June 11 – 18, 2009 Edition

NewsHour, NPR Profile Job
Challenges for Young Adults

Today’s 18 – 25-year-olds grew up in a period of relative prosperity.  They are now trying to start their lives in one of the most challenging economic times in recent memory.

“Generation Next,” a new series airing on Monday nights through June on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and NPR’s Morning Edition, tells the stories of young adults trying to chart a safe course in a shaky economy.  The stories, reported by veteran broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff, will air on NPR’s Morning Edition and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.  Woodruff profiles young adults in various parts of the country who are adapting to economic change, making sacrifices, and trying to stay optimistic in uncertain times. The program began airing June 8 with RUNNING ON EMPTY on NewsHour, and THE JOB HUNT on NPR.

Here is information on the rest of the series.

June 15th          


                        Judy Woodruff returns to her alma mater, Duke University, where she meets Venicie Delva, Griffin Tormey, and Rachel Nordlinger; students who had hoped to land jobs on Wall Street.  Although Duke is considered a “core” recruiting school by New York Investment banks and consulting firms, the economic meltdown means few are hiring.  When no job was offered, Rachel and Griffin went looking for alternatives, such as “social justice” jobs at non-profits like Teach For America, and graduate school.  And although Credit Suisse offered Venicie a position, when the banking industry faltered, they asked her to defer for a year.

  NPR              A CHANGE IN THE WIND

                        Quentin Johnson was born and raised on a cattle farm in Oklahoma.  He, along with his parents and grandparents, made good money in the state’s oil industry, riding its unpredictable waves of boom and bust.  Now, with hundreds of oil derricks lying idle in his part of the state, and many oilmen out of work, Quentin is getting trained in one of the few local industries that seems to offer a future: wind energy.  He says he never gave a thought to alternative energy before, but now he’s fully vested in its success: he has a wife and a one-year old daughter to support, and another baby on the way.

June 22nd


Brian Marroquin came to America from Guatemala as a child and as a recent graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, he is the first person in his family to go to college.  He had hoped his academic success and an internship with the Virginia State Legislature would help him land a job in government with a reliable salary.  A job that would help pull him and his family out of poverty.  But the economic meltdown has hit the public sector as well as the private sector, and Brian decided instead to continue the work he had done as a college volunteer for the service agency, National Student Partnerships, this time as a paid supervisor in their Washington, D.C. office.  He’ll work for poverty wages and pool his resources with his parents as they share an apartment.  He hopes to help others find jobs as he defers some of his longer term goals.

   NPR             TBD

June 29th


                        Nathan Wright and Casey Wenzel are optimistic about their future.  They are among the first students at Oklahoma State University to participate in a new degree program in wind turbine technology.  And they have reason to be optimistic. Oklahoma, memorialized in song as the place where “the wind goes sweeping down the plains,” is the 10th windiest state in the country.  Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Commerce projects the wind turbine industry will create about 18,000 jobs and 2 billion dollars of new revenues in the state over the next 10 years.  So, when they graduate, they are hopeful about finding jobs that are not only close to home, but they feel are safer, cleaner and more stable than those in the oil and gas industry.


                        With its shrinking car industry, soaring unemployment and long list of urban woes, Detroit seems like the last place anyone would want to start a business.  But to some young entrepreneurs, it’s the perfect place, because – to borrow a phrase – if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.  25-year-old John Hughes is planning to launch a marketing service that would benefit local businesses and make him some money: it’s a “loyalty card” that would earn the customer rewards for shopping locally.  He’s getting advice and money from Bizdom University, a program that supports young entrepreneurs, as long as they pledge to base their new business in Detroit.


The Generation Next series is the latest example of the increased collaboration among public broadcasting entities and The NewsHour and NPR in particular.

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer is seen five nights a week on more than 315 PBS stations across the country (check local listings) and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast.  The program is produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, in association with WETA, Washington, DC and Thirteen/WNET in New York.  Corporate funding for The NewsHour is provided by Chevron and Intel along with major funding from the Atlantic Philanthropies, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.

Morning Edition, NPR’s two-hour weekday newsmagazine hosted by Steve Inskeep in Washington, D.C. and Renée Montagne from NPR West in Culver City, Calif., is public radio’s most listened-to program with nearly 14 million weekly listeners on 670 NPR Member stations nationwide. For local stations and broadcast times, visit