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Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Please join us in giving a hearty congratulations to the WECA Southern California Class of 2021!

Read all about our long-awaited in-person graduation ceremony here.

Congratulations, graduates!

WECA held its Southern California Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2021 on Saturday, August 21 at the Falkner Winery in Temecula, and the event was a lively success!

Attendees were treated to scenic vineyard views, a delicious spread, swag from WECA Industry Partners such as Milwaukee Tool, and a long-awaited celebration of their hard work and dedication, with WECA's Tom Thompson on emcee duty.

"We are thankful that we were able to celebrate our graduates' accomplishments this year," says Thompson. "Not only did we celebrate the 2021 graduates, but we were also joined by and had the opportunity to honor some of last year's graduates who missed out due to their graduation being cancelled by COVID-19. It was a wonderful evening with everyone in great spirits from beginning to end. At times, the excitement and joy in the room was palpable. There were also moments of reflection, focused on gratitude for those who have supported our graduates on their journey, and thoughts of the future and how to prepare for the next chapter in their career. Respects were paid to WECA family members who are no longer with us: Low Voltage instructor Steve Kappes and students Rodrigo Carrillo and Andrew Kohlmann, through a moment of silence. In addition, everyone working onsite and pre-event planning, gave their all to ensure that this graduation flowed seamlessly and was special for our 2020 and 2021 graduates. Graduates who have dealt with and adapted to very peculiar and difficult circumstances over the past year and a half. We are so proud of each and every one of you!"
Neil Pesarillo, a Low Voltage instructor at WECA's San Diego training facility, concurred by saying "I noticed many attendees having fun and enjoying themselves; definitely a good vibe all around. The crowd really took to the messages of congratulations and gratitude shared by Tom on behalf of the whole WECA team."

Congratulations to all our Southern California Graduates, and we look forward to seeing all that you accomplish in the future!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Congratulations to the WECA Northern California Class of 2021!

Read about how we celebrated our graduates at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters

WECA extends a hearty congratulations to the WECA Northern California Class of 2021, who celebrated their graduation at WECA’s Rancho Cordova headquarters on Saturday, August 28th.

The graduation, held in a shaded and cooled tent outside, yielded an impressive turnout of 163 guests (including lots of cute babies!).

It was gratifying to see so many graduates bringing their families along, enjoying delicious food and drink on WECA’s grounds and also giving them tours of WECA’s training facilities! We were also pleased to treat graduates to swag duffle bags stuffed with goodies from Industry Partners like Milwaukee Tool, IDEAL Industries, and Klein Tools, and to the sharp wit of WECA Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager Jimmie Slemp, who served as emcee.

"Graduation was amazing. It was fun to see the staff and students all work together, under difficult circumstances, to celebrate and showcase all of the graduates' dedication and hard work over the past years!", says Galen Eckert, WECA's Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Program Online Education Manager.

Wendy Flanagan, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, also says that "Everyone was excited to be there and celebrating the graduates of 2020 and 2021. There were many babies and young children there; I love seeing the families that are started while they are in their Apprenticeship. And one of the graduates--who could not bring his baby--held up a poster board with a picture of his baby when his [the graduate's] name was called and everyone clapped."

Also in attendance was Glen Forman, the Deputy Chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. It was great to see Glen come out to support our graduates! All in all, the event was a success, and the steadfast support that our graduates receive from their loved ones, employers, instructors, sponsors and other electrical industry stakeholders was evident.

Eckert concurs, giving "A shout-out to all the supportive family members and friends of our graduates, who we all know are a huge help behind the scenes, keeping the family dynamic going as well as supporting our students. Congratulations to everyone involved!"

Congratulations, everyone! We are proud of your hard work and dedication!


Tuesday, August 31, 2021   We couldn't have pulled it off without the support of our generous sponsors!

Thank you to the following sponsors for supporting the WECA Class of 2021 graduations:

Volts Level Sponsors

(Commercial Division)

Amps Level Sponsors

(Low Voltage Division)

Watts Level Sponsors

Ohms Level Sponsors


Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Experience the WECA Southern California Class of 2021 graduation ceremony through this video!

2021 WECA Southern California Graduation

Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Now check out the WECA Northern California Class of 2021 graduation ceremony video!

2021 WECA Northern California Graduation Event

Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Extra, extra: read our WECA Class of 2021 graduate spotlights!

Robert Castro, Sr. and Robert Castro, Jr.

At WECA, it’s not uncommon to have students going through programs with their siblings (like the Grissom brothers, all Commercial Apprentices) or following in the footsteps of relatives working as electricians or electrical contractors (like Carroll and Mark Mendenhall, the father-son duo behind WECA Member Contractor Mendenhall Electric). However, WECA has never had a father-son pair go through and graduate from their Apprenticeship program at the same time! But Robert Castro, Sr., and Robert Castro, Jr.—both 2021 WECA Southern California Commercial Electrical graduates hailing from our Riverside training facility—have made WECA history.  

