Home - Other Books -> San Francisco Public Schools - War Production Training Program

Home Up One Level

San Francisco Public Schools - War Production Training Program

This is short pamplet describes the San Francisco School system's World War II training programs.

San Francisco Public Schools

War Production Training Program

Free Instruction

San Francisco Board of Education

Philip Lee Bush, President
Richard E. Doyle, Vice-President

Bart A. Supple
Mrs. Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel
Harry I. Christie
Mrs. Edwin R. Sheldon
Frank C. Sykes
Joseph P. Nourse, Superintendent of Schools

Free training for War Production workers is offered by the United States Government in cooperation with the San Francisco Public Schools with classes conducted in the following locations:

Shipbuilding School - 1663 Mission St.
Samuel Gompers Trades School - 22nd and Bartlett Sts.
Balboa High - Onondaga Ave. and Cayuga Ave.
James Denman Junior High - Onondaga Ave. and Otsego Ave.
San Francisco Junior College - Balboa Park
Abraham Lincoln High - 22nd Ave. and Santiago St.
George Washington High - 32nd Ave. and Anza St.
Presidio Junior High - 30th Ave. and Geary St.
Roosevelt Junior High.- Arguello Blvd. near Geary St.
Marina Junior High - Fillmore and Bay Sts.
Galileo High - Van Ness Ave. and Francisco St.
Polytechnic High - Frederick St. and Arguello Blvd.

Other Locations:

Treasure Island
Aquatic Park
Sperry Gyroscope Co.
Maritime Hall
Ship Invader

Offices: War Production Training
93 Grove St.; Joseph E. Clisham, Director

Shipbuilding School, 1663 Mission St.

Samual Gompers Trades School
Room 214, 22nd and Bartlett Sts.

T. Paul Dutcher, Paul O'Rourke, E. A. Wolfe

Entrance Requirements

Those interested in enrolling in War Production Training Classes may obtain information at the United States Employment Service, 1690 Mission Street, or may enroll directly at the school where the instruction is given. This instruction is free and is available without discrimination to all persons, male or female, employable in War Production Work.

Capable interviewers are on duty from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the Samuel Gompers Trades School, 22nd and Bartlett Streets, and at the Shipbuilding School, 1663 Mission Street. Those interested in additional information as to the courses offered or the employment possibilities are welcome at these two locations.

All courses are designed for the needs of the industry concerned. Hours are arranged for the convenience of the majority of the students. New classes are started as the need demands.

These courses have the endorsement of the War Manpower Commission, Labor, Management, and the United States Employment Service.

Training is Offered in the Following Trades:

Aircraft Engine Mechanics
Aircraft Assembly Mechanics
Aircraft Sheet Metalsmith
Aircraft Mechanics (Pan-American Airways)
Acetylene Welding
Arc Welding
Communications (Land-line Morse, Teletype, Mux)
Asbestos Pipe Covering
General Machine Shop
Marine Drafting and Layout
Marine Electrical Installation
Marine Machine Shop
Marine Steamfitting and Pipefitting
Sheet Metal Fabrication and Layout
Radio Repairman - (Signal Corps)
Shipwright and Joiner

Two Types of Training

1. Pre-employment training is designed for those who are preparing to enter the trade. Class instruction is planned to meet the need of those who are not employed as well as those who are working in other fields and wish to become War Production workers. Courses require minimum 15-hour weekly attendance with completion requiring 125-240 hours to qualify for employment.

2. Supplementary training is advanced instruction for helpers and trainees now employed as War Production workers. It is designed to provide additional information and skills so that workers may solve their daily problems and secure early advancements in pay. Courses usually require from 4 hours to 12 hours weekly attendance, with completion requiring from 100-150 hours of attendance.

Aircraft Engine Mechanics

This course prepares an individual to enter the Army and Navy Aircraft Repair Depots or other airline transport depots as a helper or trainee. The training includes a working knowledge of aircraft engines and accessories. The trainee upon completion of his training should be able to qualify as a Junior Mechanic in the repair of aircraft engines.

