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Apprenticeship News + Events

Thursday, October 11, 2018   WECA Outreach Team Attends More Fall Events

WECA's outreach team attended multiple events in the past weeks, including the 
Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange Trade Day where they met up with member contractors Royal Electric Company and Mark III Construction to help high school students explore the variety of career opportunities in the industry. 

Our team also attended the Valley High School Job Fair yesterday, check out all of the goodies they brought!

Join WECA's outreach team at the following upcoming events: 
  • 10/17 Career Tech Expo 2018- Fresno
  • 11/2 Pacific High School Career Day
11/15 Veteran's Employment Committee of San Diego Job and Resource Fair

Thursday, October 11, 2018   Four Online Solar Courses Offered in Partnership with Solar Energy International Your Employees Can

  These unique 6-week courses range from introductory level to advanced level training, helping you or your employees to explore the fundamentals of solar components, system architectures, and applications for PV systems to the inspection, commissioning, performance verification, and troubleshooting of PV systems. Students work through interactive online activities, power points, readings, quizzes, exercises, and homework, all available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the full duration of the course.
Students who complete these courses successfully will gain not only Electrician
Trainee/Continuing Education (ET/CE) hours for California through WECA, but also North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) training hours through SEI.

Successful completion of "Solar Electric Design and Installation" paired with "PV System Fundamentals" qualifies you to sit for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam.

With the need for highly trained PV electricians rapidly growing in California, WECA Curriculum Development Lead Mike Moyer believes "It's great that WECA is able to partner with SEI to offer another way for the WECA community to get solar training. Our apprenticeship program covers solar basics, our existing online self-paced courses "Solar Power for Electricians" and "Faultless Solar" take solar to the next level for Journeyman Electricians and Advanced Electrician Trainees, and now our partnership with SEI allows another level of training for these students, plus the opportunity for NABCEP certification."
To learn more about enrolling yourself or an employee in these courses through WECA (enrollment through WECA is necessary for any student desiring State of California Continuing Education or Electrician Trainee hours in addition to the NABCEP hours granted by SEI), please visit WECA's Solar Course Catalog. Act now to enroll your Electrician Trainees and Journeymen in courses starting October 1! November course dates also available now.

Thursday, October 11, 2018   Apprentice Spotlight: Dominick Henry

Meet Dominick Henry, a Fourth Year Commercial Electrician Apprentice with WECA and Member Contractor Helix Electric. He started becoming interested in building a career in the electrical trade after serving in the Marine Corps as a basic electrician. He says, "The WECA Apprenticeship program provides professional growth within my career. It allows me to go to work and school simultaneously without the financial burdens of college. The hands-on work experience and knowledge gained from classes has given me a solid foundation of what it takes to become a successful electrician. The apprenticeship provides more hands-on learning while obtaining real work experience in the field."

Dominick loves pursuing a Commercial Electrical apprenticeship because it "can make a positive impact on the community and I enjoy the heavy-duty work...Every day is a new learning experience." Instructor Rick Mortensen has been his teacher for all four years, and Dominick can't imagine being taught by anyone else, adding, "He makes learning relatable and applies the material to real life situations. His passion for the craft is evident, which makes it a great all-around learning experience." Dominick also wants to advise new apprentices to take advantage of the learning opportunity and adds that he enjoys working with his team members, saying, "My team trusts me with blueprints and knows that I can handle any task. My colleagues are very knowledgeable and uplifting, and make sure the job gets done in the safest way."

Working with Helix Electric has provided tremendous learning opportunities for Dominick's career growth. He adds, "Once I got indentured into WECA, they introduced me to a variety of different experiences and intricate job sites. I have gained a wealth of knowledge and useful skills in the field to have a successful career. I'm excited for the future with my company as a Journeyman. I'm ready for new challenges and more responsibilities as I move up in my career. I know if I put my mind to it I can accomplish anything."

Well said, Dominick! We hope to hear about your accomplishments as your career continues to flourish!

Thursday, October 11, 2018   WECA Member Handbook Update Available on Website

There is an updated Member Handbook available on the Member dashboard of WECA's website. To review this updated handbook, login to WECA's website with your user name and password and scroll down the right-side column under "resources."
The major change to the handbook includes the federal apprenticeship Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations, 29 CFR 30.3(b)(4) that mandate that anyone involved in apprenticeship training must participate in anti-harassment training. The training must be provided to all individuals including: apprentices, apprentice supervisors, forepersons, journey-workers, instructors, and other employees regularly working alongside apprentices, including management and administrative personnel.

