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Tuesday, November 28, 2023   Meet WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprentice and Army Veteran Teal LeBeau


WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprentice Teal LeBeau’s path to WECA Apprenticeship was slightly unconventional. After serving in the United States Army’s Infantry branch as a specialist team leader and deploying to Iraq twice, Teal began an office job with an electrical engineering firm in 2008 before pivoting to other office jobs with electrical contracting companies over the years.

However, after working in the office for many years, Teal knew that going back into the field – like he was in the Army – was the right call for him.

“Working outside, being in the trenches, is where I am most comfortable,” says Teal. 

This led to him enrolling in WECA’s Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program and apprenticing for WECA Member Contactor Cabar Electric.

“As an infantryman, we trained constantly for combat deployments and primarily patrolled and reacted to contact,” says Teal. “I started my apprenticeship later in life, and because of how hard I had to push myself during military service, I knew I could push through the challenges that I face working in electrical construction.”

Though faced with challenges, Teal also enjoys the smaller, unexpected things about working in the commercial electrical industry – like being able to do electrical site work and underground work on venues like ballparks!

Teal reports that his apprenticeship has also offered more intangible rewards, ones that veterans will especially appreciate.

“Apprenticeship offers rewarding and challenging paths like the military offers. For me, it’s the closest thing I have found, as a civilian, that feels like being back in the military. My apprenticeship has helped give back my focus and discipline that drove me in the Army,” says Teal.

Thank you for your service and for being part of the WECA family, Teal! We are happy to read that your WECA apprenticeship feels like a natural fit for you and has given you back the focus and discipline that drove you in the Army. With your background, positive attitude, and determination, we know you will achieve great things with WECA and beyond.


Tuesday, November 28, 2023   WECA Launches Its First In-House-Developed Virtual Reality App for Apprenticeship


We're thrilled to announce the launch of our first original, WECA-developed virtual reality (VR) app for apprenticeship: A VR gaming app focused on Commercial Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)! 

Fourth-year Commercial Electrical apprentices studying Commercial BESS now get to practice on a real-world project complete with interactive jobsite simulations in VR.

This launch is the first in a series of planned additions of immersive and advanced learning technology experiences in WECA’s electrical and low voltage training and apprenticeship programs. The initiative was proposed by WECA’s Apprenticeship Training Trust Board of Trustees, who first envisioned WECA’s ability to develop industry-leading advanced learning technologies focused on XR (extended reality) experiences to bring exciting, remote, and complex environments into WECA’s hands-on labs and classrooms.

WECA approached the project from a modern digital product design perspective; beginning with interviewing WECA member contractors to gather and analyze their specific training needs for electricians on Commercial BESS. After a dedicated process of exploring and evaluating different VR development providers and platforms, WECA chose to partner with Motive.IO. The Motive VR Training Platform allows organizations to create and control their VR training content, with no code required. 

In our new VR app, students reference the plans, see the actual scale and layout of a BESS container, and explore and interact with PV inverters, transformers and switchboards. Using a map and checklist, apprentices walk through the jobsite and inspect the equipment, connections, signage and more – everything needed for pre-commissioning approval. Along the way, they get quizzed with questions related to Code articles and site-specific requirements. Keeping things fun and gamified, there may even be a few spots that require the apprentice to discover problems and implement fixes in order to pass inspection! 

It’s a journey of immersive discovery for WECA’s apprentices--and it's going on now at all WECA apprenticeship training facilities!


Tuesday, November 28, 2023   WECA California Class of 2023 Graduate Spotlights

Skylar Grissom

For Skylar Grissom, Co-Valedictorian of the WECA SoCal Commercial Electrical Class of 2023, the decision to pursue a WECA apprenticeship was influenced by a powerful force: his family.

Five of Skylar's older brothers had previously embarked on the same journey through WECA's electrical program, serving as a testament to the program's excellence and career opportunities it provided...

One of the advantages Skylar highlights about the WECA program is the financial freedom it affords its graduates. The fact that there are no tuition fees to pay or student debt to deal with post-graduation has opened doors for Skylar and his brothers.

“I knew in high school I couldn't afford college, but once all my brothers were going through WECA apprenticeship, I learned you don't have to pay anything. So it really gave us an opportunity," says Skylar.

Read the rest of Skylar's spotlight here.


Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston's journey in the WECA Electrician Trainee Certificate Program, from which he graduated as Salutatorian of his Southern California cohort, serves as an example of how seizing opportunities for a quality education can pave the way to a fulfilling career.

Michael's decision to enter the electrical field was serendipitous, initiated by getting a job with a supportive contractor. Michael's boss, having gone through the WECA program himself, recommended it to Michael, and sponsored his course tuition.

