xt7tdz03279j https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7tdz03279j/data/mets.xml  United States. Federal Works Agency 1940 7 pages, 1 unnumbered page: illustrations; 21 x 9 cm. UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call Number FW 1.2:N 31 booklets English Washington, D.C. : Federal Works Agency Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Works Progress Administration Employment Publications African Americans -- Employment -- United States Civil service -- United States Jobs for American Workers: the Negro in the Government's Work Program text Jobs for American Workers: the Negro in the Government's Work Program 1940 2019 true xt7tdz03279j section xt7tdz03279j FOR AMERICAN WORKERS
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The Negro in the
Government's Work Program
John M. Cormody, Administrator
Work Projecis Administration;
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Administration,- Authority

 F e d e l' a I
Wo r k s
A g e n c y
The Negro in the

Government’s Work Program
THE Federal Works Agency is continuing the
policies of Negro participation in the Govern-
ment’s public works program that were established
by the five major construction and employment
activities that have now been consolidated under
the FWA through the President’s Reorganization
Plan No. 1. These five activities are represented
by the Work Projects Administration, United
States Housing Authority, Public Works Adminis’
tration, Public Buildings Administration, and
Public Roads Administration.

Employment opportunities for Negro workers
have been assured in each of these agencies, either
by congressional legislation, administrative regula-
tions, or long-standing practice. This employ-
ment has covered a wide range of occupations from
unskilled labor to professional and policy-making
positions, and has been applied to the construction
of schools, housing projects, highways, public
buildings, dams, bridges, and many other local and
national improvements through the use of which
the Negro people have received important lasting

This program providing public works and em-
ployment, initiated by the five constituent agencies,
has been coordinated for more effective administra-
tion under the direction of FW A.


 WPA Creates Employment;

Services the Nation

TOUCHING the lives of more individuals than
any other of the FWA agencies, the Work Proj-
ects Administration has since its creation in 1955
been engaged in a gigantic struggle to relieve
unemployment, to raise the standard of living, and
to increase the purchasing power of the American
people. During these years, one out of every five
Americans has received some direct benefit from
the 250,000 WPA projects distributed throughout
the country and employing as many as 3,000,000
workers in a given year.

Negro Americans, who have suffered keenly
from unemployment, have shared in the varied
activities of this vast program. New employment
opportunities in a wide range of occupations have
been created. Important social services which
contribute to their well-being have been made
available to them. Public facilities have been devel—
oped in their communities.

During 1939 an average of 300,000 Negro
workers were employed on WPA projects. It is
estimated that these workers received some $15,-

. 000,000 in monthly wages. More than a million
Negro citizens, including dependent members of
these workers' families, owed their livelihood

g directly to the WPA. This employment has been

. facilitated by congressional legislation imposing

‘ penalties upon any person who deprives an eligible

. person from benefits of the WPA on account of
race, creed, or color. .

Negro WPA workers did work of all kinds. In

; the WPA's art projects, they found a rare oppor-
tunity to show their talents as artists, sculptors,
writers, actors, and scenery designers. As musi-
cians they composed music and played in orches-
tras. They sang in choral groups over the radio,
at the World’s Fair, and before the King and


 Queen of England. They taught classes of all
sorts, and they played an important part as leaders
in organized recreation. As doctors, dentists,
pharmacists, and nurses, they helped local health '
agencies extend their services among the under-
privileged and spread health education. White-
collar workers were employed as clerks, stenogra-
phers, typists, statisticians, operators of calculating
machines, draftsmen, and map makers. Among
Negro skilled workers were mechanics, electricians,
pipe fitters and layers, steel and sheet—metal work-
ers, blacksmiths, tractor and truck operators, air
hammer and compressor operators, carpenters,
painters, bricklayers, plasterers, and others.

Negro workers found many opportunities for
vocational training on WPA projects, as well as at
adult education classes in such subjects as radio,
woodwork, metalwork, and music. Young white-
‘collar workers learned to make maps and to operate
many kinds of computing machines. Negro
women learned to sew, to make household neces-
sities from scrap materials, and were trained as
domestic workers on household training projects.

In every section of the country, North and
South, East and West, Negro workers found em-
ployment on WPA projects. Educational, health,
recreational, and other social services were likewise
made available to colored persons in all sections of
the country.

Decent Housing for Masses
Aim of Jthe USHA
L IKE WPA, the United States Housing Authority
gives work to the unemployed. Its primary pur-
pose as a permanent agency, however, is to assist
local communities in the eradication of slums and
'the development of lowtrent housing projects. In
this program, the USHA is meeting two of the
most urgent problems of the Negro American——
housing and employment.


 Survey after survey has indicated that great
masses of Negroes are living in substandard dwell-
ings for which they are compelled to pay high
rents. They have not been able to get out of these
slums and blighted areas, because decent, safe, and
sanitary homes have not been available to them at
rentals within their reach.

ThroughOut the Nation, local housing authori-
ties are trying to meet this problem with the coop-
eration and financial assistance of the USHA.
Dreary tenements and flimsy shanties are being
torn down to make room for substantial and mod-
ern low-rent housing projects for small-wage
earners now living in substandard homes.

