From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Birch, Augustine Edward

(born: February 13, 1908  -  died: August 22, 2000) 

Augustine E. Birch was born in Winchester, KY to Eva Downey Birch and Edward Eginton Birch. He was a supervisor for the Apprentice Information Center of the Cincinnati Bureau Employment Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Birch was director of the Cincinnati Apprenticeship Information Center in 1969 when it was one of three such centers in Ohio and one of 35 in the United States. Access to the apprentice training programs was supposed to be a step toward getting hired in the trade industries.

In June 1963, the Cincinnati NAACP had charged that racist practices barred Negroes from journeymen jobs and participation in the union-controlled apprenticeship training programs in the building trades industry. In May 1965, only 100 Negroes had been allowed entrance into the 11 apprenticeship centers in the U.S. The efforts to desegregate the centers involved a long and ongoing fight.

Augustine Birch retired in 1977 as an intake supervisor for the Cincinnati Apprentice Information Center. His other employment positions included supervisor with the Cincinnati Recreation Department and employee counselor at Wright Aeronautical Corp.

Birch was a 1931 graduate of Kentucky State University where he was class president, a featured tenor soloist, and a participant in the college choir. He was a member of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Kentucky State University Alumni Association, serving as chair of the scholarship committee beginning in 1975. The Augustine Birch Scholarship is named in his honor. Birch was also a Tuskegee Airman with the U.S. Air Force during World War II; he enlisted in Indiana on October 8, 1943.

For more see "Here are addresses of the U.S.A.'s 35 Apprenticeship Information Centers," The Machinist, 4/17/1969, p. 8; and "Deaths - Augustine Birch, 92, was job counselor," The Cincinnati Post, 8/25/2000, News section, p. 19A.

For more on the segregated Apprenticeship Information Centers, see H. Hill, "The Negro wage earner and apprenticeship training," Crisis, June-July 1961, vol. 68, issue 6, pp. 335-341 [online at Google Books]; H. Hill, "Job crisis in the urban north," Crisis, November 1965, pp. 565-572 [online at Google Books]; and R. Marshall and V. M. Briggs, Jr., "Negro participation in Apprenticeship Programs," The Journal of Human Resources, 1967, vol. 2, issue 1, pp. 51-69.

Kentucky County & Region

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Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Winchester, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Birch, Ernest O. and Edward E. [Birch Bros.]
NKAA Source: The Machinist (periodical)
NKAA Source: Cincinnati post (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Crisis (periodical)
NKAA Source: The Journal of human resources (periodical)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Birch, Augustine Edward,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-01-24 18:05:36