WECA currently provides anti-harassment training to every WECA Apprentice. It is now required for you, as the employer, to ensure that all parties working with apprentices have participated in anti-harassment training.

If you have not already educated your workers in anti-harassment training, the US Department of Labor EEO has an interactive web-based self-directed training for employers to make available to all employees. Simply have your employees follow the steps below:
Step 1:
Read the Anti-Harassment Fact Sheet
Step 2:
View the Introduction to Anti-Harassment in Apprenticeship Training Programs and complete the quiz
Both resource links are available on WECA's website under Member Forms and Resources in the Approved to Train section, please feel free to use these resources to train your employees who will be supervising Apprentices.

Thursday, October 11, 2018   Check Your Mailboxes: It's Back to School Time for Your Electrician Trainees! January-March 2019 Co

It's that time again! Time to check your mailboxes for the latest WECA course catalog. Our January-March 2019 classes are now available, and filling up fast. In the catalog, you'll find plenty of course offerings for your Electrician Trainees, as they make their way through the path to certification, and also lots of options for your Journeymen who are up for their continuing education certification renewal. 
Can't wait? Okay, fine...you can download it here.
Or access our online course catalog for completely up-to-date course information, any time.

Friday, September 28, 2018   Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Mark Matias

Today we're highlighting an outstanding Electrician Trainee, Mark Matias, currently enrolled
 in WECA's GetWired Electrician Trainee program. After meeting his fiancé's father, who owns and operates an electrical company, Mark's interest in becoming an electrician was sparked. He says, "I didn't just want a position somewhere where a robot could replace me in
 ten years," so Mark began looking for convenient, yet informative online classes that fit his schedule. Many programs failed to offer Mark what he was looking for, but when he found the GetWired program it seemed almost "too good to be true; the schedule was perfect and the classes extremely informative."
Within a couple classes, Mark noticed how positive his experience was. "The fact that you can sit in your own home, relax in a comfortable environment compared to being nervous and going to a new school, I think, is one of the keys to WECA's success. You get to learn without the anxiety so you can focus more." His experience in the 101 class taught him "the basic fundamentals of the PIE chart and learning how to search through the Index of the NEC, which I think are key points in your "forever" knowledge of becoming an electrician." Learning in the hands-on labs also became a positive experience for Mark in that "once you actually perform a lab hands-on, compared to picturing it or listening or reading about it, it becomes more of a habit and a nature. And you need that especially for a job like this. Like they say, practice makes perfect!"
Mark has some great advice for potential Electrician Trainee students. "Be dependable; we have to be there to figure out the problem and fix it... it takes a lot of knowledge and common sense and it definitely requires motivation. If it was easy, everyone would do it."
Thanks for the words of wisdom, Mark!


Friday, September 28, 2018   WECA Apprentices: Annual Enrollment will be held October 15 - November 6, 2018

Benefits will be effective: December 1, 2018 through November 30, 2019
We are pleased to announce that we are adding some new plan enhancements that will be effective on December 1, 2018:

Anthem Blue Cross Dental
  • New annual maximum carryover feature added. Earn money for visiting the dentist; your unused rewards will carry over each year.
  • Composite fillings will now include posterior and front teeth.
Anthem Blue Cross Vision
  • Elective contact lens allowance increased to $150 (from $130).
  • Add, change or remove your dependent(s) in any of the following benefit options:
    • medical, dental & vision
    • medical & vision only
    • dental only
If you have any questions, please call WECA's insurance administrator Cindy Cormier at (916) 453-0112 Option 4 or email ccormier@goweca.com.

Friday, September 28, 2018   WECA Continues Hosting Ideal National Championship Qualifying Rounds

Join us on October 11 for the next 2018 Ideal National Championship qualifying round. Competitors have a chance to qualify for the Championship Weekend at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida--and did we mention that $500,000 in cash and prizes is also up for grabs?  
The next qualifying round at WECA HQ in Rancho Cordova is October 11, 12:30 pm to 5:30 pm!
The competition is open to:
  • Students: Apprentices and/or State-Registered Electrician Trainees
  • Journeymen
  • 3-person Student teams: Apprentices and/or Electrician Trainees
  • 3-person Journeymen teams
Visit Ideal Nationals to pre-register for this event, learn more about the qualifying task, and the National Championship. You can even watch a video of the qualifying activity each contestant (or team) will have to perform to earn a place at the National Championship. Walk-in participants are also welcome.

