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Monday, December 20, 2021   January seats just opened in GetWired! 204 and 302

Now is the time to enroll

WECA's GetWired! program is as in-demand as ever, but we've got some good news regarding course seat availability in upcoming Winter 2022 --we've just opened up seats in our January GetWired! 204 and 302 instances.

If either of these is your next course in the GetWired! series (or you're a journeyperson looking for continuing ed hours), snag a seat today.




GET WIRED! 204 Transformers, Special Locations and Single-Phase Motors

GET WIRED! 204 expands on skills taught in the 203 courses. Topics covered include:
  • Transformers
  • Special locations
  • Hazardous
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Places of assembly
  • Commercial garages and motor fuel dispensing facilities
  • Motors, generators, A/C and refrigeration and fire pumps
  • Series-parallel circuits
  • Base lighting control – hands-on-lab
  • Single-phase motors
GET WIRED! 204 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: $429
Learn more about and enroll in GetWired! 204 here!

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Blueprint Reading Part 2 (GET WIRED! 302 Commercial): Electrical Work for Commercial Construction from the Ground Up, Part 2

Coordinate cut sheets, submittals, the NEC and more with blueprints to plan electrical installation for commercial construction.

GET WIRED! 301 and 302 take students through construction of a commercial building from underground work through construction and finish work. Students will use genuine construction plans (digital blueprints) and related documents to learn how to coordinate documents, work with other trades, and identify ways to save money through careful planning.

The GetWired! 301 and 302 courses now include a complimentary mobile tablet, yours to keep, as part of course tuition. (If you did not already receive a tablet in GetWired! 301, you will receive one as part of your enrollment in GetWired! 302.) The tablet is pre-loaded with the digital blueprint set and student resource booklet used in this course. Paper blueprint sets are no longer used in this course.

Key course subjects in GET WIRED! 302 include:
  • Public utility requirements
  • Electrical room layout
  • Floor types and planning conduit runs
  • Parking garage lighting
  • Large conduit systems and parallel conductor ampacity
  • Busway systems
  • Commercial load calculations
  • Lighting fixtures and wiring methods
  • Branch circuits and raceways
  • Electrical for elevators and water heater
  • Electrical finish work
 
  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $389
  • Late Tuition Fee: $439
Learn more about and enroll in GetWired! 302 here!
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Monday, December 20, 2021   Behind-the-scenes pics from our Riverside training facility

Get a glimpse of apprenticeship labs in action, courtesy of instructor (and resident photog!) Fernando Castro

Students hard at work during instructor Fernando Castro's first year, first semester Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship class at WECA's Riverside training facility.









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Apprentices from the same class pictured above (Fernando Castro's first year, first semester Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship class) work on a residential wiring lab.













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Apprentices work on an electronics lab in instructor Raymond Newton's fourth year, first semester Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship class.





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Monday, December 20, 2021   ?New career for the new year?

WECA has an immediate need for Low Voltage Apprenticeship applicants in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas!





Watch the video below for a quick rundown on WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program.

WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program

WECA's Apprenticeship programs have been called the best in the West. High graduation rates; great reviews from Apprentices and contractors alike; to-the-point, up-to-date curriculum and on-the-job training, and a dedicated, experienced teaching staff and administration all contribute to the success of these programs.

We're actively seeking applicants for our Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas of California.

High demand from our contractors = little to not wait time for qualified applicants!

Each Apprentice enrolled in the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program works under the supervision of a journeyperson technician installing and testing, servicing and maintaining systems utilizing the transmission and/or transference of voice, sound, video, and digital signals for commercial, education, security, and entertainment purposes, as well as for fire, life, and safety purposes.

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 consecutive weeks every five to seven months. Each two-week session is equal to one semester of classroom instruction. The rest of the time, Apprentices are learning on the job...and getting paid to do it! No college debt here. This is the alternative path to a rewarding and well-paying career.

The Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in California is a 3-year commitment to classroom and paid on-the-job training. Learn more and apply today!

Not for you? Share this information with someone in Los Angeles or Orange County looking to get started on a great new career in the new year!
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Monday, December 20, 2021   Self-paced GetWired! 101: Fundamentals of Electrical Theory and Introduction to the NEC

Get started on the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate at your own pace with the Self-paced Online Version of GetWired! 101: Fundamentals of Electrical Theory and Introduction to the National Electrical Code (NEC)

No matter your schedule, location, or whatever life is throwing at you right now, you can start your journey to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!




WECA's new, self-paced way students can take GetWired! 101, the first class in WECA's Path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, has been a popular addition to our catalog.

We've long offered GetWired! 101--an introduction to the theory of electricity covering the fundamentals electrical laws and explaining how the National Electrical Code (NEC) governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment--as an online-led instructor course which runs two scheduled weeknight evenings a week. And we still do!