Prior to entering the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program and apprenticing with WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric, both Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. worked for a small pest control company alongside their respective son and brother, Elijah, also a WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice! Once Elijah started with WECA, it wasn’t long before Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. followed.  

“Being a commercial electrician is a great-paying job with a future. I had different jobs before that didn’t really go anywhere,” says Robert Sr. 

Meanwhile, Robert Jr. says that “This apprenticeship has put me in a much better position than before I joined it. I have a much more stable job and make a much more comfortable wage as well. I also am in a trade that can take me almost anywhere in the country if I needed to move; I am very grateful to have had this experience. Plus, they [my father and brother] told me how great it was. I thought the program had great opportunities and I was excited to learn a new trade as well.”  

Though Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. went through their Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program through the WECA Riverside training facility, they unfortunately did not attend classes together due to Robert Sr. having started his apprenticeship program six months prior to Robert Jr. Both father and son, however, say that Keith Smart was their favorite instructor.  

“Keith is very thorough, clear and knowledgeable,” says Robert Sr. 
“He was very knowledgeable about the trade and always had an answer for any question. He was always in a great mood and was also relatable and fun to talk with. He taught us lots of useful things we used in the classroom and out in the field as well,” says Robert Jr. 

Though they weren’t able to partake in classroom instruction together, Robert Sr. and Jr. made up for it by having the opportunity to work together on the job for their employer, Helix Electric. 

“We’re a close family, so spending that extra time together at work and carpooling was nice,” says Robert Sr. 

And on the job, both Robert Sr. and Jr. reported having similar things they most enjoyed.  

“My favorite thing that I learned during my apprenticeship was working on a hospital generator system; it was a great learning experience,” says Robert Sr.  

Likewise, Robert Jr. says that “My most memorable job was at a hospital in Loma Linda. It was a 16-story children’s hospital and I did a majority of my work there on a floor that only had air handlers. There were 30-plus handlers the size of shipping containers on the floor, and I found it very fun to bring the power and see them turned on.” 

Robert Sr. says that after graduation, he plans to stay with Helix Electric to continue his education and move up in the company.  

Robert Jr., meanwhile, says he wants to learn more about the trade and become a better journeyman, and use his skills and knowledge when he moves out of state.  

Robert Jr. advises that current and future apprentices “Should stay focused in class and in the field and always have a positive attitude. It is worth all the work you put in. And, this is one of the best opportunities you can take advantage of. Stay determined and learn from the smartest and best students and workers you come into contact with, too.”

Southern California Commercial Electrical Valedictorian Donald Williams

Being a Commercial Electrician can take you to unexpected places. For 2021 Southern California Commercial Electrical Graduate and Valedictorian Donald Williams, it literally took him to SeaWorld, where he works as an electrician. 

“I am touching and doing things that I have never done. It is exciting and full of learning opportunities. I am also now able to use my knowledge to help animals and make sure they are taken care of,” says Williams. 

But before Williams got to spend his days in the presence of sea creatures, he was working warehouse and retail jobs until he became an Electrician Trainee and then a Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA. 

“I started with WECA as an Electrician Trainee in the GetWired 101 course,” says Williams. “Halfway through that, I became an indentured Apprentice, finished up the 101 course, and started my Apprenticeship.” 

Williams apprenticed with two member contractors during his time with WECA; first Bergelectric, and then he finished out his Apprenticeship with Northwest Edison. Both employers—coupled with his classroom learning at WECA—introduced him to many aspects of the trade.  

“Everything from underground to estimating and project engineering. My on-the-job training was very extensive. The on-the-job training taught me to overcome and work through the stressful situations that accompany construction. At WECA, I was introduced to motors and motor controls and having the hands-on training in that from WECA got me hired. WECA gave me a career and a way to support my wife and three kids,” says Williams.
Williams says that he was able to become the Commercial Electrical Valedictorian of the Southern California Class of 2021 by shooting for the top from day one.  

“I made sure to ask questions with things I didn’t understand,” says Williams. “I listened and took notes to refer to. I also helped others who didn’t understand and in return it solidified what I already knew.” 

Williams also says that “Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. The willingness to own up to and learn from those mistakes is what separates the average electrician from the best electricians. Listen to learn, not to respond. It’s also okay not to know something, but always ask questions and write it down if you need to.” 

Though Williams is tenacious and insightful, he also credits his success to his wife, to WECA’s San Diego instructional team, and to 2021 Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Salutatorian Justin Salter. 

Says Williams. “I want to give a shout-out to Justin Salter, the salutatorian, who provided friendly competition and was someone I was able to bounce ideas off of. He was always open to answering questions and had no problem telling me when I was wrong. And to my wife, for dealing with the sometimes long hours and long drives I had to take when I was working. She’s always been super supportive. I knew I always had a loving home to come to after a long day at work. There’s many others I could give shout-outs to like my foreman, project managers, and journeymen, but I’ve got to keep this short.” 

