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Thursday, August 15, 2019   LowVolt BICSI Courses Are Back! Explore Offerings at WECA's Rancho Cordova HQ from Oct. 28 - Dec. 20


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

BICSI classes are heading back to WECA just in time for fall--and we strongly encourage our interested member contractors to enroll themselves or their employees in these courses early, in order to secure seats.

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

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

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

IN101: BICSI Installer Training Nov. 18 - 22

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

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

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

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

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

TE350: BICSI Technician Training Dec. 16 - 20

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

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

Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these classes and to enroll yourself or an employee, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search course by location for "Rancho Cordova."
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Thursday, August 15, 2019   Register Today for the Oct. 2 Webinar: "Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce"


Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman as she discusses:
  • Recently enacted statutory provisions regarding new penalties for non-compliance with skilled and trained workforce requirements;
  • The small project exemption for contractor registration and submission of eCPRs;
  • How to read and interpret prevailing wage determinations, including scopes of work, travel and subsistence provisions, and shift differential provisions;
  • Taking credit for fringe benefit contributions;
  • Public works contractor registration requirements;
  • Apprenticeship compliance; and, 
  • Record keeping requirements, including eCPR.
Register today to join us online on October 2, from 8:30-12pm, for this informative webinar.
This webinar is free for WECA member contractors, industry partners, and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Want a handy Prevailing Wage reference in the meantime? Purchase WECA's updated ePublication, "Blueprint to California's Prevailing Wage: A Contractor's Guide Second Edition." Now available for Amazon Kindle, and as an Interactive PDF.

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

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership benefits and services.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 15, 2019   Harness the Power of the Sun with WECA's Solar Courses; Some in Partnership with SEI & Mike Holt


Are you - or your employees - interested in broadening your knowledge, skill sets, and business offerings? 

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

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

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

Faultless Solar (32-hour course)

This course combines two of WECA's popular courses, "Faultless" and "Solar Power for Electricians", into one convenient 32-hour package. Learn about how to coordinate information in specific NEC articles, so you can properly select and install the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations. Then, build on that knowledge as you learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Solar Photovoltaic systems. Enroll today!

PVOL101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) (60-hour course)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, August 15, 2019   WECA Supports ACE Mentor Program, San Diego Chapter's Electrical Industry Education Initiatives


The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) exists to inform, educate and train men and women for successful and satisfying careers in the electrical and low voltage trades.

One such initiative during the 2018-19 fiscal year was its sponsorship of the San Diego Chapter of the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) program. The mission of the ACE program is to ensure that students aspiring to careers in the architecture, construction, and engineering industries can learn the skills needed to develop successful and satisfying careers in those fields.

This year, ACE's San Diego Chapter was able to award over $100,000 in scholarships to 50 juniors and seniors attending 11 high schools in San Diego County. What's more, the generous donations ACE received also enabled them to send one student from each participating high school to a free week-long ACE summer camp!

WECEF and WECA do not currently directly participate in the ACE San Diego Chapter mentoring program, but Don Black, WECA's Apprentice Training Director, says "Some of our instructors have expressed an interest in mentoring," said Black. "It's a fairly significant commitment, but I think it's well worth it. And WECA would 100 percent support our instructors," should they undertake it.

WECEF is excited to continue strengthening its commitment to not only the San Diego community, but also all the communities we serve. And we, of course, eagerly await the great impacts these students will have on their communities and the electrical industry.

Learn more about supporting the ACE Mentor Program in San Diego here. We're proud to see WECA member contractors on the list!
Read more >>


Thursday, August 15, 2019   Around HQ This Week: Instructor John Arias Demonstrates Exothermic Welding


WECA instructor John Arias demonstrates exothermic welding for the cameras during filming of an educational demo this week. Exothermic welding is the permanent joining of two metals by an exothermic reaction that is not susceptible to loose connections, corrosion or other problems associated with mechanical connections. Exothermic welding is utilized in the commercial sector for attaching to the grounding electrode and building steel among other things, and the low voltage sector for attachment to the telecommunication bonding infrastructure.
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Thursday, August 01, 2019   Brittain Insurance Services: Tailor-Made Insurance for the Discerning Electrical Contractor


When it comes to insuring your livelihood, WECA Industry Partner Brittain Insurance Services is a company that has got you covered.

In business for nearly 30 years? Check. Family-owned and run? Check. Dedicated not only to their customers, but also to their greater community? Check!

"We specialize in electrical contractors," said John Brittain IV, President of Brittain Insurance Services. "And our firm was established to provide efficient solutions for the insurance and risk management needs of businesses and individuals. Our services include risk analysis, claims review, and development of a plan to deal with your risks and protect your assets."

Electrical contractor-focused services include: coverage of contractors' tools in transit, and the writing of contractors' liability insurance, project-specific insurance, professional liability insurance, business auto insurance, and all property insurance.

Beyond that, Brittain Insurance Services also specializes in claims management, loss control, and specialized programs for commercial auto insurance specifically tailored for electrical contractors.