But for students who would prefer to take this introductory course at their own pace, on their own time, we're now offering a fully self-paced online option! Students who might prefer this format include:
  • Students with job, childcare, or other obligations preventing them from taking the instructor-led scheduled course in the evenings
  • Students who would benefit from being able to review the material at a slower pace, such as students for whom English is a second language
  • Students who just prefer to work on the coursework at times when it best works for them
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WECA's new GET WIRED! 101 Self-Paced Option is an entirely online, self-paced alternative version of our Get Wired! 101 course which introduces fundamental electrical laws and theory and explains how the National Electrical Code (NEC) governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment. Core competencies include:
  • Refresher on basic math skills applied to electrical calculations
  • General information on electrical installations
  • Introduction to hand and power tools used in the field
  • Electrical symbols and receptacle outlets
  • Atomic structure
  • Electrical quantities and Ohm’s Law
  • Static electricity and magnetism
  • Resistors
  • Conductors
  • Voltage drop and neutral sizing for services
  • Wiring methods
  • Switch control of lighting circuits, receptacle installation, bonding, and induction heating
Safety best practices are covered along with tips on study skills. In this course, math equations are applied to the safe and sound wiring and load choices for electrical installations, troubleshooting and maintenance. Theories are discussed and applied to on-the-job situations and tasks. An online, interactive, lab activity reinforces practical applications of key concepts.
  • Total class hours available: 40
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309
If all of this sounds like it would work for you,
Enroll in GetWired 101 Self-Paced today!

Think you'd prefer being able to ask an instructor questions and learn with other students?

Enroll in an upcoming instance of the original, online evening instructor-led GetWired! 101 here!

 
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Monday, December 20, 2021   Important healthcare information for WECA Commercial Apprentices, plus downloadable resources

Dear WECA Commercial Apprentices,

Any Apprentice who has active insurance with United Healthcare (UHC) should have received your medical ID card and dental ID card. Each plan has their own separate ID card. Vision ID cards have not yet been mailed out by UHC. If you would also like a vision card, please register here to create your own paper ID card for vision benefits.

Here are some important UHC customer service phone numbers:

Medical HMO: (800) 624-8822
Medical PPO: (866) 633-2446
Dental PPO: (877) 816-3596
Vision PPO: (800) 638-3120
Employee Resource Advisory: (888) 887-4114

When calling UHC to check on your coverage, be sure that you are calling the correct number. For example, you cannot call the medical customer service number for dental coverage questions. If you do so, they will tell you that you do not have any dental coverage, nor can you call the dental coverage line for medical coverage questions.

When using your dental coverage through UHC, dental ID cards are not required for services. Instead, provide your name and social security number at your dental office at the time of the appointment and they will be able to find your dental information through UHC. The same stipulation also applies when receiving vision services.

To view your health insurance information, please visit us here, log in using your WECA student ID number and password, and click on Commercial Apprentice benefits. This will bring you to the benefit page, where you will find benefit summaries and certificates along with "how-to" resources.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to Cindy Cormier, Insurance Administrator, at (916) 453-0112 ext. 117 or at ccormier@goweca.com.

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Downloadable and printable health insurance guidance: Check out these resources below.

Employee Assistance Program Overview Member Flyer

UHC App -- Get on-the-go access to your health plan
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   Commercial Electrical Apprentice Michael Webb to represent WECA at 2021 IDEAL National Championships

Please join us in congratulating WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice Michael Webb on earning the fastest Apprentice time in California in the IDEAL National Championship Qualifiers!

And stay tuned as he competes in the IDEAL National Championship in Nashville from December 15 through 17



We’re excited to announce that one of WECA’s very own will be representing us on the national stage at the 2021 IDEAL National Championship in Nashville from December 15 through 17! Third-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice Michael Webb—employed by WECA Member Contractor Butterfield Electric—earned the fastest Apprentice time in California at a qualifying event held at WECA’s Rancho Cordova headquarters the week of October 25, clocking in at 2:03:25.

“I have always been competitive and love competition, and on the day of the time trial, I watched a lot of people go first just to see how they did it and think about what I would have done to be faster,” says Michael. “After two fifth-year Apprentices got their times, they came into class and said they owned the time now and that we wouldn’t be able to touch it. I took what they said as a challenge and went back to do it again, telling the IDEAL proctor that I’d get it under three minutes easily this time and actually ended up finishing it a little over two minutes.”

Since finding out that he qualified for the National Championship, Michael has been preparing for the final competition by watching videos of past competitions to try to get a better understanding of what things will be like—from the boards to the size of the wire, and even the crowd size. Michael also constructed a small practice board in his garage to try and be even faster than he was during the qualifiers.

Michael’s path to WECA has been nonlinear, but when he looks back on his journey toward becoming a Commercial Electrical Apprentice, he realizes that his love for all things electrical was there all along.

“I was in college and had switched my major a couple of times. I thought engineering was what I wanted to do, but after awhile I realized that I didn’t really enjoy sitting behind a desk all day. After hearing from a WECA graduate how the program is run and what I’d be able to do in the field, I instantly knew this was something I wanted to do. Looking back, now it seems like such a clear path that I should have taken from the start, because in high school I found joy in setting up friends’ and my own car systems and was given the opportunity to redo the entire electrical system on a very old Jeep that I now own,” says Michael.

Michael credits his Apprenticeship success to various factors—engaged instructors, a dedicated employer, intensive job sites, and his mom.

“I’ve had James Hall for most of my classes and he is very informative and knowledgeable and doesn’t hesitate to elaborate on information to make sure everyone understands what we go over,” says Michael. “After I saw that I was on the leaderboard, James was actually the first person I told. And later that day we had a lab and he pulled me aside and showed me different methods of bending pipe that was faster than how I had been doing it before. He wants everyone in his class to succeed and always makes class fun and interesting.”

