• Discover STEPS

    In January 2017 the Associated General Contractors Association survey shows that 73% of businesses have difficulty in finding qualified workers

    STEPS is an Enhanced Training Program being implemented by the California Sign Association, in an attempt to address this situation, for the sign industry in California. Learn more here: CSA STEPS


    Silica Resource Packet

    Dear CSA Member:

    We are pleased to provide you this Silica Resource Packet.

    As you are aware, both California and Federal OSHA have issued new warnings and regulatory guidelines pertaining to silica and the hazards it presents in the construction trades.

    Employer obligations under the new Respirable Crystalline Silica standard for construction, found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, section 1532.3, commenced on June 23, 2017. Effective October 23, 2017, Cal/OSHA is fully enforcing all appropriate provisions of the standard. This follows federal OSHA’s approach regarding enforcement of their corresponding standard.

    Sign contractors who engage in activities that create silica dust, such as by cutting, grinding or blasting materials like concrete, stone and brick, must meet a stricter standard for how much of that dust workers inhale. The same goes for employers of tradespeople working around such activities. The new standard also specifies what services employers must make available to workers who are exposed to high levels of silica dust and the training required of those who are at risk.

    This new standard has been under development for almost 20 years and supersedes OSHA’s first silica standard, issued in 1971. The old standard required that silica dust particles, which are 100 times smaller than sand granules, be limited to 250 micrograms per cubic meter of air over an average of eight hours — the hours of a typical work shift. The new standard reduces that to 50 micrograms over the same time period.

    In addition to the exposure limits, the new rules require contractors to:

    1. Develop a written silica exposure control plan.
    2. Designate someone to implement the plan.
    3. Adjust housekeeping practices to maximize control of silica dust.
    4. Provide medical exams every three years to employees who are exposed to silica to the point of having to wear a respirator for 30 days or more each year. The exams must include lung-function tests and chest X-rays.
    5. Train workers on how to limit exposure to silica.
    6. Keep records of workers’ silica exposure and related medical treatment.

    Implementing the new rules requires an initial assessment of how much silica dust a company’s operations generate.

    EXCEPTION:  If an exposure reading falls below the level of 25 micrograms, then the company is not required to provide medical tests, develop a written plan or undertake any of the suggested engineering controls (such as wearing respirators, wetting work down with tools like a wet saw, or using a vacuum device to reduce the volume of dust).

    However, workers should nonetheless be aware of and take precaution from potential jobsite exposure caused by other onsite construction activities unrelated to their trade, such as demolition work, concrete, asphalt, stucco, drywall, gunite, etc, performed by other contractors.

    Q: What about plastics or acrylics?
    A: Federal Heath recently conducted a silica audit test at one of its facilities. Dennis Lytle, Federal Heath’s Safety Manager (and current CSA president), reports, “The sample was taken for 8 hours while all variety of acrylics/plastics were cut on our router. The levels were barely detectable, much less measurable. As such the readings were well below the permissible levels outlined in the Silica Standard.”

    Nonetheless, CSA members are reminded that results will be different for each shop, depending on the methods and machinery utilized. Each contractor is responsible for making its own determination — and maintaining proper documentation is mandatory.

    THESE RESOURCES, including the California Department of Industrial Relations silica assessment online e-tools, should be consulted for further guidance:


    • Cal/OSHA “Hazards of Silica in Construction” e-tool


    • Guidance on How to Control the Hazard


    > ISA weblinks to Silica management best practices. ISA Silica Resources

    • “Silica in Construction” Training Kit – weblink from the State of Washington


    > Preparing a Silica Control Plan. This is an easy online free program:  https://plan.silica-safe.org/

    DISCLAIMER.  This information is general in nature and provided as a member service from sources believed to be reliable, including ISA and the California Dept of Industrial Relations.  However, it should not be construed as legal advice or regulatory guidance from CSA about your particular operations.  Members are encouraged to consult legal counsel with any questions.

  • Los Angeles Sign Ordinance Update

    LA Sign Ordinance Update

    Good News: On-Site Digital Now Included!

    CSA Government Affairs Committee Co-chaired by Mark Gastineau, Arrow Sign Co. and Todd Einhaus, Watchfire Signs
    Jeff Aran, CSA Government Affairs Director & Legal Counsel

    Just in time for the new year, the City of Los Angeles distributed late Friday, Dec. 8, an updated draft of the proposed sign code. After 8 long years, among many other changes a new section permitting on-site digital signage has been added. No public hearing has been scheduled for a vote, but the matter was presented at the Planning & Land Use Committee on Dec 12 in the form of a “report.” Samantha Martinez (CSA consultant), James Carpentier (ISA Director State & Local Government Affairs), and Roy Flahive (CSA Executive Director), attended the PLUM Hearing; Roy’s report related to the hearing follows below.

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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)

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