Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 17, 2013

HIGGS: More about Trott Vocational

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Wikipedia describes this program as “Work Projects Administration and noted it “was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.” “The WPA was a national program that operated its own projects in cooperation with state and local governments, which provided 10 percent to 30 percent of the costs. Liquidated on June 30, 1943, as a result of low unemployment due to the worker shortage of World War II, the WPA provided millions of Americans with jobs for 8 years. Most people who needed a job were eligible for at least some of its positions.” If you have been a faithful reader of my stories, you will recall many of our local boys took advantage of this program.

During WWII, Trott began training workers for war production and classes were free for both men and women employed in war industries such as those at Bell Aircraft. Following the war, as I wrote last week, there were classes for returning veterans providing training under the G.I. Bill. Wikipedia to the rescue again; “The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, known informally as the G.I. Bill, was a law that provided a range of benefits for returning World War II veterans (commonly referred to as G.I.s). Benefits included low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business or farm, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend college, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of unemployment compensation. It was available to every veteran who had been on active duty during the war years for at least ninety days and had not been dishonorably discharged; combat was not required. By the end of the program in 1956, roughly 2.2 million veterans had used the G.I. Bill education benefits in order to attend colleges or universities, and an additional 6.6 million used these benefits for some kind of training program.

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