Work Projects Administration: the former federal agency (1935-43) charged with instituting and administering public works in order to relieve national unemployment. Originally, Works Progress Administration.
* * *U.S. work program for the unemployed.Created in 1935 under the New Deal, it aimed to stimulate the economy during the Great Depression and preserve the skills and self-respect of unemployed persons by providing them useful work. During its existence, it employed 8.5 million people in the construction of 650,000 mi (1,046,000 km) of roads, 125,000 public buildings, 75,000 bridges, 8,000 parks, and 800 airports. The WPA also administered the WPA Federal Art Project, the Theater Project, and the Writers' Project, which provided jobs for unemployed artists, actors, and writers. In 1943, with the virtual elimination of unemployment by the wartime economy, the WPA was terminated.
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