� Random Friday beer blog | Main | No video: Trading �

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

National Youth Administration [updated]

Updated March 8, 2009

The SJ-R's Chris Dettro details some of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal and its lasting effects on Springfield: Fruits of FDR's stimulus plan thrive today.

End of update.


Springfield Resident Work Center. (Unresized, larger copy.)

The National Youth Administration (NYA) was a New Deal agency in the United States. It operated from 1935 to 1943 as part of the Works Progress Administration. [...] By 1938, it served 327,000 high school and college youth, who were paid from $6 to $40 a month for "work study" projects at their schools. Another 155,000 boys and girls from relief families were paid $10 to $25 a month for part-time work that included job training. Unlike the CCC, it included young women. The youth normally lived at home, and worked on construction or repair projects. Its annual budget was approximately $58,000,000. [Wiki.]

Doesn't the NYA Resident Work Center in Lima, New York, look a lot more pleasant and welcoming than the one in Springfield, Illinois?

When the National Youth Administration (NYA) is mentioned, there may be a good many persons who will say, "Oh, we know about the NYA." But what they have in mind is the NYA program that dealt with the needs of young people who were in schools and colleges throughout the country. The part that I am writing about came later. It dealt with out-of-school, unemployed, poverty-stricken youth who were the most damaged victims of the depression. [Link.]

I don't know why this picture is in our family archives. I don't recall ever having heard of the Springfield Work Center mentioned by anyone in our family. It could be this picture was taken some years after the disestablishment of the NYA, as I seem to have a vague memory of being at this building. But, that could be because I've looked at the picture so many times.

For more information and insight into the Resident Work Center Program, read the fascinating story of Gordon Halstead, who worked at the one in Lima, New York, starting here and follow the links at the bottom of the page. See also, The New Deal Network.

So, did any of your relatives or family friends take part in the National Youth Administration's Resident Work Centers? What about the one in Springfield? Where was it located? How many kids lived there? Where were they from? What did they do there? Who was in charge? So many questions....

Posted by Marie at July 22, 2008 1:32 PM


This looks like the gun club where dad use to go practice. They had indoor ranges as well as outdoor ones. I remember wearing earplugs while inside that very cold unheated building.

Posted by: Carol at July 22, 2008 4:30 PM

Oh yeah. That sounds familiar. Thanks for reminding me.

Posted by: Marie Carnes Author Profile Page at July 22, 2008 6:16 PM