMCA
for open dialogue on the issues of the day.Towson
, modeling the working philosophy of the YMCA
which emphasized process over content, used content issues to break down stereotypes and dialogue to effect cooperation among all interested parties.
Towson drew on his
own reputation and contacts to initiate the first dialogue on human issues in industry at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on June 30, 1916.He
introduced the goal of his
program in an opening address titled "The Human Factor in Industry."The programs of the YMCA
in industry and elsewhere were characterized as "welfare work" which Towson
defined as " ... any service rendered in the spirit of goodwill by employers to employees beyond that required by the law of the land or the necessities of the business."
The success of the Lake Geneva dialogue prompted Towson
to establish a conference format for annual meetings on human issues which could be replicated at a number of sites.
...With the controversy resolved, from the YMCA's perspective, in favor of a continuing commitment to the "zone of agreement," there followed the successful replication of the industrial Conference in North Carolina, Colorado and Wisconsin, each under the general moderator Charles R. Towson.Mission accomplished, Towson retired in 1922, from his role as secretary of the Industrial Department to a one-third time position as the executive secretary of the Silver Bay Association.