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Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Congratulations to Our Southern California Class of 2019 Graduates!

2019 WECA Southern California Graduation

2019 WECA Southern California Graduation

And that's a wrap! Congratulations to our Southern California Class of 2019 graduates! May the successes, knowledge, and lessons learned during your WECA apprenticeship continue to carry you to great heights.

WECA's Southern California graduation - held on July 13th at the picturesque Falkner Winery in Temecula - was an evening to remember as graduates and their loved ones celebrated the end of a long but rewarding journey.

"It doesn't get much more perfect than this," said Wendy Flanagan, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship. "Nor does it ever get old, watching these students' family and friends come together to cheer them on."
Attendees started out the evening with a lively cocktail hour and a delectable dinner provided by Falkner Winery's own Pinnacle Restaurant before moving onto the main attraction - the graduation itself!

WECA Southern California instructor Rick Labon emceed the ceremony, and his fellow Southern California instructors Talon Pobuda, Neil Pesarillo, Rick Mortensen, and Raymond Newton, as well as WECA Apprentice Training Director Don Black, were on hand to present the graduates with their diplomas. During the ceremony, WECA's Southern California valedictorians were presented with commemorative plaques and gifted items from WECA Industry Partner Ideal Industries, Milwaukee Tools, and Klein Tools. Additionally, the salutatorians received gifts from Ideal Industries.

The Valedictorians and Salutatorians for the Southern California Class of 2019 were:

Valedictorians
  • Tyler Nicks (Commercial)
  • Robert Bucklin (Low voltage)
  • Alan Torres (Residential)
Salutatorians
  • Ryan Galarneau (Commercial)
  • Alonso Arturo, Jr. (Low voltage)
The evening concluded with a raffle of special swag for graduates, courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Ideal Industries.

Congratulations, all! We here at WECA look forward to watching our graduates continue to shape and revolutionize the merit shop electrical industry!
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Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Donors for Making the SoCal Graduation Memorable!

The gracious support we've received from our sponsors means a lot to us - and our graduates, of course!

Our sponsors helped to make our graduates' graduation day memorable, and for that, we cannot thank them enough.

Thank you for your continued support of WECA! 

Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Vernon de Peralta


Electrician Trainee Certificate Program Grad Vernon de Peralta (left) with Instructor Talon Pobuda at WECA's 2019 Graduation Ceremony

"Their experience is gold." 

That's what Vernon de Peralta, a 2019 electrician trainee graduate, had to say about WECA's instructors.

De Peralta also shared that instructor John Arias "is a very good instructor; informative and knowledgeable. If you had a question or didn't understand a subject or question, he would try his best to walk you through it and he got the class involved in his lectures."

"A good guy to know," de Peralta mused.

De Peralta - who came to WECA by way of a car audio background - was inspired to enter the electrical trade and study at WECA by supportive and experienced coworkers.

"They were also in the program," said de Peralta. "And I wanted to expand my knowledge in commercial housing and construction, learn more about myself, and advance my career."

Ahead of his graduation, de Peralta fondly reminisced about his time at WECA.

"You meet many people from all over in your classes. And weekend labs were fun, because you had a chance to meet good instructors and apply hands-on training and knowledge of what you would be doing in the actual field," said de Peralta.

In the spirit of his upcoming graduation, de Peralta offered up sage words of advice to current and future students.

"Take notes - lots of notes - and get the proper textbooks. Also listen to the instructors because they say a lot of things that are not in the books," said de Peralta.

Looking back at his time in the program, de Peralta stated "I'm proud to have the electrician trainee program under my belt. I can use that valuable knowledge for a raise, and even after I leave my current job, I can take my WECA Electrician Trainee program certificate with me. I may plan to join the commercial housing industry."

What's more, de Peralta enthused that he is "very excited about my future. And I am proud to be affiliated with WECA."
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Archer


At WECA, we take pride in having become a second home and family for our employees.

And Rebecca Archer - WECA employee of six years, in her current role of Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist since 2018 - is the perfect embodiment of that.

Archer - a native of Galt, California - studied English at Consumes River College and worked as a night and weekend receptionist at a tax and accounting business in Galt for three tax seasons before joining the WECA team. After obtaining her degree, Archer was looking for a similar role in a different industry, and WECA fit the bill.

"I was interested in how the association comes together to offer training and support for electricians throughout the state," said Archer.

