THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS AND THE NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION
The ensuing chapter is to deal with two organizations, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the National Youth Administration, which will be treated together because they both deal with the youth problem. At the outset that problem will be broadly reviewed, and then each of the programs will be briefly considered. Since both programs have now been abandoned, the chapter will be devoted primarily to a presentation of the major issues which should be considered in case any proposals are made to revive them.
In a rural economy in the days prior to machines and mechanization, a youth with strength and willingness to work had little difficulty in finding employment that would provide him at least with room and board. Gradually, in one field after another, power tended to take the place of human strength. The mind assumed increased importance as a factor in determining whether the individual could satisfy the minimum requirements for successful employment in a growing number of positions in both public and private enterprises. Education became more and more essential. The proportion of the youth of the nation who completed high school and the proportion who went on to higher educational institutions enormously increased. Employers, both public and private, tended formally or informally to use education or years of schooling as a factor in selections for employment, partly because the positions they had to fill required knowledge and skills developed in the schools and partly because advancement in school is something of a measure of general all-round capacity. It is not a precise measure, but the youth who has done well in school has a presumption in his favor that is not enjoyed by the youth who for one reason