[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
84°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 24
1855 - Sanford & Cyrus Lyon establish Lyon's Station (for stagecoaches) near today's Sierra Hwy & Newhall Ave [story]


Parents need to get over the idea that their kids are failures if they don’t excel at math or science in school, because America – Santa Clarita – needs skilled tradesmen to drive the engines of the local and national economy.

That was perhaps the biggest message to come from the Valley Industry Association’s monthly gathering Tuesday at the Valencia Country Club where three local manufacturing leaders discussed the pitfalls they face in doing business in California.

It wasn’t over-regulation; the subject was barely broached. It wasn’t competition from China, though that’s certainly a factor. To the panelists, the biggest challenge is education, specifically the lack of training most teenagers would need to qualify for a skilled profession – jobs that often pay better than those requiring a suit and tie.

“We find (new employees who) want to work hard and want to learn, and we bring them up,” said Rod Smith, vice president of Bayless Engineering and Manufacturing, a diversified machine shop in Valencia.

From left: Rod Smith, Brad Spahr, Bill Barritt

“Most of my people in my shop started at the bottom,” Smith said. “That’s where I started. I started at the very bottom and learned the trade. I do very well. Mr. Bayless pays me very well to run his shop, and I did it with a high school education.”

We can’t all be astronauts and doctors and attorneys,” said Bill Barritt, chief financial officer of Aerospace Dynamics (ADI). “Why aren’t we encouraging our kids who don’t show an aptitude for calculus or biology or chemistry – why aren’t we helping them learn a vocation, start getting summer jobs, start apprenticing, and start building up the skills that are necessary? Why do we let them think that if you don’t get good grades, you fail?”

Barritt’s company is expanding into its fifth building in the Valencia Industrial Center – a building previously occupied by Gruber Systems – and has a large new construction project in the works.

ADI helps support the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies at College of the Canyons, whose instructors provide on-the-job vocational training to ADI’s new-hires – training which, in the days of wood and auto shop, they’d have received in high school.

It’s not that the local high schools don’t offer vocational training. They do. The Hart School District’s Regional Occupational Program trains students in dozens of different skilled disciplines ranging from forestry to culinary arts to video production. But ROP is voluntary. It’s not part of the regular academic day.

“People need to understand, kids need to understand, the parents need to understand, that you can make a good living” in the trades, Barritt said. “We need to build a strong working class. That’s why all the emerging nations are commanding all the investment dollars. They have a strong middle class.”

While he didn’t focus on vocational training, panelist Brad Spahr of Specialty Motors discussed the heavy tax burden Californians face in relation to other states and shared how his company – which makes small, precision motors for a applications ranging from kitchen appliances to wheel chairs – weathered the recent recession.

In 2009, “the recession hit us hard,” he said. “We went from about $4.7 million (in sales) to just under $3.5 million. They way we got through it was … we just decided we were going to survive.”

Spahr talked to clients to determine realistic sales expectations and “set up a budget and said, ‘We’re going to live with this.’”

“For 18 months I took minimum wage,” he said. “I was the lowest paid employee in the company. “When people were complaining about (a reduced work week), at least I could say, ‘I’m taking a bigger hit than you.’”

Cash management was a daily endeavor, and Specialty Motors “went outside the box for new business,” ordering completed motors directly from China for the first time.

“If we raise taxes,” said Barritt of ADI, “we simply won’t be able to compete globally with employers who pay their workers for a week of work what ADI pays for a day of work.” He estimated that Chinese factory wages are $200 per week.

Barritt told a story of an otherwise valuable worker who was fired when ADI learned he was scamming the company out of money on a medical insurance fraud scheme.

“Medical and workers comp insurance fraud must be rooted out,” he said. “It’s a national problem, but especially here in California.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


LOCAL BUSINESS LINKS
LOCAL BUSINESS HEADLINES
FINANCIALS OF LOCAL INTEREST
MARKETS & METALS
STOCKS OF LOCAL INTEREST
Bank Santa Clarita17.25  chart -1.15%
Biosolar Inc Com Usd0.0001(post0.0427  chart +13.26%
Sierra Bancorp25.76  chart -0.39%
Cu Bancorp (ca)37.55  chart +0.13%
Flex Ltd. - Ordinary Shares16.66  chart -0.54%
Mission Vly Bcp Ca14.15  chart +0.00%
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated102.11  chart +0.55%
Tejon Ranch Co21.21  chart -1.03%
Us Energy Initiative0.0007  chart -12.50%
Wesco Aircraft Holdings, Inc.9.35  chart +1.63%

