On December 28, 1973 President Nixon signed Public Law 93-203, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). The new law represents a significant shift in the roles played by federal, state, and local officials in the expenditure of federal money for manpower services. The key characteristics of CETA are often described as "decentralization" and "decategorization." Prior to the passage of CETA the manpower system was almost exclusively under the control of federal officials. Under CETA, authority has, to some extent, been decentralized as state and local governments have been given block grants of money to be spent on manpower services in accord with locally determined priorities. In addition, CETA has made it possible for states and localities to escape the restrictive categorical programs of the past and to develop programs of a more flexible and more comprehensive nature.
In this paper we examine the experience under CETA in Maine and New Hampshire. We will identify some of the problems which have emerged in the experience to date, evaluate the impact that CETA has had on the unemployed, underemployed, and "economically disadvantaged," and assess the potential and possibilities which exist for making CETA a truly effective system for solving manpower problems.