Originally Posted December 29, 2010
Works Progress Administration: Millions of Jobs
“The Works Progress Administration
(renamed during 1939 as the Work Projects Administration
was the largest New Deal agency
, employing millions to carry out public
projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy
projects. It fed children and redistributed food, clothing, and housing. Almost every community in the United States
had a park, bridge
or school constructed by the agency, which especially benefited rural and Western
populations. Expenditures from 1936 to 1939 totaled nearly $7 billion.
By 1943, the total amount spent was over 11 billion.
Created by order
of President FranklinDelano Roosevelt
, the WPA was funded
with passage of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935
on April 8, 1935. The legislation had passed in the House of Representatives
by a margin of 329 to 78, but was delayed by the Senate
The WPA continued and extended relief programs similar to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation
(RFC), which was established by Congress in 1932 during the administration of Roosevelt’s predecessor Herbert Hoover
. Headed by Harry Hopkins
, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States
. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost eight
Until ended by Congress and war employment during 1943, the WPA was the largest employer in the country. Most people who needed a job were eligible for at least some of its jobs.
Hourly wages were the prevailing wages in each area;the rules said workers could not work more than 30 hours a week, but many projects included months in the field, with workers eating and sleeping on
worksites. Before 1940, there was some training involved to teach new skills
and the project’s original legislation had a strong emphasis on training.” [Source: Wikipedia]
Mr. President: I am simple senior citizen. I know you are having a hard time trying to solve our problems with a major focus on jobs. The WPA was before my time, but, I have read about it on the INTERNET. It was a large program created by the President at the time through EXECUTIVE ORDER
. You have that power…to create a NEW WPA and create millions of jobs in this country to finally do something about the infrastructure and to give the nation a re-birth. It would be very complicated to do it now, I suppose. And, growing the government like this would be fought by republicans. Perhaps something like the WPA is doable. Please take a moment to view my video
. I am just frustrated when I see the daily reports on unemployment and the economy. I just know that through the WPA people who wanted a job had a job. I am sure you will have some grand design in your next State of the Union address. I look forward to that. God bless you and God bless America!