Hello again, and welcome. I’m Jim Tedder in Washington. Today’s As It Is program is different. Usually we take you around the world to hear about interesting people, places, and things. But today we are staying closer to home. You could call it an “all American” show. First we will talk about money, jobs, and the economy. It seems that one western state has been doing a bit better than others. We will hear why California is the place to be.
Then, we will make stop in Houston, Texas, to hear about some young people who have been chosen to help the city grow and prosper. And near the end of the program, some silliness, and just a touch of classic rock and roll music. As It Is…helping you to learn English by way of your radio and computer.
The American economy is slowly improving from the recession of 2008 and 2009. Industries like construction and building repair are doing well. Unemployment, however, remains high throughout the United States. From state to state, the economic recovery appears uneven. But California is growing at a rate above the national average.
美国经济正在从 2008 年和 2009 年的萧条中缓慢地改善。建造业和建筑维修行业恢复得不错。然而，整个美国的失业率仍然很高。各个州的经济复苏呈现不均匀态势。但是加利福尼亚州的发展速率要高于全国的平均水平。
Rosalie Andersen is a real estate agent. Her job is to help people buy and sell homes. Today, she is attempting to sell a white house made of stucco in a quiet Los Angeles neighborhood. She hopes this house will sell for more than a million dollars. She says the housing market is getting better.
Rosalie Andersen 是位房地产中介。她的工作是帮助人们买卖房屋。今天，她正在尝试出售洛杉矶一处安静街区的一座白色泥灰房屋。她希望这座房屋能卖到 100 万美元以上。她说，房屋市场越来越好了。
“It’s kind of puzzling. We talk in the office, and we’re just wondering: Where are these people getting all this cash from? But I think what a lot of people are doing is that they’re finally realizing that your best investment for money is a home.”
Last year, the California economy grew at rate of three-point-five percent. That is a full percentage point above the national average. But the growth rate differs from place to place.
Robert Kleinhenz is an economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. He says California’s ports are busier than other ports.
Robert Kleinhenz 是洛杉矶郡经济发展公司的经济学家。他说，加利福尼亚州的港口比其他港口都要繁忙。
“We’re still well below the pre-recession peak levels of port activity that we had seen in 2007. We’ve seen some slight gains with each passing year. But there still is a ways to go.”
“我们仍低于 2007 年衰退前港口活动的最高水平。我们过去每年都有少许进步，但还有很大的差距。”
In downtown Los Angeles, the Chinese immigrant owner of a small business says he is doing well. His store sells t-shirts and slippers -- footwear normally worn around the house. Nearby, Henry Wong sells low-cost decorations and cloth imported from China. Mr. Wong says the cost to operate his business is low. When the economy is not good, he says, he and his employees work harder. Currently, Mr. Wong is doing well. He has six workers in his store, and more working in a building where the goods are stored.
在洛杉矶市中心，一个小型企业的华裔老板认为自己做的不错。他的商店出售 T 恤和拖鞋——这种一般只在家里穿的鞋。附近的 Henry Wong 出售从中国进口的低价装饰品和衣物。Wong 先生说，他的经营成本很低。他说，经济不景气的时候，他和他的雇员工作得很辛苦。现在，Wong 先生干的不错。他的商店有 6 名员工，还有一些在存放货物的地方工作。
High-technology companies are helping the American economy. But even in Silicon Valley, California’s high-technology center, the situation is mixed. Cisco Systems has reported good sales, but is cutting 4,000 jobs. The company says it is reacting to a changing market. Banking and professional services are doing well. The recreation and hospitality industry is expanding, adding jobs to hotels and visitor services.
高科技公司正在帮助美国经济。但即使是在加州的高科技中心，硅谷，情况也有很多种。思科系统所报告的销量不错，但也裁减了 4000 个岗位。该公司称自己正在对变化的市场做出应对。银行和专业服务的情况不错。娱乐和服务业在扩张，并为酒店和旅游服务提供岗位。
California’s $44 billion farming industry helps feed the nation and is growing. The state’s unemployment rate is 8.7 percent, down from over 12 percent three years ago. The national unemployment rate is 7.4 and improving. But Mr. Kleinhenz says the numbers are not what they should be.