Archer's first two positions with WECA were that of Assistant ET/Journeyman Registrar and, following a promotion, ET/Journeyman Registrar, respectively.

"In both roles I was responsible for processing eCommerce enrollments, maintaining and ordering inventory, and providing backup for both the apprenticeship and ET programs," said Archer. "I also maintained the association's files."

Archer then landed in her current position when she "filled in on a GetWired! curriculum project based on some previous editing work I had done with the marketing team, and it ended up being something I really enjoyed."

WECA Director of Marketing, Product, and Learning Michelle Gilkey comments that "Rebecca's skill and professionalism were obvious, and we were thrilled to be able to redirect her efforts to the important role she now plays in keeping the technical and logistical aspects of our education programs on point."

As the Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, Archer runs WECA's eCampus (online LMS, or Learning Management System), implements updated curriculum for all of WECA's educational programs, and provides technical support for GetWired! online learning courses.

"I like working to deliver curriculum and helping to further improve what we're doing and how we deliver it," said Archer.

Ahead of her sixth working anniversary at WECA, Archer mused that she would "like to help further improve our curriculum and expand our course offerings to our students."

When not keeping things at WECA in ship-shape or helping students fulfill their career goals, Archer enjoys playing video games, reading, and all things tea-related.

Especially tea - although Archer reports that it did take her a while to appreciate it.

"I used to hate any tea that wasn't oolong," said Archer. "And I still absolutely hate green tea, but my favorites are white, oolong, and mint teas."

And occasionally, Archer even combines two of her passions - reading and tea - into one.

"I just read a book about tea earlier this year. For example, did you know that white, oolong, black, and green teas are all made using the same leaves? Or that there is a black market for tea where people sell counterfeits of rare teas?"

We hope working at WECA remains Archer's cup of tea for a good long while.
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Industry Spotlight: the All-American Ideal Industries


Ideal Industries is all-American.

This sentiment was perfectly illustrated on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 - stocked with specially-requested Ideal wire strippers - and its crew landed on the moon in a lunar landing module constructed with Ideal tools.

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted that flag into the lunar soil and saluted it, Ideal was there.

And fifty years later, "American ingenuity runs through everything we do - especially our commitment to producing tools here," said Kristen Pentolino, Ideal's Area Sales Manager for Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and Las Vegas.

Pentolino further stated that "it's not just about making high-quality tools, but it's about making them the right way - with American steel and American labor, right here in the USA. Look for our Made in the USA badge for tools that are American through and through."

And that commitment to excellence permeates everything Ideal does. Their products offer electricians start-to-finish excellence - from their industry-defining wire connectors and fish tapes, to their superior wire strippers to their advanced electrical testers.

"We are the electrician's champion," said Pentolino. "From pulling wire to installation to testing connection, we understand what electricians go through during every stage of the job, and design tools and supplies to make each stage easier."

To that end, Ideal's partnership with WECA strives to offer value-added services to enrich the educational experience of WECA apprentices, electrician trainees, and journeymen.

"From the classroom to the jobsite, Ideal is committed to being the ultimate training partner for students and apprentices. We want to assist students in gaining the tools they need to be successful in the field," said Pentolino.

This is evident in Ideal's practice of hiring employees who are intimately acquainted with not only the electrical industry, but also the electrical trade school industry. A perfect example is Ned Johns, Ideal's Western Region Area Training Manager. Prior to joining Ideal, Johns was a commercial electrician instructor at WECA for a decade.

"Having Ned at Ideal is wonderful," said Terry Seabury, WECA's Executive Director and CEO. "It has helped strengthen our partnership with Ideal, and our member contractors and students can rest easy knowing that Ned knows exactly what they're looking for."

With strong partnerships like this, everyone wins. WECA's member contractors and students can benefit from a 25 percent discount on tools and supplies. Member contractors interested in utilizing Ideal's products and services can contact their local Ideal sales manager below, while students interested in utilizing Ideal's products and services can either contact their local Ideal sales manager below or visit the IDEAL4students page.

To learn more about Ideal's products, services, and/or training programs, contact them at the below:

Ned Johns, Area Training Manager: Ned.Johns@idealindustries.com for questions about training programs

Elissa Wenster, Western Regional Manager: Elissa.Wenster@idealindustries.com for questions about products and services that Ideal offers

But the benefits don't end there.

