With all the talk these days about the economy, job training, re-training, marketable skills, and all forms of education, it's interesting to thing about some of the solutions offered in the 19th-century.
In Salem, Esther C. Mack was particularly concerned about the daughters of European immigrants who had made their way here to work in the mills. What about these young women who needed to earn a living? Where would they receive training? What would prevent them from a life of "immorality," which upper class Salem women worried about?
In her will, Esther C. Mack bequeathed funds to create the Mack Industrial School where young women received training in all sorts of skills from millinery to gardening. They also learned hygiene and physical fitness. The school opened in 1897, and by 1908 five hundred students were enrolled.
What would she do today? I wonder, but probably something practical and immediate that responded to the underemployed and unemployed in our community!