So, what does Brittain Insurance Services not do? As it turns out, not much. President John Brittain IV currently serves as President of the Covina Rotary Club and volunteers his time to several community projects that help the homeless and veterans in the greater Covina community.

WECA is proud to have Brittain Insurance Services as one of our Industry Partners - and we strongly encourage our Member Contractors to work with them, too.

"With our 10 percent discount, we can help save WECA members money and provide our professional services to help mitigate their exposures," said Brittain IV.

WECA Member Contractors interested in utilizing Brittain Insurance Services' products may contact them at the following:
 
John Brittain IV, President, Certified Insurance Counselor

Brittain Insurance Services

john@brittaininsurance.com

(626) 967-7985
Read more >>


Thursday, August 01, 2019   Thank You, DeWalt, for Your Generous Donations!



(Left to right: Instructor Rick Mortensen, DeWalt representative Monce' Mejia, DeWalt representative Nathan Longabach, and Instructor Talon Pobuda pose by DeWalt's generous donations!)

Thank you, DeWalt, for helping supplement the world-class educations our apprentices receive in the labs!

DeWalt Tools recently donated display boards, 20-volt battery operated tools, and 10 12-volt drills for students to use in the labs. 
   
This donation is part of DeWalt's initiative of reaching out to training facilities - like WECA - to allow starting tradesmen to experience their tools and renowned quality first-hand. 

What's more is that DeWalt makes it personal - they sent their San Diego-area representatives, Monce' Mejia and Nathan Longabach, to hand-deliver the donations!
Read more >>


Thursday, August 01, 2019   Correction to 2017-2 Prevailing Wage Increases Effective August 1, 2019 Forward

We recently discovered that increases 4 - 7 of 7 beginning August 1, 2019 for the 2017-2 Prevailing Wage Determination that covers Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra (the portion lying outside of the Tahoe Basin), Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba counties were incorrect for apprentices. Corrections have been made and posted to WECA's website.

If you previously downloaded any of these increases, please discard them and download the corrected versions under 'Wage Resources' here.

If you need OT or DT rates for any of these increases, please email chall@goweca.com and we will calculate the correct OT and DT rates for you.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 01, 2019   Nomination deadline extended to August 15th: Serve on the WECA Health and Welfare Board of Trustees

Would you like to give back to the industry, help shape direction at WECA, learn from and collaborate with other contractors, and enhance your own leadership skills?

WECA has two open positions on the WECA Health and Welfare Board of Trustees, and we have extended our nominations deadline!

Members, please check your inboxes for an email from WECA with a link to the nominations form. 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 01, 2019   Members: Watch Your Mailboxes for Your Complimentary Copy of WECA's 2019 Labor Law Book


The 2019 edition of WECA's "Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors" is here! It's an important reference guide - for members, the industry, and the general public - to the latest new and amended laws that could affect your business. 

WECA Members, watch your mailboxes--your complimentary copy is on the way!
Not a Member Contractor with WECA yet? No worries - you can purchase the 2019 edition of "Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors" in our Amazon store. Or join the association and receive it in your welcome package, along with gaining access to the rest of our array of member services and benefits!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Congratulations to Our Southern California Class of 2019 Graduates!

2019 WECA Southern California Graduation


2019 WECA Southern California Graduation

And that's a wrap! Congratulations to our Southern California Class of 2019 graduates! May the successes, knowledge, and lessons learned during your WECA apprenticeship continue to carry you to great heights.

WECA's Southern California graduation - held on July 13th at the picturesque Falkner Winery in Temecula - was an evening to remember as graduates and their loved ones celebrated the end of a long but rewarding journey.

"It doesn't get much more perfect than this," said Wendy Flanagan, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship. "Nor does it ever get old, watching these students' family and friends come together to cheer them on."

Attendees started out the evening with a lively cocktail hour and a delectable dinner provided by Falkner Winery's own Pinnacle Restaurant before moving onto the main attraction - the graduation itself!

WECA Southern California instructor Rick Labon emceed the ceremony, and his fellow Southern California instructors Talon Pobuda, Neil Pesarillo, Rick Mortensen, and Raymond Newton, as well as WECA Apprentice Training Director Don Black, were on hand to present the graduates with their diplomas. During the ceremony, WECA's Southern California valedictorians were presented with commemorative plaques and gifted items from WECA Industry Partner Ideal Industries, Milwaukee Tools, and Klein Tools. Additionally, the salutatorians received gifts from Ideal Industries.
The Valedictorians and Salutatorians for the Southern California Class of 2019 were:

Valedictorians
  • Tyler Nicks (Commercial)
  • Robert Bucklin (Low voltage)
  • Alan Torres (Residential)
Salutatorians
  • Ryan Galarneau (Commercial)
  • Alonso Arturo, Jr. (Low voltage)
The evening concluded with a raffle of special swag for graduates, courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Ideal Industries.