Now that Williams has graduated from WECA—as the Commercial Electrical Valedictorian for the Southern California Class of 2021 to boot—he says that one day he would love to teach and give his knowledge to others so they can be successful like he has been. 

Southern California Commercial Electrical Salutatorian Justin Salter

“WECA really puts your life on track to succeed,” says Justin Salter, 2021 Southern California Commercial Graduate and Salutatorian. “And I truly believe the WECA program is fantastic. When you first start out, five years seems like a very long time. However, with the combination of fantastic healthcare, regular raises and more—it’s not many fields in life where you can get paid a good wage while being formally trained in your chosen career. Coming out of it, making the kind of money electricians make while being debt-free—I know many of my friends who went to college instead regret going that route because of the massive hole they now have to climb out of. It’s a very good career option.”

Salter, who spent his Apprenticeship with Bergelectric, says that being with Bergelectric has been a life changing experience for him.

“I haven’t regretted it for a second. I went from a dead-end job to a sky’s the limit career. I’m now almost six years in and feel like I’m just getting started. I have more opportunities now than I had before, and a ladder to climb!”, says Salter.

Salter also says that WECA’s education prepared him for his career by making him take his education seriously and pushing for opportunities at Bergelectric.

“I found myself in a leadership role and making decisions on the job daily,” says Salter. “I was very pleasantly surprised at how prepared I was to make choices. Whether it was sizing wire for long pulls and doing voltage drop and derating calcs, sizing fuses for RTU’s, or determining ground and bonding throughout the building…I felt capable of either easily knowing the answer or knowing how to find the answer. It was a huge confidence boost to know that I was capable of making these determinations and it was a huge part of being prepared for my career of choice.”

While with WECA, Justin completed his in-classroom learning at our San Diego training facility. “I consider my classes with Tom Thompson and then Talon Pobuda to be invaluable…I always appreciated insights while using their real-world experience to what we were learning and how it would apply to us in the field. This added a depth of understanding we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and labs and hands-on work during class was invaluable to applying to what we were being taught,” says Salter.

Salter believes that one of the most important factors in doing well at WECA is truly taking your education seriously.

“Not just going through the motions to get through the class and gathering enough information to try to take your journeyworker test,” says Salter. “It’s important to really try and understand what we’re being taught and strive to understand it better with each class. To ask questions when you don’t understand and try to apply what you’re learning in the field. I think a good mechanical aptitude is helpful to jump-starting your career. While it is a skill that can be learned, it definitely helps to progress your career if you’re handy going into it.”

Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Graduate Drew Sisson

Bowling led 2021 Southern California Low Voltage Graduate Drew Sisson to WECA and a career as a Low Voltage Technician.

“It all started with a friend I knew from bowling who offered me a job,” says Sisson. “He started my path on the career I now have.”

Sisson, who attended the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program at WECA’s San Diego training facility and apprenticed with WECA Member Contractors Tri Signal Integration and Bergelectric, says that his WECA experience was enjoyable and allowed him to meet many good people that he continues to talk to today.

“Neil [Pesarillo], my instructor, was great and made it not seem like going to school. A WECA education prepared me in a way which challenged me to think critically. Most importantly, it prepared me to pass my certifications which are becoming more and more important in the industry, due to the fact that prevailing wage jobs are now requiring certified people.”

Sisson continues, saying that “WECA provided me with a career. I had worked many jobs and still could not say I had an actual career. It may not have been my original choice of what I wanted to be or do, but I have work every day and I make good money now.”

Meanwhile, Sisson says that his on-the-job training with employers Tri Signal Integration and Bergelectric were good experiences.

“It’s like with any new job, you have to learn what you are doing and it is up to you to absorb as much as information as you can,” says Sisson. “Doing this will only benefit you and give you recognition, allowing you to rise faster in the field. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and hustle. You won’t learn anything or be taught anything if you don’t show you are willing and eager to learn. Respect is a huge thing in this field, and you won’t be taught [on-the-job] if people don’t think you are worth it.”

Reflecting upon his time with WECA, Sisson says to “Pay attention to what the instructor is saying and relax. Don’t overthink it and simplify everything. It may seem like a lot with the code books, but don’t overcomplicate it. Work hard and enjoy your time at WECA. Think of it as a vacation and not school and you will enjoy it.”

Now that he’s graduated, Sisson says that he plans to continue to get more certifications to try and progress and grow in the field.

But there’s one person that he couldn’t have done all this without.

“I want to give a shout-out to my girlfriend Amanda, whom I love the most."

Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Graduate Garrett Wallace

2021 Southern California Low Voltage Apprentice graduate Garrett Wallace says that if people are interested in becoming Low Voltage Technicians, “WECA is the best way to help your career.”

“I went to WECA for three years [while apprenticing with Bergelectric] to do the Low Voltage classes,” says Wallace. “It was a great experience and flew by. WECA gave me an amazing career and helped over the last few years to be better at my job.”

Wallace says that the WECA program helped prepare him for his career by “Helping me understand how certain systems work and helped us understand how to go through the code book. Being able to navigate the code book really helps us out a lot in the field to make sure everything is up to code.”

Additionally, Wallace says that current and future Low Voltage Apprentices should work hard in class and make sure they learn in the best way possible to navigate the code books, and always make sure to study for tests and take lots of notes.

Wallace also gives his employer, Bergelectric, rave reviews.

“Working with Bergelectric has helped me out a lot because everyone I work with helped me be better,” says Wallace. “Bergelectric helped me do things the correct way and always answered any questions I had. My on-the-job training has helped out a lot with being better at my job. Over the last few years, I have learned so much by being on-the-job and learning more every day.”

In fact, Wallace plans to stay on with Bergelectric now that he has graduated.

“I plan to move up at Bergelectric and become a foreman and keep getting better at my job by learning new things and bettering myself. I plan on also getting a couple fire alarm certifications and continuing to learn more about the code book.”

Wallace also extends shout-outs to “Bergelectric for hiring me and helping me through my career.” He also thanks his instructor, Neil Pesarillo from WECA’s San Diego training facility, because “he helped all of us so much and was always willing to answer all our questions. And I would also like to thank my fiancée for being supportive and always pushing me to be better.

Northern California Double-Program Graduate Autumn DeChaine

It’s not everyday that WECA gets to graduate an Apprentice who has succeeded in not just one—but two!—Apprenticeship programs. That’s the case with 2021 Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Autumn DeChaine, who also graduated (as Valedictorian!) from WECA’s Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in 2014.

“I’m really glad that I chose to graduate from the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program before joining the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program,” says DeChaine. “It added value to my career as an electrician and gave me a good foundation before going into the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program.”

DeChaine says that the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program and the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program are similar in that they both follow the WECA structure of class time and homework, but obviously differ in terms of the curriculum.

“The main difference between working as a Low Voltage Apprentice and a Commercial Electrical Apprentice is that as a Low Voltage Apprentice, you are responsible for knowing one or two systems (fire life safety or voice data video). As an electrician, you are on the job from the very beginning and you are responsible for all the electrical systems,” says DeChaine.

DeChaine says that her favorite part of the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program was going back to work after time in the classroom and integrating what she learned.

“I also enjoyed the camaraderie of going to school with the same people year after year and supporting each other,” says DeChaine. “As far as the curriculum, I loved learning motor controls and relay logic.”

Now that DeChaine has completed both programs, she says that she still has a lot to learn and plans on running bigger projects in the future.

And, DeChaine adds that she has been with her company, Vanden Bos Electric, for nine years and still loves it there. DeChaine says she plans to incorporate all her education and work on both fire life safety and electrical systems.

“I just completed my first project as a foreman. There is a lot incorporated in running projects that you don’t think about as an Apprentice or Journeyman; I learned a lot and am optimistic about my future with Vanden Bos Electric,” says DeChaine.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Low Voltage Apprenticeship graduates can seek college credits for program completion at WECA!

The Details

WECA has a big announcement! Our Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program has received college credit recommendations from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service).

This benefit provides WECA low voltage apprentices the ability to gain access to college credit for completion of this three-year apprenticeship program by using the credit recommendation(s) set forth by NCCRS. The Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program joins WECA's Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship programs, which each previously received college credit recommendations from NCCRS in 2018.

"We’re gratified to receive this college credit recommendation for our Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program, which now joins our Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship Programs in giving our apprenticeship graduates a route towards receiving substantial college credits for the programs they’ve already completed at WECA,” said Terry Seabury, WECA’s Executive Director and CEO. “We appreciate the external validation that our comprehensive, competency-based curriculum featuring skilled teaching by credentialed instructors and technicallyadvanced, hands-on labs is of equivalent rigor to courses held at a traditional four-year college or university.”

"NCCRS is pleased to recommend college credit for WECA’s Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program,” NCCRS Director Lisa Sax Mahoney said. "Through our professional evaluations, we support the recognition of high-quality workforce training programs delivered by qualified organizations across the country."

Founded in 1973 by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), located in Albany, New York, is an organization that evaluates and establishes college credit recommendations for courses offered by government, industry, and other noncollegiate sponsors.

