4
With the establishment of the WPA the grant-in-aid method .
of financing work relief, as under FERA, was abandoned and a
new system of federal administration extending into the states
and territories was set up. WPA was completely a federal
program with all officials and project workers being paid by
the federal government. Nevertheless state and local govern-
ments continued to shoulder some very large responsibilities
in the operation of the program. Determination of an appli-
cant's eligibility for the WPA program was such a responsi-
bility.
Project planning and operations were state and local
government responsibilities. Formal proposals for WPA projects,
made by a legally responsible public agency, had_to show the
estimated cost, what part of that cost the sponsor was prepared
to pay, and the amount and types of labor required. Sponsors
were responsible for the architectural and engineering aspects
of construction projects. Sponsors also agreed that if for
any reason the WPA was unable to complete the project they
would complete at least a usable unit. When completed, projects
belonged to the sponsors who would maintain and operate the
project at their own expense. Sponsors shared in the program
by paying a portion of the project's cost, usually the nonlabor
costs, which varied from one project to another. Materials,
equipment, tools, skilled labor, and office space were the
umst common types of sponsors' contributions. {
The desire to secure useful public improvements and services
that might otherwise be economically unattainable was a very
important incentive for project sponsorship. Another incentive
derived from the fact that the more people on work relief at any
one time meant fewer people in need of direct relief-still a
local responsibility. Construction projects were in wide
demand due to their need and utility. Service projects, usually
sponsored by local governments as opposed to state sponsorship,
generally began as WPA sponsored programs (Federal Project A
Nos 1-6. see page 9 ) to demonstrate their usefulness and employ
· the needy white collar workers. Projects also received sponsor-
ship from other federal agencies. Although the numbers employed W
on these other federal projects were relatively small, the l
work-conservation of natural resources, flood control, research `
studies, and improvement of defense facilities—-was of consider- _
able importance to the nation.
To obtain project approval a sponsor's project proposal
was forwarded through an area or district WPA office to the ¤
state office. The proposal was reviewed for eligibility and y
compliance with federal law and WPA regulations. If it was
found acceptable, an application was made by the state WPA ,
administrator to the Washington WPA office for authority to
spend federal funds for the project. Final approval was given
by the President. Approved projects were released for opera-  
tion by the state administrator to coincide with the availability
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