CSLB Industry Expert Program, New Board Members

While I am often described as an ‘expert on licensing’ did you know that licensed contractors could also be ‘Industry Experts’? Few people may realize that just as older pilots share their expertise with flight schools, a California contractor’s experience is of great value to the CSLB. We also share names and backgrounds to go with the new faces on the Contractors Board…

Q: Several years ago, I spoke with a CSLB inspector, who was impressed with my knowledge and expertise – particularly concrete and framing. He suggested that I apply to the CSLB for a position of Inspector. I completed an Application and sent it in but I don’t know what happened to it. I believe the employee was transferred from the Bay Area to Sacramento, but I do not recall his name.

I have gone onto the CSLB website but cannot locate an updated application. I phoned the 800#, more than once, went through a number of options but could not get a real person or information on an updated application.

Can you help me? I’m getting up in years and want to semi-retire and think this Inspector position would be great. Can you give me the how/who/where for this application?

A: Thank you for the email. As we discussed in some back and forth correspondence, the “Inspector” position you’re referring to appears to be the Board’s “Industry Expert Program”.

According to the CSLB, when investigating consumer complaints, the Board’s Enforcement division sometimes asks trained “Industry Experts” to inspect projects and render opinions on specific items related to complaints. These industry experts are either licensed or registered professionals such as contractors, engineers, architects, and geologists.

Members of the Industry Expert Program may elect to participate in a Complaint Investigation, Arbitration, On-Site Negotiation or feedback on CA license exam updates. Typical assignments involve inspecting and analyzing construction projects; providing expert opinion and testimony about specific complaint items and acceptable trade standards; or consulting on license exam development.

To be selected for the program, applicants must be: the Qualifying individual for at least 5 years on a current contractor license (which is free of unresolved licensing and enforcement actions); knowledgeable about currently accepted trade standards in their areas of expertise; plus be able to provide effective verbal communication, write an effective expert opinion, and testify at arbitration or disciplinary hearing as needed.

Recruitment for this program takes place periodically. If interested you can write to “Industry Expert Program, CSLB P.O. Box 26000 Sacramento, CA 95826, or call my office for more information.

Governor Jerry Brown recently announced the following appointments to the Contractors State License Board: Paul Schifino of Los Angeles, Mark Thurman, of Corona del Mar, and David Dias of Napa, Mr. Thurman has been President of ARB Structures since 2004 while Mr. Schifino has owned and served as President of Junior Steel Company since 2003 and Anvil Steel Corporation since 1996. Both have been on the Board since 2010. Mr. Dias who has been a business representative for Sheet Metal Workers’ Local Union No. 104 since 2005 reportedly will be attending his first Board meeting this month in Monterey.