NCCRS collaborates with more than 1,500 organizations and institutions of higher education across the United States and beyond. NCCRS member organizations include state government agencies, apprenticeship sponsors, corporations, and community and faith-based organizations. A few longstanding members include the City of New York Police Department (NYPD), the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), and Consolidated Edison. Since its inception, NCCRS has evaluated and recommended college credit for more than 5,200 courses, exams, and educational programs enabling individuals to gain access to college credit for successful completion of qualified learning.
Learn more about NCCRS and view their college credit recommendations for WECA here.

Using This Benefit: A Guide for our Apprentices and Graduates 

Q: Who is eligible?

A: Any graduates of WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in the Class of 2021, or beyond. (Any graduates of WECA's Commercial or Residential Electrical Apprenticeships since September of 2013 are eligible for those programs. (NCCRS granted eligibility for those programs going back five years, and evaluated WECA's Commercial and Residential programs in Autumn of 2018.)

Q: So WECA apprentice grads automatically have college credits?

A:  No. NCCRS makes college credit recommendations. (From NCCRS:
A college credit recommendation is an academic advisement about the comparability of a learning experience to college-level instruction, such as undergraduate or graduate course work, the amount of credit that may be awarded, and areas where credit could apply. The credit recommendations are intended to guide college officials as they consider awarding credit to persons who have successfully completed NCCRS evaluated learning experiences. College credit recommendations are not actual college credit because the New York State Board of Regents does not award college credit. Through the results of the NCCRS evaluations, however, the Board of Regents encourages colleges and universities to consider accepting the credit recommendations.)

Q: How Does Acceptance of College Credit Recommendations work?

A: It is up to the college or university to choose whether to grant college credits, how many, and in what subjects, for completion of a WECA program. NCCRS recommends specific credit amounts and subjects. College and university admissions departments should reference NCCRS' WECA listing at http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors for specific recommendations. NCCRS recommends up to 30 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Low Voltage Electrical program, up to 66 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Commerical Electrical program, up to 40 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Residential Electrical program. 

Q: How Do WECA Commercial, Residential, and Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship Graduates Use This Benefit?

A: Apprentices grads should:
1. Identify the college or university they wish to ask to accept a credit recommendation from NCCRS for work completed at WECA. (A list of colleges and universities who have previously participated with NCCRS is here: http://www.nationalccrs.org/colleges-universities. Seeing a college or university on this list is a promising sign that they will consider NCCRS' recommendation, but is not a guarantee. Further, just because a college or university is not yet shown on the list does not mean the apprentice grad shouldn't request that they consider the credit recommendation.)
2. Work with their admissions advisor at their college or university of choice to learn the process for seeking college credits for their WECA Commercial, Residential, or Low Voltage Electrical program completion. The college or university may refer to this as their PLA (prior learning assessment) process or policy. The applicant should share NCCRS' WECA credit recommendation 
http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors with the decision-makers at their college or university.
3. Request a transcript from WECA as requested by their college or university. Email apregistrar@goweca.com with transcript requests.
4. If the applicant encounters problems with their transfer credit request, they can contact NCCRS so that NCCRS can advocate on the applicant's behalf.

Q: What about the Electrician Trainee Program?

A: WECA is currently evaluating demand for college credit recommendations for its Electrician Trainee program.

Q: What if I still have questions?

?A: Please call us at 1-877-444-9322 and we'll do our best to help you out.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Electrician Trainee Advisory: ? Seats in Session 4 (Oct-Dec 2021) GetWired Courses Filling Fast

Attention Journeymen and Electrician Trainees: Our Fall 2021 (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31) course catalog is available on our website, and classes are filling fast with many already closed to further enrollments, so be sure to enroll ASAP to get your spot!

View the Electrician Trainee course catalog here.

Jump to the Journeyman continuing education course catalog here. 

You can also enroll over the phone at (877) 444-9322 , in person at our Rancho Cordova training facility, or by email at info@goweca.com.

Don't wait to secure your seat--classes going fast!

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Commercial Apprentices: if you haven't completed your open enrollment form, please do so now!

Commercial Apprentices:

If you have not completed the United Healthcare (UHC) enrollment form please do so now and return to Cindy Cormier at ccormier@goweca.com. You must complete the UHC enrollment form even if you are not making any changes. Please log into www.goweca.com using your WECA ID and password, click on Commercial Apprentice Benefits, next page scroll down where you will see the UHC enrollment form. Complete sections A, B if enrolling a spouse and/or dependents, C, G and H. If you have any questions please call (916)453-0112 ext. 117 or email ccormier@goweca.com.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Remembering Steve Kappes, Low Voltage Apprenticeship Instructor

It is with great sadness that WECA shares the news of the passing of Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructor Steve Kappes.

A native of Sacramento, Steve became a WECA Low Voltage Apprenticeship (Voice Data Video/Fire Life Safety) instructor with WECA in 2016 after serving in the United States Navy for 14 years and subsequently working for various fire alarm and CCTV companies in the Bay Area.

