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GM Woes Hit Close to Home for Young Graduates

In the first of a new set of reports for the Generation Next series, Judy Woodruff traveled to Detroit to profile recent graduates from a GM training program who are now facing the prospect of finding a new career.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Now, more from Generation Next.

    Three years ago, Judy Woodruff did a series of reports profiling the younger generation. She returned to the road recently to see how they were faring in the recession. And here is the first of Judy's four new reports. This one's from Detroit.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    When we first met LaKeesha Perry almost three years ago, she was a 23-year-old from inner-city Detroit, putting in long hours, studying for a college degree, and interning at General Motors.

    As we profiled members of Generation Next, Perry caught our eye because she seemed to be successfully juggling school and work and, remarkably, raising three children.

  • LAKEESHA PERRY:

    I don't say "can't" anymore. It's out of my vocabulary. You try, try your best.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Even then she acknowledged being a single mother was taking a toll, but sounded confident about the career she'd chosen.

    Do you worry, though, with the auto industry under the stresses that it's under right now — cutbacks, layoffs — that that may not be a great potential job?

  • LAKEESHA PERRY:

    I worry about that a little bit because that's my field, that's what I would like to go into. But I think that it's just a trend. It's a cycle. I think manufacturing will be around forever.