As for his employer Butterfield Electric, Michael says he “Still feels very lucky to have had them sponsor me so I could actually get into the program. I’ve been able to work with a lot of high-caliber electricians with them, and my employer put me with a high-caliber foreman that had taken an interest in me. He brought me with him to different jobs and has had me do a lot of challenging work that I’ve enjoyed every minute of.”

One of those jobs was a project at a VA hospital working on catheterization labs and operating rooms.

“The last job site we were on helped a lot,” says Michael. “The job was pretty much done by a four-person crew, so I got to get my hands on a lot of the work that needed to be done wiring the medical booms and all the other medical equipment, which really helped me hone my craft.”

And last—but not least—Michael says that his mom “Has always been there for me and always supported me, even when I dropped out of college with no plan. She is the one who connected me with the WECA graduate, which led me to join the trade, which I plan on having a very long career with.”

Congratulations on qualifying for the 2021 IDEAL National Championships, Michael! We’re thrilled to have you represent WECA on the national stage and will be cheering you on every step of the way. We wish you the best of luck!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   In a leadership role, or trying to promote to one? Check out GetWired! 403 Jobsite Management Skills

Are you in a leadership role and wanting to enhance your skills--or looking to expand your skillset to be promoted to foreman?

New Class Session Just Posted:

GetWired! 403 Jobsite Management Skills
32 hours; Feb. 23 - Apr. 25, 2022



GET WIRED! 403 Jobsite Management Skills

Recommended Prerequisite for Electrician Trainees: GET WIRED! 100 & 200 Series, 301 & 302 Strongly Advised

Jobsite Management Skills (GET WIRED! 403) 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 foreman.
  • Total class hours available: 32
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $339
  • Late Tuition Fee: $389
Click here to enroll in GetWired! 403 Jobsite Management Skills today!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   Recap: Our Veterans Day 2021 spotlights on two current WECA Apprentices who have served

Plus, thank you to our Apprentices, Students, Staff, and Member Contractors who have served.

Joseph Aragon, III
United States Army



This past Veteran’s Day, we were proud to spotlight Joseph Aragon II, a United States Army veteran and third-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA Member Contractor Reyff Electric Company.

Joseph—who served as a 63B-Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in Afghanistan and Fort Lewis, Washington during his Army career—says that the Army taught him the principles of strong leadership, excellent worth ethic and the want and need for hard work, and that he’s applied it both in the classroom and on the jobsite during his Apprenticeship.

“I absolutely recommend an electrical career for veterans, and also for those who are going into the military,” says Joseph.

When in the classroom at WECA, Joseph notes that he particularly appreciates the teaching style of Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship instructor James Hall, saying “I really appreciate how much detail he puts into his instruction and willingness to pause to further explain [concepts] to his students who have questions.”

Joseph also suggests to current and future Apprentices that when in doubt or grappling with a rough patch, they “remember the ultimate goal and why you decided to pursue being an electrician," and reminds them that electricians "light the way.”
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Thank you for your service, Joseph, and thank you for being part of the WECA family!

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Charles Burnette
United States Army



Another Veteran’s Day spotlight we were proud to share comes to us courtesy of Charles Burnette, a Commercial Electrical Apprentice working for WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric!

Charles—who served in the Army for two years as an 11 Bravo infantryman stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia—was inspired to enter the trades by his father-in-law.

“I chose electrical because it’s forever changing and growing,” says Charles. “And I like WECA because it’s hands-on learning in the class and in the field, and I get to accumulate hours in the field while getting paid to go to school. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Charles’ favorite thing that he’s learned during his Apprenticeship was “potential” and learning how and why birds are not affected by the current when landing on a power line.

Charles says that current and future Apprentices should “keep an open mind because there is more than one way to do things; who knows—you may learn something new” and says that joining the trades after serving in the Army has “changed my life and given me a new drive to grow and learn.”
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Thank you for your service, Charles! We’re thrilled to have you as part of the inaugural WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program! 
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   National Apprenticeship Week 2021 recap

National Apprenticeship Week 2021 recap: learn more about WECA's new Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, and meet current and former WECA Apprentices, including some "Where Are They Now" Spotlights of Apprenticeship Grads

Get to know the new WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program by watching the video below!

Get to Know the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program
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Jeremy Alessandro, 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees Trustee, and Operations Manager of Alessandro Electric, Inc.



Jeremy Alessandro—2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees Trustee, and Operations Manager of Alessandro Electric, Inc.—started running his first large project immediately after graduating from WECA.

“It was a $680,000 HVAC project and lighting retrofit for Rocklin High School,” recalls Jeremy. “It involved a 13-person crew and a 90-day completion time; it was crazy going immediately from taking direction to directing a larger crew. Upon completion of that project there ended up being an immediate need to fill a purchasing role within the organization. Although I was just supposed to fill in, I made the position more than just purchasing. I started to find opportunities to go above and beyond in the role and over time, made it into an operation manager role. I created and continue to create process improvement for the company. I started with prefabrication design/support and continued to create standardization of work, safety training, strategic vendor relationships, and logistic improvements. I am currently reengineering the way projects are built from initially getting the job all the way through completion. I am always looking at the company and looking for the lowest hanging fruit (what will help the organization most) to improve upon. Constant improvement is necessary in this industry, and everything is changing around you. You can either be the catalyst for change or be run over by it.”