Steve studied at American River College in Sacramento before joining the Navy, where he specialized in the maintenance of submarine communications equipment. During his time in the Navy, Steve also took advantage of fire alarm systems training, which provided him with a wealth of technical knowledge to take into his next career.

Prior to landing at WECA, Steve served as a service manager for SimplexGrinnell in San Jose and worked on various low voltage systems for the Napa Unified School District. 

Steve also held a C-10 Electrical Contractors license and was certified as a California Fire/Life Safety Technician; a NICET Level III, Senior Electronics Technician, and was factory-certified for multiple manufacturer’s fire alarm, security, telephone, and CCTV systems over the course of his accomplished career.

WECA Apprenticeship Training and Facilities Director Don Black says “Steve’s humor, kind heart, and passion for learning will be greatly missed.  Steve and our Fire Life Safety/VDV programs go hand in hand as he played a critical role in making the great programs they are today.”
Steve was pre-deceased by his wife, Lisa, and is survived by his two sons, Jason (and his wife Jenn) and Chris, and his daughter, Abbie; and two grandchildren.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Looking for the next course to take in the GetWired! intermediate electrical series?

Check out GetWired! 203: Raceway Systems, Switchboards and Panelboards, DC Motors, Three-Phase Alternators and Motors! Next session Aug. 2 to Sept. 15, plus the late fee is waived!

Also great for Journeyperson Continuing Education!

Recommended Prerequisite for Electrician Trainees: GET WIRED! 100 Series, 201 & 202

GET WIRED! 203 expands on skills built in the 202 course. Topics covered include:
  • Wiring materials
  • Raceway systems and cable assemblies
  • Switchboards and panelboards
  • DC motors
  • Sizing branch circuits – Part 2 – hands-on-lab
  • Three-phase alternators and motors
  • Equipment for general use

GET WIRED! 203 includes an independent study project that you must complete to earn course credit. The project is designed to help you develop on-the-job skills you need to be an expert electrician.
  • Total class hours available: 39
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $379
  • Late Tuition Fee: Waived!

Want to get a spot in this course? Act fast--it starts August 8th!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Open enrollment is coming up--prepare with this information!

And be sure to keep an eye on your inboxes for further info!

Open Enrollment Period: August 16 - 27, 2021

Insurer: United Health Care (UHC)
Coverage effective date: October 1, 2021
Coverage effective date: October 1, 2021

Dear WECA California Commercial Electrical Apprentices: 

WECA views health insurance as an important benefit to our Apprentices. Each year we carefully review multiple plan options, taking into consideration benefits, service, and cost, to ensure that our Apprentices have comprehensive and affordable insurance plans. This year we have elected to partner with UNITED HEALTH CARE for Medical/Vision, Dental, Life/ADD and Disability insurance.

During Open Enrollment, you are required to complete a new UHC enrollment form for yourself and any dependents that are covered on your plan now, or if you plan on enrolling a dependent who is currently not covered by the plans. 

Further information with instructions will be forthcoming in August. 

If you have any questions, please call Cindy Cormier, Insurance Administrator at (916) 453-0112 ext. 117 or toll free (877)444-9322 ext. 117 or you can email ccormier@goweca.com.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Heads up, graduates: don't forget to RSVP for WECA's Northern or Southern California graduations!

Dear WECA Graduating Class of 2021,

WECA is excited to invite you and your family to come and celebrate your achievement of successfully completing your program--in person! Our Northern California graduation event will be held outdoors this year to accommodate as many guests as possible.

The WECA Class of 2020, for whom we were not able to hold a traditional graduation ceremony last year due to the pandemic, will also be honored at this event.

Graduates of WECA's Commercial Electrical, Residential Electrical, and Low Voltage Apprenticeship Programs, as well as Electrician Trainee Program graduates, will be honored at this event. Meet with your classmates, instructors, contractors, and WECA staff in honor of your graduation, and celebrate together after a trying year.

Be sure to check your email for ticketing details!

On behalf of WECA's instructors, Board of Directors, and all the WECA staff, we wish you a heartfelt congratulations!


The WECA Team


Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Seeking Qualified Electrician Instructors for Online Weeknight and Saturday Classes

It's the Perfect Side Gig That Doesn't Interfere with Your Primary Job!

We're Experiencing Record Enrollment in Our GetWired! Program and Our Need for Additional Part-Time Instructors Just Keeps Growing

If you're a certified electrician or C-10 contractor (or a retired one, on either front), we've got a great opportunity for you: become a part-time, online WECA instructor on weeknights and Saturdays! It's the perfect side gig to complement your day job (or keep your skills sharp in your retirement), and you can bring in some extra cash sharing your expertise with the next generation of electricians in California.

Teach for WECA's GetWired! electrician training program from the comfort of home (with the option to also teach in-person Saturday labs).

Review the job listing and apply here.