WECA's comprehensive Electrician Trainee Certificate program--most of which Michael was able to attend online while still attending intensive hands-on labs at a WECA training facility once a quarter--provided Michael with the knowledge and skills necessary for success.

Read the rest of Michael's spotlight here.


Kenny Carlson

Kenny Carlson, Co-Valedictorian of our Southern California Commercial Electrical Class of 2023, gives a shout-out to two dedicated WECA instructors who made a difference in his learning experience: "I first started with Keith Smart, and after that, I had Ray Newton, and they both were great with teaching us in a real-world scenario and applications environment. The best thing that we worked on in the program would be all of the labs, being able to be hands-on and able to see how everything works on a smaller scale."

Read the rest of Kenny's spotlight here.


George Cook

George Cook is a graduate in the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2023 in Northern California and works for WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore Group.

During his apprenticeship education, on WECA’s competency-based curriculum model, George’s favorite competency was motor controls.

“There was a lot of problem-solving logic behind it. So, I kind of enjoyed that. We would get to sit down, figure out the design of the circuit, then wire it up, including, you know, push buttons, motors, stops, starts, things like that," George says.

Read the rest of George's spotlight here.


Brian Morita

2023 WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Brian Morita had double the inspiration to pursue an electrical career, and credits his father (a former PG&E lineman) and his in-laws (owners of WECA Member Contractor Knights Electric) with sparking his interest.

"My dad taught me a lot of stuff about electrical when I was growing up, when we would work on the house together. But I never really thought about seeking it out as a career until after I met my in-laws," says Brian. "I liked the fact that the commercial electrical industry was something new, and I was looking for something to challenge myself," says Brian.

Read the rest of Brian's spotlight here.


D'Angelo Brady

Like many successful WECA graduates, 2023 WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate D'Angelo Brady comes from an electrical industry family. His father, Michael, is a WECA Member Contractor and owns Elk Grove, California-based Brady Electric.

At WECA, D'Angelo has enjoyed learning about PLCs (programmable logic controllers) and start-stop stations in the motor controls lab and says that learning about them has helped him in the field because the gas stations his company works on constantly use contactors and relays.

"We're using FE petrol systems, which are basically just big relay boards that control the gas pumps and the turbines inside the ground and pump the fuel into the dispenser. The motor controls lab helped me get a better understanding of contactors; being able to look at them on the board from a bird's eye perspective really helped me make sense of how the circuit really works in the field," says D'Angelo.

Read the rest of D'Angelo's spotlight here.



Tuesday, November 28, 2023   National Apprenticeship Week 2023 Recap

Video recap of National Apprenticeship Week 2023:


Some more fun moments:

There was a full house at WECA's California headquarters in Sacramento/Rancho Cordova!

Low Voltage instructor John Arias gives attendees a tour of one of the low voltage labs at WECA's California headquarters in Sacramento/Rancho Cordova.

Across the hall, Low Voltage instructor Randy Rivera performs a demonstration as attendees look on.


National Apprenticeship Week 2023 was one for the books! WECA hosted open houses in celebration at our California headquarters in Sacramento/Rancho Cordova and at our Fresno Training Facility, San Diego Training Facility, and Arizona headquarters in Phoenix.

At each open house, attendees toured WECA facilities, saw lab demos, met WECA instructors and staff, and learned more about our apprenticeship programs.

Our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova open house was hosted by Wendy Flanagan, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, and Diane Trotter, WECA's Workforce Development Supervisor. Low Voltage instructors John Arias and Randy Rivera were on hand to give attendees tours of the labs and perform lab demos. Additionally, Raymond Carrillo from the U.S. Department of Labor and Hershel Baser, Jr. from the Division of Apprenticeship Standards addressed the audience and spoke positively about WECA's apprenticeship programs.

Meanwhile, our Fresno open house featured electrical demos by instructors George Leach and Jaron Stroud, while San Diego's open house and Phoenix's open house were wowed by demos from instructors Neil Pesarillo and Keith Smart, respectively.

The WECA Utah team also attended some celebrations of apprenticeship in that state.

We were pleased at the record turnout for our open houses this year, and enjoyed introducing California, Utah, and Arizona's future premier electricians to the wonderful world of WECA apprenticeship. We look forward to seeing them in the halls of our training facilities soon!

Instructor George Leach in Fresno educates attendees on the myriad benefits of WECA's apprenticeship programs.

Instructor Jaron Stroud shows attendees the spacious labs at WECA's Fresno Training Facility.

Instructor Neil Pesarillo addresses a large crowd of attendees in the lab at WECA's San Diego Training Facility.