Another perk of Ideal's partnership with WECA is the opportunity for WECA-affiliated students and professionals to compete in a qualifying event - leading to the opportunity to compete in the Ideal National Championship - for a chance at over $500,000 in cash and prizes.

WECA member contractors and students who are interested in competing can learn more here.
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Heads Up, Journeymen! Time's Running Out for WECA's Exclusive Employee and Member July Special!


32 Hours of Continuing Education: Easily Fulfilled! 

WECA-developed Packages for Journeymen: "Perfect Sizing", "Faultless Solar", "Voice Data Video Exam Preparation", and "Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation". Currently available for $150 each to journeymen and their contractors through July 31, 2019. 

WECA is offering Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep. - all 32-hour online classes - to WECA journeymen and their member contractors at the special price of $150 each for the month of July! Journeymen can choose from these four courses and get their full 32 renewal hours for just $150.

Only employees of WECA member contractors are eligible for this deal. 

To get the discount, these courses must be ordered by phone, mail, fax, email, or walk-in, so we can confirm employment with a WECA member contractor. These discounts are not available through online enrollment. Quickest way: call us at 1-877-444-9322!

Perfect Sizing:

In this course, students learn about sizing motor circuits, sizing motor feeder circuits, wiring motors and air conditioners, and proper selection and installation of the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations.

Learn more about Perfect Sizing
But call in to get your discount!
 
Faultless Solar:
 
This course combines two of WECA's popular 16-hour courses, "Faultless" and "Solar Power for Electricians," into one convenient 32-hour package. Journeymen learn about how to coordinate information in specific NEC articles, so they can properly select and install the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations. Then, build on that knowledge as they learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Solar Photovoltaic systems.
 
Learn more about Faultless Solar
But call in to get your discount!

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation:

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Fire Life Safety Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Voice Data Video Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through developing proficiency in the preparation for and execution of the VDV certification exam. It is meant for individuals who are almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Voice Data Video Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!

Note: if you have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 32-hour package.
  
What if you don't work for a WECA member contractor?
You can still enroll in these classes at our usual competitive pricing. Or, tell your contractor about WECA! Ask them to read all about our  member benefits and services, including our training discounts for their employees.
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   It's Time to Enroll - Oct-Dec 2019 Course Catalog On Its Way to Your Mailbox, or Access Online!


It's that time again, WECAns! 

Keep a look out for the WECA Session 4 (October - December 2019) course catalog, coming soon to your mailbox. 

In it, you'll find new course listings for Electrician Trainees and Journeymen Continuing Education for October through December, as well as all our classroom, GetWired!, and self-paced favorites. And keep your eyes peeled--there may even be a valuable coupon code in there as well! 
 
Can't wait? Okay, fine...you can download it here
 
Or, access our full online course catalog for completely up-to-date course information, 24/7/365. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   WECA's Contractor Authorization Forms: An Easy Way to Stay on Top of Your Training

One of the benefits of WECA enrollment is having everything you need to seamlessly track your training in one comprehensive place. Our Authorization for Release of Records forms help you do just that.

WECA's Authorization for Release of Records forms allow journeymen and electrician trainees enrolled at WECA to grant their employers permission to communicate with and receive records from WECA for a period of time, as stipulated either by the student or the form type.

Alternatively, your employer may also file authorization forms on your behalf if you are enrolled in an electrician trainee or continuing education program. 

Authorization forms allow for the release of records such as grades, attendance reports, progression letters, completion certificates, and program enrollment and renewal information. Your employer will be able to ensure that you are working to meet your 150-hour continuing education requirement for state renewal. Further, your employer may request to be copied on all correspondence their you receive. However, your employer must notify WECA of this request. 

Please note that WECA now offers three - rather than the previous four - different versions of the authorization form:
  • For electrician trainees: the form expires upon the student's request or upon completion or cancellation of the program; whichever occurs first
  • For journeymen: the form expires upon the student's request or three years after the signed effective date; whichever occurs first
  • Release of records for general students and electrician trainees who work for non-member contractors: these forms will expire 30 days from the effective date or upon the student's request; whichever occurs first
Electrician trainees and journeymen who wish to obtain and/or file authorization forms may do so by signing and submitting the form to etregistrar@goweca.com. Upon submission and processing of the form, your employer will have access to your information on their member dashboard within two business days.

Additionally, your employer - if you are an electrician trainee (ET) - will also be able to assist you in maintaining active ET cards with the State of California and help monitor your progress in the program.

Electrician trainees will also receive ET overview reports. Your employer will also gain access to these reports, whose release are also included in the filing of the authorization forms.
ET reports provide the following benefits to both you and your employer:
  • Transcript browse: this function allows members to pull up-to-date copies of their employees' transcripts for renewal purposes
  • ET or journeyman certificate browse: allows members to pull course completion certificates for their employees who have successfully met course requirements to pass
  • ET enrollment letter browse: allows members to find proof of the student's active renewal with WECA, either for initial registration with the State of California or for renewal purposes
  • Active ET student status: allows members to see the current status of their employees and see if they are enrolled, or currently between classes and their deadline to get signed up to maintain enrollment with WECA
  • Daily grades and attendance: allows members to check on their employee's current grades and attendance for the classes they are attending
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Open Up a Whole New World of Possibilities with a WECA Low Voltage Apprenticeship


Do you enjoy the technical and analytical side of things?

Or perhaps you have a friend or family member who does.

If so, a career as a low voltage technician is a great choice! And the timing is perfect, too - WECA is currently seeking apprentice applicants from the Sacramento, Stockton, Los Angeles, and Bay Area regions who want to help make our modern world possible. 

So what, exactly, does a low voltage technician do? Great question!

Low voltage technicians specialize in installing, testing, servicing, and maintaining systems such as:
  • fire alarm systems
  • security systems
  • nurse call systems
  • voice evacuation systems
  • very early smoke detection apparatuses
  • open-area smoke imaging detection systems
  • cable and satellite TV
  • the Internet
  • home entertainment systems
  • landline phone networks
And at WECA, we can help you achieve a fast-paced, satisfying career as a low voltage technician.

 Apply today to start your low voltage apprenticeship journey! 
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   An Evening to Remember: Congratulations to the Northern California Graduating Class of 2019!

2019 Northern California Graduation Highlights
 
WECA graduations do not mark beginnings, nor ends. Rather, they are exciting milestones on already distinguished journeys.

And WECA's Northern California graduation ceremony - held at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters on Saturday, June 8th - was no different. The halls of WECA bustled with graduates and their loved ones and reverberated with love and support.
 
"I was glad to see so many family and friends at the graduation," said Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and graduation emcee. "Graduating from these programs is not easy, so to have that continued support from your loved ones is important."

WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, Wendy Flanagan, concurred.

"I love seeing everyone's family and friends here. They are just as much the driving force behind a graduate's success as the graduate themselves," Flanagan said.

The evening began with a lively cocktail hour featuring delicious appetizers from Hannibal's Catering and drinks poured by WECA's Curtis Hicks and Audra Jamieson, and then segued into a heartfelt ceremony emceed by Slemp.

Highlights of the graduation ceremony included:
  • Spotlights on WECA member contractors who were contributing sponsors to the graduation celebration, as well as special guests like Chris Nelson of Bergelectric, Jay Taylor of Vasko Electric, and Nora Carlton from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship
  • An inspiring speech from Windell Pascascio, Jr. - alumni of the WECA Class of 2013, and current WECA member contractor
  • Presentation of awards to the 20 graduating apprentices who completed their entire Apprenticeship while maintaining all of their discipline points
  • Presentation of diplomas by apprenticeship instructors Zach Wallace, Steve Kappes, John Arias, James Hall, and Lakeal Morris
  • Ideal Industries raffle hosted by current Ideal Industries representative and former WECA instructor Ned Johns
One of the focal points of the ceremony - aside from the presentation of awards and diplomas - was Pascascio, Jr.'s rousing speech. Pascascio, Jr. - a Belizean native who has worked in the electrical industry since he was 16 years old - detailed his journey to success and dispensed sage advice in his speech.

"My WECA apprenticeship years were exciting; I worked with Valley Unique Electric through my five years of the program before working with Rex Moore as a project manager for two years," said Pascascio, Jr. "Then I received my C10 license in 2016 and started my own business."

Pascascio, Jr. continued, stating, "Our first WECA apprentice will start their apprenticeship later this year, so I'm proud of that. And I want to take this moment to encourage everyone out there who has plans to eventually own their own electrical contracting business - you can do it."

Then Pascascio, Jr. rounded out his speech by saying, "I remember riding my bicycle with my tools in my backpack doing residential work and now I'm here today [as an electrical contractor], so if I can make it happen, any of you guys can make it happen."

And then the evening ended on a poignant note - provided by none other than emcee Slemp.

