Sound recording of a telephone interview digitized from audiocassette with William Layburn and Hugh L. Gordon. Layburn, who worked in the Personnel Department for Western Electric in Atlanta in the 1960s, discusses his efforts to develop employment opportunities for African Americans within the company and for other organizations. He served as the representative for Western Electric on the Merit Employment Association and served as its third chair.; William Layburn was born in New Jersey. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1941 and served in the Pacific theater during World War II. Layburn was discharged in 1946. He received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and joined Western Electric in 1952. Mr. Layburn was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1963 to set up a data center in Sandy Springs. With the construction of the data center in 1965, Layburn moved into personnel and public relations, where he developed employment opportunities for african americans. His efforts were so successful that he was asked to consult with other companies. While speaking at a meeting of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Mr. Layburn met Hugh Gordon, who encouraged him to become the representative for Western Electric to the Merit Employment Association in Atlanta. Layburn served two terms as the Chair of the MEA and was involved with the organization's Youth Motivation Living Witness Program.
Interview with William Layburn, 2002-03-21, Hugh L. Gordon Papers, 1951-2009, Gordon, Kruse, Wentzel Collection, 1951-2010, SC/G/002, Kennesaw State University Archives
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