加利福尼亚州的 440 亿美元的农业生产养活了整个国家，并且还在增长。这个州的失业率从 3 年前的 12%降到了 8.7%。全国的失业率是 7.4%，并且还在增加。但 Kleinhenz 先生说，这个数字本来不应该如此。
“The unemployment rate has been coming down. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has been growing. The problem is, they continue to tell us that the economy is growing at a slower pace than we would really like to see.”
Houston Looks for Young Leaders
The Greater Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently held a graduation ceremony for 34 young adults who completed its Emerging Leaders Institute. The program’s purpose is to increase their skills -- and their confidence that they can help the future of this busy city in the state of Texas. Christopher Cruise tells us more.
休斯顿拉美裔商会基金会近期为 34 位完成新生代领袖学院课程的成年人举行了毕业典礼。这个项目的目的是增加他们的技能——以及他们的信心，从而在未来帮助这座位于德克萨斯州的繁忙城市。
Participants in the program are students, or those who recently completed their studies at a university in the Houston area.
Most graduates of the Houston Emerging Leaders Institute are Hispanic, but others also take part. Huyen Do is a good example. She says she is ready to be a leader.
休斯顿新生代领袖学院的大部分毕业生是西班牙裔，但其他人也有参加。Huyen Do 就是一个例子，她说她已经准备好了要成为领袖。
The program includes business leaders and civil engineers, biologists, bankers and politicians. Laura Murillo leads the Greater Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation. She says the program is aimed at helping make progress in a city that is changing both ethnically and economically.
这个项目包括商业领袖、土木工程师、生物学家、银行家和政治家。Laura Murillo 是休斯顿拉美裔商会基金会的主管。她说，该项目旨在帮助这个民族和经济方面都在改变的城市取得进展。
"Houston is diverse, in terms of the people who are here, and it is diverse in terms of the careers that are available. So we want to get and identify all those great people out there, put them in this program and prepare them to lead Houston."
Program members like Mercedes Sanchez said they learned from working with others in the class of 2013.
Mercedes Sanchez 等项目成员表示，在 2013 年的课程中，他们在与别人的合作中学到了东西。
"I think that one of the many benefits of having such a diverse group is that you really get to learn from each other, and it enriches the experience that you have."
Participant Jo Anna Castilleja works for Shell Oil. She said she needed guidance about the business world because she was the first in her family to complete college.
参与者 Jo Anna Castilleja 在壳牌石油工作。她说，她需要商业方面的指导，因为她是她家里第一个读完大学的人。
"My parents came from elementary and secondary education, and I needed to ask for help from someone who had that kind of (college) experience."
Sonia Gonzalez was one of Miz Castilleja's guides, or mentors. Miz Gonzalez said the training has produced better workers and citizens. She noted that the program combined Miz Castilleja's work experience with a wider understanding of what is happening in the city. And, she said that made her a more valuable employee.
Sonia Gonzalez 是 Miz Castilleja 的指导老师之一。Sonia Gonzalez 说，这次培训造就了更好的工作者和公民。她指出，该项目将 Miz Castilleja 的工作经验与对该城市更广泛的理解结合了起来。此外，她说这使她成为了更有价值的员工。
Although the students have graduated from the program, they may return one day as a mentor to a new young participant. I’m Christopher Cruise.
And I’m Jim Tedder in Washington. Thank you for spending some time with us on this Thursday, October 9th. Today is International Top Spinning Day, a day to spin your small wooden toy, and then email the Spinning Top and Yo Yo Museum in Burlington, Wisconsin, to tell them you participated!
Today is also the National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day. After all, the poor little fellow rarely gets out of the house anymore.
And American singer and songwriter Jackson Browne is celebrating his 63rd birthday today.
There are more Learning English programs coming your way, and world news at the beginning of every hour on VOA.