Lost Jobs, New Directions

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A line of job applicants snakes through a ropeline to attend the CUNY Big Apple Job Fair Friday, March 20, 2009 in New York. The fair, for students and alumni of the City University of New York, attracts several thousand college-educated applicants. New jobless claims fell more than expected last week, but continuing claims set a new record for the eighth straight week and few economists expect the labor market to improve anytime soon. (AP)
A line of job applicants snakes through a ropeline to attend the CUNY Big Apple Job Fair on Friday, March 20, 2009 in New York. (AP)

Americans keep losing their jobs — 650,000 jobs lost in February. And the months of cuts have gone on and on.

That is a lot of people who have had to scramble. Start over. Grab on to whatever they could find to put food on the table. Race for “Plan B.”

It’s hard. It’s scary. Millions are doing it. How’s it going? We’ve all heard the story of the hedge fund guy delivering pizza. This hour we’ll talk with Americans who have made their scramble. Plunged into their own Plan B.

We want to know from them, from you, how it’s working out. This hour, On Point: Living Plan B.Guests:

Joining us from Los Angeles is Freddy Carillo. Until five months ago he worked in finance at a car dealership during the day and with his father as a contractor at night. The car dealership folded and his father’s business slowed. Three months ago he joined the California Conservation Corps, doing emergency clean-up, and he now wants to pursue a career in search-and-rescue. He is 24 years old and lives with his girlfriend.

From Detroit, Michigan, we're joined by Maria Weaver. She was a vehicle automotive designer at a German automotive supplier until last August. She started nursing school this fall and is half-way into a 16-month program. She hopes to be a surgical nurse in Detroit, where there is a severe nursing shortage. She is 40 years old and single.

And from Mankato, Minnesota, is Steve Druschel. He was an environmental engineer in private practice in Lawrence, Mass., until November 2008, when the work dried up. He had finished his doctorate at the University of New Hampshire in May 2007. In January he accepted a position at Minnesota State University in Mankato. He is 48 years old. His wife will join him in Minnesota at the end of the semester. His son, now a junior in high school, will stay behind with friends in New Hampshire.

This program aired on March 25, 2009.


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