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Wednesday, March 27, 2024   Celebrating the WECA Utah Apprenticeship Class of 2024: Save the Date (June 22nd) for Graduation!

WECA Utah apprentice graduates: Save the date! WECA's 2024 Commencement Ceremonies for our Utah Graduating Apprenticeship Class of 2024 will be held on June 22nd!

Grads: Please watch your inboxes for ticketing details as this event draws closer.

We look forward to celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of our first-ever graduating Utah class!

Read more >>


Wednesday, March 27, 2024   WECA's Open House in Celebration of Women in Construction Week 2024 a Success


 

WECA held its annual Women in Construction Week open house on Thursday, March 7 at its California headquarters and training facility in Rancho Cordova, CA.

The event drew numerous women interested in exploring career opportunities in the electrical and low voltage industries.

Diane Trotter, WECA's Workforce Development Supervisor, hosted the open house.

During the open house, Diane hosted a presentation and Q&A session for attendees before showing them around WECA's state-of-the-art labs and classrooms. During the presentation and Q&A portion of the open house, Diane was joined by Autumn Jackson, WECA Commercial and Low Voltage Apprenticeship graduate and current foreperson for Vanden Bos Electric, Amanda Young, a second-year Low Voltage apprentice, and Hershel Baser, an Apprenticeship Consultant for the Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

Autumn spoke about her current role at Vanden Bos Electric and shared what she gained from her apprenticeships at WECA, while Amanda discussed her current apprenticeship experience, stating that she enjoys learning things in class that she doesn't get to learn in the field because it makes her a more well-rounded apprentice.

For the lab and classroom tour portion of the open house, Diane was joined by Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and Lab Manager, and LaKeal Morris, Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship instructor. Jimmie and LaKeal performed and assisted attendees with hands-on lab demonstrations.

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the Women in Construction Week 2024 open house! We were thrilled to educate more women on the merits of electrical and low voltage apprenticeships and careers in California, and can't wait to see them become WECA apprentices or electrician trainees in our certificate program soon!

Read more >>


Wednesday, March 27, 2024   Coming Soon: New Data Center Labs for Low Voltage Apprenticeship in Sacramento and San Diego

Stay Tuned for More Progress Pics









Caught in the act--of a new build-out for our Low Voltage apprenticeship labs in Sacramento and San Diego! Here's instructor John Arias getting a helping hand from CEO Don Black in carrying some building materials for our new-and-improved "Data Center" labs.

Our Low Voltage apprentices currently practice installing structured cabling systems for telecommunications and data transfer; the expanded lab spaces we're building will allow them to expand on those skills with more practice preparing and inspecting the copper and fiber optic components commonly found in equipment and telecomm spaces. Data Centers are a solution for companies that need to store massive amounts of data in secured spaces. Stay tuned for further build pics as we bring this new lab space to life in both locations!

Read more >>


Wednesday, March 27, 2024   Commercial Apprentices: New Info About Health Benefits Plan Now Available in Your Dashboard

Commercial Electrical apprentices: We've just uploaded new information about your Acupuncture and Chiropractic Health Benefits Plan coverage. Login to your secure apprentice dashboard at GOWECA.COM and go to "Commercial Apprentice Benefits" to view your new coverage document.
Read more >>


Wednesday, March 27, 2024   Advanced Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson Students: Spots Open in April 10 GetWired 303 Course

Advanced Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson Continuing Ed Students:

By Popular Demand, We've Opened More Seats in the GetWired 303: Blueprint Reading Part 3, Planning Commercial Electrical Installations for New Construction Course Starting April 10th

Get Yours Before They're Gone

GetWired 303: Blueprint Reading Part 3: Planning Commercial Electrical Installations for New Construction is the eleventh course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

Build on the skills you learned in GetWired 301 and 302 by getting “hands on” experience planning commercial electrical installations. Identify needed resources, job specifications, applicable codes, and information from the owner/architect, and AHJ and coordinate them all with specific blueprints. This course includes three projects you'll work on independently, with guidance from an instructor, including:

