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    SoCal CSA Members Meet, Learn, Eat in May

    Think Lean Seminar Followed by Dinner and Presentation

    It is no wonder that SoCal CSA members thoroughly enjoyed the Seminar on May 18 at the Catch Restaurant in Anaheim. Presenter Melissa Searle took command using her progressive leadership experience, encouraging all to engage in a workshop atmosphere to build skills for developing a lean environment and way of thinking. After the terrific reviews received following Melissa’s presentation in Northern California, Oct.-2016, it was not surprising to see her “hit it out of the park” once again. Thank you Melissa!

    The seminar was followed by a great dinner and presentation, in a private dining room.

    The Dinner was attended by 32 people, all anxious to hear about the wonderful program in place within California, educating our High School Students on both college and career opportunities. The new CSA Enhanced Training Program currently being developed by the association board of directors and staff, is a prime example of where these young people can look to enter into the workforce.

    CSA staff and several of our members, have participated in school tours and organizational meetings regarding this very important issue: Where do we get the young people the industry wants to align with, and invest in, for the future? Mr. Rob Atterbury, Director, District and Regional Support of ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career, provided a wonderful presentation on the answer to that very question. Thousands of high school students in California are enrolled in Public High School Academies, where they are taught that paramount to their success in life is the need to be prepared to move forward after high school. ConnectEd impresses upon each student that they will be expected to work in a team, dress professionally, speak appropriately, tackle difficult projects – including designing, planning and implementation of the plan to a successful conclusion. These young academy graduates will certainly be given serious consideration for participation in the CSA Advanced Training Program to be implemented next year.

  • May Meeting: Solar Energy, Wine & Roses

    Neal Tibbs is Featured Speaker

    CSA held a very successful CSA Membership Luncheon and Program, May 11, 2017, at Wine & Roses in Lodi, CA. 22 people were in attendance for lunch and a seminar on Solar Lighting/Energy for signs. The seminar was presented by Neal Tibbs, V.P. – Ad Art, and 2nd V.P. of CSA. Neal shared slides on the solar products available from SimpliPhi; this is a solar company that Ad Art has worked with successfully on several grocery store locations in Northern California. Neal described the solar collection, battery storage, and power distribution method and spoke on the ability to have the solar unit being a stand alone, or connected to the grid during extended foul weather situations. All in attendance appreciated the fact that Neal was able to speak first-person about the projects, since he was actually on site during the installation and initial lighting of the systems. In addition, CSA Executive Director, Roy Flahive, informed the attendees of current CSA activities (pictured).

    Keith Wills, CSA Past President and current board member, is showcasing the Member Helping Member Program that CSA has been spearheading for the last several years. Keith indicated exciting new offers will be forthcoming in the program this summer – look for your opportunity to take advantage of these special offers. CSA: Where A MEMBER HELPS A MEMBER!


  • April BOD Meeting in a Shark Tank

    The California Sign Association held a meeting of its Board of Directors on Friday, April 21, in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the ISA Expo. This board meeting started at 7:30am – yes that is in the morning, in Las Vegas, and 25 of our 27 directors were in attendance – that is dedication!

    With the generous attendance, business moved rapidly during the three-hour meeting. Some outcomes included a review of healthy financial statements; regulatory and local code highlights from legal counsel Jeff Aran; discussion of continued growth in CSA membership (13 new members so far this year); update on the crane operator certification program; and dialogue on the enhanced training program CSA is developing for sign fabrication, installation, and sign related administrative skills.

    President Michelini made certain the window shades were down until most of the board’s perfunctory tasks were addressed. His request that the shades be raised enabled the Directors to see for the first time that the meeting room adjoined the actual shark tank in the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, one of the largest exhibits of its kind. To say the view was fabulous is an understatement – it was awesome.
    During a 15-minute break in the meeting, everyone got a good view of the aquarium, housing more than 1,200 species of aquatic life including sharks, exotic fish and more. Following this, the committee chairs reported on their respective committees including – the Government Affairs, Communication, Professionalism, Education, Technical and Membership Committees.

    Roy Flahive
    Executive Director
    California Sign Association

  • News on the March 2017

    Some noteworthy members have made the news and we wanted to share these insights with you! David Schauer, President of Signtech Electrical Advertising is being showcased in the latest ISA EXPO Brochure, most of you have probably received in the last couple of days.

    David, along with Jim Withrow, Training Manager/Safety Officer for Signtech joined Cheryl and I at a meeting of the San Diego County College and Career Readiness Consortium, on March 2nd, at the San Diego Headquarters of the United Way. The goal of the meeting was to engage local area employers in providing work-based learning experiences for high school and community college students. This meeting was organized by Rob Atterbury with ConnectEd, the organization that Pete, Cheryl and I have been working with the last several months regarding identifying the sign industries future qualified employees.

