Letter: A New Civilian Conservation Corps
Marcy Kaptur, a U.S. representative for Ohio’s 9th District, responds to a recent editorial about creating jobs.
Eleanor Roosevelt feared that without a federal jobs program designed for America’s youth during the Great Depression, the nation would lose an entire generation. The Civilian Conservation Corps saved many men of that generation from despair, crime, and violence while endowing the U.S. with enduring amenities from which we all continue to benefit. A recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that less than 60% of youth between 16 and 24 were working or actively seeking work in July, 2011 — the lowest rate on record. Many have given up and thus constitute a generation lost in our own time. The new CCC proposed by Rep. Kaptur could, like the old one, redeem youth while redressing the nation’s decaying infrastructure and degraded environments. It could also serve the nation in disaster relief and recovery. What worked before would do so again.
How many people are old enough to recollect the Civilian Conservation Corps or as it was abbreviated CCC?
I think bringing back the CCC and/or the Youth Conservation Corp is a GREAT idea. In fact, I think it should be done in such a way that ALL students, and in particular students from low SES families would be able to participate. I had the pleasure of working for the Youth Conservation Corp in Montana during the summer of 1977 and to this day think it was one of the best, most meaningful and life-enlightening experiences a person could have as a teenager.