  • Assignment 1 - Job pre-planning
  • Assignment 2 - Preliminary electrical room layout
  • Assignment 3 - Plan conflict-free electrical installations

This course is not for beginners. Students enrolled in GetWired 303 should:

  • Have basic blueprint reading experience (including A, C, L, M, P, and E sheets)
  • Have experience using construction documents and electrical specifications (equipment cut-sheets, submittals, electrical contracts, RFI, change orders, and more)
  • Have a good understanding of electrical theory
  • Have considerable experience using the National Electrical Code
 
  • Total class hours available: 32
  • Standard tuition fee: $349

The next class starts on Apr. 10. Don't miss out--enroll today!

Enroll in GetWired 303!

Read more >>


Wednesday, March 27, 2024   Electrician Trainees: Spring Session Starts Soon; Check Out April GetWired 202, 203, and 204 Classes


 

GetWired 202 Three-Phase Electrical Systems, Conductors and Overcurrent Protection, Grounding, Wiring Methods, Basic Trigonometry and Vectors

Starts: April 8

GetWired 202 expands on the concepts and skills built in the 201 courses. Topics covered include: conductors and overcurrent protection; types of three-phase transformers; three-phase transformer calculations and connections; grounding; wiring methods, basic trigonometry and vectors, and sizing branch circuits (hands-on lab).

Total class hours available: 36

Standard tuition fee: $389

Click here to enroll in GetWired 202 Instructor-Led with Onsite Lab

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GetWired 203 Raceway Systems, Switchboards and Panelboards, DC Motors, Three-Phase Alternators and Motors

Starts: April 9

GetWired 203 expands on skills built in the 202 courses. Topics covered include: wiring materials; raceway systems and cable assemblies; switchboards and panelboards; DC motors; three-phase alternators and generators; equipment for general use, and lighting automation (hands-on lab).

Total class hours available: 39

Standard tuition fee: $389

Click here to enroll in GetWired 203 Instructor-Led with Onsite Lab

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GetWired 204 Transformers, Special Locations and Single-Phase Motors

Starts: April 8

GetWired 204 expands on skills taught in the 203 courses. Topics covered include: transformers; special locations; hazardous locations; healthcare facilities; places of assembly; commercial garages and motor fuel dispensing facilities; motors, generators, A/C and refrigeration and fire pumps; series-parallel circuits; basic lighting control (hands-on lab), and single-phase motors.

Total class hours available: 39

Standard tuition fee: $389

Click here to enroll in GetWired 204 Instructor-Led with Onsite Lab

Read more >>


Wednesday, March 27, 2024   Apprentices: Take Advantage of Your SmartDollar Benefit During Financial Literacy Month in April

Content Courtesy of SmartDollar



Week 1: Budgeting



Week 2: Paying off Debt



Week 3: Saving



Week 4: Retirement

------------------------------
 

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

Read more >>


Wednesday, March 27, 2024   Upcoming Opportunities to Participate in Panels and Forums

Women Apprentices and Electrician Trainees: Join WECA's Virtual Women in Electrical Trades Forum

All Apprentices: Make Your Voice Heard at WECA's Virtual Apprentice Advisory Panels
 

WECA's Virtual Women in Electrical Trades Forum

When: Thursday, April 4 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Where: Zoom

How to RSVP: Email Diane Trotter at dtrotter@goweca.com
 

When: Thursday, July 11 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Where: Zoom

How to RSVP: Email Diane Trotter at dtrotter@goweca.com

------------------------------

WECA's Virtual Apprentice Advisory Panels
 

When: Thursday, May 2 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Where: Zoom

How to RSVP: Email Jeanette Santos at jsantos@goweca.com
 

When: Thursday, August 1 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Where: Zoom

How to RSVP: Email Jeanette Santos at jsantos@goweca.com

Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   Congratulations to the Recipients of the Frank Vellutini Memorial Apprenticeship Scholarship 2024

In December 2023, WECEF was pleased to announce the Frank Vellutini Memorial Apprenticeship Scholarship 2024. The scholarship was created in memory of Frank Vellutini, longtime owner of Royal Electric Company and WECA member since 1971. Frank was actively involved with WECA and responsible for extraordinary contributions to WECA's growth and success for many years. Frank served on the WECA Board of Directors and the WECA Apprenticeship and Training Trust from 1992 to 2015. Royal Electric Company was one of the founding members that established the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF).