    Signtech, under the leadership of David , is on the forefront of this CSA endeavor. Signtech’s VP of Production and CSA Board Member, Patty Soria and Jim attended the workshop at Clairemont High School two weeks ago with me and Cheryl. They wanted to learn firsthand about the Linked Learning Program and its potential for helping to solve the need for qualified employees in the sign and graphics industry. Discussions were held regarding internships, job shadowing, speaking opportunities, company tours, mentoring, etc.

    With involved CSA members like David Schauer participating in this Team Effort, the future for the sign industry in California looks bright!

    Long time CSA Member (since 1984) Pat Cory, president of McHale Signs, named Redding Citizen of the Year.
    McHale Signs is a member of CSA, ISA and WSA.

    Cheryl and I have known Pat and his wife Bernice for over 25 years, and a nicer gentlemen and family you will not find. Full story here: Citizen of the Year 

    Roy Flahive
    Executive Director
    California Sign Association

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    Education, Part 2 “Pathways”

    The California Sign Association has made a strong commitment to meeting the education needs of its members, and of California’s sign industry at large.  Last month’s article reviewed the well-attended CSA Conference workshop on hiring and keeping Millennials. This Part 2 article covers the focus of CSA’s recent visits to some PUSD high schools, and their efforts to prepare students for successful careers. As CSA’s President for the 2016-2017 year, Pete Michelini, explains, “… CSA is placing emphasis on education and creating a qualified workforce for the industry; a definite need as expressed by the sign industry in general.”

    The California Sign Association continues to address its commitment to meeting the education needs of its members, exploring new and exciting ways of developing our workforce. As the question continues to be asked “where can we find employees and how do we train them,” new avenues are opened – Okay, let’s call them “Pathways.”

    On December 1st, Pete Michelini, CSA President; Roy Flahive, CSA Executive Director; and Cheryl Flahive, CSA Director of Member Services, attended a training program at the Porterville Union High School District. To say each of them was impressed is an understatement — they were simply overjoyed at the wonderful work being done with the students – they not only are being prepared for higher education and careers, they are learning the necessary skills for successful futures!

     “PUSD Pathways Linked Learning” is part of an effort statewide to address the needs of students as they prepare for successful careers.

    The referenced training program “PUSD Pathways Linked Learning,” is part of an effort statewide to address the needs of students as they prepare for successful careers. Their “Pathways” program offers small learning communities, college preparation, career-theme focus, academic rigor blended with technical relevance, project-based/hands-on learning, work-based learning opportunities, and actual projects utilizing CNC routers, laser cutting machines, 3d-printers, computers, etc.

    Not only are these students being taught skills used in the sign industry, they are also learning so much more that our members have been looking for: Social skills, professionalism, thinking outside the box, working as a team, focusing on specific projects and aligning with other students within their chosen Pathway.

    CSA is anxious to tap in to this education program throughout the state; in particular, internship opportunities and exposure to the terrific careers available in the Sign Industry!

  • Education Takes Center Stage, Part 1

    The California Sign Association has made a new commitment to meeting the education needs of its members, and of California’s sign industry at large.  While it is true that every one of the  seminars and dinner meetings throughout the year features a well-vetted and relevant topic, now we will see a strong focus on seminars at annual conventions.  Topics featured at the Association’s dinner meetings this year alone include: LA Chamber of Commerce; Speaking Geek: Websites Decoded; Increase & Secure Your Bottom Line; Right Brain Rules!; Transitioning: Leap and Land on Your Feet; Cyber Security; Cash Management, and many other high-impact seminars.

    CSA’s President for the 2016-2017 year is Pete Michelini, who explains, “During this year, CSA will remain diligent in addressing local and statewide Government Affairs and concerns affecting business and the sign industry. We will continue to work with cities and counties throughout California to develop equitable sign codes…. In addition, CSA is placing emphasis on education and creating a qualified workforce for the industry; a definite need as expressed by the sign industry in general. Member enthusiasm for this new path was heard August 25th at the CSA Annual Conference, with the Education Session room packed with CSA Conference attendees.”

    Member enthusiasm for this new path was heard August 25th at the CSA Annual Conference, with the Education Session room packed with CSA Conference attendees.

    Michelini is referring to a keynote presentation by Teresa M. Young, President/CEO of Sign Biz, Inc., and Lori Anderson, President/CEO of the International Sign Association. In today’s article, we look at the first hour of this two-hour seminar, titled “Hack the Hire and Reap Retention.” The presentation took place on Thursday, August 25, 2016 from 8:00- 10:00 am. Despite the early hour, the room was packed, and a few folks had to stand at the back of the room.

    New Tools and Resources to Find and Keep Good People

    Teresa M. Young kicked off this big keynote with a look at new research that explains how social media prowess, ongoing education, and Millennials can build a better business and a stronger hiring process.
    This seminar shed light on social media, workplace training and culture, and education factors that can drastically reduce staff turnover, and consequently, improve a business's bottom line.