Friday, August 31, 2018   Instructor Spotlight: James Hall

Please welcome James Hall, Apprenticeship Instructor! After getting a Master of Science in Natural Resources Management and Wildlife Biology, James anticipated a very different career. But shortly after James completed his Masters, a friend offered him a position installing simple electrical systems, and the rest is history. Finding that he preferred the electrical field, he signed up to take the very first Get Wired course with WECA instructor Dan Bierly back in 2006. His successful progression through that program qualified him to join the WECA team as a part-time instructor by 2011. And now, he's joined WECA full time. He adds, "I really wanted to give back to the program that has provided me so much." James was also a tutor in college and a teaching assistant in graduate school, and teaching feels like a natural fit for him.
James and his wife moved to Sacramento in 2007, where James began commercial and industrial work. He was able to work on a wide variety of projects including commercial offices, retail, theaters, manufacturing, schools, and restaurants. For the past 6 ½ years, he's also been working at Aerojet Rocketdyne. James states, "I started as an industrial maintenance electrician; however, for the past year I was a construction superintendent for infrastructure and manufacturing construction projects on the plant."
James's teaching philosophy is collaborative. He says, "I prefer to engage with students as a facilitator or coach....I like to ask a lot of questions and have stories shared--both theirs and mine. My goal is not only to teach someone to install a given light fixture, but also to teach them to read a wiring diagram and the cut-sheet so they can install any light fixture." His advice for apprentices is: "The electrical field is wide open, and there is always something new to learn...view your time as an apprentice as an opportunity. Stay positive, patient, and be the one to volunteer."
So what keeps him engaged in the trade through the years? James says, "I am fascinated by electricity. Electricity is all around us, and an important part of so many things. It occurs in nature, it is in our bodies, we use it to travel, to think, to build things, and simply live." A wonderful point to share-welcome, James, and we wish you the very best of luck here with the WECA team!

Friday, August 31, 2018   Introducing "Service Technician - General Residential," WECA's online, self-paced course geared for

We've unveiled our online, self-paced course, which is also our first course specifically geared for Residential Electrical! 
"Service Technician - General Residential" is a 16-hour course geared toward residential electricians, or those training to become one, looking to become better service technicians by gaining the skill set required for diagnosing and troubleshooting common residential electrical issues as well as working with customers. This class includes the use of scenarios that simulate residential service calls to help train electricians in working with customers. Scenarios also cover best practices in utilizing the information provided by customers to help systematically diagnose problems, conduct tests, access a well-stocked service vehicle, replace defective equipment, and submit invoices to customers.
WECA's Senior Education Advisor and Curriculum Development Lead, Rick Labon, has designed the course to effectively teach students the proper methods and practices to succeed as service technicians. Labon explains, "There have been very few training resources out there for someone seeking the skills a residential electrician needs to become a successful service technician. That means, historically, residential electricians have had to rely upon trial-and-error learning, which is neither a safe nor economical way of acquiring the necessary skills. This "Service Technician - General Residential" course has been designed by me and WECA's subject matter experts to take the guess work out of what a residential electrician needs to know. We've replaced that guess work with knowledge gained from years of service expertise. All of the modules are based on tried-and-true methods which we teach through practice activities using real-world scenarios that residential electricians will actually find in the field."
Get more information and enroll yourself or an employee in this course here or by calling us at (877) 444-WECA.

Friday, August 31, 2018   WECA Labor Day Weekend Office Schedule

We wish you all a very happy Labor Day weekend! Our offices will close at 3 pm on Friday, August 31 and we'll be back to business as usual the morning of Tuesday, September 4th. 

Friday, August 31, 2018   Apprentice Spotlight: Michael Finner

Meet Michael Finner, fourth year Commercial Electrical Apprentice! Michael is working with Bergelectric Corporation, who also have many other WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentices. He says that working with fellow apprentices is a lot of fun, but they also challenge one another in knowledge and techniques daily. Michael adds, "I've been fortunate to work in many aspects of the trade with Berg: underground, deck work, slab-on-grade, rough-in, lighting control, trim and finish, minor troubleshooting, etc." Michael says that he is greatly looking forward to continuing his work with Bergelectric after graduation, adding, "They've invested a lot in my education and training which has vastly improved quality of life for my family. I look forward to returning the favor."

When Michael is at WECA's San Diego training facility, Rick Mortensen is his favorite instructor. He adds, "Rick's very patient. Even if a student doesn't understand a concept, he makes sure to break down the information until they understand, before we move on. His experience in the field pours out in the classroom. He has many, many tricks of the trade to pass on to students."