It is now our honor to congratulate the first recipients of the Frank Vellutini Memorial Apprenticeship Scholarship 2024. Please join us in congratulating:

Moses Melgar (CA)

Garrett Shell (CA)

Andrew Holdaway (AZ)

Mark Belogub (CA)

Nicolas Craig (CA)

Devon Sprague (CA)

Damon Collins (AZ)

Joseph Discoe (UT)

Jairo Felix (CA)

Demetrios Pathammavong (CA)

Dan Larkin (CA)

James Dolinich (AZ)

Leng Vang (CA)

Giancarlos Mendoza (CA)

Paul Roberts (CA)

Corbin McBride (CA)

Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   You're Invited to WECA's Open House in Celebration of Women in Construction Week 2024 on March 7

Women in Construction Week 2024 is March 3rd-9th!

You're Invited to WECA's Open House in Celebration of Women in Construction Week 2024 on March 7th at 3 PM

Please Join Us or Share This Invitation with Someone Who Should





 

This March, WECA is celebrating Women in Construction Week 2024 with an Open House event at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility and California HQ.

We invite women considering careers as electricians or low voltage technicians to join us on March 7th at 3 p.m. to learn how to get involved in WECA's electrical apprenticeship and training programs, get a tour of WECA's training facility and labs while meeting the WECA team and networking with other women in the field, and to celebrate women in the electrical workforce.

We encourage you to pre-register for the event to secure your spot, though we will accept walk-ins on the day of the event. However, pre-registration will allow you to receive event reminders and updated event information.

RSVP for the Women in Construction Week 2024 Open House

Not for you? Please share this invitation with someone you know!



Download a WECA WIC Week 2024 Open House flyer

Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   New Self-Paced Course Just Dropped: GetWired 401 Self-Paced Introduction to Motor Controls

Introducing the Next Self-Paced Online Option for Our GetWired Electrician Trainee Program Series:

GetWired 401: Self-Paced Introduction to Motor Controls

Take It on Your Own Time, at Your Own Pace!


WECA is excited to announce another way students can take GetWired 401, the thirteenth class in WECA's Path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!

We've long offered GetWired 401 as an instructor-led online course. And we still do!

But for students who would prefer to take this course at their own pace, on their own time, we're now offering a fully self-paced online option, just like we've been offering for earlier courses in the GetWired series! Students who might prefer this format include:

  • Students with job, childcare, or other obligations preventing them from taking the instructor-led scheduled courses 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 and places when it works best for them
--------------------

WECA's new GetWired 401 Self-Paced Option is an entirely online, self-paced alternative version of our GetWired 401 course, which is excellent preparation for Basic Motor Controls Parts 1 and 2, where students apply what they’ve learned in Get Wired! 401 to hands-on motor control labs.

For those with little or no experience with motor controls, this self-paced online course gives a solid foundation in:

  • Motor controls and schematics
  • Reversing controls
  • Controls for multiple motors
  • Disconnecting means for motors and controllers
  • Winding connections
  • Control and signaling circuits

A 2020 NEC and Mike Holt's Understanding Basic Motor Controls books are required.

  • Total class hours available: 33
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $349

If all of this sounds like it would work for you,

enroll in GetWired 401 Self-Paced Online

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

Enroll in an upcoming instance of the original GetWired 401 here!

Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   First Year, First Semester Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentices on Their First Day at WECA PHX

First day at WECA! WECA Arizona Apprenticeship Manager and Lead Instructor Keith Smart recently showed a new class of first year, first semester Arizona Commercial Electrical apprentices around WECA's Phoenix Training Facility and Arizona Headquarters. Have a great semester, everyone!









Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   WECA's Self-paced Online Course "Solar Power for Electricians" is Updated and Improved!


 

WECA has recently released a substantial update to its "Solar Power for Electricians" online, self-paced course. Our improved course now includes an introduction to module level electronics and three topologies of current solar applications. The course expands the relationship between irradiance, efficiency, and current. The types of source circuits and their IV curves used in stand-alone systems, microinverter systems, DC-to-DC converter systems, and central inverter systems are also covered.

Journeyperson continuing education students: Enroll in this stand-alone, self-paced online 16-hour Solar Power for Electricians course. Or, if you need more hours, consider Faultless Solar, which packages this course with another to provide 32 hours of training.

Electrician Trainees: "Solar Power for Electricians" is part of GetWired 402, so you will take it as part of your journey towards the WECA Electrician Trainee Program certificate.

Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   Exam Prep Update: Prep Courses Now Delivered on 2020 NEC After CA Rollover to Code-Updated Exams


 

Advanced Electrician Trainees: Are you planning to take the California General or Residential Electrician Certification exam, California Fire Life Safety Technician Certification exam, or the California Voice Data Video Technician Certification exam soon? The State of California recently released Code-updated exams, so WECA is now delivering all of our exam prep courses on the 2020 National Electrical Code! Pick your class and start preparing for your exam today!

WECA Apprentices: Be sure to check your booklists carefully, as we've updated all of our apprenticeship semesters which focus on exam prep to 2020 Code as well.

Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   Need a Class for Your ET or Journeyperson Hours? Take BMC 2 in Sacramento OR San Diego Mar. 9 & 16

Need Another Class for Your Electrician Trainee Cert? Or Just Looking for Some Fun Journeyperson Continuing Ed?

Basic Motor Controls, Part 2, In Your Choice of Sacramento or San Diego on March 9th & March 16th

Spots Going Fast -- Secure Yours!



Get further hands-on experience building control circuits for motors.

In this onsite, lab-based course, Basic Motor Controls Part 2, working on a motor controls training board with up to one other student partner, you will learn about and gain experience with:

  • Sequential starting of multiple motors
  • Control relays and their common applications
  • Timers and timing logic -- for example, on delay, off delay, etc.

Total class hours available: 16

Standard tuition fee: $229

Enroll in Basic Motor Controls Part 2, running March 9th & 16th in your choice of Sacramento or San Diego

Have questions or need assistance? Call us at 877-444-9322 or email us at info@goweca.com.

Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   U.S. Congressman Blake Moore (Utah 01) Visits WECA; Tours Salt Lake City Region Training Center



Left to Right: WECA Government Relations Director Rex Hime; U.S. Congressman Blake Moore (Utah 01); WECA Utah Apprenticeship Manager and Lead Instructor Talon Pobuda; and Cody Eaton of Utah Member Hunt Electric and Trustee on the WECA Apprenticeship Training Trust Board of Trustees

--------------------

U.S. Congressman Blake Moore (Utah 01) and his staff toured WECA’s Utah Training Facility on Thursday, January 25. Elected in 2021, Moore is the first-ever Republican from Utah to serve on the influential House Committee on Ways and Means.

Moore was joined by WECA’s Government Relations Director Rex Hime; Cody Eaton of Utah Member Contractor Hunt Electric and Trustee on the WECA Apprenticeship Training Trust Board of Trustees; and Utah Apprenticeship Manager and Lead Instructor Talon Pobuda, who was teaching a cohort of second-year apprentices during the visit.

Moore was impressed with WECA’s practical approach to education, with the books and the hands-on training steps away from each other. He even got to talk to some of our apprentices and learn about their favorite subjects to learn about through their classwork so far. Providing as many professional pathways as possible for his constituents is a priority, and he noticed exactly the value WECA provided in that space.