Congratulations, all! We here at WECA look forward to watching our graduates continue to shape and revolutionize the merit shop electrical industry!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Thank You, Sponsors, for Making WECA's Southern California Class of 2019 Graduation Memorable!


The gracious support we've received from our sponsors means a lot to us - and our graduates, of course!

Our sponsors helped to make our graduates' graduation day memorable, and for that, we cannot thank them enough.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Archer



At WECA, we take pride in having become a second home and family for our employees.

And Rebecca Archer - WECA employee of six years, in her current role of Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist since 2018 - is the perfect embodiment of that.

Archer - a native of Galt, California - studied English at Consumes River College and worked as a night and weekend receptionist at a tax and accounting business in Galt for three tax seasons before joining the WECA team. After obtaining her degree, Archer was looking for a similar role in a different industry, and WECA fit the bill.

"I was interested in how the association comes together to offer training and support for electricians throughout the state," said Archer.

Archer's first two positions with WECA were that of Assistant ET/Journeyman Registrar and, following a promotion, ET/Journeyman Registrar, respectively.

"In both roles I was responsible for processing eCommerce enrollments, maintaining and ordering inventory, and providing backup for both the apprenticeship and ET programs," said Archer. "I also maintained the association's files."

Archer then landed in her current position when she "filled in on a GetWired! curriculum project based on some previous editing work I had done with the marketing team, and it ended up being something I really enjoyed."

WECA Director of Marketing, Product, and Learning Michelle Gilkey comments that "Rebecca's skill and professionalism were obvious, and we were thrilled to be able to redirect her efforts to the important role she now plays in keeping the technical and logistical aspects of our education programs on point."

As the Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, Archer runs WECA's eCampus (online LMS, or Learning Management System), implements updated curriculum for all of WECA's educational programs, and provides technical support for GetWired! online learning courses.

"I like working to deliver curriculum and helping to further improve what we're doing and how we deliver it," said Archer.

Ahead of her sixth working anniversary at WECA, Archer mused that she would "like to help further improve our curriculum and expand our course offerings to our students."

When not keeping things at WECA in ship-shape or helping students fulfill their career goals, Archer enjoys playing video games, reading, and all things tea-related.

Especially tea - although Archer reports that it did take her a while to appreciate it.

"I used to hate any tea that wasn't oolong," said Archer. "And I still absolutely hate green tea, but my favorites are white, oolong, and mint teas."

And occasionally, Archer even combines two of her passions - reading and tea - into one.

"I just read a book about tea earlier this year. For example, did you know that white, oolong, black, and green teas are all made using the same leaves? Or that there is a black market for tea where people sell counterfeits of rare teas?"

We hope working at WECA remains Archer's cup of tea for a good long while.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Vernon de Peralta

Electrician Trainee Certificate Program Grad Vernon de Peralta (left) with Instructor Talon Pobuda at WECA's 2019 Graduation Cermony

"Their experience is gold."

That's what Vernon de Peralta, a 2019 electrician trainee graduate, had to say about WECA's instructors.

De Peralta also shared that instructor John Arias "is a very good instructor; informative and knowledgeable. If you had a question or didn't understand a subject or question, he would try his best to walk you through it and he got the class involved in his lectures."

"A good guy to know," de Peralta mused.

De Peralta - who came to WECA by way of a car audio background - was inspired to enter the electrical trade and study at WECA by supportive and experienced coworkers.

"They were also in the program," said de Peralta. "And I wanted to expand my knowledge in commercial housing and construction, learn more about myself, and advance my career."

Ahead of his graduation, de Peralta fondly reminisced about his time at WECA.

"You meet many people from all over in your classes. And weekend labs were fun, because you had a chance to meet good instructors and apply hands-on training and knowledge of what you would be doing in the actual field," said de Peralta.

In the spirit of his upcoming graduation, de Peralta offered up sage words of advice to current and future students.

"Take notes - lots of notes - and get the proper textbooks. Also listen to the instructors because they say a lot of things that are not in the books," said de Peralta.

Looking back at his time in the program, de Peralta stated "I'm proud to have the electrician trainee program under my belt. I can use that valuable knowledge for a raise, and even after I leave my current job, I can take my WECA Electrician Trainee program certificate with me. I may plan to join the commercial housing industry."

What's more, de Peralta enthused that he is "very excited about my future. And I am proud to be affiliated with WECA."
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Industry Partner Spotlight: the All-American Ideal Industries


Ideal Industries is all-American.

This sentiment was perfectly illustrated on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 - stocked with specially-requested Ideal wire strippers - and its crew landed on the moon in a lunar landing module constructed with Ideal tools.

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted that flag into the lunar soil and saluted it, Ideal was there.

And fifty years later, "American ingenuity runs through everything we do - especially our commitment to producing tools here," said Kristen Pentolino, Ideal's Area Sales Manager for Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and Las Vegas.

