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Ready to work: Armando Robinson

on October 8, 2010

Ready To Work is a new series of profiles featuring people in Richmond who are looking for jobs. With unemployment at 18.5 percent, Richmond’s residents have a rich array of untapped skills. In this and coming stories, Richmond Confidential focuses on the people and potential in the city’s economy. -Editor

Armando Robinson
Armando Robinson is a 41-year-old husband and father of two. Born and raised in Richmond, Robinson has seen the city’s employment landscape change throughout the years. He says drugs and a lack of motivation have contributed to the city’s chronic unemployment, and that to find a job, change must come from within.

Robinson is a full-time student at the Culinary Arts at Contra Costa College where he’s earning a degree in the Culinary Arts. He says after he graduates, he dreams of owning his own catering business and becoming his own boss: a boss who’s successful enough to hire employees because he knows how hard it is to find a job.

Classic courtesies seem to come easily to Robinson, who opens the door for others and carries himself with gentle dignity. Robinson describes himself as motivated, determined and willing to learn and grow with any company he works for.

Armando Robinson says he grew up in the kitchen always cooking for his family everyday when he was younger. "I just love seeing a smile on people's faces," he said.

His words:
“I believe a man is suppose to take care of his family, no matter what. I have children and I have a wife. I want to build something for my grandchildren and for my grandchildren’s grandchildren.

I’m a hard worker. I arrive early and leave late. I help people. I have a passion for cooking. You don’t have to ask me when something needs to be done; I believe I’m the one that’s qualified.

The recession, this economy—it doesn’t stop my drive to find a job. Right now, my job is to find a job. What gives me the drive is just seeing my grandfather. He’s been working since he was 8 years old. My dad was a postman and my mom was a schoolteacher. Working is in my blood.

It’s kind of hard, especially right now. In regards to why Richmond’s unemployment rate is so high I can only speak for myself. Sometimes you get discouraged. You hear so many ‘no’s’. Everyone can tell you ‘no’ but you can’t give up. A lot of people give up because they are always rejected but they never know that next interview might be the ‘yes’ they’ve been waiting for.”


  • Prep/line cook
  • Forklift and Pallet Jack Operator
  • Landscape Specialist
  • Food service
  • Cashier
  • Clerk


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Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.

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