The Works Progress Administration (WPA)
One of Many WPA Success Stories
|1935 - The Beaver Dam school in Bleckley County, Georgia, served Afriican-American children.|
|1936 - WPA renovation project complete.|
Created by order of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the WPA was funded by Congress with passage of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 on April 8, 1935. The Works Progress Administration (renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In much smaller—and sometimes more famous projects—the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors, and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.
The WPA was a national program that operated its own projects in cooperation with state and local governments, which provided 10%-30% of the costs. WPA sometimes took over state and local relief programs that had originated in earlier programs to improve effectiveness. Almost every community in the United States had a new park, bridge, or school constructed by the agency. At its peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration.