by Douglas R. Failing, District 7 Director
There are so many wonderful holidays celebrated this time of year by so many cultures. This gives us time to pause to sit back and remember what is important in the world.
As many nations are facing a global economic crisis, Caltrans is being called upon to help the rest of our region out of a disaster; not that of an earthquake, fire or mudslide, but this time, from an economic disaster. However disheartening the economic atmosphere, it is nice, once again, to be recognized as an agency that can step forward and help the economy. Let’s be thankful for that and for the recognition we receive for the important work we deliver.
We at Caltrans have a lot of work to do. And, certainly the recent passage of Measure R in Los Angeles County will create more work on the capital side. This, plus a call at state and federal levels, will create a lot of new work to build and improve infrastructure. These actions will ensure that we at Caltrans will have a lot of good, solid work to do for a number of years to come. We all need to be very thankful for our jobs in this trying economic time.
Besides new projects coming on-line, let’s also remember that we have routine jobs to do as we will continue to have road crews out on the freeway system during all of the various seasonal holidays. While we do what is needed on the roadways, others will be using the roadways after vacationing, celebrating, eating and drinking. So, those of you out in the field, please be careful and take extra precautions that are necessary to work safely. I am looking forward to seeing all of you continuing in those jobs in the New Year.
In this edition of Inside Seven, you can read more about District 7’s participation in a simulated earthquake drill called the “The Great ShakeOut.” This was a massive undertaking, and we learned things that can be used in the future during other types of drills – and for the “real deal” as it will come unexpectedly. The outcome showed that we did a good job, but there are some improvements to be made --and we will make them. I extend my thanks to all who participated in the exercise; you did a great job.
Our “Employee Spotlight” features ten of our best rank and file employees from around the division in honor of our first annual “Employee of the Year’ award recognition. This new program is a great idea because it came from you, the employees. Rank and file employees recognizing rank and file employees! This is a perfect time of year to recognize them all. If you didn’t have a chance to attend the celebration last month, please take a moment to read the highlights about ten of your exceptional co-workers.
Caltrans continues to help, to recognize and to encourage young students who are coming up behind us in the transportation industry. Our Design Division has sponsored a scholarship on behalf of the department for a new student entering the transportation field. You can read about this young lady and how District 7’s Design team has reached out to her. Remember it is our responsibility to get the next generation of engineers, designers, planners and environmentalists ready to replace us.
I know you have a lot to do as the year comes to a close. Work continues here and at home, with plenty of shopping to do that will help to stimulate the economy. From my family to yours, I extend to you a happy and safe holiday season.