Pentolino further stated that "it's not just about making high-quality tools, but it's about making them the right way - with American steel and American labor, right here in the USA. Look for our Made in the USA badge for tools that are American through and through."

And that commitment to excellence permeates everything Ideal does. Their products offer electricians start-to-finish excellence - from their industry-defining wire connectors and fish tapes, to their superior wire strippers to their advanced electrical testers.

"We are the electrician's champion," said Pentolino. "From pulling wire to installation to testing connection, we understand what electricians go through during every stage of the job, and design tools and supplies to make each stage easier."

To that end, Ideal's partnership with WECA strives to offer value-added services to enrich the educational experience of WECA apprentices, electrician trainees, and journeymen.

"From the classroom to the jobsite, Ideal is committed to being the ultimate training partner for students and apprentices. We want to assist students in gaining the tools they need to be successful in the field," said Pentolino.

This is evident in Ideal's practice of hiring employees who are intimately acquainted with not only the electrical industry, but also the electrical trade school industry. A perfect example is Ned Johns, Ideal's Western Region Area Training Manager. Prior to joining Ideal, Johns was a commercial electrician instructor at WECA for a decade.

"Having Ned at Ideal is wonderful," said Terry Seabury, WECA's Executive Director and CEO. "It has helped strengthen our partnership with Ideal, and our member contractors and students can rest easy knowing that Ned knows exactly what they're looking for."

With strong partnerships like this, everyone wins. WECA's member contractors and students can benefit from a 25 percent discount on tools and supplies. Member contractors interested in utilizing Ideal's products and services can contact their local Ideal sales manager below, while students interested in utilizing Ideal's products and services can either contact their local Ideal sales manager below or visit the IDEAL4students page.

To learn more about Ideal's products, services, and/or training programs, contact them at the below:

Ned Johns, Area Training Manager: Ned.Johns@idealindustries.com for questions about training programs

Elissa Wenster, Western Regional Manager: Elissa.Wenster@idealindustries.com for questions about products and services that Ideal offers

But the benefits don't end there.

Another perk of Ideal's partnership with WECA is the opportunity for WECA-affiliated students and professionals to compete in a qualifying event - leading to the opportunity to compete in the Ideal National Championship - for a chance at over $500,000 in cash and prizes.

WECA member contractors and students who are interested in competing can learn more here.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Congratulations! WECA Member Contractors Dominate SBJ Top 25 List!

This year, 15 WECA Member Contractors made the Sacramento Business Journal's list of Top Electrical Contractors, holding well over half the positions and dominating the rankings. 
 
Click Image for Full List

WECA ran a congratulatory ad in the Journal in February, and you can watch for the list and the ad again in the Sacramento Business Journal's keepsake "Book of Lists" edition in December. Please join us in congratulating all the listed contractors!
 
Click to View Larger

Our members who made the list, in listed order, are:

1. Rex Moore Group Inc.

2. Royal Electric Co.
4. Barnum & Celillo Electric Inc.
6. Helix Electric Inc.
8. North State Electrical Contractors Inc.
9. Capitol Valley Electric Inc.
10. Vasko Electric Inc.
12. Alessandro Electric Inc.
13. All-Bright Electric Inc.
14. Butterfield Electric Inc.
15. Bosley Electric Co.
16. Perfection Electric Co. Inc.
18. Garrahan Electric Inc.
19. KS Telecom
20. Ample Electric Inc.

We feel confident our member contractors will continue to dominate the list in future years-let's see if someday soon we can take all 25 spots! 

 
WECA was included on the Sacramento Area-based Business Advocacy Groups as well, landing in #16th place! Take a look below!
Click Image for Full List
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Act Fast - Time Running Out For Exclusive WECA Member and Employee July Special


32 Hours of Continuing Education: Easily Fulfilled! 


WECA-developed Packages for Journeymen: "Perfect Sizing", "Faultless Solar", "Voice Data Video Exam Preparation", and "Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation". Currently available for $150 each to members and their employees through July 31, 2019. 

WECA is offering Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep. - all 32-hour online classes - to 
WECA member contractors and their employees at the special price of $150 each for the month of July! Members' journeymen can choose from these four courses and get their full 32 renewal hours for just $150.
Only employees of WECA member contractors are eligible for this deal. 

To get the discount, these courses must be ordered by phone, mail, fax, email, or walk-in, so we can confirm employment with a WECA member contractor. These discounts are not available through online enrollment. Quickest way: call us at 1-877-444-9322!


Perfect Sizing:

In this course, students learn about sizing motor circuits, sizing motor feeder circuits, wiring motors and air conditioners, and proper selection and installation of the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations.

 Learn more about Perfect Sizing
  But call in to get your discount!
 
Faultless Solar:
 
This course combines two of WECA's popular 16-hour courses, "Faultless" and "Solar Power for Electricians," into one convenient 32-hour package. Journeymen learn about how to coordinate information in specific NEC articles, so they can properly select and install the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations. Then, build on that knowledge as they learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Solar Photovoltaic systems.
 
