High unemployment, toxic environment – one solution
- High unemployment, toxic environment – one solution
The city of Oakland has received more than $140 million in stimulus money over the past three years for workforce development and energy efficiency. Part of that money went to the Cypress Mandela Training Center in West Oakland. Their mandate? To launch a Green Jobs Training Corps. Former Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums kicked off the program three years ago. He said the goal of the Green Jobs Corps is to help Oakland’s low-income youth get jobs improving their environment. Now that the threat of a double-dip recession is looming, KALW’s Callie Shanafelt went to see if these programs are meeting this main goal.
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August 16, 2011
CALLIE SHANAFELT: After graduating from high school in Oakland, Noel Yakubu worked a few different jobs. Dead-end jobs. He was usually fired after a couple of months.
NOEL YAKUBU: Yeah … I was a very lazy worker. I had no motivation to do my job. You know I was angry about a lot of stuff. I didn’t have discipline inside myself.
Yakubu’s mother worried his friends would get him in trouble, so she sent him to live with his father in Ghana.
YAKUBU: And I saw how they lived over there. You know they had a lot of blackouts, so I was like, “Man, there’s something I gotta do to change.”
Yakubu started thinking about solar panel installation and other solutions to Ghana’s energy shortages. When he returned to the States, a mentor told him he could jump-start his career in renewable energy at the Cypress Mandela Training Center.
It’s a large building in West Oakland’s warehouse district – a...
Read the full transcript