Public Works Administration
(PWA)
   Established under Title II of the National Industrial Recovery Act in 1933 as the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works to combat unemployment and to “prime the pump” of the economy, the PWA was funded with $3.3 billion to be granted to support state and municipal public works projects. The act provided 30 percent of the cost of projects with the rest in the form of loans. Harold Ickes was appointed to head the administration. Although the PWA ultimately spent almost $6 billion and provided jobs for 2 million workers on numerous projects, including the Grand Coulee Dam, it was regarded as too slow and ineffective. In 1933, the Civil Works Administration was created under Harry Hopkins to provide immediate short-term work relief, and in 1935 the Works Progress Administration was set up as a more effective alternative. The PWA was incorporated into the Federal Works Agency in 1939.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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