Learn more about Faultless Solar
But call in to get your discount!

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation:

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Fire Life Safety Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Voice Data Video Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through developing proficiency in the preparation for and execution of the VDV certification exam. It is meant for individuals who are almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Voice Data Video Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!


Note: if you or your journeymen have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 32-hour package.
  
What if you don't work for a WECA member contractor?

You can still enroll in these classes at our usual competitive pricing. Or, tell your contractor about WECA! Ask them to read all about our  member benefits and services, including our training discounts for their employees.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Don't Forget: Stay on Top of Employee Training w/ Contractor Authorization Forms

One of the benefits of WECA membership is having everything you need to seamlessly track your employees' training in one comprehensive place. Our Authorization for Release of Records forms help you do just that.


WECA's Authorization for Release of Records forms allow journeymen and electrician trainees enrolled at WECA to grant their employers permission to communicate with and receive records from WECA for a period of time, as stipulated either by the student or the form type.


Alternatively, member contractors may also file authorization forms on behalf of their employees if the employees are enrolled in an electrician trainee or continuing education program. 


Authorization forms allow for the release of records such as grades, attendance reports, progression letters, completion certificates, and program enrollment and renewal information. Member contractors will also be able to ensure that their employees are working to meet their 150-hour continuing education requirement for state renewal. Further, member contractors may request to be copied on all correspondence their employees receive. However, the member contractor must notify WECA of this request. 

Please note that WECA now offers three - rather than the previous four - different versions of the authorization form:
 
  • For electrician trainees: the form expires upon the student's request or upon completion or cancellation of the program; whichever occurs first
  • For journeymen: the form expires upon the student's request or three years after the signed effective date; whichever occurs first
  • Release of records for general students and electrician trainees who work for non-member contractors: these forms will expire 30 days from the effective date or upon the student's request; whichever occurs first
Member contractors or their employees who wish to obtain and/or file authorization forms may do so by either obtaining the student's signature, or signing the form, and submitting the form to etregistrar@goweca.com. Upon submission and processing of the form, contractors will have access to their students' information on their member dashboard (accessible here ) within two business days.

Member contractors - if the concerned employee(s) are electrician trainees (ETs) - will also be able to assist those employees in maintaining active ET cards with the State of California and help monitor their employees' progress in the program.

Employees enrolled in the ET program will also receive ET overview reports. Member contractors employing ETs will also gain access to these reports, whose release are also included in the filing of the authorization forms.

ET reports provide the following benefits to both member contractors and their employees:
  • Transcript browse: this function allows members to pull up-to-date copies of their employees' transcripts for renewal purposes
  • ET or journeyman certificate browse: allows members to pull course completion certificates for their employees who have successfully met course requirements to pass
  • ET enrollment letter browse: allows members to find proof of the student's active renewal with WECA, either for initial registration with the State of California or for renewal purposes
  • Active ET student status: allows members to see the current status of their employees and see if they are enrolled, or currently between classes and their deadline to get signed up to maintain enrollment with WECA
  • Daily grades and attendance: allows members to check on their employee's current grades and attendance for the classes they are attending
To obtain ET reports, contractors may login to the WECA website with their member login.

WECA is also pleased to announce that additional benefits will be added in the future, such as improved enrollment functionality online for member contractors with students already in the program, to improve the user experience for our member contractors. 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Hiring? Post Today to Our Job Board or Access Our Student Referral Service!

 
WECA's Electrical and Low Voltage Industry 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. 
View this WECA-provided, free, no-obligation service HERE, and post a position to help you find your next great employee today! You can also view active resumes here as part of your member contractor benefits.

You may also use our free job referral service connecting currently-unemployed ETs, Journeymen, and WECA Graduate job seekers to Member Contractors in order to help meet their staffing needs. It's included with your contractor membership!  

This service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff supply you with hands-on referrals. In other words, we take some of the hard work off your plate. The Student Referral Service refers job-seekers to you, and you hire them directly.
To receive referrals from WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Ana Lopez, WECA ET/Journeyman Program Manager, at alopez@goweca.com or 1-877-444-9322.
 
Post a job today!
 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Today's Read: Union-rigged government contract scheme plays favorites, robs jobs


Content courtesy of Pacific Legal Foundation


Editor's note: The company prominently featured in the article - Lakeside Electric - is actually Laketown Electric.


If you've ever visited the Twin Cities region of Minnesota, there's a decent chance you've encountered the work of Lakeside Electric. In fact, CEO Matt Bergman says the electrical handicraft of the company his dad started 44 years ago is woven into many large buildings Minnesotans use every day.


"We've done municipal projects like wastewater treatment plants, police stations, city halls, courthouses, and jails," Matt says. "We've also done ball fields and a brewery. And we're doing a food hall in downtown Minneapolis that will have six different restaurants. Nearly anything you can name, we've done it."