So why did he choose to join the electrical trades versus another educational avenue? Michael enjoys working with lighting controls, saying "I enjoy being able to study, understand and put together complicated systems. There's a feeling of accomplishment when things turn on and operate the way the customer expects." He comes from a family of tradesmen, and after time in the Marine Corps, Michael wanted a reliable income for his family. He says, "With WECA I get paid alongside my apprenticeship, versus working my way through college and piling up student loan debt."
Michael also has some great tips for being a successful apprentice with WECA: "Come with a great attitude, be ready to learn, and push yourself. There's a lot of information and it doesn't come easy to everyone. The instructors are patient, knowledgeable and willing to ensure you understand the material....this is a career, not just a paycheck. Invest yourself in your education and invest your money in quality tools."

Well said, Michael, and the very best of luck in your career!

Friday, August 31, 2018   Introducing "Voice Data Video Exam Preparation," an online, self-paced, exam preparation course!

We've unveiled our newest online, self-paced, VDV Exam Prep Course for California. 
"Voice Data Video Exam Preparation" is a 32-hour, self-paced course is geared toward experienced students who are interested in studying for the California Voice Data Video Technician Certification exam at their own pace. The class utilizes informative presentations and sample tests to help guide students through preparing for the VDV certification exam. Students will be instructed in methods for finding the answers to any exam question, improving their exam-taking speed, and gaining an overall greater understanding of their field through lessons focused on the NFPA 70, Ohms Law, Kirchhoff's Law, foundations of signal transmission, fiber optic theory, CCTV systems, audio theory, intrusion detection, and
access control, among others.

WECA Curriculum Development Manager Tom Thompson has designed the course
to effectively teach students the proper methods and practices to successfully pass the
VDV certification exam. Thompson explains, "There are no other online courses on the
market today that match the breadth and depth of this program. It not only covers all the topics included in the test, but it goes deeply into the relevant details of each system. It even teaches students how to quickly find answers to code questions using the NEC and familiarizes students with the terminology used in Low Voltage reference manuals."

Get more information and enroll yourself or an employee in this course here or by calling us at (877) 444-WECA. And don't forget: your "$25 off any course" member discount cards apply here, too!

Friday, August 31, 2018   Have a Look at Apprenticeship... Then Apply Online! New online application option launched

Check out these shots from recent apprenticeship classes at WECA! Our classrooms and lab facilities provide opportunities to reinforce the lessons students learn in the field, and vice versa. A WECA apprentice's school tuition costs are paid by the WECA Member Contractors who employ them. WECA Apprentices attend classes in an accelerated and intensive format consisting of full-time classroom training and hands-on labs for two consecutive weeks every five to seven months. Each two-week session is equal to one semester of classroom instruction. WECA's three state-and-federally-approved apprenticeship programs, Commercial Inside Wireman, Residential Wireman, and Low Voltage (Sound and Communication Installer: Voice Data Video and Fire Life Safety), are offered at three training facilities throughout the state of California: Sacramento Region, San Diego, and Riverside. Learn more about these three programs and access our new online application here.



Friday, August 31, 2018   WECA Seeks Qualified Part-Time Instructors!! Earn extra money: The teaching schedule works with your

Download our hiring flyer to share with your employees

WECA is currently hiring part-time instructors for night and weekend classes!
Are you an experienced and knowledgeable electrical professional, with at least one of the following qualifications?
  • Certified Residential or General Electrician with at least 5 years in the trade?
  • Current C10 Contractors license with at least 5 years in the trade?
  • Electrical engineering degree with some electrical trade experience?
  • Vocational teaching degree with previous experience teaching electrical code and theory (will require further evaluation on WECA's part of your knowledge and qualifications)?
  • Retired Electrician with 10 years of experience (will require further evaluation on WECA's part of your knowledge and qualifications)?
  • Maintenance electrician with 10 years of experience (will require further evaluation on WECA's part of your knowledge and qualifications)?
  • Electrician working for a non-C10 contractor with 7 years of experience (will require further evaluation on WECA's part of your knowledge and qualifications)?
- Are you an excellent communicator? 
- Do you have a passion for teaching, explaining, and sharing your knowledge with others?
- Do you know how to use a computer?
- Would you like the opportunity to teach from your own home computer*, if you have the skills, equipment and an internet connection that meets WECA's requirements?
- Would you like to be paid a starting rate of $35 per hour, with regular evaluation for performance-based raises?
If you answered "yes" to the questions above, please email your resume and a letter of interest to hr@goweca.com.
*Partial list of requirements in order to be able to teach from home two nights per week from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.:
  • A quiet room containing all equipment needed to teach
  • Reliable, high speed internet connection
Computer Requirements:
  • 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft® Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1; At least 2 GB RAM
  • Additional requirements for RAM, OS, and browser
Mac OS
  • 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor for Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, and 10.9
  • Additional requirements for RAM, OS, and browser

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