Apple Inc.151.89  chart -0.98%
At&t Inc.38.59  chart +0.97%
Autonation, Inc.47.36  chart +0.89%
Best Buy Co., Inc.53.90  chart -0.09%
Big Lots, Inc.49.51  chart +0.43%
Barnes & Noble, Inc.7.25  chart +3.57%
Brady Corporation36.80  chart +0.96%
Boston Scientific Corporation28.85  chart +0.31%
Brookfield Asset Management Inc40.64  chart -0.17%
Cbre Group Inc Class A37.18  chart -0.03%
Carnival Corporation64.33  chart -0.19%
Comcast Corporation38.10  chart +1.68%
Costco Wholesale Corporation161.29  chart -0.12%
Curtiss-wright Corporation104.34  chart +0.61%
Cvs Health Corporation79.63  chart +0.09%
Cemex, S.a.b. De C.v. Sponsored9.35  chart +0.11%
D.r. Horton, Inc.36.90  chart +0.11%
Walt Disney Company (the)98.60  chart -0.29%
Edison International78.28  chart -0.48%
Hyatt Hotels Corporation Class 61.29  chart +0.15%
Home Depot, Inc. (the)159.97  chart +0.49%
Kb Home20.88  chart +0.48%
Kroger Company (the)20.15  chart -0.35%
Lennar Corporation Class A50.28  chart -0.42%
Laboratory Corporation Of Ameri155.07  chart +0.77%
Lowe's Companies, Inc.78.23  chart +0.24%
Mannkind Corporation1.98  chart +2.06%
Marriott International107.88  chart +0.29%
Mcdonald's Corporation158.91  chart -0.08%
Mitsubishi Ufj Financial Group,6.48  chart +0.62%
Netflix, Inc.187.35  chart -0.76%
Office Depot, Inc.4.37  chart +1.86%
Rite Aid Corporation2.39  chart -1.24%
Rexford Industrial Realty, Inc.29.51  chart -1.57%
Regal Entertainment Group Class16.61  chart +2.22%
Ross Stores, Inc.60.89  chart -0.03%
Republic Services, Inc.66.26  chart +0.17%
Starbucks Corporation55.09  chart +0.15%
Smart & Final Stores, Inc.7.30  chart +2.10%
Sears Holdings Corporation7.11  chart +0.85%
Six Flags Entertainment Corpora58.96  chart +1.97%
Sonova N164.00  chart -0.30%
Staples, Inc.10.25  chart +0.10%
Sunpower Corporation7.64  chart +3.66%
Target Corporation58.99  chart +1.13%
Time Warner Cable Inc209.56  chart -0.21%
Ulta Beauty, Inc.219.17  chart -0.26%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.78.41  chart +0.27%
Waste Connections, Inc.69.86  chart -0.20%
Whole Foods Market, Inc.41.99  chart +0.00%
Waste Management, Inc.78.20  chart -0.10%
Wal-mart Stores, Inc.79.53  chart -0.60%
Woodward, Inc.75.95  chart +1.56%
CURRENCY CONVERTER