Eaton took the opportunity to explain how critical competency-based training was for workforce development in Utah. With over 90 apprentices in the program, he explained that no one can prepare Hunt Electric’s employees for the field like WECA can.

Thank you to Representative Blake Moore and his team for learning about how WECA is helping develop Utah’s workforce.













Read more >>


Tuesday, February 27, 2024   SmartDollar Users Can File Their Taxes for Free!

(APPRENTICES: If You're Not Using Your FREE SmartDollar Apprentice Benefit, This Is Your Sign -- Get Started Below)

Content Courtesy of SmartDollar and SmartTax



 

Content courtesy of: SmartDollar and SmartTax

We've invested in SmartDollar to help you take control of your finances--including your taxes. And that means you can file with Ramsey SmartTax for free! (And what's more budget-friendly than free?)

Get started with Ramsey SmartTax here. If you're a WECA Apprentice and don't have a SmartDollar account yet, learn how to get started below.

Happy filing!

--------------------

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

Read more >>


Wednesday, January 31, 2024   A WECA Electrical Education and Expertise Can Take You a Lot of Places

Check Out Some Possibilities with Our ?Electrician Career Tree Infographic



Where can your WECA electrical education and expertise take you?

There are a lot of possibilities out there--and there could be specialties and related careers you've never considered before! Explore some of the many directions you could go with this infographic.

Download your own PDF copy here.

P.S. Stay tuned for a Low Voltage Technician Career Tree coming soon!

Read more >>


Wednesday, January 31, 2024   Congratulations to the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Class of 2023!

Share in Their Graduation Event with Video and Pictures of the Celebration

Watch our celebration video:



See some moments from the evening:



















 
Read more >>


Wednesday, January 31, 2024   Spotlights on Two of Our Arizona Program Graduates


Valedictorian Logan Stroop

For 2023 WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Valedictorian and WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins employee Logan Stroop, his WECA educational experience can be summed up in one word: “amazing.”

“It was an excellent blend of electrical theory and hands-on labs,” Logan says. “My WECA education gave me a strong foundation in ‘why’ we do what we do. It elevated me from a basic installer to a legitimate electrician capable of problem-solving based on the underlying principles of the issue.”

Logan credits a strong support system – in the classroom, on-the-job, and at home – to his success in WECA Arizona’s Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program.

“First and foremost, I’d like to give a shout-out to my wife, Lindsey. She is my serenity. Next, Instructor Keith Smart never shied away from a code challenge or failed to take the time to explain something until he knew I had a full understanding. He is an asset to the electrical community, ensuring that the next generation of electricians in Arizona have the tools to be successful. And my leadership at Corbins – David Pollard, Andy Blahak, Darin Johnson, Teryl Crank and Matt Apodaca, to name a few – always pushed me to be better and never accepted ‘good enough’ because they themselves strive to be great,” Logan says.

Logan’s striving for greatness doesn’t end with graduation – he acknowledges that the pursuit of education and advancement is a lifelong journey.

“You determine the quality of your life,” Logan says. “Take responsibility for your education and give it 100 percent. It will return whatever you put in tenfold. Never stop learning; always remain teachable. I am going to continue to grow as both an electrician and as a leader with Corbins. I have already begun to look at courses related to Construction Management, among others, to deepen my knowledge of this ever-growing field.”

Congratulations on your graduation, Logan! Your tenacious and enterprising work ethic will take you far, and WECA looks forward to sharing in your journey!

------------------------------


Graduate Jordan Herrick

2023 WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate and WECA Member Contractor K2 Electric employee Jordan Herrick says that transferring to WECA from his previous educational institution was a “night and day transition” and cites WECA’s Apprenticeship model – with classes held during the daytime for two weeks per semester, allowing Apprentices to receive on-the-job training the rest of the time – as “the best of both worlds”.