    With the Millennial population on the rise, and the need for qualified staff that stays, it is imperative to use today’s newest resources. Check out the compelling evidence in the video highlight reel here!

    Part 2 of this two-part series provides insight from Lori Anderson into new credentialing tests that can have a profound impact on staff quality and retention. The future of employment and retention offers modern, high-tech and high-touch opportunities for verification. Young and Anderson shared some high-impact, fresh new perspectives that certainly empowered human resources. Watch for it in two weeks!

    “Our goal is to develop an industry training program for installers, fabricators, project managers and all other functions necessary to conduct successful operations. Through education, we look to raise the on-premise sign industry to new levels of professionalism, high quality product, and career advancement and growth for CSA Members.
    I look forward to serving our CSA Family.”
    Pete Michelini
    President, 2016-17

  • Recent Court Rulings: Commercial Speech and the City of Los Angeles

    Several recent court rulings reiterate that commercial speech regulations, including signage restrictions based on content, are subject to “heightened scrutiny” evaluation and that government carries the burden of showing that the challenged regulation advances the Government’s interest in a direct and material way. “That burden is not satisfied by mere speculation or conjecture.” Rather, to survive scrutiny “a restriction on commercial speech must demonstrate that the harms it recites are real and that its restriction will in fact alleviate them to a material degree.”

    Under both California and Federal law, an onsite/offsite distinction is lawful, provided it does not regulate the content of the message, i.e., that differentiating between onsite and offsite signs does not constitute a content-based distinction. In addition, the court succinctly explained and reiterated the longstanding guidance of Central Hudson on how to assess sign regulations. In sum, significantly for the sign industry, the effect is that the status quo has been preserved.

    CSA and ISA continue to work diligently with the city to bring finality to this matter. Along the way, CSA, working with the billboard industry, had to fend off legislation proposing a statewide moratorium on digital signs (legislation penned by the current LA city attorney), as well as re-educate several times new council members and staffers, including a new Planning Director. CSA and ISA retained the services of local lobbyists to assist with the endeavor.

    What is the Lamar case about – and why is it important?

    In the one of the lawsuits, Lamar v. City of Los Angeles (initially decided in 2015), a state lower court judge ruled, among other points, that under the California Constitution there was no material difference between an onsite sign and an offsite sign, and the billboard ban was thus unconstitutional (a result contradictory to prior federal court rulings based on the US Constitution). The City appealed, and in an unusual twist, CSA and ISA filed “amicus” friend of the court briefs supporting the city (as did several Planning groups). CSA/ISA’s position was that if the appellate decision were upheld on appeal in favor of Lamar, it would seriously undermine California’s on-premise sign laws (sponsored by CSA 30 years ago), as well as result in an
    unrestricted proliferation of billboards, i.e., potentially every sign could be used for offsite advertising, jeopardizing the entire on-premise industry, and subjecting on-premise signs along
    the highway to Caltrans regulation.
    Read More – Full CSA Legal and Legislative Update (PDF)

  • We Need Your Support! What Happens in LA…

    A situation arose in LA that could prove devastating to businesses of every size. We need you to join us and other industry stakeholders to save on-premise EMC signs.

    Six years ago, the City of Los Angeles proposed a very thorough rewrite of their sign ordinance that would have set a terrible precedent.

    What happens in LA often spreads to other cities and states.

    Our view from the beginning was that the City of LA does not have a sign code issue, but rather the city has a severe enforcement issue.

    In the ensuing years, CSA and various business organizations all came together to successfully halt enactment of all negative provisions put forth by the Planning Department. They finally understood the difference between off-site billboards and on-site signs.

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  • New Worker’s Comp Burden May Affect Sign Contractors

    AB 1897, signed by the Governor in September, is intended to combat the underground economy, by making a party who hires labor through “labor contractors” also responsible for wages and the purchase of Worker’s Compensation coverage.

    1. The bill will take effect January 1, 2015.
    2. The bill applies to “client employers”, defined as a business entity that is provided workers to perform labor within its “usual course of business” from a “labor contractor”.

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  • Legality of Moratoriums

    State law allows 45-day moratoriums (“interim ordinances”) on permit approvals when there is an immediate threat to public health, safety or welfare. Often abused by cities and counties which seem to make very loose findings, a moratorium can be extended for two years. Although an interim ordinance may prohibit development of land uses that conflict with a general or specific plan or pending zoning ordinance, the interim ordinance cannot prohibit the processing of development applications. In other words, the city still must process your application.

    Welfare State

    What constitutes an immediate threat to public health, safety or welfare is a debate applicants often miss out on, because the issues frequently arise on short notice. Even though a city might give notice of a hearing, by the time we learn about the interim ordinance it’s been adopted. Rarely, however, would or should a sign application trigger an immediate threat to public health, safety or welfare.

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