Jeremy’s career trajectory and advice are certainly inspiring—but that’s not all!
Here are some more nuggets of wisdom from Jeremy:
  • Jeremy’s favorite thing about his career is the ability to constantly improve. He always strives to make tomorrow better than today.
  • Jeremy advises current and future Apprentices alike to “Treat the Apprenticeship as your dream and don’t procrastinate.”
  • To ensure success after graduation, Jeremy says to remember some key sayings to get through tough times, such as:
  • Embrace the credo “It all pays the same.” This means that nothing is below you, and to lead by example.
  • “Do whatever it takes.” Be willing to go above and beyond in any situation, and you will more than likely be kept busy during the slow times.
  • “Living the dream.” Even if your day is hard, find what’s good in it and fake it if you have to, because we work together way too long and hard to deal with each other’s negativity.
  • Find a company and become indispensable. Many companies—including merit companies—will take into consideration how long you have been with the organization. Find a place you love and feel like you want to be with for the long haul and do whatever it takes to stay there. I would often during slow times wait for the next project rather than company hop, and that loyalty kept me busy.
  • Find your motivation in life, and then use that motivation to propel you to be the best every day. Don’t let anything stop you from your happiness. Almost all hardships are temporary and adapt to those which are not.
And last, but not least, Jeremy recalls his WECA Apprenticeship days fondly, saying that his favorite memory of his WECA Apprenticeship was the feeling he’d get every time he went back to class.

“It was amazing to be with a group of guys that were all there to make each other better,” says Jeremy. And he also recalls one instructor in particular—Jimmie Slemp—and credited him with “making electrical fun and always pushing me to be better.”

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Jay Taylor, 1998 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Vice Chair of the WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees, and current Field Operations Manager for Vasko Electric, Inc.



“Graduation is only your first accomplishment,” says Jay Taylor—1998 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Vice Chair of the WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees, and current Field Operations Manager for WECA Member Contractor Vasko Electric, Inc. “Continue to educate yourself with the great courses offered to you [at WECA]. If you are required to complete 32 hours of continuing education, complete 64 hours. Don’t just meet the expectations of your employer—exceed the expectations. Don’t just set goals and forget about it; set goals and let your supervisor know what they are and ask them to help you reach those goals.”

Speaking of accomplishments, Jay has had some notable ones during his career—like becoming Vasko’s first WECA Apprentice upon his hiring in 1993!

While at WECA, Jay fondly remembers his experiences in the classroom and with classmates, saying that “A great way to develop a friendship is to sit in a classroom for five years discussing the NEC. I didn’t just learn from the lessons provided; we also learned from each other by sharing our challenges on the job.”

After graduation, Jay “Became a foreman. For the next seven years I worked my way up to running some of the largest and most complicated projects Vasko Electric had to offer. I then moved into the office as a small projects manager for two years, and in 2009 I took on the role of superintendent. Over nine years, I managed the company’s workforce and safety [programs] and promoted education. The position is also responsible for projecting the workflow and sharing the peaks and valleys of our workforce with our team of project managers and estimators,” says Jay.

Jay continues, saying that “There are many things to like about our trade. There’s always room to grow and improve, and you don’t get bored with the work. There are constant changes to the code, the product we install, and technology. With these constant changes, it gives me the drive to strive for continuing education.”

Although Jay’s enjoyed success in his various roles at Vasko Electric since graduating from WECA, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

“Over the years I’ve stayed involved with WECA,” says Jay. “In 2012 I sat on the Apprentice Quality Task Force, which was developed to help with the intake process for both WECA staff and the Apprentices. In 2017 I became a trustee for WECA and currently have the privilege to sit with the board members.”

Thank you, Jay, for being such an integral part of the WECA family! We appreciate you and your contributions. 

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Jock Millspaugh (pictured far right), 2017 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Director of Maintenance and Operations for the Kerman Unified School District

2017 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice Graduate Jock Millspaugh’s motto is “Take every opportunity to invest in yourself. Further your education. Get any certification that’s available. You never know what’s coming around the corner, so you might as well be ready for everything.”

And ready for everything he was. After graduating from WECA in 2017, Jock worked for Valley Unique Electric as a Journeyman electrician for two years. In 2019, he applied for and was hired as the Director of Maintenance and Operations for the Kerman Unified School District, where he directly oversees a crew of seven maintenance workers who work on seven school sites serving a total of 5,500 students.

Jock says that his favorite thing about his career is the relative freedom and varying nature of his work, stating that “I get to fix things! We replace flooring, upgrade electrical, renovate classrooms and multipurpose rooms, and so much more. I really love the freedom of improving our facilities. Being able to make a difference in the community is truly the most rewarding part of my new career.”

While at WECA, Jock’s favorite parts of the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program were his classmates and instructors.

“We had a lot of fun,” Jock says. “The labs were always a good time too. In class we learned who could talk the talk. In labs we learned who could walk the walk. Although, the [health] insurance wasn’t too bad either.”