“I switched from learning from a book to working hands-on with systems I encounter in the field,” Jordan says. “My instructor, Keith Smart, provided many real-world examples of the subject matter we were learning, and was able to help me understand content instead of just handing it to me. WECA is an enjoyable program that taught me things I use on-the-job every day; it gave me great problem-solving skills, the versatility to complete tasks, and progressed me to my full potential.” 

Jordan also credits WECA’s Apprenticeship program with helping him develop more confidence on-the-job.

“After my final semester at WECA, I became a journeyperson and began working as a foreman. Being in the position to make decisions that directly affect a jobsite can be stressful, but with the code knowledge I learned at WECA and on-site training with my employer, I now feel comfortable making those decisions and leading others,” Jordan says.

But the determination to succeed, drive to perform to the best of his ability, and desire to continually improve both personally and professionally all comes from Jordan, buoyed by support from his family, employer, and instructor Keith Smart.

“My parents instilled a strong work ethic in me from a young age and supported me throughout school and in life in general,” Jordan says. “I’m also grateful to K2 for investing their time and resources into progressing my skills and my future, and to Keith for his patience and willingness to make sure all students were confident with the curriculum and understood its importance.”

Post-graduation, Jordan looks forward to continuing his successful career at K2 and pushing himself to continually improve.

But before Jordan sets off on the next stage of his commercial electrical journey, he encourages current and future WECA Apprentices to “Enter class every day with an open mind and a willingness to learn. WECA will make you a better electrician, but you have to want to learn and succeed for yourself. If you are willing to put in the hard work to succeed, WECA will help you achieve.”

Congratulations, Jordan! We’re glad that WECA was the right program to help you accomplish your goal of becoming a journeyperson and a foreman, and are proud that our Apprenticeship program helped give you confidence to join the next generation of leaders in the Arizona electrical industry!

Read more >>


Wednesday, January 31, 2024   EC&M Profiled WECA's Original VR Development for its Apprenticeship Programs in Recent Article

Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M) Profiled WECA's Original Virtual Reality (VR) Development for its Apprenticeship Programs with Their Recent Article "How VR Tools Help Train Electrical Apprentices in BESS Inspection Skills"


 

Content courtesy of: Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M)

Tom Zind

Aiming to improve learning, connect with digital natives, and get a foothold on visualization technology’s cutting edge, Western Electrical Contractors Association (WECA) is making an introductory bet on a virtual reality (VR) tool as an electrical skills training aid.

The group, which serves 300 merit shop electrical contractors in California, Arizona, and Utah with worker training programs and advocacy, has begun using a VR gaming app to help teach apprentices about commercial battery energy storage systems (BESS).

Apprentices in WECA’s commercial electrical program use the VR app to simulate a BESS pre-commissioning inspection. It effectively tests them on BESS knowledge imparted through traditional instruction in the power generation and distribution component of the comprehensive apprenticeship curriculum. Using VR headsets, apprentices walk through a mock inspection, locating specific components, completing checklist tasks, and answering questions that quiz them on their understanding of applicable code regulations.

Early indications are that the VR app (introduced in September and utilized by some six dozen apprentices through early November) is living up to expectations that it would improve the learning process. On one objective measure, test scores for the VR component of the BESS training are averaging higher than those for the two that precede it, says Michelle Gilkey, WECA’s chief growth and innovation officer. Additionally, all who’ve used it have passed, demonstrating skill and understanding. More importantly, perhaps, there’s anecdotal evidence that it delivers on a twin goal of blending measures of non-traditional learning and serious, high-quality instruction. 

“Our instructors have reported that they’ve observed students having greater engagement with the material as well as greater retention of component names, layout, and wiring after completing the VR simulations,” she says. “Apprentices who have had real world BESS experience prior to the class have reported that the VR simulation is accurate and realistic, and students who have not yet had BESS work in the field have mentioned that it helps them visualize what they may encounter in the near future.”

