Stories For Jobs

eggs

The best job for an inmate at Avenal State Prison? Working at the on-site egg production facility, which supplies eggs to all the state prisons.

mariachi

A vineyard worker in the Anderson Valley is also in a local mariachi band.

P1020126-5

The town of Calipatria has put a lot of its hopes on new industries that have come to town, including a prison and geothermal plants which surround the area. Art Valdez has had to change what he stocks at the store to survive.

Doug Jenner, rancher

Doug Jenner is a 4th-generation rancher in Scott Valley, West of Yreka. He and others in the area feel overwhelmed by regulations required by multiple state agencies.

laundry

The attendant at Garberville’s laundromat describes how even the “straight” businesses of Humboldt county are dependent on the marijuana industry.

shooting2

Ed Wells runs night shooting training for Imperial Valley College students hoping to become law enforcement officers. More students declare majors in Administration of Justice than in any other department in the college.

supply

A local business is “too busy” during harvest season.

shooting1

A top student in the law enforcement training program on why she doesn’t want to become a Border Patrol agent.

vineyards in Anderson Valley

Full Story

For outsiders, Mendocino County’s Boonville used to be a “blink-and-you-miss-it” spot along Highway 128. Through the years it’s been home to sheep ranchers, apple farmers and marijuana growers. But recently, Pinot Noir grapes have put Boonville and the Anderson Valley on the map — and that has some residents worried. (aired on The California Report Dec 2010)

Lindsay main photo

Full Story

Lindsay is a Central Valley town of 12,000 built up around olive and citrus groves. Twenty years ago, a state-wide freeze signaled the start of a series of events that crippled Lindsay’s economy. But the town buried its troubled past and forged a new identity. (aired on The California Report Nov 2010)

David Velasco

David Velasco is a student in the Administration of Justice program at Imperial Valley College, the most popular major at the college.

Avenal

Full Story

In 1929, oil was discovered in the Kettleman Hills — and the nearby town of Avenal was born. But by the 1960s, the oil business dried up, and Avenal struggled to find a new economy and identity. They found one, but in an industry most towns had previously shunned. (aired on The California Report March 2011)

P1020067 (2)

Full Story

Calipatria sits in California’s southeast corner, in Imperial County. Many of the town’s residents rejoiced in April, 2011 when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a requirement that by 2020, the state get over 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. They hope the region’s natural resources will lead this hard-hit county into economic recovery, but some here worry that education and training lags behind. (versions aired on The California Report May 2011, and on NPR’s Latino USA Nov 2011)

stress

There’s been some record-setting heat around California this summer — it’s more than just an annoyance for those who can’t take refuge because the outdoors is their office. In July, when temperatures in California soared above 100 for almost three weeks, three farm workers died. State regulators are investigating those deaths to see if employers violated heat illness prevention laws.

stateofjefferson

Up in far Northern California and Southern Oregon, if you drive through the high desert, forests and mountain valleys you’ll take the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway. You can check out the jam band The State of Jefferson. And if you’re searching for the public radio station, you’ll find Jefferson Public Radio. That’s because many people living there don’t really identify with California or Oregon. They say they live in the State of Jefferson. There’s been talk of a separate state since the 1850s, and earlier this month a group brought a resolution to the Siskiyou County board of supervisors to withdraw from California, and start over. In this piece, we visit Siskiyou County, to learn the history and culture of the State of Jefferson, and to find out how young people trying to make a life there fit into that heritage.

palmero 21

It’s said that date palm trees want their feet in water, and their heads in fire. It makes sense, then that more than 90% of the dates harvested in the U.S. grow in California’s Eastern Coachella Valley. Irrigation water’s pumped here from the Colorado River, and summer temperatures can top 120 degrees. Reporter Lisa Morehouse spent some time in the Eastern Coachella Valley this spring, and got curious about the history of dates here, and about the palmeros, palm workers, who tend them.

coachellayouth1

It’s just 40 miles from Palm Springs, but the Eastern Coachella Valley is home to a host of environmental concerns, ranging from arsenic in the well water to toxic dump sites. The people who live there are predominantly poor, Latino and farmworkers. Increasingly, however, young people are joining the ranks of community activists working toward environmental justice, and they’re doing it through crowdsourcing and other technology.

ECV mobile home parks

Southern California’s Coachella Valley is a study in contrasts. To the West lie Palm Springs and other desert resort towns. But it’s farms, not golf courses, that dominate the Eastern Coachella Valley. Here, the land is rich, but most of the people are not. It’s home to an estimated 15,000 farmworkers, for whom housing has always been a problem. Though the county and housing non-profits built thousands of permanent homes, thousands more families are still on waiting lists. Mobile home parks have become the defacto solution.