Keith Smart, the Apprenticeship Manager and Instructor at WECA's Arizona headquarters in Phoenix, demonstrates the art of bending conduit to an attendee.

Back in the classroom, Keith continues an electrical demonstration for attendees.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023   Get Started on Your Electrician Certification Journey with Get Wired 101

Self-Paced and Instructor-Led Options Available


Are you interested in becoming a certified electrician, but need to pursue certification on your own time and at your own pace for reasons such as jobs, childcare, or other obligations?

WECA has an option for you: Self-Paced Get Wired 101 Fundamentals of Electrical Theory and Introduction to the National Electrical Code (NEC)!

Our Self-Paced Get Wired 101 course option is an entirely online, self-paced alternative version of our GetWired 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.

Watch our video above to learn more!



Are you interested in becoming a certified electrician, but prefer the more interactive nature of an instructor-led course?

Check out our Instructor-Led Get Wired 101 Fundamentals of Electrical Theory and Introduction to the National Electrical Code (NEC) courses!

Itching to get started? No need to wait -- click below to enroll in the next Instructor-Led Get Wired 101 class instance starting on January 4, 2024!

Click here to enroll in Instructor-Led Get Wired 101 beginning on January 4, 2024!


Tuesday, November 28, 2023   Apprentices: New Year, New Financial Goals? Save More Money and Live Debt-Free with SmartDollar

Not Yet Signed Up for SmartDollar? Learn How to Get Started Below


Content courtesy of SmartDollar

The holidays are here, and don't let holiday spending wreck your New Year's financial goals.

Be proactive about your paycheck. Managing your money shouldn't start on payday. Set your money goals ahead of time and be proactive with a plan for the cash you work so hard to earn! Ditch debt. Stash cash for emergencies. Gain confidence for your future!


Not yet signed up for SmartDollar? No worries -- getting started is easy! Learn how below.

SmartDollar is a financial wellness benefit for WECA apprentices.
 We announced our partnership with the Dave Ramsey-founded online financial wellness platform in January, 2021 to provide our apprentices with a sound foundation in personal finance management. This benefit is available to all WECA apprentices free of charge. Not yet signed up for SmartDollar? No worries -- scroll to the bottom of this article for instructions!

What is SmartDollar? SmartDollar is a step-by-step approach to handling money with the number-one authority in personal finance, Dave Ramsey. More than 4.5 million people have started on Dave's plan and taken control of their money, and you can too! SmartDollar will equip you to get out of debt, on a budget, and on your way to a strong financial foundation.

The average person pays off $9,405 of debt and saves $6,127 in the first twelve months, and you can too!

"This program is powerful yet simple to understand. The Baby Steps make understanding how to win with money easy! Dave's lessons are fun, informative, and incredibly encouraging. It really doesn't feel like I'm taking a financial course. It's more like learning finances from a good friend...or a financially savvy stand-up comedian! The online tools are fantastic as well, and I love being able to 'ASK DAVE' any question and do my budget online. Love it all!" - Recent participant

With SmartDollar, you'll learn how to...

  • Jump-start your money
  • Knock out debt
  • Secure your dream home
  • Retire in style
  • Demystify your credit score
How does SmartDollar work? With so many ways to engage in SmartDollar activities and content, SmartDollar Points have been designed to encourage users to establish true behavior change. (Check out the graph below for a quick rundown). The greater the importance and required time of each activity, the greater the amount of points that can be earned. For example, each Core Lesson video completed is worth 250 points. Completing a shorter Deep Dive video is worth 50 points. Tracking a transaction in EveryDollar is only worth 20 points, but users are encouraged to track all their financial transactions with no points limitations. These example activities are key for building the confidence you need to reach your financial goals.


Taking advantage of your free financial wellness benefit, SmartDollar, is easy!

To set up your account after accessing your dashboard, click either of the links shown as highlighted in the screenshot to the right of this paragraph. You'll be taken to a page with a SmartDollar enrollment link, where you will be able to set up immediate access to this important benefit.

Ready to get started?

Login to your GOWECA dashboard




Wednesday, October 25, 2023   Relive the WECA Class of 2023 California Graduation Events - Video and Pics of our SoCal and NorCal

We had a wonderful time celebrating the WECA NorCal and SoCal Classes of 2023, made up of graduates of our Commercial and Residential Electrical and Low Voltage Apprenticeship programs, as well as our Electrician Trainee Certificate Program, at our recent graduation festivities across the state of California.  It's always a delight to honor our graduates and their achievements, and to see how proud their families, friends, and employers are of them.

Relive the great times below, and access and download all the event pics at these links. Congratulations to all the graduates!

