Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Apprenticeship News + Events

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   Back to School--Check Out What WECA Apprentices Are Up To!

It's that time of year again--back to school and hard at work for our WECA apprentices! We're proud of our apprentices for getting back into the swing of things and putting their noses to the grindstone, as always! You help make WECA the premier merit shop trade school that it is. Below, our studious third year commercial electrical apprentices use iPads to learn about commercial blueprint reading. We wish you all a fun and successful year ahead!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   GetWired! 101: The Perfect Course for Electrician Trainees Getting Started in the Trade

Extra Sessions Added for Fall!

Electrician Trainees: Don't miss out on GetWired! 101 this autumn session! We recently added three additional 101 course sessions to our ever-popular GetWired! course lineup for Fall 2019--and only one of these new course additions remains, so what are you waiting for? Sign up today! 

Our GW101 course--the first in our Basic Electrical 100 series--is perfect for electrician trainees just getting started in the trade and seeking an introduction to the theory of electricity, fundamental electrical laws, and on how the National Electrical Code governs the installation of electrical wiring and equipment.

Learn more and register for the course here. But hurry--seats are filling fast! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   Important Reminders about Supervision Requirements for WECA Apprentices

Please read this brief refresher and overview of Apprentice supervision requirements as they apply to our Apprentices:
  • All Commercial & Residential Apprentices must be supervised by a Certified Electrician or the C10 holder for the Company.
  • All Low Voltage Apprentices must be supervised by a qualified journey-level technician.
  • The supervision requirement for all WECA's Apprenticeship programs is 1 Apprentice to 1 Journey-person.  A Certified Journey-person may supervise 1 Apprentice and 1 Electrician Trainee.
  • The supervising journey-person must lay out the work for the day, ensure the apprentice has proper instruction / training on how to perform the task and that the apprentice is able to perform the task safely
  • The supervision journey-person does not have to stand over the apprentices shoulder but must be on the same job site and available to the apprentice at all times.
  1. If there is no supervising journey-person on the job site with you or if you feel you are not being properly supervised you should contact your company's human resources department and then WECA if the issue is not resolved.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, by email at wflanagan@goweca.com
 or by phone at 916-453-0112 extension 145. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   WECA's Student Referral Service Can Help Connect You to a Great WECA Member Contractor Today!

Are you currently out of work, as well as a current WECA student, or a WECA grad? Try out our Student Referral Service today! This service is a conduit to introduce our current Electrician Trainees, Journeyman Continuing Education students, and WECA Grads to our Member Contractors. 

There is no charge to Student or Member to use our Student Referral Service. WECA's Student Referral Service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff provide hands-on referrals, taking some of that work off your plate.  

This is a free, no-obligation service open to all workers seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 

Contact Ana Lopez, ET/CE Program Manager, at alopez@goweca.com to sign up for our Student Referral Service.
You can also Search Open Positions Today!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   A Round of Applause for WECA Alumni and Member Contractor Windell Pascascio, Jr.!

Recipient of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce's 2019 Small Business of the Year Award windell

2013 WECA Commercial Apprenticeship graduate and current WECA Member Contractor Windell Pascascio, Jr. of Fresno-based Imperial Electric Service poses with WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, Wendy Flanagan, at the Central Valley Business Diversity Expo in Fresno on April 12, 2019.

Please join us in congratulating Windell on winning the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce's 2019 Small Business of the Year award! Congratulations, Windell! We love to see alumni and Member Contractors such as you succeed, and eagerly await your future accomplishments. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   Registration Links Coming Soon for WECA's NorCal and SoCal Open Houses!

Prospective Apprentice? Save the Date! 

Registration Links Coming Soon for WECA's NorCal and SoCal Open Houses to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week in November! date

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   Apprentices--Staying on Top of Your Health Just Got Easier with Anthem's New Sydney App

Frequently asked questions about how to use the new Sydney Mobile App and Digital Enhancements provided by Anthem: 

Q: How is Anthem's digital strategy changing to better support me? 

A: It's using technology-Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science-to deliver a more powerful web and mobile experience. It also includes Sydney, our new mobile app. Sydney builds on Anthem Anywhere's features and offers a more personal and human touch to the experience. And it'll expand and evolve over time.

Q: When do I get to meet Sydney? 
A: September 1, 2019. 

Q:   Will I have to download the Sydney app? 
A: Yes. Anthem Anywhere leaves app stores on September 1, 2019. If you have Anthem Anywhere on your devices after that, the app will still work-but you'll get in-app alerts to download Sydney. 

Q: Will I have to re-register on the new app? 
A: If you use Anthem Anywhere today, you won't have to re-register. You'll use the same login and password from Anthem Anywhere. If it's your first time using our mobile app, and you've already registered on anthem.com, you can use that login and password with Sydney. 

