What was the purpose of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the New Deal?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of the New Deal projects by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was a public works project which aimed at providing work for the youth and improving the state of the environment through conservation efforts. This project was placed under the army’s control and involved tree planting as well as soil conservation. To ensure the youth were engaged on a continuous basis, they were employed in construction of wildlife shelters, beach clean-up, fish rearing, canal digging and stocking rivers and lakes. The youth were also involved in the restoration of historical battlefields and camps. Additionally, they were engaged in road works and the construction of service buildings.

Notable achievements of the program include mass employment, natural resource conservation, improved rural road systems and alleviation of poverty among the American population.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The main purpose of the CCC was to get young men back to work during the Depression.  The CCC had the added benefit of doing things that were helpful in forests and such, but that was not the main purpose.  The main purpose was to create jobs for young men.

For example, my grandfather was a "local experienced man" in a CCC camp in Idaho.  The bulk of the men in the camp were brought to Idaho from New Jersey.  Their main job was killing noxious weeds in the national forest.  This was beneficial to the health of the forest, but it was not particularly necessary.  What was more necessary was giving the young men jobs and giving the country more of a sense of hope and purpose.