2023 WECA SoCal Graduation Pictures

2023 WECA NorCal Graduation Pictures

Stay tuned next week on WECA's social media accounts for some spotlight profiles on individual graduates!


Wednesday, October 25, 2023   New Pics from our Utah Apprenticeship Training Facility 4th year Commercial Apprentices in Action


Wednesday, October 25, 2023   WECA Curriculum Development Team at DevLearn Conference and Expo This Week

Members of WECA's intrepid curriculum development team are having a great time at the 2023 DevLearn Conference and Expo this week. Staying sharp on the design, development, deployment, and management of technology-based learning (including new forays into virtual and augmented reality) helps keep WECA on the cutting edge of online electrical education and innovative training delivery for low voltage and electrical apprenticeship!
Left to right in the picture above we've got Bill, Joshua, Alyssa, Becca, Dan, and Maris!


Thursday, September 28, 2023   New Pics from our Riverside Training Facility

Second Year Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the Lab


Thursday, September 28, 2023   CA Commercial Electrical Apprentices: Notes on Your Health Benefits 10/2023-9/2024

WECA California Commercial Electrical Apprentices: Open Enrollment has closed. All United Healthcare (UHC) plans become effective on October 1, 2023. UHC will mail out your NEW medical ID cards. Please review your medical ID card information to see that it is correct.

To change your Primary Care Physician for the HMO plans, call UHC customer service at (800)624-8822. For the PPO plan call (866)633-2446.

To view your health benefits, log into our website at www.goweca.com, and click on Commercial Apprentices Benefits
For an overview of your WECA health benefits, see the 2023-2024 Lockton Benefits Page for WECA Commercial Apprentices.

For questions, please reach out to WECA Insurance Administrator Cindy Cormier at ccormier@goweca.com or (916) 453-0221 ext. 117.


Thursday, September 28, 2023   WECA's Student Referral Service (SRS): Connect with a great employer today!

If you're an Electrician Trainee in San Diego or Tuolumne Counties, you're in high demand!

If you're an unemployed Electrician Trainee residing in or near the San Diego or Tuolumne county areas, we have excellent news for you--WECA Member Contractors in your area are looking to employ you right 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, with High Demand in San Diego and Tuolumne counties:
1. Contact Trisha Hughes, Client Services ET/CE Specialist, 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.


Thursday, September 28, 2023   Introducing a new course from WECA! Perfect Solar Installations

A visual, 360, and informational journey through NEC Article 690 and PV array wiring methods, in the form of 32 hours of online, self-paced training

Perfect Solar Installations is an online, self-paced course which introduces you to the basics of electrical code compliance when installing solar photovoltaic systems. The course explores Article 690 - Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems of the 2020 NEC using an exciting set of 360° images which allow you to explore all angles of an actual jobsite, plus photographs, illustrations, and diagrams. An interactive installation simulation, a solar connector wiring lab, and application of the requirements of Article 690 are also included.
The embedded 360° viewer will take you on a guided tour of an array to understand select issues for code compliance and also allows you to freely explore a recently installed array with the latest power conversion technology. 
Course Lessons Include:
·   Article 690 Definitions and Diagrams
·   Solar Connector Wiring Lab and Video
·   PV Wiring Methods
·   PV Source Circuit Wiring, Sizing, and Installation
·   Overcurrent Protection Sizing and Compliance
·   PV Source Circuit Voltage Drop
·   PV System Maximum Voltage Calculation Methods and Conductor Selections
·   Conduits and Conduit Bodies
·   Subject Indexing the NEC for Solar Photovoltaic Systems
·   PV Color Coding and Combiner Installation
·   Equipment Markings and Signage
This course is 32 hours for $269, and is eligible for WECA member employer discounts!
Learn more and enroll today!
P.S. Advanced Electrician Trainees: This course will be an acceptable alternative to "GetWired 403" as you complete the fourth year of your Electrician Trainee Program Certificate. Choose the option that works best for your own educational and professional journey, and call our client services team with questions or for guidance.

Skilled and Trained Workforce Part 2 Webinar with Cook Brown, LLP
Start Date/Time: Thursday, November 17, 2022 8:30 AM
End Date/Time: Thursday, November 17, 2022 9:30 AM
Recurring Event: One time event
Importance: Normal Priority
Location: Webinar (online)

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for Part 2 of a two-part webinar series on Nov. 17. Part 2 will focus on Skilled and Trained Workforce, where Carrie will discuss:

  • Recognizing to which types of projects Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements apply
  • Understanding apprentice graduation requirements
  • Compliance and enforcement

Register today to join us online on November 17, from 8:30 to 9:30 AM, for Part 2 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

REGISTER HERE: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/431298203537

Owned by Morgan Rosenberger On Wednesday, October 12, 2022