Not yet qualified, but interested in completing your education and becoming a certified electrician in California--and maybe teaching for us some day in the future? Find out why the GetWired! Program, culminating in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, is training thousands of students across California, with more enrolling every day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021   WECA GetWired! labs scheduling and venue update

Dear WECA Electrician Trainees, Journeyman Continuing Education and General Students, and their Contractors,

Please review the information below for updates to upcoming onsite lab scheduling for our GetWired! program. Information in red reflects recent updates.

For those students enrolled in a GetWired class with a lab date from July 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021:
  • Your lab will initially be scheduled to be conducted entirely online. 
  • WECA will send you confirmation of your login instructions for your online lab.
  • However, WECA is closely monitoring developments and California state restrictions as the COVID situation progresses. If the situation improves such that we are able to serve some or all of these labs in our traditional hands-on format during Session 3 (July-September 2021), we will transition those lab events back to in-person experiences at our training facilities.
  • If the lab in which you are enrolled in Session 3 becomes possible to deliver in-person, you will be given at least four weeks of notice of your change in lab venue to a WECA training facility.
  • Your lab date will remain identical. Your lab time may shift from afternoon to morning, or vice versa. Please watch your email for further details.
  • Update: Saturday labs scheduled to start August 7th – September 18th have been transitioned from online to in-person labs for GetWired 102, 103, 104, 201, 202, 203, 204, and 302.
  • Emails with this update were sent last week to enrolled students. If you are enrolled in one of the GetWired classes shown above with a Saturday lab date between August 7th – September 18th, please make sure you review your recent communications from WECA for your specific lab details and attend your onsite class day. Labs will be delivered onsite only for these classes.
  • To view your onsite lab day details, you may also log into https://www.goweca.com/login.aspx and look for “Upcoming Classes and Required Items.”
  • GetWired 101 and 301 labs remain online.
For those students enrolled in a GetWired class with a lab date after October 1, 2021:
  • If your class includes a hands-on lab, it will automatically be scheduled as an onsite, in-person learning experience.
Any questions? Please don't hesitate to call us! 1-877-444-9322. We can't wait to see you back in the labs!

Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Electrician Trainee and Journeyman Continuing Education Student Advisory

Session 4 Courses for Fall 2021 now available for enrollment in our online web catalog!

Attention Journeymen and Electrician Trainees, and the Contractors facilitating their employees' educations: Our Fall 2021 (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31) course catalog is available on our website.

View the Electrician Trainee course catalog here.

Jump to the Journeyman continuing education 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 at any of our training facilities, or by email at info@goweca.com.

Courses fill fast, so don't wait 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, June 30, 2021   Drumroll, please! WECA's new Fresno training facility is open. Check it out below!

We're excited to announce the long-anticipated in-person opening of WECA's newest California training facility--Fresno!

7328 N. Remington Ave.
Fresno, CA 93711

Expanding opportunity in the Central Valley

Above: Commercial Electrical lab in Fresno, ready for Apprentices

Above: And they're here! Apprentices hard at work at the new lab in Fresno during our launch week!

Above: Fresno Lead Instructor George Leach leading an apprenticeship class discussion

Learn more about WECA apprenticeship programs and expanding training facilities across the West.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021   Check Out WECA's Newly Updated GetWired! 403: Jobsite Management Skills

Our September Course is Already Full, But You Can Get a Seat in the November Course if You Move Quickly

The newly-updated GetWired! 403 is designed around giving our students exposure to digital construction management platforms. Learn to use Procore’s Construction Management Software for project management and communications and Esticom Software for basic estimating.

This project-based course immerses students in real-world scenarios.

It's partially instructor-led, online on weeknight evenings, and partially self-paced, allowing students to progress on project scenarios at their own pace.

This class is designed for both Journeyperson Continuing Education Students and advanced Electrician Trainee Program Certificate students who have completed the appropriate prerequisites.

Some snapshots from the course:

Here we're looking at the basic functions of Procore, a leading construction management software solution for the industry that fully integrates with Esticom estimating software. Students will have full hands-on access to both applications.

Here we're learning the basics of estimating using the Esticom app. Students then apply their new digital estimating skills to a material take-off and estimate for an electrical lighting circuit.

This slide opens a section on Invitations to Bid, as students broaden their knowledge on what goes into submitting a bid.

In the Contracts section of the course, students learn about how to negotiate contract terms by applying negotiation techniques discussed in this lesson.