As a WECA alumnus, Jock had the following advice to impart upon current and prospective Apprentices: “Take the time to network and get to know your fellow classmates. The relationships you build will last long after graduation. Your peers will be a great resource for job openings, troubleshooting, and friendship. Learn from their experiences. Get to know them on a professional and personal level. These relationships will prove to be extremely valuable in the future.”

Further, Jock says that “There’s nothing wrong with being a lifelong electrician. It can be very financially rewarding. But you should never stop learning. Stay current, as the electrical code changes and new regulations demand that we continually evolve with the ever-changing landscape of the industry. There is always room for growth. The more you invest in your career, the more you’ll get out of it. Try and absorb as much information as possible from other tradesmen with more experience. Also, get to know the sequencing of a construction project. Understanding the order of operations can help you avoid problems before they become problems. Lastly, if you’re in your 20s, save as much of your money as possible. Put away 15 percent of your check for retirement. You’ll thank me when you’re 55.”

Jock also acknowledges that he wouldn’t be where he is today without support from family and colleagues.

“Hogi Selling owns Valley Unique Electric. He took a shot on me and it changed my life. He didn’t give me a job—he gave me a career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me,” says Jock. “Also, a shout-out to my dad for encouraging me to become an electrician, and to my wife, who is an amazing mother! Lastly, thank you to the instructors at WECA—Keith, Jimmie, Mike and Ned—who really made class a lot of fun, and to WECA Insurance Administrator Cindy Cormier, for always being helpful.”

Thank you, Jock, for being part of the WECA family! We are gratified to see you excelling in your career. 

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George Cook-Cantu, fourth-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice with Rex Moore Group, Inc.



Fourth-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice George Cook-Cantu was one of the lucky few to get their start in the trades in high school. He had the opportunity to work for WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore Group, Inc., where he discovered how much he enjoyed building things and observed that when working around the electricians, he enjoyed the same bond and camaraderie that he experienced as a high school athlete. Though he didn’t pursue an electrical Apprenticeship immediately after high school, the experience stayed with him and eventually inspired him to become an electrician.

However, when he decided to pursue a career in the electrical industry, choosing Rex Moore and WECA was a no-brainer.

“One of the major goals of the WECA Apprenticeship is to create the next generation of leaders,” says George. “Because of this and the high level of education [WECA provides], I knew the WECA Apprenticeship route was the correct one for me.”

Now that he’s in the midst of his Apprenticeship, George says that his favorite thing is learning about the willingness to adapt.

“On the jobsite there is constant change. There is constant change of personnel, which means many personalities need to be navigated for the job to be done efficiently. There is also the need to be flexible with planned work due to other trades [on the jobsite]. And more recently, the willingness to adapt has been amplified by COVID protocols and mandates. The ability to adapt is a skill I will continue to sharpen both at work and in my personal life,” says George.

While in the classroom at WECA’s Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters, though, George loves that all the instructors at WECA have something unique to offer. However, his favorite instructor is James Hall, due to James’ success at delivering foundational first-year electrical concepts with a balance of urgency and humor.

And although George is still building his electrical career, he says the keys to success he’s found so far are to “Divide the years of Apprenticeship through goals. Five years can seem overwhelming and long. There is no perfect way of dividing up the Apprenticeship. It will depend on your personal ambitions and execution. I personally set a career goal that I wanted to achieve by the end of year two. Then I set a goal that I want to be achieved by the end of year four. My final year will be about making a smooth transition out of the Apprenticeship and into a leadership role,” says George.

All told, though, George says that “The WECA Apprenticeship has had a significant impact on my life. I have found a great career in electrical and with the education, structure and guidance provided through the Apprenticeship, I will have the tools needed to thrive in construction.”

Thank you for choosing WECA for your Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship, George! We’re glad to have you here, and wish you every success as you continue to craft your career in the commercial electrical industry! 

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Adam Moreno, 2014 Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate and owner of Cal Valley Electric



Becoming a Commercial Electrician through WECA’s Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program can take you to myriad places. For 2014 Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Adam Moreno, it eventually led to him opening his own electrical contracting business—Cal Valley Electric—in 2019.

Prior to opening his own electrical contracting business, Adam worked with WECA Member Contractor Valley Unique Electric, working his way up to the Journeyman and Foreman roles.

“My favorite thing about my career is that I have learned a skill that will forever be needed,” Adam says. “I am always going to be part of something that benefits the community whether it be a school, hospital, community center or church.”

Looking back on his Apprenticeship, Adam says that his favorite memories are that of the people he met along the way, like the classmates that he learned the trade with. But he also implores current and future Apprentices to “Find a mentor, coworker, classmate, employer or anyone in the trade to try and learn from, and respect the trade. Ask questions—it’s okay not to know something but WECA’s instructors are there to guide you in the right direction.”

Adam continues, stating that Apprentices should “Continue learning because a few updates in the NEC and local codes could change when you didn’t realize it. And after you graduate, remember the instructors that helped you through those five years—they didn’t leave; they are still there for questions and gladly give advice when asked.”

Though Adam is now successful in his own electrical contracting career, he knows he owes some of his success to mentors, friends, and loved ones.

