Archive: Jun 2012

  1. Investing in the American Workforce

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    With some 12 million unemployed Americans, it’s hard to imagine that many sectors are threatened because they can’t find the right workers. But that is precisely the case in many industries that require a skilled labor force. From Iowa to California and everywhere in between, employers have been searching for workers with the necessary training to get the job done. While there is much talk about providing incentives for job creators, investment in workers (or “job-doers”) hasn’t really become part of the political discourse. As we continue to divest in the public school system and provide a modicum of funding for workforce development programs, what other models are out there providing workers with the skills they need to better their job prospects and advance our economy? (more…)

  2. Let’s Talk About Job-Doers

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    This month marks the first anniversary of the Sustainable Development Report, Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors’ monthly newsletter that spreads the word about ideas, programs and projects that are helpful to professionals seeking to create thriving, healthy, vibrant communities. (more…)

  3. Harnessing Advanced Manufacturing in Southern California

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    While most sectors have seen a decline in employment in recent years, more than 495,000 manufacturing jobs have been created nation-wide since January 2010. According to a new white paper by the Boston Company Asset Management, “small to midsize component suppliers are among the U.S. companies most likely to benefit first from a resurgence in American manufacturing.” With over half-a-million manufacturing jobs in the Los Angeles area, the region is saturated with small-sized manufacturing companies, over half of which are in the higher-wage durable manufacturing subsector.  Well-established firms like Superior Thread Rolling Company and B&B Manufacturing Co., supply high-precision, complex, specialty machined parts for aerospace, military and other leading sectors.  Firms like these form the backbone of Southern California’s solid, but often overlooked advanced manufacturing cluster. (more…)

  4. Simpler, More User Friendly Infrastructure Finance

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    We all know how important infrastructure investment is to job creation. The concept is straightforward: the more money we invest in infrastructure, the more jobs we create. Though  simple in concept, getting the resources necessary to invest in infrastructure is no easy feat. And with the dissolution of redevelopment agencies across the state, finding gap funding to finance infrastructure has become increasingly difficult.

    Unfortunately, limitations on funding for infrastructure have come at a time when infrastructure investments are ideal because interest rates are low, and laborers are many. Given this reality, Californians are looking for new ways to direct resources toward infrastructure development and improvements. (more…)

  5. HOT Lanes Coming to LA

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    Angelenos are gearing up for some major transportation changes with MTA’s new express lanes pilot program. In theory, the HOT (High Occupancy Toll) lanes will help reduce congestion on two of the nation’s busiest freeways (the 110 and 10) and generate money for transportation infrastructure improvements. Slated to open this fall on the 110, the HOT Lanes will allow single motorists to travel in the formerly designated carpool lanes using a special FasTrak transponder. The device will charge motorists based on the time of day and/or the amount of traffic on the freeway, per the tenants of congestion pricing. In essence, when traffic is bad, solo drivers will have to cough up more dough to use the toll lanes. (more…)

  6. Mapping LA’s Tech Scene

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    Los Angeles is known for its expansive boundaries, but the folks at Forbes Magazine give us a look into just how tightly-knit the Southland’s up-and-coming tech scene is. With the recent launch of Represent LA, technology entrepreneurs now have a platform where they can tag and map their businesses on an interactive website. Users can see the location of these tech establishments and click on the icons to see a business description, address, and website. (more…)

  7. Housing the Homeless and Saving Money

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    In 2007, Community Solutions, working closely with County officials, launched a pilot program called Project 50. The goal of the project was to identify and house the most vulnerable homeless individuals in the county and provide them with housing and services. The goal was twofold: (1) get chronically homeless folks off the streets and into supportive housing, and (2) save taxpayer dollars. Thus far, the program has proved to be just as successful as its creators had hoped. (more…)

  8. Parking Meter Efficiency

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    The days of freeloading on someone else’s leftover parking meter time (and money) are quickly coming to an end. New “smart” parking meters in Santa Monica have been designed to ensure that the time on each parking meter is reset as soon as a car pulls away from the space. And for those of us who try to exceed posted time limits by feeding the meter can forget about overstaying our welcome. Once the limit has been reached, your quarters and credit cards will not be accepted. So, you have to move your car—or get a ticket.

    This move borrows elements of the more elaborate parking management systems implemented by San Francisco and (recently) Los Angeles. But it lacks the crucial element of adjusting meter rates based on demand to make spaces easier to find. As Donald Shoup notes in the New York Times article, Santa Monica’s program doesn’t necessarily increase parking space turnover, but it “makes sure they get everyone to pay.”