Q: What can I do with Sydney? 
A: You'll have access to the features you have now in Anthem Anywhere, plus some new ones. Chatbot technology will get you answers to common questions right away. Sydney can also match you up with health-care professionals, and show you what to expect when I comes to costs. 

Q: What are some of the new personalized features? 
A: A new Health Dashboard brings together personalized program recommendations and information about wellbeing. Other features include support for health goals, integration for health-care devices and health trackers, and more.

Q: Will I still have access to the Online Wellness Toolkit? 
A: Yes, and Sydney will also offer these features in its new Health Dashboard. You'll be able to access the Dashboard from your secure web and mobile home screens.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019   It's That Time of Year Again--Commercial Apprentice Open Enrollment Runs from Oct. 15 - Nov. 1

WECA's annual open enrollment period for Commercial Apprentices will take place from October 15 - November 6 for changes to become effective on December 1. If your preferred method of contact is by email prior to October 15, you will receive an email with open enrollment information along with the annual notices that include Medicare Part D and instructions if you are adding a dependent not already enrolled to the group health plans.

For those Commerical Apprentices that have their preferred method of contact by mail, you will receive your open enrollment packet by mail or you may call and request that I email the packet to you.

WECA is also mailing out postcards as a reminder of our annual open enrollment; these will be mailed within the next few weeks.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Cindy Cormier, Insurance Administrator, by phone at (877) 444-9322 ext. 117 or by email at ccormier@goweca.com.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019   LowVolt BICSI Courses Are Back! Explore Offerings at WECA's Rancho Cordova HQ from Oct. 28 - Dec. 20

WECA Instructor John Arias (front right, in the grey shirt) listens intently to the BICSI instructor during the April 15, 2019 session of the BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Course.

Low Voltage BICSI classes are headed back to WECA just in time for fall--and we strongly encourage those interested to enroll early, in order to secure seats.

Interested in enrolling in a BICSI course? See below for the upcoming Fall 2019 dates and to learn more about the courses. Enrollments are directly with BICSI at the links below. Look for "Rancho Cordova" in the location sidebar for each course. 

DD102: Designing Telecommunications Distribution Systems Oct. 28 - Nov. 1

Learn how to design distribution systems in this comprehensive workshop. DD102 is an intensive, hands-on course focused on the design of structured cabling systems. Offering hands-on skill building activities from day one, this knowledge-intensive course instructs you in real-world tasks, preparing you for design roles outside of the classroom. Assignments from the award-winning Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM) augment your learning, allowing you to prepare questions for the classroom. Learn more here.

IN101: BICSI Installer Training Nov. 18 - 22

This course is designed to provide entry-level installers with the background, knowledge and basic skills needed to function safely and effectively as part of a cabling installation team. The BICSI Installer 1 Training course is the introductory course of the Installation Program series. Learn more here.

IN225: BICSI Installer 2, Copper Training Dec. 2 - 6

The course begins with an overview of professionalism, copper transmission principles and general safety practices associated with working with copper cabling. A significant amount of course time will then be spent on BICSI best practices for the installation, termination and testing of copper cable. Learn more here.

IN250: BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Dec. 9 - 13

This course will open with an overview of professionalism, fiber transmission principles and the general safety practices related to optical fiber cabling. A significant amount of course time will then be spent on installation, splicing, termination and testing of optical fiber cable. Learn more here.
TE350: BICSI Technician Training Dec. 16 - 20

A significant amount of course time will be spent on troubleshooting copper and optical fiber cable installations. In addition, this course will cover project planning and implementation at the technician level. Additional topics will include site safety, site surveys, blueprint reading, bonding and grounding (earthing) and firestopping practices. Learn more here. 

These classes are open to the public. Additionally, they are rarely offered in Northern California, so we encourage our apprentices, electrician trainees, and journeymen to take advantage of this convenient opportunity.

Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these classes and to enroll, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search course by location for "Rancho Cordova". 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019   Giving a Warm WECA 'Welcome Back!' to New Lead Instructor for Our ET/CE Program!

It's all come full circle for Galen Eckert, WECA's new Lead Instructor for its Electrician Trainee and Continuing Education programs.

Eckert - a longtime Sacramento resident originally hailing from Cleveland, OH - spent a year in WECA's Electrician Trainee program before joining the Apprenticeship program and graduating as the Commercial Apprenticeship Salutatorian of the class of 2013.

After graduating from WECA, Eckert spent "the majority of my career working for PB Electric in Rancho Cordova, where our main focus was industrial work like water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, lift stations, pump stations, newspaper presses, as well as projects for SMUD."

Though Eckert enjoyed working in the field, there was a yearning to "come home".

"My interest in working for WECA began as a student, because being an instructor 'on the other side of things' intrigued me," said Eckert. "Plus, I always enjoyed teaching and training apprentices and co-workers in the field and thought, 'Why not make it a full-time job?"

