Works Progress Administration Iowa
- Existence: 1935-1943
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established by the United States government in 1935 as part of the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act to create jobs for the unemployed. In 1939, its name was changed to the Works Projects Administration. The WPA, under the direction of Harry L. Hopkins, created millions of jobs for those who could work and responsibility for the unemployable (children, elderly, and disabled) was returned to the states. The WPA was mandated to choose projects which would not compete with the private sector while at the same time making genuine contributions. Consequently, many WPA projects concentrated on physical improvements such as building schools and highways, rural electrification, and reforestation. It also gave work to students, artists, musicians, and writers. They produced a series of state travel guides, public murals and sculptures, and brought music and drama to many small communities. Always controversial, the WPA was accused of waste, political manipulation, and even subversion. As the Great Depression drew to a close, so did the Works Projects Administration. The agency was dissolved in 1943.