Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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What We're Reading, Listening To, and Watching

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The New Gov. Moonbeam? Back in the 70s's, Chicago news icon Mike Royko famously dubbed then-California Gov. Jerry Brown "Governor Moonbeam" for the brash young governor's appeal to young progressive voters, or what Royko called "the moonbeam vote." The nickname was only reinforced by Brown's idea of California becoming the first state to launch its own satellite. Well, here all these years later the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has issued an executive order to form the Mississippi National Guard Space Directorate, which would be a state-level part of President Donald Trump's plan to create a Space Force as a new branch of the U.S. military. One can only wonder what fun the late Royko would have had with this one. [StateNet Capitol Journal]
How's Newsom Doing? 
Gov. Newsom set several goals including increasing the number of apprentices by 500,000 by 2029. The Sacramento Bee said this: "In the Central Valley, where fewer residents have college degrees than in other parts of the state, Newsom campaigned on boosting apprenticeships to help workers get jobs in a rapidly changing economy. He proposed partnering with community colleges and businesses to create half a million apprenticeships over the next decade in growing fields like advanced manufacturing, health services and information technology. 'The vast majority of us will not get a bachelor's degree in a fancy institution of higher learning, and we need an agenda to support those folks,' Newsom said in Fresno. He suggested it could be an area of collaboration with the federal government. What he's doing: The budget includes $165 million over five years (about $33 million per year) for workforce development projects called for under California's cap-and-trade law, which Newsom's predecessor Jerry Brown signed into law in 2017. The spending will come from money raised by the cap-and-trade program, which makes companies pay to pollute. Newsom's Department of Finance estimates these programs will train about 5,100 people for apprenticeships and other jobs, far short of Newsom's stated goal. [Sacramento BEE]
Modular construction: threat or opportunity? When Jan Mischke speaks to industry leaders about the benefits of modular construction, they usually respond in one of two ways, he said. "They are either optimistic about the future of modular or they are really worried that modular companies are going to eat their cake." Story
The top OSHA fines of Q2 2019 Once again, fall-related violations were behind most of the biggest fines OSHA issued to construction companies in the second quarter of this year, but burn and asbestos hazards made a showing as well. Story