As Lead Instructor, Eckert teaches, sets up, and manages the GetWired! labs and its corresponding materials; works with instructors to resolve any issues that may arise; mentors his fellow instructors to be the best instructors possible; helps run the typical day-to-day aspects of the program; and acts as a confidant for instructors and students alike.

"When working in the field, I always took great pride in my hands-on work and my part in creating a perfect finished project," said Eckert. "I now look to take my knowledge of the trade and pass it on to future electricians in hopes of helping them achieve their goals, maximize their potential, and become some of the best electricians around."

Continues Eckert, "My personal philosophy is simple. I am honest, straightforward, and hardworking. And I'm always giving 100 percent to produce a product I can be proud of."

In his personal time, Eckert enjoys building and driving his hot rods, and taking them to car shows and the race track. In addition to that, Eckert likes golfing, fishing, hiking, and stand-up comedy. And last - but not least - Eckert is a Clevelander at heart, stating that he is a "huge fan of all the Cleveland sports teams as well as The Ohio State Buckeyes as Cleveland is my true home."

Welcome home, Galen. We're thrilled to have you back!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019   Harness the Power of the Sun with WECA's Solar Courses; Some With SEI & Mike Holt

Are you interested in broadening your knowledge to focus on solar? We're seeing a lot of opportunities on the horizon for electrical contractors--expand your skill set and make yourself even more valuable to these employers! 

Corporate and consumer interest in solar power is burgeoning, and opportunities for electrical contractors in performing this work are growing.

Get a leg up on the competition with WECA's self-paced online solar courses offered in partnership with Solar Energy International and Mike Holt.

Explore the offerings from our solar course catalog below, and enroll today to join or stay up-to-date with this thriving industry. 

Faultless Solar (32-hour course)

This course combines two of WECA's popular courses, "Faultless" and "Solar Power for Electricians", into one convenient 32-hour package. Learn about how to coordinate information in specific NEC articles, so you 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 you learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Solar Photovoltaic systems. Enroll today!

PVOL101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) (60-hour course)
This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is for students who want to learn the fundamentals and gain a solid understanding of various components, system architectures, and applications for PV systems. Successful completion of this course results in State of California Journeyman Continuing Education or Electrician Trainee hours, and also counts as one of the two courses required to qualify students to sit for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam. Enroll today!
PVOL202: Advanced PV System Design and the NEC (Grid-Direct) (60-hour course)

This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is for students who want to take a deep dive into National Electrical Code 2017 standards as well as other best practices that pertain to designing grid-direct PV systems. 
Enroll today!

PVOL203: PV System Fundamentals (Battery-Based) (40-hour course)

This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is for students who want to focus on the fundamentals of battery-based PV systems. Components such as batteries, charge controllers, and battery-based inverters are covered in detail, along with safety and maintenance considerations unique to battery-based systems, load analysis, battery bank configuration, and the electrical integration of the system. Enroll today!

 PVOL350: Tools and Techniques for Operations and Maintenance (40-hour course) 

This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is an advanced online training targeted towards solar professionals who want to take their technical skills to the next level. This course is geared towards training PV technicians to safely and effectively perform operations and maintenance (O&M) tasks including inspections, commissioning, performance verification, and troubleshooting.  Enroll today!

The PVOL101 through PVOL203 courses are also offered in Spanish. Learn more here.

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

Learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Photovoltaic systems.  Enroll today!

Understanding 2014 NEC Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Systems Home Study (DVD Based) (16-hour course) 

This 16-hour course is based on Mike Holt's "Illustrated Guide to Understanding NEC Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Systems, based on the 2014 NEC" textbook and DVDs. 
 Enroll today!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019   Start or Continue Your Electrician Trainee Certificate Journey; Enroll in Falll GetWired! Courses

Apprenticeship isn't the only educational path to certification in California--and WECA's GetWired! courses make up our Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, another way to qualify to sit for the certification exam in California!

To learn more about or enroll in WECA's Fall 2019 GetWired! courses, view the Electrician Trainee Course Catalog here. 

Fall courses are open for online enrollment, and of course you can also enroll over the phone at (877) 444-9322, in person, or by email. Many GetWired! courses fill fast; enroll early to secure your seat.

If you have any questions regarding a particular course, please call (877) 444-9322 or email us at info@goweca.com.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019   Around HQ in August: Instructor John Arias Demonstrates Exothermic Welding

WECA instructor John Arias demonstrates exothermic welding for the cameras during filming of an educational demo this week. 

Exothermic welding is the permanent joining of two metals by an exothermic reaction that is not susceptible to loose connections, corrosion or other problems associated with mechanical connections. 

Exothermic welding is utilized in the commercial sector for attaching to the grounding electrode and building steel among other things, and the low voltage sector for attachment to the telecommunication bonding infrastructure.

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