“Jason Jensen is the true definition of a mentor whether it be personal, religious, or work-related. Our conversations are always genuine with lots of laughter and are always appreciated. Mike Golden, my best friend, previous roommate, and previous Apprentice—who would’ve thought [we’d be here] on that day thirteen years ago when he asked me if I wanted to be an Apprentice. My wife, who has been there since my second semester in my first year—to understanding that long hours, late nights out of town at work, and more are just part of the business. And Valley Unique Electric, thank you for everything that lead me to where I am today; I appreciate it,” says Adam.

Congratulations on founding your own electrical contracting business, Adam! It is great to see you thriving in your chosen career, and we look forward to seeing what else you achieve. 
 
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   Introducing WECA's newest Apprenticeship instructor, Jaron Stroud!

Get to know Jaron--who's based at our new Fresno training facility--below!

Jaron Stroud, 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate and WECA Fresno's newest Apprenticeship instructor



Meet Jaron Stroud, WECA Fresno’s newest Apprenticeship instructor (and 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate)!

Looking back on his Apprenticeship, Stroud fondly remembers “growing up with my fellow students as we all became better and better electricians. Remembering what we were learning and struggling with in the beginning and then realizing how much we progressed semester after semester gave me pride in myself as well as my fellow classmates that went on that journey with me.”

Since graduating from WECA in 2015, Stroud’s immersed himself in myriad aspects of the electrical industry.

“I did what I could to see everything that the field has to offer,” says Stroud. “I tried my hand in my different areas of the electrical field, like solar, industrial, motor controls, traffic signals and street lights, and eventually got into teaching.”

Stroud says his favorite thing about being a teacher is that “I get the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment knowing that I am helping new electricians starting their career get the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their workplace. I had many people help me along my career path and am more than happy to pay it forward to those wanting to get into this career.”

And now Stroud is giving back and ensuring that current and future WECA Apprentices succeed similarly. His advice is to “Keep in mind that education is what separates good electricians from great electricians. Being in a field that changes so rapidly, becoming complacent in what you know now will only limit your chances of advancement in the long run. Become a lifetime student…as an Apprentice, you’ll be expected to learn many things very quickly but even after you’ve accumulated enough skills and knowhow to be successful at your current job, keep taking advantage of every opportunity to grow, because it will only help you become that much more valuable as your career progresses.”

Stroud also particularly attributes his success to a few past WECA instructors as well as his fiancée.

“I’d like to give a shout-out to all my past WECA instructors—Zach, Jimmie, Ned, and Mike. I would also like to thank my fiancée Jordyn for her love and constant support, for all the late nights and early mornings, and for keeping me sane over the past few years. Thank you for being my muse, chronicler, proofreader, and brain-stormer. But most of all, thank you for being my best friend. I owe you everything.”

Well said, Jaron! We’re thrilled to have another WECA alum on our team, and know you’ll do great things at our new Fresno training facility!
Read more >>


Tuesday, November 30, 2021   WECA's Student Referral Service: connect with a great employer in Sonoma County today!


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

WECA Contractors urgently hiring Electrician Trainees in Sonoma County NOW!



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! Electrician Trainees residing in Sonoma County are in extra-high demand now--don't miss out on your next great opportunity! Act 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.
Read more >>


Thursday, November 11, 2021   Happy Veterans Day, WECA! Spotlight on two current WECA Apprentices who have served:

Happy Veterans Day, WECA!

Thank you to our Apprentices, Students, Staff, and Member Contractors who have served.

Spotlight on two current WECA Apprentices who have served:

Joseph Aragon, III
United States Army




This Veteran’s Day, we’re proud to spotlight Joseph Aragon II, a United States Army veteran and third-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA Member Contractor Reyff Electric Company.

Joseph—who served as a 63B-Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in Afghanistan and Fort Lewis, Washington during his Army career—says that the Army taught him the principles of strong leadership, excellent worth ethic and the want and need for hard work, and that he’s applied it both in the classroom and on the jobsite during his Apprenticeship.

“I absolutely recommend an electrical career for veterans, and also for those who are going into the military,” says Joseph.

When in the classroom at WECA, Joseph notes that he particularly appreciates the teaching style of Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship instructor James Hall, saying “I really appreciate how much detail he puts into his instruction and willingness to pause to further explain [concepts] to his students who have questions.”

Joseph also suggests to current and future Apprentices that when in doubt or grappling with a rough patch, they “remember the ultimate goal and why you decided to pursue being an electrician," and reminds them that electricians "light the way.”

Thank you for your service, Joseph, and thank you for being part of the WECA family!

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Charles Burnette
United States Army




Another Veteran’s Day spotlight we're proud to share comes to us courtesy of Charles Burnette, a Commercial Electrical Apprentice working for WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric!

Charles—who served in the Army for two years as an 11 Bravo infantryman stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia—was inspired to enter the trades by his father-in-law.

“I chose electrical because it’s forever changing and growing,” says Charles. “And I like WECA because it’s hands-on learning in the class and in the field, and I get to accumulate hours in the field while getting paid to go to school. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Charles’ favorite thing that he’s learned during his Apprenticeship was “potential” and learning how and why birds are not affected by the current when landing on a power line.

