Archive: Jan 2014

  1. New Opportunities for 2014

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    It’s in the air – a new sense of optimism, hope and aspiration.

    Municipal governments are getting back on their feet, the real estate market is beginning to churn out new developments, and the word ‘surplus’ is being used again.  So the news is good and sounding better with each passing month.  But with nearly 10 million Americans still unemployed or underemployed, there is still a pressing need for good jobs that pay livable wages.  To kick off 2014, we take a look at some efforts underway that may lead to new jobs.

    In this month’s issue we look at cities that are exploring ways to repurpose coastal power plants in light of urgent deadlines that mandate more environmentally friendly cooling systems.  We also examine national apprenticeship programs and give an update on a few exciting efforts to upskill workers.  And last, we review Governor Jerry Brown’s budget. What a difference a few years make!  We are investing in our infrastructure, in our transportation network, and in our future.  It feels good to know we are putting money into our systems to make them operate more efficiently, sustainably, and economically.

    Sincerely yours,

    Cecilia V. Estolano | Jennifer LeSar | Katherine A. Perez-Estolano

  2. Governor’s Budget Highlights

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    California Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed budget for the state earlier this month. While the state’s fiscal fortunes have improved [PDF], the governor’s spending proposals strike a measured tone, with a focus on building up the state’s reserves and making deferred payments to schools that were hard-hit during the recession. The budget underscores the governor’s support for two major infrastructure projects – implementation of the Statewide Water Action Plan (including a fix for the Bay Delta) and financing for high speed rail. It also includes funding for green projects and throws support behind an economic development tool that may fill the void left by redevelopment’s demise. (more…)

  3. Once-Through, With Feeling

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    Waterfront real estate is in high demand and short supply in California.  So when the State Water Board adopted regulations that will force some seaside power plants to cease operations (or seriously revamp their facilities), many cities along the coast saw an opening to repurpose land currently occupied by hulking power plants. (more…)

  4. European Style Apprenticeships on U.S. Shores

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    Around this time last year, we talked about the shifting role of manufacturing in the global economy. We mentioned that German companies were beginning to bring their world-renowned vocational training methods to U.S. shores, working with community colleges near manufacturing sites to train workers. And we noted that collaborative models – ones that provide subsidies from the public sector to help finance worker training – can help companies offset training costs. Now it looks like there’s been some progress on that front. (more…)

  5. Library Cards & Diplomas

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    The Los Angeles Public Library just snagged another “first in the nation” for Los Angeles. The Library is kicking off 2014 by offering high school diplomas. With dropout rates higher than 20% in the LA Unified School District, this program is aimed at increasing the number of high school graduates and improving the long-term prospects for students. (more…)

  6. Hot Time in the City

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    Image from waltarrrrr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waltarrrrr/7674503538/sizes/l/

    Image from waltarrrrr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waltarrrrr/7674503538/sizes/l/

    Los Angeles’ stock as a destination for end-of-year celebration is on the rise.  For the recent revelry, LA ranked higher than Miami, New York City and San Francisco in terms of hotel occupancy.  Downtown was especially hopping with a New Year’s Eve bash so popular that food trucks ran out of supplies and hundreds of newcomers were told that the party space was already at capacity(more…)