Much of the work came about after Matt took the helm of the family business following his father's death seven years ago. Since then, the firm has grown from 12 employees to 110, opened a second location, and offers training and profit-sharing bonuses, making it one of the fastest growing companies in the Twin Cities.


Despite their proven expertise, one area remains virtually untouchable to Matt's team: the Minneapolis School District.


Read more here
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Today's Read: It's Time to Take CEQA Reform Seriously


Content courtesy of Borre Winckel and the Voice of San Diego

Regulations in California have something of a dubious (and occasionally comical) reputation within the state and throughout the country. California is a state notoriously draped in red tape, complicating just about everything imaginable. After all, it was just last year that we were debating whether your morning coffee needed to come with a cancer warning. Unfortunately, some of the red tape in our state is misused to a much graver and more dangerous extent, putting low-income residents and entire sectors of the economy at risk.

Nowhere is this more plainly visible than in the weaponization of the California Environmental Quality Act, known more commonly as CEQA. Originally written with the noble intention of ensuring that new development projects around California were undertaken in an environmentally responsible manner, it has since become a blunt-force bit of regulation used to put permanent holds on important housing and development projects throughout the state. Instead of protecting the environment, CEQA is now often misused to freeze a critical sector of our economy and keep our courts full.

California's housing prices have been impossibly high for some time, and they continue to rise. State residents are having a tough time finding an affordable place to live, and in one study conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, 35 percent of respondents said they are considering moving out of state altogether because of how expensive it has become to live here. California has long been a place where people dream of living, and we should not let housing prices get in their way.

Read more here
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 03, 2019   Opportunity Knocks: Calling All WECA Member Contractors to Bid on Statewide Walgreens Project



WECA is pleased to announce our partnership with our newest industry partner, ProGroup Contracting. ProGroup, based in New Bedford, MA, is a national painting and renovation company focused on servicing commercial properties across the United States. Our partnership not only marks ProGroup's expansion into California, but also its first large scale contract in California - the renovation of an initial 32 Walgreens drugstores statewide, with more to come.
To achieve this, ProGroup must build a network of contractors throughout California. Thus, ProGroup has opened its open-program bidding process to WECA member contractors - an opportunity that WECA Executive Director and CEO Terry Seabury calls "tremendous". 
We strongly encourage our member contractors to take advantage of this great opportunity to build their portfolio and garner increased recognition within the electrical and contracting industries. 

Peter Suneson, ProGroup Contracting's Vice President of Client Integration and Training, states that "the 32 contracted locations only represent the first wave of conversions" and that "both the retail and hospitality industries are driving us to bid future work across the entire state".
And upon successful completion, Walgreens will 'most likely' move forward and utilize ProGroup Contracting's Services at every Walgreens location in California and the rest of the United States, according to Suneson. 
Interested WECA member contractors should take note of the following:
  • Jobs will average about $5,000 per location
  • The project start date(s) are to be determined. However:
    • Work will commence Mondays through Wednesdays
    • The first wave of work will run into September, 2019
  • WECA member contractors doing business in the general vicinity of more than one contracted Walgreens location may submit and secure bids for more than one job/location.
To submit bids or learn more about the project(s), WECA member contractors may contact ProGroup at the following:

Peter Suneson, Vice President of Client Integration and Training, ProGroup Contracting

peter@progroupcontracting.com
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 03, 2019   California Sexual Harassment Legislation Update from WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP



Content provided courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP

"Clean Up" Legislation Gives Employers Another Year to Implement New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

by Regina Agopian & Lisa Ryan of Cook Brown, LLP

In response to widespread confusion about the timing of California's expanded sexual harassment training requirements, the California Legislature has introduced a "clean up" measure to last year's Senate Bill 1343. That bill mandated employers to provide one hour of harassment training to non-supervisory employees. It also extended the two-hour supervisory training to employers with just five or more employees.

The new legislation, SB 778, now extends the deadline for employers to provide anti-harassment training for non-supervisory employees from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. Most importantly, SB 778 clarifies that employers need not provide training again in 2019 when they already provided supervisory training in 2018. But SB 778 also allows covered employers who have provided anti-harassment training to an employee in 2019 to wait two full years before providing refresher training to those trained employees.

What Does this Mean for Employers?

Learn more here
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 03, 2019   Help Your Journeymen Fulfill Their 32-hour Continuing Education Requirement - for just $150


Help your journeymen fulfill their continuing education requirement with WECA's Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep class packages. 

The four packages - each consisting of a 32-hour online class that fulfills the full 32 hours renewal requirement - are available to WECA member contractors and their journeymen at the special price of $150 each for the month of July only

So act fast and snap up the deal before it's gone for good at 11:59 PM PST July 31st
Only employees of WECA member contractors are eligible for this deal. 
 