Charles says that current and future Apprentices should “keep an open mind because there is more than one way to do things; who knows—you may learn something new” and says that joining the trades after serving in the Army has “changed my life and given me a new drive to grow and learn.”

Thank you for your service, Charles! We’re thrilled to have you as part of the inaugural WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program! 
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Join us for our Electrical and Low Voltage Apprenticeship Programs Open Houses in CA and AZ!

?National Apprenticeship Week is November 15-21, 2021!

Join us for our Electrical and Low Voltage Apprenticeship Programs Open Houses in Northern and Southern California, and our Electrical Apprenticeship Program Open House in Arizona!

Learn about our Apprenticeship programs, tour our facilities, see cool lab demos, meet instructors and staff, and more.

Already an Apprentice? Share this opportunity with a friend or family member.

This National Apprenticeship Week, WECA's pulling out all the stops and showing off our cutting-edge Apprenticeship programs at three of our state-of-the-art facilities! There are three opportunities to see what we're all about:
  • ARIZONA: November 17 at 10 a.m. at our Phoenix training facility
  • NORCAL: November 16 at 10 a.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ
  • SOCAL: November 17 at 12 p.m. at our San Diego training facility
Regardless of which open house you attend, you'll get the chance to learn about our Apprenticeship programs (all of which pay YOU to learn a skilled profession without having to take on any college debt!), tour our facilities, view lab demos, meet instructors and staff (with the opportunity to ask individual questions), and more!

Don't miss out! Be sure to register for the open house nearest you (links below each respective image). (Note: pre-registration is not necessary, but encouraged.)

We look forward to seeing and meeting you!



Register for the WECA Arizona Open House here!



Register for the WECA Northern California Open House here!



Register for the WECA Southern California Open House here!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Could you become the next IDEAL National Champion?

Participate in qualifiers held on October 27, 28 and 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ!

Psst: Those who register (even if they don't plan on competing) will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win $500 or one of 300 IDEAL tool sets!



Are you near WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters? You're in luck--you could become the next IDEAL National Champion! Empire Electric Sales is holding qualifiers for the 2021 IDEAL National Championship on October 27, 28, and 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters!

Register for the qualifiers here.

And even if you don't plan on competing, just registering for the qualifier enters you into a drawing for the chance at $500 or one of 300 IDEAL tool sets!

Good luck, everyone!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Introducing a SELF-PACED ONLINE OPTION for our most popular course: GetWired! 101

Introducing a SELF-PACED ONLINE OPTION for our most popular course:
GetWired! 101 : Fundamentals of Electrical Theory and Introduction to the National Electrical Code (NEC)

No matter your schedule, location, or what life is throwing at you right now, you can start your journey to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!
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WECA is excited to announce a new way students can take GetWired! 101, the first class in WECA's Path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!

We've long offered GetWired! 101--an introduction to the theory of electricity covering the fundamentals electrical laws and explaining how the National Electrical Code (NEC) governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment--as an online-led instructor course which runs two scheduled weeknight evenings a week. And we still do!

But for students who would prefer to take this introductory course at their own pace, on their own time, we're now offering a fully self-paced online option! Students who might prefer this format include:
  • Students with job, childcare, or other obligations preventing them from taking the instructor-led scheduled course in the evenings
 
  • Students who would benefit from being able to review the material at a slower pace, such as students for whom English is a second language
 
  • Students who just prefer to work on the coursework at times when it best works for them
WECA's new GET WIRED! 101 Self-Paced Option is an entirely online, self-paced alternative version of our Get Wired! 101 course which introduces fundamental electrical laws and theory and explains how the National Electrical Code (NEC) governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment. Core competencies include:
  • Refresher on basic math skills applied to electrical calculations
  • General information on electrical installations
  • Introduction to hand and power tools used in the field
  • Electrical symbols and receptacle outlets
  • Atomic structure
  • Electrical quantities and Ohm’s Law
  • Static electricity and magnetism
  • Resistors
  • Conductors
  • Voltage drop and neutral sizing for services
  • Wiring methods
  • Switch control of lighting circuits, receptacle installation, bonding, and induction heating
Safety best practices are covered along with tips on study skills. In this course, math equations are applied to the safe and sound wiring and load choices for electrical installations, troubleshooting and maintenance. Theories are discussed and applied to on-the-job situations and tasks. An online, interactive, lab activity reinforces practical applications of key concepts.
  • Total class hours available: 40
 
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309

If all of this sounds like it would work for you,
Enroll in GetWired 101 Self-Paced today!

Think you'd prefer being able to ask an instructor questions and learn with other students?
Enroll in an upcoming instance of the original, online evening instructor-led GetWired! 101 here!
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Course Spotlight: OSHA 30 Construction Spanish/Curso Destacado: OSHA 30 Construcción Español



OSHA implemented an Outreach Training Program that has proven to be highly successful in reducing the number of on-the-job accidents. According to OSHA, the Outreach Program is their “primary way to train workers in the basics of occupational safety and health.” This 30-Hour course from WECA partner ClickSafety is an online version of OSHA’s successful program. Online OSHA training is an excellent way to ensure that you have been properly trained on important safety and health matters at your work sites.

