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40s - The War Effort
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1940s: World War II

By the end of the war, more than 12 million soldiers were in the military. With the men again overseas, women were needed in U.S. factories. Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of the female workforce. The percentage of women in the workforce rose from slightly less than 25 percent to about 35 percent.

Training demands for the war grew. The Eau Claire vocational school formed a cooperative educational program with the federal government. The city and county kicked in money for equipment and building rental.

Eau Claire added many new classes, including: two-week institutes for linemen; industrial psychology; accounting courses for civil service; trade extension classes for city electricians and sheet metal workers; pharmacology; Dresden china painting; driver’s education; and barbering.

After the war, federal money continued to flow to vocational schools for training veterans returning home after the war. Veterans received financial assistance for attending school to learn skills needed in the local job market.

Timeline

  
1940
Youth trained for war industries, classes held 24 hours a day.  Forty-two classes in Civilian Defense were offered.
1941
U.S. enters World War II. Classes held in Eau Claire 24 hours a day to meet war demands. Forty-two classes in civilian defense offered.
1941

War training needs in Eau Claire leads to an electrical shop on Graham Avenue, woodworking and auto mechanics courses at the Mappa Street site, and a machine shop on Jones Street.

The city of Eau Claire buys the Multitone Factory at 1300 First Ave. The building is remodeled to include dormitories, a cafeteria, and classrooms.

1941
State vocational school enrollments swell to more than 127,000 students.
1942
Eau Claire Vocational and National Youth Administration Center opens at 1300 First Ave.
1944
Wisconsin becomes first state to offer an on-the-farm veterans training program.
1945
World War II Ends
1947
Invention of first general-use computer paves way for business and technology courses.
1948
First technical diploma given
1949

Eau Claire Technical Institute awarded its first technical program diploma in business education.