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April 12, 2010

Off The Corner


The unemployment rate in California is 12 ½ percent - a big number, to be sure. But if you’re a young African American man in Oakland your chances of finding work are a lot worse. That unemployment rate is a staggering 25 percent - 35 percent for those who've been incarcerated. Albert Smith was a drug dealer for more than twenty years in Oakland. But this past year, he has made a big change. He’s stopped dealing and he’s training to do solar panel sales and installation. To take his mind off of the lure of the street, he’s boxing at a renowned gym. The trainers there tell him he has real talent. Albert talks to Dick Gordon about the secret to his success so far.


Last week Dick talked with a couple of guys who are pinning their hopes on the resurgence of the car industry in the South. That story made us wonder about Deborah Dunbar. Deborah works in Flint, Michigan as a machinist. She’d been laid off from a couple of different automotive jobs. But when we talked with her in 2008, she’d found a great new position - still using her machinist skills - making artificial knees and hips. Today we check in to find out if the new industry is staying strong in this recession.


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