This is a pre-employment course and is open to both men and women, with total attendance before employability amounting to approximately 240 hours.

Aircraft Mechanics (Assembly)

A working knowledge of aircraft mechanics is taught by competent instructors who are also key men at the aircraft depots. The instruction includes a well-rounded course of information and skills. After completion of this training, the trainee begins employment in the assembly, construction, and repair of aircraft. Both men and women are trained and employed for this work.

Both pre-employment and supplemental classes are offered. The former requires an average of 240 hours of attendance.

Aircraft Sheet Metal (Fabrication)

The training received in this course prepares the trainee to enter the aircraft maintenance and manufacturing industries or the various military aircraft repair depots. The student is taught blueprint reading, template making, riveting, and the fabrication of small assemblies typical of those used in modern aircraft construction.

Pre-employment and supplemental classes are open both to men and women, with the former requiring a usual attendance of from 150-240 total hours. Supplementary courses usually require from 100-150 total hours.

Aircraft (Pan-American Airways)

The War Production Training Program provides training for employees of Pan-American Airways. This training in various phases of aircraft work is given at Treasure Island during hours which are convenient for the employees.

The course is of a supplemental nature, and only Pan-American employees are eligible.

Trainees completing all aircraft pre-employment courses are eligible for employment at Pan-American Airways after a total attendance of approximately 240 hours. Supplemental courses are specified as to length, according to the phase involved.

Acetylene Welding

Acetylene welding or gas welding is light and interesting work. The training consists of acquiring the skill and knowledge necessary to weld various types of light metal. There are employment possibilities both for men and women in various war production plants.

At the present time, training is offered on a pre-employment basis and is open to both men and women, with employment generally obtainable with from 120-150 total hours of attendance.

Arc Welding

This training course is designed to prepare individuals to enter employment as welder trainees in the shipbuilding industry. The trainee learns to operate and handle welding equipment. He is taught to make different joint welds in the flat, vertical, and overhead positions. With this training, the apt student should become a journeyman welder within a short time after he begins employment. Positions are open to both men and women.

Pre-employment classes are operated 24 hours a day, with 3 - to 4-hour sessions; 120 to 150 hours usually qualify trainees for employment. Supplemental classes are offered for those preparing to take their tests prior to advanced ratings, as certified welders.


This course embodies specific phases of the communication field including teletype, land-line Morse, Mux and tape perforator operations. Objective is to qualify workers in the broad field of communications which play such a major part in the war effort.

Training is now offered on a pre-employment and supplementary basis, with 200 hours usually required to qualify for employment. Supplemental courses generally require 100-150 total hours of attendance. Course is open to both men and women.

Asbestos Pipe Covering

All ship steam pipes, hot water lines, and steam boilers are covered in a fireproof jacket of asbestos. Refrigeration systems are all insulated with cork and hair felt. This material is then covered with canvas that must be sewed or pasted, The work is not heavy, and workers in this field are in great demand at all times. Only men are employable at the present time. The industry encourages those in allied fields such as painting, plastering, brick laying, tile setting, and cement finishers, to take this training.

This is a pre-employment course, and those who complete the work begin employment at journeymen's rate of pay.

Machine Shop Practice

Identical courses in machine shop practice are offered to men and women in ten different schools. After the individual has been instructed in the safety factors and the operation of the various machines, he is assigned several small projects. During the course, one large project is to be completed by each student. This project is designed so that all major machines, operations, and processes are covered. There are many jobs open to men and women in the shipyards and in various local production machine shops.

Pre-employment classes are given 24 hours a day, and advanced work for supplemental students is given at convenient hours for workers desiring to upgrade themselves. Usual completion time requires 150-240 hours of attendance.

Marine Drafting - Layout

This field is especially desirable to men and women who have had previous experience in mechanical drawing or an aptitude for accurate work. The trainee gains a well-rounded understanding of ships and ship terms as well as developing his ability to trace and make ship drawings.

