Franklin D. Roosevelt made history creating The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) on April 5, 1933. It was one of the new agencies of his New Deal program to combat the Great Depression. The CCC provided jobs for young men who did not have jobs. The program operated under the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with the help of the U.S. Army. At its peak, the program employed over 3 million young men.
The CCC enrollees worked on a variety of conservation and environmental projects, including:
Fighting forest fires
Developing parks and recreation areas
Improving soil and water conservation
The CCC also provided enrollees with educational and vocational training. This helped them to develop skills that would enable them find jobs after the program ended.
For the most part, the CCC only employed males. The law that created the CCC, the Emergency Conservation Work Act, specifically stated that the program provided for “unemployed able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five.” Women usually did not participate in the CCC.
Some exceptions to this rule existed. For example, some Native American women found work at the CCC, and some women married to CCC enrollees also participated in the program. However, these exceptions were rare.
The reason why the CCC only employed males was that it was seen as a way to help young men who were struggling to find jobs during the Great Depression. The program also built character and discipline in young men.
The CCC put millions of young men to work. However, it is important to remember that the program was also discriminatory. Women mostly did not find jobs in the program, and African American lived in separate camps and found less desirable work assignments.
The following people administered the CCC throughout its existence:
Robert Fechner (1933-1936)
James J. McEntee (1936-1942)
Fechner was a former labor union leader, appointed by Roosevelt to be the first director of the CCC. He set up the program and oversaw its operations. McEntee was a former army officer who was appointed by Roosevelt to replace Fechner in 1936. He served as the director of the CCC until the program was disbanded in 1942.
Here are some significant accomplishments of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC):
Planted over 3 billion trees. This helped to reforest millions of acres of land that had been damaged by logging, fire, or other natural disasters.
Built over 2.5 million miles of trails and roads. This improved access to public lands and made it easier for people to enjoy the outdoors.
Constructed over 96,000 bridges and culverts. This helped to improve drainage and prevent flooding.
Developed over 800 state and national parks. This helped to preserve these natural resources for future generations.
Fought over 12 million forest fires. This helped to protect homes, businesses, and wildlife from the destructive effects of fire.
Improved soil and water conservation practices. This helped to prevent erosion and ensure that the land could be used for productive purposes.
Provided educational and vocational training to over 2.5 million young men. This helped them to develop skills that would help them find jobs after the program ended.
The CCC was a major success. It helped to put millions of young men to work, improve the environment, and preserve our natural resources.
Here are some additional facts about the CCC:
The average age of a CCC enrollee was 22 years old.
The CCC was the largest peacetime mobilization of men in American history.
The CCC cost the federal government $3.5 billion.
CCC vs. WPA
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) were two of the most important New Deal programs that were designed to help people get jobs during the Great Depression. However, there were some key differences between the two programs.
Targeted demographics: The CCC employed young men, ages 18-25, while the WPA was open to all unemployed Americans, including women and minorities.
Work: The CCC focused on conservation and environmental projects, such as building trails, planting trees, and fighting forest fires. The WPA, on the other hand, focused on infrastructure projects, such as building roads, bridges, and public buildings.
Pay: CCC enrollees earned $30 per month, with $25 of that going to their families at home. WPA workers earned $50 per month.
Length of service: CCC enrollees served for a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years. WPA workers could work for as long as they were unemployed.
In general, the CCC was more popular than the WPA. The CCC offered a more tangible and rewarding experience for its enrollees. They worked outdoors, learned new skills, and contributed to the conservation of the nation’s natural resources.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) ceased in 1942, when the United States entered World War II. There were a few reasons for this:
The war effort required a large number of young men to serve in the military.
The CCC’s conservation projects were no longer as important, as the government now focused on war production.
The CCC was expensive to operate, and the government faced budget constraints due to the war.
The CCC was a very successful program, and it helped to put millions of young men to work during the Great Depression.
- Year Started: 1933
- Year Ended: 1942
- Origin Of Name: Descriptive
- Location Sales: United States
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: N/A
- Owner Original: United States Government
- Owner While In Use: United States Government
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Peace Corps
- Naics Code: 926110
- Location Headquarters: Washington, D.C. USA