With the VR app successfully tested and now fully integrated into BESS training apprenticeship programs at five training centers, WECA will be looking for opportunities to expand on its vision for enhancing training with a fuller spectrum of extended reality (XR) tools. Suspecting that XR will markedly improve/expand training and aid recruitment of young, tech-engaged apprentices, WECA hopes to deliver on its board of directors’ commitment to “developing industry-leading advanced learning technologies focused on XR experiences to bring exciting, remote, and complex environments into WECA’s hands-on labs and classrooms,” Gilkey says.

That expansion would be guided by in-house instructional design teams, as well as member contractors and commercial partners like Canadian VR application developer Motive.io, which provided the content and technology expertise to get the VR app for BESS off the ground. Work is underway now, Gilkey says, on developing a VR tool for confined spaces safety training spanning the full apprenticeship curriculum; expanding the scope of VR in the BESS training; and developing an augmented reality-based lesson to complement enhancements to the data room lab portion of the low-voltage curriculum.

Contractors, whom Gilkey credits for shepherding the app’s development, will likely have a central role in XR development for training, given the importance of adapting the technology to the content, not vice versa. The lead WECA contractor representative in the BESS VR app project was Troy Robinson, general superintendent with Helix Electric, San Diego. He likes what he sees with the app, its ability to give a highly accurate representation of what a BESS looks like, and how it should be navigated. Moreover, it’s all in a safe environment, which is key to training, especially on something new and emerging like battery systems.

“The safety piece is big, just taking the potential risk out of the training equation, not having the hands-on lab part of this where you could get hurt,” he says, adding that VR could find application in training installers of solar systems, a market Helix is developing that will increasingly demand well-trained installers who can learn comprehensively in a safe environment.

But the priority for any training enhancement, he says, must remain efficiently and effectively delivering the knowledge that translates to skill in the field, and VR could be a silver bullet in that regard. That, too, is the priority of WECA as it moves ahead on the XR front, says Gilkey.

“We have a guiding principle in our XR development — we never seek to add technology just for technology’s sake,” she says. “Rather, we add it only when it allows us to go beyond physical lab limitations to truly expand our apprentices’ learning experience opportunities.”

View the article on their website. There's a registration wall, but it'll be free to view after registration.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024   GetWired Students Have Fun and Learn New Skills in Recent GetWired 104 Conduit-Bending Lab

If you can dream it, you conduit! (Sorry. We're sorry.)















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Wednesday, January 31, 2024   WECA's Salt Lake City Region Training Center and Utah Headquarters Celebrates First Anniversary








 

Happy first anniversary to WECA's Salt Lake City Region Training Center and Utah headquarters!

On January 24, 2023, WECA opened its newest apprenticeship training center in Salt Lake City, Utah! It's been a wonderful year serving our members and apprentices in this new state.

Please join us in congratulating Utah Apprenticeship Manager and Lead Instructor Talon Pobuda on all his successful efforts there in the past year -- and here's to many, many more!

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024   Now Available Online for Enrollment: WECA's Session 2 Catalog (Apr-Jun 2024)

Now Available Online for Enrollment: WECA's Session 2 Catalog (Apr-Jun 2024) for Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson Continuing Education


 

Announcement for WECA Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson Continuing Education Students and our Member Contractors who employ them: Our Spring 2024 (Apr - Jun) course catalog is now available on our website, and GetWired instructor-led classes always fill quickly. Be sure to enroll ASAP to get your spot!

View the Electrician Trainee course catalog

Jump to the Journeyperson continuing education course catalog
 

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!



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And remember: there are now three different ways to take GetWired!

Watch our explainer video and get all your questions answered:

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024   WECA's GetWired Training and Delivery Teams Kick Off New Year with Train the Trainer Meeting


 

WECA's GetWired training and delivery teams kicked off the New Year with their semi-annual virtual Train the Trainer meeting this month.

Galen Eckert, WECA's Online Education Manager for Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Programs, says the team discussed topics like keeping students engaged, techniques to connect with students, the three ways that Electrician Trainees can pursue their GetWired course path to an Electrician Trainee Certificate with WECA, and more.

