A History of the WJCC CAA

1988 Head Start.GIF

Head Start, 1988

A History of the 
Williamsburg-James City County 
Community Action Agency
1968 – 2018
“50 Years of People Helping People"

By Camilla Tramuel

In 1964, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States from 1963 to 1969, signed The Economic Opportunity Act, authorizing the formation of the “Community Action Agency” (CAA) as part of the War on Poverty. The Community Action Agencies (CAA) are local private and public non-profit organizations that carry out the Community Action Program (CAP), founded by the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act. In 1964, the poverty rate in the United States was 19% and steadily increasing.


As Vice President, President Johnson automatically assumed the office of the presidency after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. President Johnson quickly began to enact domestic programs to improve education, provide medical care for the aged, and eliminate poverty. His goal was to "end poverty and racial injustice."


The Williamsburg-James City County Community Action agency had its beginning in 1968 under Executive Director Mr. Albert Hill. Toano and Williamsburg-James City County joined to become the James River Community Action Agency located in the second story of the main Toano Post Office.


Mr. Wyatt Larry Trumbo was the Assistant Director of the James River CAA and when the WJCC CAA split from the James River CAA, he became the director of the WJCC CAA. John McCrimmon took over as Executive Director, followed by Reba Bolden, and the current director is Tressell Carter. The agency’s goal is to revitalize the neighborhood, one person at a time, one house at a time, one family at a time, and one community at a time.  They involve the community to help improve the community, and create better opportunities for those who would otherwise have no chance.


WJCC CAA provides services that address the full range of family needs – from Head Start and other education and child development programs, to youth and adult employment and training, to services for seniors, the frail and the elderly. The ultimate goal of the Agency is to promote self-sufficiency. This is evident in the projects they have completed over the years. 


Jackie Gardner, former director of the Head Start Program once stated that she could measure her success by the children she has taught.  She says it was one of the most rewarding careers she has ever had. The agency has 50 employees they rely heavily on our whopping 645 volunteers who feel the same as Ms. Gardner.  Volunteers donate their time for a worthy cause.  More volunteers are always needed.