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The WPA was the Works Progress Administration or, later, the Work Projects Administration. (It was the same program, but the name changed slightly.) It was a massive public works program started in 1935 that was intended to help people who had lost their jobs due to the Great Depression. WPA projects ranged from big public projects (there's a bridge in a park near my house that was build by the WPA) to more surprising artistic projects. For example, check out the Federal Art Project:
Because it was meant to help people out, it wasn't as focused as a business organized for profit. It was hard to get fired from the WPA. That's why it's so surprising when Bob Ewell loses such a job.
Below is some more info on the WPA
The WPA (Works Progress Administration), passed in 1935, its purpose was recovery. It put men to work on jobs of public usefulness. It was the Federal Government’s most ambitious undertaking yet to provide employment for the jobless. The WPA eventually employed approximately one-third of the nation’s 10,000,000 unemployed, paying them about $50.00 a month.Unemployment decreased massively.The program highlighted the production of works of art rather than art education, and it was the first art project ever sponsored by the Federal Government.
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