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
It has been a year since Energy Transfer Partners bulldozed the sacred burial grounds just beyond the borders of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to clear a path for the Dakota Access Pipeline – and about 10 months since I hightailed it over there. I want my friends to know what I know, and I want to be able to look back and remember some details before time wipes them away.
Standing Rock: Why I Went | Commentary by Leon Worden
1855 - Sanford & Cyrus Lyon establish Lyon's Station (for stagecoaches) near today's Sierra Hwy & Newhall Ave [story]
1948 - Agua Dulce Women's Club organized [timeline]
The governing boards of College of the Canyons and the William S. Hart Union School District are scheduled to discuss plans for a new Academy of the Canyons-style campus at the future Castaic High School when they sit down for their annual joint meeting Sept. 27.
COC, Hart Planning ‘North Academy’ at Castaic High School
The League of California Cities, with representatives from cities statewide including Santa Clarita, is calling for Gov. Jerry Brown to veto SB 649, which if enacted would allow the wireless industry to install new 5G equipment with little input from local jurisdictions.
League of California Cities Urges Governor to Veto 5G Wireless Equipment Bill
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, an off-duty LAPD officer and Canyon Country resident, died Thursday evening after a collision in Porter Ranch. Plus, check out all the exciting events happening this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, September 22, 2017
The new pedestrian bridge crossing McBean Parkway is expected to be open in time for weekend foot traffic.
New Pedestrian Bridge on McBean Parkway Set to Reopen Saturday
The Child and Family Center will begin providing outpatient substance use treatment services for adolescents and young adults with primary substance use disorders under the California Drug MediCal Program starting Tuesday, October 3.
Oct. 3: Child and Family Center Begins Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
College of the Canyons and the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center will host a caregivers' workshop at the Senior Center in Newhall on Saturday, September 30 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Sept. 30: COC, Senior Center Host Caregiver Workshop
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is strongly opposing the proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare legislation, saying it would undermine the well-being of the county’s most vulnerable populations and burden taxpayers with heavier costs for years to come.
Supes Say Graham-Cassidy Bill Threatens Health of Millions of LA County Residents
The intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Bouquet Canyon Road will be under construction from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday night, September 29 and Saturday morning, September 30.
Sept. 29-30: Soledad and Bouquet Canyon Repaving
College of the Canyons launched its First-Year Promise program this fall, and to ensure the future of the FYP program, which offers full-time freshman students waived tuition and fees during their first year of study, the COC Foundation has committed to fundraising $500,000 over the next two years.
COC Foundation Launches ‘First-Year Promise’ Fundraising Campaign
Road rehab on major arterial roads and intersections in the city of Santa Clarita continues into October.
Santa Clarita Road Rehab Drives into October
More than 60 Air Force senior leaders convened on Friday to discuss the Air Force’s aircrew crisis, which has left the service more than 1,500 pilots short of its requirements.
Short by 1,500 Pilots, Air Force Leaders Address Aircrew Crisis
The Santa Clarita Valley has five major industry clusters and the SCV Economic Development Corporation targets its economic development efforts to support and expand them.
Five Growing Industry Clusters in the Santa Clarita Valley
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Veterans Affairs Department VA announced Friday that it continues to provide vital health care and other support to displaced Veterans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
VA Aids Veterans in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands After Hurricanes Irma and Maria
Gatorade made misleading “anti-water statements” while pushing the benefits of its sports drinks in a video game marketed to teenagers, according to a settlement announced Thursday by California’s attorney general.
California Fines Gatorade $300K for ‘Anti-Water’ Ad Campaign
John Gasparyan, an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer and Canyon Country resident, died when his motorcycle crashed in Porter Ranch around 6:50 p.m. Thursday.
LAPD Officer from Canyon Country Dead in Motorcycle Crash
A former Los Angeles County probation officer was sentenced after pleading guilty to inappropriately touching two girls at a youth camp, the county District Attorney’s Office has announced.
Ex-Probation Officer Gets 364 Days for Sexual Assault
1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]
The most prestigious recognition for government assessment agencies has been awarded to the Office of the Assessor in Los Angeles County.
County Awarded Prestigious Government Assessment Award
The Dodgers, who have clinched a postseason berth for the fifth consecutive year, return home tomorrow to open their final homestand of the regular season against the San Francisco Giants (Sept. 22-24) and San Diego Padres (Sept. 25-27).
Dodgers Back Home Friday; Last Homestand of 2017 Season
Auditions for the the upcoming Canyon Theater Guild's production of A Christmas Story are just around the corner.
Sept. 30-Oct. 1: Christmas Story Auditions at CTG
Now that the formerly great state of California is a sanctuary, I’ve got to compare that action with the actions in the early 1860s of the Confederate States of America. They decided what laws they wanted to follow and what ones they didn’t.
No Home for Me | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
Santa Clarita Valley residents have known the family-owned Italian restaurant, Sisley Kitchen, since 1993 when their doors first opened at the top of Valencia Town Center Drive in Westfield Valencia.
Renovations Complete at Sisley Kitchen
The Women's Soccer team will be finishing up their non-conference matches this weekend.
Sept. 22-24: CSUN Athletics Roundup
David Wolfram will demonstrate pastel-over-watercolor painting at the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA) meeting on Monday evening, Nov. 20 at 6:30 pm. This event is free, open to the public and meets at Barnes & Noble, 23630 Valencia Blvd.
Nov. 20: Pastel-Over-Watercolor Demonstration at SCAA Meeting
Beginning October 1, all 23 California State University (CSU) campuses will accept applications for admission to the fall 2018 term.
Oct. 1: CSU Accepting Fall 2018 Applications
College of the Canyons launched its First-Year Promise (FYP) program this fall, and to ensure the future of the FYP program, which offers full-time freshman students waived tuition and fees during their first year of study, the COC Foundation has committed to fundraising $500,000 over the next two years
COC First-Year Promise Fundraising Campaign Underway
The city of Santa Clarita is inviting our younger residents to take part in the 30th anniversary celebration.
City Launches ’30 Things for 30 Years’ Contest; Students Invited to Take Part
California State University, Northridge’s Friends of the Oviatt Library welcomes members of the community to nominate their favorite stories about the San Fernando Valley for consideration of the San Fernando Valley Award for Non-Fiction.
CSUN Library Group Invites Community to Nominate Favorite San Fernando Valley Story
The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced sellouts for all seven potential postseason home games in the Division Series and League Championship Series just hours after tickets went on sale to the public at 10:00 a.m. It’s believed to be the quickest that the club has sold out of postseason tickets in Dodger Stadium history.
Dodgers NLDS, NLCS Tickets Already Sold Out
Sales of existing single-family homes increased 7.4 percent throughout Santa Clarita during August while the median price of homes that changed owners rose 6.6 percent, the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® reported today.
Increase in SCV August Home Sales, Prices
Mountainview Elementary School parents were greeted with a voicemail Thursday morning informing them of a break-in on campus believed to have occurred the night before.
Vandals Trash Library, Computers, Classrooms at Mountainview
Hans' family did not know too much about his childhood or the country he had grown up in. About all the family knew was that Hans and his wife were born in Germany but had lived in this small Minnesota town for the last 60 years or more.
Lesson from History | Commentary by John Windsor