The course covers:
  • Introduction to OSHA
  • Managing Safety and Health
  • Focus Four Hazards and Preventative Measures Topics: Fall Hazards, Electrocution Hazards, Caught-In or -Between, Struck-By
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Life Saving Equipment
  • Health Hazards in Construction
  • Stairways and Ladders
  • Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Elevators and Conveyors
  • Excavations
  • Material Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal
  • Scaffolds
  • Concrete and Masonry Construction
  • Tools-Hand and Power
  • Fire Protection and Prevention
  • Steel Erection
  • Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment and Marine Operations; Rollover
  • Protective Structures and Overhead Protection; and Signs, Signals and Barricades
  • Welding and Cutting
  • Confined Space Entry
  • Ergonomics in Construction
  • Safety and Health Programs
  • Supervisor’s Safety and Health Responsibilities
  • Observing and Correcting Unsafe Behaviors
  • Hazard Recognition and Mitigation
  • Preventing Accidents/Incidents
  • Intro to NFPA 70E
  • Leading Cultural Change
 
  • Total class hours available: 30
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $269


El curso sobre construcción de 30 horas de OSHA proporciona preparación autorizada para recibir una tarjeta de culminación de estudiante OSHA del Programa de Entrenamiento en Divulgación de Administración de Salud y Seguridad Ocupacional (OSHA) y el Departamento de Trabajo (DOL). Con un curso en línea conveniente, los trabajadores de la construcción, gerentes, empleadores y personal relacionado reciben el entrenamiento sobre peligros en el lugar de trabajo, protección y cultura de seguridad necesarios para evitar accidentes, lesiones y muertes en el lugar de trabajo.

El curso de Construcción de 30 horas de OSHA prepara a los trabajadores, gerentes y empleadores para reconocer, evitar, reducir y prevenir peligros de seguridad y salud que comúnmente se encuentran en los lugares de trabajo de construcción. Los temas del curso incluyen:
  • Pasos específicos y requisitos necesarios para completar el Programa de Entrenamiento en Divulgación de 30 horas de OSHA
  • Introducción a OSHA
  • Derechos de los trabajadores y responsabilidades del empleador
  • Requisitos del Programa de Salud y Seguridad
  • Informe sobre cumplimiento y llevar registros
  • Cómo presentar un informe
  • El papel de una persona competente
  • Centrarse en cuatro peligros (riesgos de caídas, riesgos de electrocución, riesgos de quedar atrapado o en medio, riesgos de recibir portazos)
  • Seguridad en la manipulación de materiales, incluyendo actividades que causan lesiones y enfermedades debido a SME y EMR
  • Grúas y aparejos
  • Vehículos de motor, equipos mecanizados y riesgos marinos
  • Plataformas móviles de motor
  • Excavaciones
  • Control de tráfico en la zona de trabajo
  • Riesgos con los montacargas
  • Identificación de los principales riesgos para la salud en la construcción
  • Riesgos de herramientas eléctricas y manuales
  • Riesgos del hormigón/concreto y la albañilería
  • Riesgos principales de las construcciones de acero
  • Riesgos al soldar y cortar
  • Riesgos de los espacio confinados
  • Riesgos del arco eléctrico
  • Reducción de riesgos
  • Procedimientos de cierre y etiquetado (LOTO)
  • Cómo seleccionar y usar los equipos de protección personal (PPE)
  • Las funciones de la gerencia y la fuerza de trabajo en promover una cultura de seguridad positiva.
 
  • Total de horas de clase disponible: 30
  • Tarifa de matrícula estándar: $269
Learn more and enroll here! / ¡Obtenga más información e inscríbase aquí!
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Are you a veteran? Make sure you're taking advantage of all the federal benefits available to you.

Are you a veteran? Make sure you're taking advantage of all of the federal benefits available to you and your dependents. Access the 2021 Federal Benefits Handbook for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors below.
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Access the 2021 Federal Benefits Handbook for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors here.

Haven't yet taken advantage of the federal benefits available to you and your dependents? Click here to get started today!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   The guide to getting and staying registered with the State of California as an Electrician Trainee

Plus, download a handy PDF for reference as needed!



Want to keep this handy guide to getting and staying registered with the State of California as an Electrician Trainee for future reference? Click here!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   WECA's Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board: Get Connected with a Great Employer Today!



Are you currently out of work? Post a resume to our Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board, or view open positions posted by WECA Member Contractors, to find your next great job today! 

Our Job Board is designed to help connect individuals seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry with the WECA Member Contractors who want to hire them. 

Our Job Board exists for...

- talented electricians
- low voltage technicians
- electrician trainees
- industry employees (including office personnel)
- and the Member Contractors who want to hire them.

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.

Post a resume or search open positions today!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   WECA's Hiring!



Want to develop the next generation of electricians and low voltage technicians across the West? Opportunity knocks. Take your career in a new direction with WECA.

Check out open positions here!
Read more >>


WECA BOD, ATT BOT/ATC, H&W & Pension BOT Meetings
Start Date/Time: Thursday, January 13, 2022 9:00 AM
End Date/Time: Thursday, January 13, 2022 12:00 PM
Recurring Event: One time event
Importance: Normal Priority
Category:
Board of Directors/ATC Combined Meeting
Description:

Enter event description

Owned by Morgan Rosenberger On Monday, December 13, 2021