The Hoover Dam's construction began in 1931 and was completed in 1936, two years ahead of schedule. The dam was built during the Great Depression, providing much-needed jobs to thousands of workers. Many of the workers were housed at Boulder City. The project was a massive undertaking, requiring the labor of over 21,000 men and the use of innovative techniques to divert the Colorado River.
The Hoover Dam was built with two primary purposes in mind. First, it was designed to prevent flooding along the Colorado River. Second, it was built to provide a reliable source of hydroelectric power. Today, the dam generates, on average, 4 billion kilowatt-hours of hydroelectric power each year, enough to serve 1.3 million people.