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Hoover Dam Anniversary a Lesson for Creating Jobs Today

Thu. March 01, 2012
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Construction of the Hoover Dam employed more than 21,000 Americans at the height of the Great Depression.

Seventy-six years ago on March 1, 1936, contractors completed their work on the Hoover Dam two years ahead of schedule and turned it over to the U.S. government. The project was one of many infrastructure investments made during the Great Depression that helped employ thousands of Americans and laid the foundation of a strong economy for future generations.

During its construction, a total of 21,000 people worked on the dam with an average monthly payroll of $500,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

The Hoover Dam and others constructed in the west during the Depression supplied the cheap energy that allowed communities and industries to grow, especially for the aluminum production that fed the growing aerospace industry.

“At a time when millions of American families face the same bleak prospects of long-term unemployment that their grandparents did, we should learn from history and make the same investments in our roads, bridges, transportation network and education programs that will help today’s Americans get back to work and provide jobs for future generations,” said Union of Unemployed (UCubed) Executive Director Rick Sloan.
 
UCubed is calling for a 21st-Century-style Works Progress Administration (WPA) program that would put millions of unemployed workers back on the job. Click here for more information about UCubed’s “We Did It Once, Let’s Do It Now” campaign to get America back to work.

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