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As of April 1940, local housing authorities had
obtained the approval of loans from the USHA
amounting to nearly $631,000,000 to pay 90 per-
cent of the development costs of 400 projects in
180 communities. These projects will rehouse
143,600 families. It is estimated that 47,000 of
these will be Negro families.

Through April 1940, 23 USHA-aided projects
had been opened for OCCupancy and were rehousing
9,100 families, including about 900 colored fam-
ilies. Seven of the projects are for predominant
Negro occupancy, while colored families are also
living in six other projects. In addition, nearly
7,500 Negro families are living in public housing


 projects developed by the PWA Housing Division $1,
and now administered by the USHA. Of the 195 com
USHA-aided projects under construction as of 1‘
April 12, 1940, there were 66 for predominant sha:
Negro occupancy. and
Not only shelter but also employment at the site shal

is provided by the program of the United States COlC
Housing Authority. In addition, large sums will P5“
be received in wages by workers in supply indus- 1:
tries such as lumber, cement, brick, glass, steel, has
paint, trucking, and railroads. tion
In order to insure participation of Negro work- tion
ers in this vast construction program, specific pro- Thc
tective measures have been taken. Clauses have in d1
been incorporated in building contracts indicating ,1
that the payment of certain minimum percentages ern
of the skilled and unskilled pay rolls to Negroes trol
shall be considered evidence of nondiscrimination '
against these workers. Under terms of these agree- allo
ments, Negro workers in 81 communities through- con:
out the country have received a total of $2,500,000 1‘
in wages, of which sum more than $500,000 went and
to skilled workers. grar
The program also has created jobs for Negro V3111
architects, engineers, and other technicians, as well dati‘
as for professional and clerical personnel and man- 24 ;
agement and maintenance workers. sanc

Schools and Hospitals pw
Developed by PWA J1

ESTABLISHED as a stimulus to industry and imp]
employment through the construction of public stru<
buildings, the Public Works Administration has PW.
created jobs for Negro building trades workers and avaii
has greatly increased the number of school build- 0
ings, hospitals, and other facilities for community erect
use. func
To date, PWA has allotted funds for public in 81
works in all but three of the Nation’s 3,071 coun- than
ties. Nearly $6,000,000,000 has been spent in P‘
the development of 34,500 projects. Of this sum, tion


 $1,538,208,000 was paid in wages on the sites of

Negro workers, skilled as well as unskilled, have
shared in these wages in accordance with the Terms
and Conditions of PWA which require "that there
shall be no discrimination because of race, creed,
color, or political affiliations in the employment of
persons for work. . .

In addition to construction employment, PWA
has created thousands of jobs through the stimula-
tion of business activity in the production, fabrica-
tion, and transportation of building materials.
Thousands of Negro workers are employed in these

Throughout the southern and border States mod-
ern buildings have been erected at publicly con-
trolled schools for Negro youth. PWA has made
allotments for more than $11,000,000 worth of
construction for Negro colleges.

In even greater meaSure, the Negro elementary
and high schools have benefited by the PWA pro—
gram. New school buildings aided by PWA are
valued at nearly $27,000,000 and afford accommo-
dations for more than 120,000 Negro children in
24 States and the District of Columbia. Thou-
sands of other colored students are attending mixed
schools in northern States which have received
PWA aid also.

Just as PWA has expanded the educational fa-
cilities available to Negroes, it has also sought to
improve their health standards through the con-
struction of hospitals. Through grants and loans,
PWA has increased the number of hospital beds
available to Negro patients by more than 7,200.

One of the largest and most modern hospitals
erected for Negro patients with the aid of PWA
funds is the Homer G. Phillips Municipal Hospital
in St. Louis. This imposing institution cost more
than $5,000,000 and has a capacity of 685 beds.

PWA’s school building and hospital construc-
tion programs are merged in the development of


 the $700,000 tuberculosis annex at Freedmen's
Hospital in Washington for the treatment of
patients and the training of physicians.
PBA Cons’rruc’rs and Manages
Government Buildings
THE Public Buildings Administration is an
agency of many years standing. It is responsi-
ble for the construction and management of such
Federal buildings as post offices, customhouses,
courthouses, and departmental buildings in Wash-
- ington. In recent years the construction of Fed-
eral buildings has been greatly increased. During
the period 1934—40 nearly 2,000 new Federal
buildings, outside the District of Columbia, have
been constructed at a cost of $315,000,000.

Both in the construction and maintenance phases
.of this program Negro workers have been em-
ployed. In Washington a large percentage of the
thousands of custodial workers and elevator con-

‘ ductors in Government buildings are Negro men
and women.
Network of Highways
Expanded by PRA -
THE Public Roads Administration is also a pet-
manent agency. It is responsible, in cooperation
with the States, for the development of a vast
network of highways throughout the Nation. As
in other construction work, road building has been
greatly stimulated in recent years by an emergency
program carried on directly by the Federal Govern-
ment without the financial assistance of the States.

As everyone knows who has traveled thrOugh
the South, road building is an occupation in which 1
large numbers of Negroes are employed in the
skilled finishing work as well as in unskilled and
semiskilled jobs. .

Issued May 1, 1940 ‘