The Caddo Herald
April 14, 1939
Community House Construction Begun
Community House will be Built by NYA Labor
Work will start Monday on the NYA constructed Community Building which will cost some $10,000.00. It is to be quite a large structure made of stone and concrete.
It will be owned and in charge of the Town of Caddo, built on the lot just west of Earl Phelps’ grocery, to face the north. It will be used for a number of meetings, such as the Lions Club, Legion, Women’s clubs, town, county, and district meetings, also for town council and justice of the peace courts.
The town as a town is contributing a part of the sponsor’s part and the clubs, organizations, and individuals are also contributing.
When completed the building will not only be useful, but it will be one Caddo may be proud of at all times, for the need of such a building has been felt a long time.
The town council, the Lions club, lodges, and women’s clubs have been diligent in securing this project for the town, for they felt the need.
T. C. Williamson will be in charge of construction of the work, and NYA labor will be used. This is in line with the policy of teaching the young people a useful trade, at the same time constructing a useful and ornamental house for the town.
Background on NYA, from Chronicles of Oklahoma:
As a New Deal organization the National Youth Administration (NYA) was established within the Works Progress Administration (WPA) on June 26, 1935, and funded by the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935. NYA provided work training based on U.S. citizenship and financial need for youth between ages sixteen and twenty-five. In addition to offering courses in writing, reading, and arithmetic, NYA operated two programs: the Works Project Program to train unemployed, out-of-school youth, and the Student Aid Program to provide work-study training for high school, college, and graduate students. Congress distributed federal money each academic year to state educational institutions for scholarships and grants. In Oklahoma more than nine hundred educational and work facilities participated annually in both programs.
Although the NYA program was divided into national regions, it operated independently at the state level.
Hundreds of NYA projects evolved according to the facilities, funds, materials, and manpower particular to each state, county, or community. Major projects included construction, public and semiprofessional service, and home economics.
The national WPA regulated work hours at eight hours a day, forty hours a week, and seventy hours a month. Earnings ranged from ten to twenty-five dollars per month, which often went to the worker's family.
NYA offered self-improvement, health benefits, citizenship courses, and vocational guidance. It also provided social opportunities through community youth centers featuring athletics, hobby clubs, dramatics, games, music, and dancing. In 1938 Oklahoma had seven youth centers, and fifteen were under construction.
Effective July 1, 1939, at the onset of World War II, through the Administrative Reorganization Act of 1939 the NYA transferred to the Federal Security Agency. In 1942 NYA activities that were not contributing to the war effort were dropped and control transferred to the War Manpower Commission, Office of Emergency Management. State administrations were abolished, and NYA operated through its regional offices. The NYA Defense Program eliminated financial need as criteria for training youth, and thereafter, training for the national defense became the basis for continuing some of the youth centers as War Production Training Centers.In 1943 NYA fell to national and local criticism. Oklahoma Gov. Leon C. Phillips, an outspoken opponent of the New Deal, alleged that most of the convicts he interviewed for parole were former NYA trainees. Other anti New Dealers argued that NYA was expensive and valueless, fostered shiftlessness, and trained no more than one-sixth of jobless youth. After congressional debates, NYA ceased in September 1943. During its eight years of existence NYA trained more than two million nationally under the Student Aid Program and employed another 2.6 million youth through its Works Projects Program. NYA provided Oklahoma with approximately $16.2 million and benefitted more than two hundred thousand youth.