Jobsite Management Skills is a hybrid, partially instructor-led and partially self-paced online course which focuses on:
  • Providing an introduction to concepts, technology, and best practices for project management, electrical estimating in a software environment, jobsite leadership, and communications
  • Exposure to digital construction management platforms: Learn to use Procore’s Construction Management Software for project management and communications and Esticom Software for basic estimating using in-class instruction and self-paced video training.
  • Interpersonal skills and communications with internal and external stakeholders on the job, as well as those under your supervision
  • Using typical construction documentation and resources on construction management software to plan, manage, and record the electrical work processes of a typical residential/commercial construction project
  • The general leadership and foremanship skills required for profitable and successful project completion
This course is suitable for those already in a leadership role on a commercial or residential electrical jobsite who wish to enhance their skills, as well as suitable for those who want to develop the skills they need to be promoted to a leadership role.
  • Total class hours available: 32
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $339
  • Late Tuition Fee: $389
Our September instance of this upgraded course filled so fast it surprised even us, but there are still seats available in the next class, starting November 8th. Enroll today!


Wednesday, June 30, 2021   WECA Taking Applications for Low Voltage Apprentices in CA & Commercial Electrical Apprentices in AZ

Are you interested in becoming a Low Voltage Technician?

If yes, WECA wants YOU in California!

Or perhaps you've got your sights set on becoming a Commercial Electrician? Then WECA wants YOU in Arizona!

Taking apprenticeship applicants NOW!

Low Voltage Apprenticeship in California

Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship in Arizona

There's never been a better time to become a Low Voltage Apprentice or a Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA. We're actively accepting applicants now for our Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in California, and our Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program in Phoenix, Arizona!

Wondering why you should apply to become a Low Voltage Apprentice or Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA?

• You get PAID to learn during your Low Voltage Apprenticeship or Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program.

• You get REAL-WORLD work experience during your Apprenticeship. You'll learn the tools of the trade in the classroom, lab, and on the job, gain confidence in your knowledge and skills, and graduate into a high-demand career.

• You get to enjoy an EXCITING AND DYNAMIC career out in the field. Your work environment is always changing as you get to move from project to project and all sorts of different builds.

• We saved the best for last--you get to graduate with NO STUDENT DEBT! That's right--the WECA Member Contractor who employs you also pays your apprenticeship program tuition!

In short--the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program and the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program are not opportunities not to be missed--so what are you waiting for??

Click here to apply for our Low Voltage Apprenticeship program today!

Click here to apply for our Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program in Arizona today!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021   WECA Apprenticeship vs. the WECA GetWired! Electrician Trainee Program

P.S. When we have high demand for apprenticeship applicants, as we currently do for Commercial Electrical in Arizona and Low Voltage in California, wait times for the apprenticeship program can be much shorter than shown in the infographic.

Want to see this infographic in its full glory--or print it out for your reference? Click on the graphic!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021   Learn About Essential Training for Project Engineers & Non-Electrician Construction Professionals

Project Engineers and Other Non-Electrician Construction Professionals:

Get Essential Training with WECA's Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Path

Our member contractors asked, and WECA delivered.

Essential training for non-electrician construction professionals:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager
(PE to PM) Program

Get acquainted with a quick video:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program is here.

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program

Providing training in electrical concepts, code, and best practices for non-electrician construction professionals, WECA's PE to PM Program was designed and developed in close consultation with our member contractors. It's designed to give construction professionals--including Project Engineers who have a background in construction but little or no electrician-specific training--the electrical fundamentals and crucial concepts they need to talk the talk and walk the walk on your projects. 

Are you or a non-electrician construction professional in your life interested in enrolling? Click here.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021   Are you out of work? Check out WECA's Student Referral Service to Connect with a Great Employer!

Are you a current WECA student or graduate that's out of work?

Check out WECA's Student Referral Service: connect with a great employer today!

There's high demand all over California!

WECA's Student Referral Service is a conduit to introduce our current Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, and WECA Grads to our Member Contractors. It's meant for students or grads who are currently out of work; to help them find a great new position.

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. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 

Three ways to sign up for the Student Referral Service today!
  1. Contact Trisha Hughes, Client Services Specialist I, at thughes@goweca.com
  2. Or call our office and ask to speak with her at 1-877-444-9322
  3. Or fill out the SRS sign-up form on our website.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021   Seeking Qualified Electrician Instructors for Online Weeknight and Saturday Classes!

It's the Perfect Side Gig That Doesn't Interfere with Your Primary Job!

We're Experiencing Record Enrollment in Our GetWired! Program and Our Need for Additional Part-Time Instructors Just Keeps Growing

If you're a certified electrician or C-10 contractor (or a retired one, on either front), we've got a great opportunity for you: become a part-time, online WECA instructor on weeknights and Saturdays! It's the perfect side gig to complement your day job (or keep your skills sharp in your retirement), and you can bring in some extra cash sharing your expertise with the next generation of electricians in California.

Teach for WECA's GetWired! electrician training program from the comfort of home (with the option to also teach in-person Saturday labs).

Review the job listing and apply here.

Not yet qualified, but interested in completing your education and becoming a certified electrician in California--and maybe teaching for us some day in the future? Find out why the GetWired! Program, culminating in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, is training thousands of students across California, with more enrolling every day.

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