A New Deal for Youth: The Story of the National Youth Administration

By Betty Grimes Lindley; Ernest K. Lindley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
Spare Time Put to Use

A DAY'S WORK WAS BEGINNING IN AN NYA CARPENTRY SHOP. Forty boys were making school furniture. Some were cutting lumber, some were working at the lathe, others at power saws. One boy was carefully shellacking a bookcase. We watched the foreman as he went from boy to boy, stopping here only a minute, and staying five minutes, perhaps, with the next young man.

"All these boys are working from mechanical drawings," he told us. "Three of them at a time are assigned to our drafting room, where the drawings are made for cabinets and chairs and tables or whatever we're working on. Every boy in this shop learns to read and understand plans. I spend a lot of time with them, explaining and helping them to learn, because they can't ever expect to earn their livings as carpenters or cabinet-makers if they can't read drawings."

Much training similar to this is done on the job. But NYA youth work only one-third of the usual working month. From the beginning of the out-of-school program, supervisors, State directors, and, in some cases, youth, themselves, have asked: "Why can't some way be worked out to provide additional training in this spare time?"

On many projects that we visited, boys and girls stay overtime or come back during their spare time to obtain more knowledge and additional practice in the work they are doing. On their own time boys in workshops frequently make furni-

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