"I don't have tears in my eyes - it's just allergies," Slemp joked.
 
Slemp then added, "But seriously, I will miss some of these guys. This is one of the things I love about my job - being able to train apprentices to become electricians, and then watch them go out and succeed."
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Donors for Making the NorCal Class of 2019 Graduation Great!

The gracious support we've received from our sponsors means a lot to us - and our graduates, of course!

Our sponsors helped to make our graduates' graduation day memorable, and for that, we cannot thank them enough.

Thank you for your continued support of WECA! 
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Get an Up-Close Look at WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program

WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program
WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program


Are you interested in fire alarm systems, security systems, intrusion detection systems, CCTV systems, access control systems, audio systems, or basic electrical systems?

Then a WECA low voltage apprenticeship - culminating in a multi-faceted, fast-paced, and competitive career as a low voltage technician - may be right for you!

Our three-year apprenticeship program prepares apprentices for successful careers in the electrical industry through applying their learning and knowledge directly to their real-life job duties. 

Apprentices enrolled in our low voltage apprenticeship program also receive the following:
  • classroom and paid on-the-job training
  • fringe benefit packages provided by their contractor (which may include major medical, a 401k, or cash equivalent per the contractor's discretion)
  • competitive hourly wages increasing through third year of apprenticeship
Interested? Here's how you can start your low voltage apprenticeship journey today:

Apply for apprenticeship here
or call us at 877-444-9322
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Journeyman Continuing Education Spotlight: Solar Power for Electricians


Solar Power for Electricians (16 hour course)(2014 NEC Edition)

This course establishes the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of photovoltaic systems. Focusing on residential and commercial-scale systems, the course includes array configurations and electrical design characteristics for grid-tied Photovoltaic (PV) systems but also covers equipment essential to understanding all types of PV systems, including systems incorporating back-up energy and energy storage sources. This course addresses PV system installations from the perspective of the 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC), including but not limited to: interconnection requirements and calculations; disconnect requirements; overcurrent protection; and wire sizing and grounding requirements, applicable to all types and sizes of PV installations. This course can be taken as an introductory course or as a gateway for those seeking to advance their knowledge in the solar industry. 

Interested? Learn more and sign up here! 
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Commercial Apprentice Health Insurance Update: Anthem Blue Cross's Pharmacy Benefits

Notice from our health insurance provider, Anthem Blue Cross

Background

On January 30, Anthem announced that we're accelerating the launch of IngenioRx, our new pharmacy benefits manager (PBM), and we wanted to let you know that your pharmacy benefits will move to IngenioRx on July 1, 2019.

We have spent more than 15 months planning this transition and, based on the results of our rigorous testing, we are confident in our ability to transition with as little disruption as possible.

More importantly, we are excited about the additional value we will be able to deliver to you with this move through things like improved pricing and enhanced member tools.

Our goal is to make this as easy as possible for you. Most of the changes will be behind the scenes so there is very little that you should have to do. And, if there is something you need to do, we'll let you know.

Here is a Client Guide that provides some general information about the move, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact your Anthem Account Manager.

Implementation

You should have recently received a letter from Anthem letting you know that your pharmacy benefits will be powered by IngenioRx beginning on July 1, 2019. We're excited about all the opportunities IngenioRx brings, but most of all, we want to make sure you can continue to get your prescriptions without missing a beat.

One of the most important steps you can take to make sure you are ready for the transition is to make sure any pharmacy you use has your most recent Anthem ID card information on file. This will help to ensure that they have the information they need to quickly and accurately process your prescriptions.

Not sure if you are using your most recent card?

Your ID card has an "Issue Date" on the back corner. As long as your issue date is September 2018 or later, you have your most recent card.

What should I do if I don't have my most recent card?

First, you can download a digital copy of your ID card at anthem.com or on the Anthem Anywhere mobile app. You can even use the digital ID card straight from your smartphone at the pharmacy counter.

Second, you can order a new ID card anytime by requesting one online or giving us a call. Just login at anthem.com and click on Request ID card to order a new one. Or call the Member Services number on the back of the ID card you do have. A new ID card will be mailed to your home in about five business days.

Finally, you can also bring a copy of this letter to your pharmacy and share it with your pharmacist. Please ask them to update your record with the information below:

RXBIN: 020099
RXPCN: WG

If you have any questions, please call the Pharmacy Member Services number on your card. 
Read more >>


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