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About CCCPublic Work Program
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a voluntary public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men. Originally for young men ages 18–25, it was eventually expanded to ages 17–28. Robert Fechner was the first director of this agency, succeeded by James McEntee following Fechner’s death. The CCC was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that provided manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. Maximum enrollment at any one time was 300,000. Through the course of its nine years in operation, 3 million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a wage of $30 (equivalent to $590 in 2019) per month ($25 of which had to be sent home to their families).
CCC-built bridge across Rock Creek in Little Rock, Arkansas
The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs. Sources written at the time claimed an individual’s enrollment in the CCC led to improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability. The CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation’s natural resources, and the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of natural resources.
CCC workers constructing a road in what is now Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 1933
154th Co.. CCC, Eagle Lake Camp NP-1-Me. Bar harbor Maine, February 1940
CCC camps in Michigan; the tents were soon replaced by barracks built by Army contractors for the enrollees.
The CCC operated separate programs for veterans and Native Americans. Approximately 15,000 Native Americans participated in the program, helping them weather the Great Depression.
By 1942, with World War II and the draft in operation, the need for work relief declined, and Congress voted to close the program.