To get the discount, these courses must be ordered by phone, mail, fax, email, or walk-in, so we can confirm employment with a WECA member contractor. These discounts are not available through online enrollmentQuickest way: call us at 1-877-444-9322!
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 03, 2019   Behind the Scenes at WECA: LowVolt Apprentices

A quick peek behind the scenes at your apprentices in the WECA labs: Low Voltage Apprentices spent an afternoon last week fusion splicing single and ribbon fiber optic cables, which are used in server rooms to transmit large amounts of high speed data. 
 
Low Voltage Rancho Labs
 
Low Voltage Rancho Labs
 
Low Voltage Rancho Labs
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   An Evening to Remember: Congratulations to the Northern California Graduating Class of 2019!

WECA graduations do not mark beginnings, nor ends. Rather, they are exciting milestones on already distinguished journeys.

And WECA's Northern California graduation ceremony - held at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters on Saturday, June 8th - was no different. The halls of WECA bustled with graduates and their loved ones and reverberated with love and support.

"I was glad to see so many family and friends at the graduation," said Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and graduation emcee. "Graduating from these programs is not easy, so to have that continued support from your loved ones is important."

WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, Wendy Flanagan, concurred.
"I love seeing everyone's family and friends here. They are just as much the driving force behind a graduate's success as the graduate themselves," Flanagan said.

The evening began with a lively cocktail hour featuring delicious appetizers from Hannibal's Catering and drinks poured by WECA's Curtis Hicks and Audra Jamieson, and then segued into a heartfelt ceremony emceed by Slemp.
Highlights of the graduation ceremony included:
  • Spotlights on WECA member contractors who were contributing sponsors to the graduation celebration, as well as special guests like Chris Nelson of Bergelectric, Jay Taylor of Vasko Electric, and Nora Carlton from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship
  • An inspiring speech from Windell Pascascio, Jr. - alumni of the WECA Class of 2013, and current WECA member contractor
  • Presentation of awards to the 20 graduating apprentices who completed their entire Apprenticeship while maintaining all of their discipline points
  • Presentation of diplomas by apprenticeship instructors Zach Wallace, Steve Kappes, John Arias, James Hall, and Lakeal Morris
  • Ideal Industries raffle hosted by current Ideal Industries representative and former WECA instructor Ned Johns
One of the focal points of the ceremony - aside from the presentation of awards and diplomas - was Pascascio, Jr.'s rousing speech. Pascascio, Jr. - a Belizean native who has worked in the electrical industry since he was 16 years old - detailed his journey to success and dispensed sage advice in his speech.
"My WECA apprenticeship years were exciting; I worked with Valley Unique Electric through my five years of the program before working with Rex Moore as a project manager for two years," said Pascascio, Jr. "Then I received my C10 license in 2016 and started my own business."
Pascascio, Jr. continued, stating, "Our first WECA apprentice will start their apprenticeship later this year, so I'm proud of that. And I want to take this moment to encourage everyone out there who has plans to eventually own their own electrical contracting business - you can do it."
Then Pascascio, Jr. rounded out his speech by saying, "I remember riding my bicycle with my tools in my backpack doing residential work and now I'm here today [as an electrical contractor], so if I can make it happen, any of you guys can make it happen."
And then the evening ended on a poignant note - provided by none other than emcee Slemp.
"I don't have tears in my eyes - it's just allergies," Slemp joked.
Slemp then added, "But seriously, I will miss some of these guys. This is one of the things I love about my job - being able to train apprentices to become electricians, and then watch them go out and succeed." 



 
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Donors for Making the NorCal Class of 2019 Graduation Great!

The gracious support we've received from our sponsors means a lot to us - and our graduates, of course!
Our sponsors helped to make our graduates' graduation day memorable, and for that, we cannot thank them enough.
 


Thank you for your continued support of WECA! 
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Northern California Commercial Apprenticeship Program Valedictorian Spotlight: Mark Mendenhall



Being an electrician is in the blood for 2019 Commercial Apprentice Valedictorian Mark Mendenhall.

Though Mendenhall initially wanted to be a firefighter, he cited his dad [Mendenhall Electric owner Carroll Mendenhall] as his inspiration for giving the electrical industry - and WECA - a chance.

"My dad played a big part in encouraging me to go down the path of becoming an electrician," said Mendenhall. "When I started at WECA, I wasn't 100 percent sure I wanted to be an electrician. But the classes kept me interested and I continued to learn new things that I could then apply out in the field."

Although Mendenhall grew up around the
 electrical industry, his WECA education prepared him for an industry career far more than simply being in the field ever could.

"My WECA education helped me learn a lot of code that you don't get to learn in the field, and WECA didn't just cram a bunch of information into my head to help me pass a test - instead it showed me how it actually applies. More importantly, WECA taught me how to better understand electricity and how it works, which then helps me understand what I'm doing and not just doing something because it says to on the prints. WECA has helped prepare me to hopefully take over the company in the future," said Mendenhall.

Mendenhall continued, "I get to put into practice what I have learned, but I still learn new things almost daily from those who have decades of experience and knowledge as electricians."

