California


Today, Sam and I are wrapping up our amazing trip to California.  On Monday, we did 10 video interviews (a new one-day record) at the WorkSource office in Sante Fe Springs, southeast of Los Angeles.  Our interviewees included a former printer,  bookkeeper, graphic design salesman and garment inspector.  They were arranged for us by Maria Mata, WorkSource coordinator/liaison with the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) out of Los Angeles and Glenna Amos, WorkSource program supervisor in Sante Fe Springs.  Thank you, Maria and Glenna!

When we finished the day’s interviews, we drove to Bakersfield to be ready for the next day’s schedule.  On Tuesday morning, we met Richard Gorman from the United Farm Workers Foundation, and he referred us to Eufrocina Ordaz, a community organizer in Lamont for the Dolores Huerta Foundation.  She arranged for us to interview three agricultural fieldworkers who are over 50 and out of work in the foundation’s office.  A challenging interview because they only spoke Spanish, but Sam saved the day!  Thank you to Richard and Eufrocina!

In the afternoon, we drove south again to Newport Beach and interviewed a former Lehman Bros. executive.  A day of remarkable contrasts!

We continued down to San Diego to be ready for our early morning flight to San Francisco.   Upon arrival in northern California, we headed for Menlo Park to interview a senior IT project manager who lost his job in 2010, but got back to work recently in IT at one-third his former salary.  Later in the day, we drove east to Tracy to interview a former banker who completed his certification to teach in California just when the state laid off 30,000 teachers due to budget cutbacks.

Yesterday morning, we interviewed David Bank, vice president of Civic Ventures, a think tank addressing the issues of boomers, work and social purpose at their offices in San Francisco.  The nonprofit’s work is featured today in Some Boomers ‘retire’ to jobs that allow them to help others in USA Today.  While there, we were also able to interview the author and speaker,  Marci Alboher. Their videos will be added to the expert section of our site soon.

Later in the day, we drove east again to  interview a dental technician who lost her job due to the downturn in California’s economy.  She and her family are facing the imminent threat of foreclosure and struggling to survive on her husband’s paycheck.

Today, we wrap up this trip with three more interviews — one in Napa with a woman who worked in the wine and hospitality industry, the second in Livermore with another former IT executive and the last in Antioch with a woman who worked in technology security management.

Napa, January 28, 2011

We’ll be adding all these video interviews to our 100 Stories over the next few weeks.

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