Today’s Wall Street Journal has an uplifting — and yet disturbing — article on a training program for solar-panel installers in Los Angeles. The story starts with a big, tough-looking ex-con named Albert Ortega, who we are told “sports tattoos of an Aztec warrior on his back, a dragon on his chest and the name of his former gang, the East Side Wilmas, rings his biceps.” The article goes on to explain that some LA ex-cons are getting trained for “the new green economy” with help from Homeboy Industries, a Los Angeles nonprofit founded by a Jesuit priest, which helps people with criminal records find jobs.
The writer seems to have struggled to “balance the story” between the fear of ex-felons, presumably failures, and the fact that the program is really a success. But the article ends on a positive note:
“We expect to hire out of the program as quickly as they can get them to us,” says Gabriel Bork, a vice president at Golden State Power, a solar-panel installation company. “These guys are much better trained than many others I have hired.”
Read the article or watch the video here.