A well chunk of President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package will be used to find alternative sources of energy and help train workers for jobs in that sector. Now one California non-profit is already ahead of the game. They're installing solar panels all over the state and using a very unique workforce. ABC's * explains.
Gangsters going green. Last year Rudy Marquez finished serving 2.5 years in jail for stuff he doesn't like to talk about. Now he is earning $15 an hour installing solar panels in suburban Los Angeles.
"You learn the hard way. You learn by your mistakes. You wanna do better for yourself. You gotta go the right path."
Marquez is part of a new program in LA to train former gang members--- one of the state's hot new industries—solar power. May not sound like an obvious career choice, but Father Greg Boyle, who has been running an organization in LA that finds work for ex-cons for 20 years, says there is a waiting list of 300 former gangsters who want to get into the program.
"These are all folks most of them right out of prison. They have to work side by side with guys they used to shoot at."
The students here know solar energy is part of the future, which makes a lot of sense when you try to escape from your past.
Latasha Chism got out of jail last October, now she's halfway through the solar panel classes. "This is my future, I mean, I'm a felon, a convicted felon, I mean, I have to make this work." She says she isn’t worried about the dangers.
"Like I hop over fields, run away from police, I can jump over, I can get on the roof."
And employers don't seem to worry about the past. They're so desperate to get people with some training.
"Over 300 undergraduates, we have about 100 working in solar or related fields… and they're making good money."
"It's either jail or a job; I'd rather choose a job, a career."
1. ahead of the game 处于赢家(或领先或有利)的地位
2. ex-con 出狱犯人