MJSA Lauded by City of Los Angeles

In recognition of its efforts to help jewelry manufacturers in Los Angeles comply with city safety codes (see “Safety Lesson,” JCK, May 2002), the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America recently received a laudatory letter from the city.

Excerpts from the letter read:

“… Converting the use of historical buildings … to jewelry manufacturing presents challenges to building owners, tenants, and building and fire code officials. The City’s building and fire code officials recognize the importance of the [jewelry] industry to the City’s downtown core and have worked with building owners, tenants, and trade industry associations in developing a rational set of guidelines which would allow their continued safe use.

“The participation of the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA) has been extremely valuable toward the understanding of the jewelry industry and its methods of production, the materials and equipment used, and the customs and practices of small manufacturers. Their continued technical assistance, during development of the guidelines and through the City’s current enforcement program, has been very important to the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) and the Fire Department (LAPD). It has allowed us to understand the industry more accurately while attempting to blend the public good, City’s, and industry’s needs into a workable solution …”

Through a $70,000 grant from the JCK Industry Fund, MJSA is building on the Los Angeles program in other cities during 2003. “Two explosions caused by materials used in the jewelry manufacturing process in Chicago and New York City within the past year prompted MJSA to pursue a second grant to build on the program we started in Los Angeles,” said MJSA president/CEO James F. Marquart.

The Los Angeles program was funded by a $75,000 grant last year from the JCK Industry Fund. It helped MJSA develop an outreach program and various safety education materials in Los Angeles, including on-site consultations and a “Safe Shop” exhibit at the 2002 MJSA LA Showcase. The 2003 grant will enable MJSA to provide similar outreach educational programs in Chicago, New York, Dallas, and Providence, R.I. Programs in these cities include informational safety seminars, education materials, and technical assistance for jewelers.

In addition, each region will have its own version of Compliance Solutions, a two-part manual dealing with various safety and health issues in jewelry manufacturing, such as common building and fire code violations, injury and illness prevention programs, and important contact numbers. For information, contact MJSA Director of Education Mary Walek, 45 Royal Little Drive, Providence, RI 02904; (800) 444-6572 or (401) 274-3840, e-mail: mwalek@mjsainc.com.

In other news, MJSA celebrated its 100th anniversary at the Centennial Kick-Off Gala, held March 1 at the Copacabana nightclub. The gala included a silent auction, with a portion of the evening’s proceeds going to the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary. The JCF will receive additional support through the MJSA Tribute Book, which will commemorate the association’s century of service. The book was distributed to all gala attendees and will be available throughout this year at MJSA’s booth at trade shows, at the annual meeting in November 2003, and at MJSA headquarters.

MJSA also has launched a brand identity campaign with a new logo and color scheme for all of its printed products, unveiled the new MJSA Online Web site, and is detailing the association’s history decade by decade in a series being published in AJM magazine.