Thank you to all our GetWired instructors and everyone who works behind the scenes for their dedication to delivering premier online education and ensuring our students' success online and on-the-job!

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024   Two WECA Apprenticeship Programs Have College Credit Recommendation Eligibility Renewed by NCCRS

WECA Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprentices: WECA's Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship Programs' College Credit Recommendation Eligibility Renewed by National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS)


 

WECA is pleased to announce that the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) has renewed the Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship programs' college credit recommendation eligibility for another five years.

This renewal will continue to allow WECA Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship graduates pursuing traditional college or university degrees after their apprenticeship to petition to receive college credits for the programs they have completed at WECA.

In their report assessing the Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship programs' continued eligibility for college credit recommendations, NCCRS' evaluation team members commented that course materials are excellent, comprehensive, and well-laid-out; course learning objectives are clear; and instructors are well-qualified.

(WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program is similarly recommended for college credits, but is evaluated on a different cycle than our Commercial and Residential programs.)

Learn more about how Commercial, Residential, and Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship WECA Grads Can Seek College Credits for Program Completion

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024   WECA Veteran Apprentices in California and Utah: The GI Bill Covers Your Electrician Licensing Fees

Content courtesy of: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Get paid back for test fees

The GI Bill covers more than just tuition. You can use part of your entitlement to cover the cost of certain tests you need to take to become a licensed professional--or to apply for college or a training course. We only cover tests approved for the GI Bill under this benefit, so find out what's approved before you take any tests.

What types of tests can I get paid back for through the GI Bill?

For licensing

If you're a veteran and you qualify for the GI Bill, you may be able to use part of your entitlement to cover test fees up to $2,000 for a job that requires a license in order for you to work.

You can use our search tool to learn which tests are covered and their costs. In the field that says "L&C Name", enter the name of the license or certification you're interested in.

Find out which tests are covered and how much they cost.

Note: If you don't see a test listed, it may be a valid test that's just not yet approved. Please submit an application for reimbursement.

What you should know if you're eligible for test benefits

  • We'll pay for tests for as many approved licenses you'd like.
  • We'll pay for tests even if you don't score high enough to get your license. You can take the same test as many times as you need.
  • We'll pay for you to retake a test you passed if you need to take it again to get recertified or retain a license you already have.
  • We won't pay for fees or costs related to getting the actual license document.
  • We won't pay more than $2,000 in fees for one test.

For tests taken after August 1, 2018, we'll prorate the entitlement charges under the Post-9/11 GI Bill based on the actual amount of the fee charged for the test.

How do I get this benefit?

For licensing

You'll need to fill out an Application for Reimbursement of Licensing or Certification Fees (VA Form 22-0803).

Get VA Form 22-0808 to download.

Note: Please turn in proof of payment with your application. Proof of payment can be a receipt showing you paid the testing fee.

Then, upload your completed form through QuickSubmit on AccessVA.

Upload your completed form using QuickSubmit on AccessVA.

Or mail your completed form to your VA regional processing office.

Find your VA regional processing office.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024   WECA Apprentices: February Just Got a Little Sweeter

Access--Or Create an Account for--Your Complimentary SmartDollar Apprentice Benefit to Participate in February's SmartDollar Cash Giveaway


 

Content courtesy of: SmartDollar

February just got a little sweeter. SmartDollar's cash giveaway starts NOW.

The giveaway is live! And earning entries is simple. All you need to do is log into your SmartDollar account (or create one if you haven't already) and start using it. Best of all? You can earn entries every day.

There's no need to send us chocolates or flowers--your SmartDollar account and giveaway entries are free!

Now's the time to start using SmartDollar and winning with money.

You could win:

  • $500 Prize Each Week
  • $1,000 Budget Bonus Prize
  • $5,000 Grand Prize

Log into your account here or scroll below for directions on how to get started today.

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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

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WECA Boards of Directors and Trustees Meeting
Start Date/Time: Thursday, February 8, 2024 9:00 AM
End Date/Time: Thursday, February 8, 2024 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, January 15, 2024