Do you have memories of the CCC or the WPA? There's some interest in reviving that "public works" ethic of the 1930s. One proposal Congress is currently considering: we’ve got great U.S. military academies- maybe it’s time we had a similar institution for young people interested in public service of a non-military character:
“The U.S. Public Service Academy will be America’s first national civilian university, a flagship institution designed to build a 'more perfect union' by developing leaders of character dedicated to service in the public sector.
Modeled on the military service academies, the Public Service Academy will provide a rigorous undergraduate education followed by five years of civilian service to the country. It will develop young leaders with the character, intellect, and experience necessary to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Join us as we build our generation’s defining public institution.”