Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Deal School Buses for North Carolina

During the New Deal era, the Public Works Administration (PWA) granted North Carolina $197,000 to assist in the purchase of 750 school buses. That's about 3.4 million in today's dollars.

The PWA, generally speaking, fought unemployment during the Great Depression indirectly, by providing funding for various projects. The idea was to provide funding for, let's say, a large hospital. This would provide fairly long-term work for private contractors who, in turn, would hire more workers to help them complete the projects. PWA funds were typically added to locally-raised funds.

The WPA, by contrast, was geared towards the direct hiring of the unemployed. Indeed, a certain percentage of WPA funds was usually required to be directed towards the hiring & payment of unemployed men & women on each project. Like PWA funds, WPA funds were usually added to locally-raised money.

(School bus image courtesy of PWA-funding information from "America Builds: A Record of PWA," Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939. 

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