During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” sought to ease the pain of many Americans and put them back to work. His Works Progress Administration (WPA) employed millions of Americans to rebuild essential infrastructure like parks, roads, and housing.
But the vast majority of these jobs went to unskilled men and most opportunities for women required an education. A program here in Milwaukee worked to change that. The Milwaukee Handicrafts Project hired unskilled women to mend text books, build furniture and sew dolls, among other things.