Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

On Valley Edition: Worst Place to Find a Job; UC Merced; Storytellers Project

Jan 31, 2012

This week on Valley Edition, we talk about whether the Valley is the worst place in the US to find a job, as US News and World Report claims in a new article. We talk with UC Merced's new chancellor about the efforts at the campus to boost the region's economy. And we close the program with a report about a theater project in Sanger that aims to bring people together over the topic of hunger, in a land of agricultural abundance.

Segment 1: Valley Economy
Last week, US News and World Report ranked the worst cities to find a job in the US, and Merced, Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield all ranked in the top ten. How can the San Joaquin Valley diversify its economy, improve education levels, and create new jobs? Lee Ann Eager, the new President and CEO the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County; Richard Chapman, President and CEO of the Kern County Economic Development Corporation; and David Spaur, President and CEO of the Merced Economic Development Corporation discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the regional economy.

Segment 2: UC Merced
UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland has been on the job for less than a year. But with growing enrollment and severe budget cuts, it’s not been an easy start to her tenure. Chancellor Leland joins us on Valley Edition to talk about the role the newest UC campus plays in the future of the San Joaquin Valley, and what students and faculty are doing to help transform the region.

Segment 3: Valley Storytellers Project
Earlier this month, Valley residents gathered in Sanger to share their stories about hunger. Those stories will soon be turned into an original play, thanks to the Valley Storytellers Project’s Nikiko Masumoto, and the Los Angeles based Cornerstone Theatre Company. FM89’s Joe Moore brings us some of the stories from project participants, and Juanita Stevenson talks with Nikiko Masumoto to learn more about the upcoming performance of the play, which takes place February 4th in Sanger.