Pre-employment classes are open to those showing an aptitude in handling a pencil, with completion requiring an average of 200 hours. Persons employed as shipfitters or as draftsmen may take supplemental courses in this work to improve themselves in the work that they are engaged in or to prepare themselves for more responsible positions in this field. Such supplementary courses usually continue for a minimum of 100 hours. Both men and women are eligible.

Marine Electricity

Intercommunication systems, lighting controls, and the wiring of motors that propel and control a ship are the responsibility of the marine electrician. Studying the theory and practical application of selecting and assembling wires prepares the student for his job in the electrical department in the shipyards.

This course is available in day and evening pre-employment classes for both men and women, with an attendance of usually 120 hours being required before employment occurs. Advanced students are eligible to enroll in supplemental classes designed to solve the theoretical and technical problems encountered, and attendance therein assures higher pay classifications in the industry.

Marine Machine Shop

The marine machinist differs from the shop machinist in that he works on marine engines and installs and repairs units that are auxiliary to the engines. The courses under the War Production Training Program are designed so as to prepare the individual to go to work in the shipyards. Only men are employed in this phase at the present time.

This is a pre-employment course and requires from 150-240 total hours prior to employment.

Marine Steamfitting and Pipefitting

Marine steamfitters and pipefitters deal with the fabricating, installing, and testing of steam pipes and plumbing. The student must learn the proper use of tools, the necessary shop practice, trade mathematics, and drawing.

Pre-employment classes are open to those with no previous experience, with employment being usually available after 100 hours of training. Many supplemental classes are open to those already employed in the trade. Pipefitter trainees are required to attend supplemental classes four hours a week for a period of six months. At the end of that period they are given their journeyman's rating.


Training in both beginning and advanced seamanship is given under this program. Young men who are planning a career in the Merchant Marine are referred to this class. The ship Invader is used for the basic training unit. Advanced work is given in classrooms, and lifeboat tests are given at Aquatic Park.

Sheet Metal Fabrication and Layout

Sheet metal work plays a large and important part in the construction of the American Navy and Merchant Marine. Students learn to plan, layout and build the light metal compartments, ventilators, and sound-proofing units used on board ships.

The pre-employment classes are given in day and evening and are available to both men and women, with employment usually being available after 150-240 hours of attendance. The plan reading and layout necessary for the journeyman sheet metal worker are taught in weekly four-hour supplemental classes.

Radio Repair

In cooperation with the United States Army Signal Corps, training is given in radio repair. Admission to these classes is through a United States civil service test and the recommendation of the Ninth Civilian Service Command. Information available at the U. S. Civil Service, Federal Building, San Francisco. Training requires approximately 360 hours.


Shipfitting concerns the building of steel ships, just as carpentry is the building of houses. This course is divided into four divisions: lofting, duplicating, sub-assembly, and ship erection. This is a streamlined course designed to give the student the important features of the shipfitter's trade in order that he may begin work as a shipfitter's helper.

Carefully designed pre-employment classes are open to both men and women, with an attendance of approximately 100 hours required prior to employment. Supplemental classes are given for men and women also and comply with the four-hour weekly training agreement approved by employer and employee organizations.


Loftsmen interpret ship plans and expand them on the scribe board to make templates (patterns) of the exact size and shape of the ship's parts. This job requires accuracy and skill, as the plans must be expanded to dimensions and curves to provide accuracy in the finished metal.

This is a supplemental course designed principally for those now working as shipfitters.

Shipwright and Joiner

Carpenters, millmen, cabinet makers or persons who are handy with wood working tools find this work easily learned and very profitable. If one has been a "handy man" around the house, he will find placement after a short training period. Shipwrights construct the wooden partitions in steel ships and build wooden boats. Joiners build the bunks, doors, and furniture used in the ships.

This training is at present open to men on a pre-employment basis, and necessitates approximately 150 hours of training before employment is available.

Home Up One Level