Mendenhall also encouraged current and future students to "do what you can to learn something new every day, whether it's from the code book or from one of the textbooks. There are going to be some boring or mundane days, but that can't keep you from choosing to learn and progress not only as an electrician, but also as a person."

And - as is typical for new graduates - Mendenhall found himself not only reflecting upon his educational journey, but also anticipating his future in the 
electrical field.

"I couldn't have done this without the support and encouragement from my beautiful wife, Tosha," said Mendenhall. "And now, I plan to learn more of the business side of things at the company [Mendenhall Electric]. I still have a lot to learn about how the business is run."

From all of us here at WECA - congratulations, Mark! We're excited to see what the future brings to the next generation of Mendenhall Electric.
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Come Support the WECA Southern California Graduating Class of 2019!

diploma_grad_cap.jpg

One graduation down, one more to go!

WECA's Southern California graduation is coming around the corner, so don't forget to come support our graduates on Saturday, July 13th at Faulkner Winery in Temecula!

Class of 2019 SoCal Graduation

Saturday, July 13th

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Faulkner Winery

40620 Calle Contento

Temecula, CA 92591

Member contractors, industry partners, and industry supporters: buy your tickets and/or sponsorships here.

As always, thank you for your continued support of electrical and low voltage education, and we look forward to seeing you!  
 
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division Announces New Website for Wage Determination Data

Notice courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division


The U.S. Department of Labor is excited to announce that this Friday, June 14, 2019, WDOL.gov will be transitioning to https://beta.SAM.govwhich will become the new website for wage determination data.

Features of the new beta.SAM.gov website include:
  • Search-based structure: Users may search for a variety of information including specific Davis-Bacon Act and McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act wage determinations.
  • Learning Center with tutorial videos, tools, and other information to familiarize users with the new site.
    • Ability to filter and search for content in the Learning Center. Users will find links to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Code of Federal Regulations citations for specific subjects via a Cross Index page for Contractor Labor Standards.
    • The site features more FAR Supplements and other acquisition regulations than WDOL.gov.
    • A Transition Quick Start Guide will be available soon.
  • Create an account: By creating a beta.SAM.gov account, users may access certain features of the system only available to account holders. For example, users will have the option to:
    • Save previous searches.
    • Start or modify a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    • "Follow" specific wage determinations and receive email alerts when changes or modifications are published.
      • Users will determine what to follow and the frequency of email alerts.
  • Timeline and history of changes to wage determinations.
Support for the wage determinations in beta.SAM.gov will continue to be provided by the Federal Service Desk.
Employers can find compliance assistance resources from the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division at www.dol.gov/WHD/foremployers.htm. 
Additional compliance assistance resources and answers to common questions regarding federal labor laws can be found at www.Employer.gov. 
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Get an Up-Close Look at WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program

WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program
WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program

Are you - or is one of your employees, or someone you know -  interested in fire alarm systems, security systems, intrusion detection systems, CCTV systems, access control systems, audio systems, nurse call systems, and basic electrical systems?
Then a WECA low voltage apprenticeship - culminating in a multi-faceted, fast-paced, and competitive career as a low voltage technician - is a great choice!
Our three-year apprenticeship program prepares low voltage apprentices for successful careers in the industry through applying their learning and knowledge directly to their real-life job duties. 
Apprentices enrolled in our low voltage apprenticeship program also receive the following:
  • classroom and paid on-the-job training
  • fringe benefit packages provided by their contractor (which may include major medical, a 401k, or cash equivalent per the contractor's discretion)
  • hourly wages starting from minimum wage to $22 base per hour and increasing to between $14-$34 per hour by their third year of apprenticeship
Interested? Here's how to start a low voltage apprenticeship journey today:

Apply for apprenticeship here
or call us at 877-444-9322
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Upcoming Event: Workers' Compensation Action Network Town Hall and Summit in Redwood City

Courtesy of Workers' Compensation Action Network
 

Workers' Compensation Action Network Town Hall and Summit

FEATURING

Stephen Wagstaffe
San Mateo County District Attorney

Teena Barton
Senior Fraud Investigator, ICW Group

Friday, July 26, 2019
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Angelica's

863 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

JOIN US FOR LUNCH!
  • Come to a riveting, free Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Workers' Compensation Action Network, and featuring San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe who will highlight how the county is aggressively pursuing workers' comp fraud prosecutions. 
  • Also presenting is nationally recognized expert in the insurance industry and law enforcement, Teena Barton, who is a Major Case Special Investigator in a workers' comp fraud investigation unit with ICW Group. She will share stories of how injured workers are used for profit and how recruitment firms receive illegal kickbacks for referrals to hospitals, doctors and ancillary medical service providers, essentially "using people like ATMs". She will discuss her own expertise as well as the case of Sean O'Keefe, a convicted workers' compensation attorney serving 13 months in federal prison for his involvement in a $200 million scheme built around recruitment referrals and kickbacks to use injured workers for fraudulent billing.
  • Jerry Azevedo with the Workers' Compensation Action Network (WCAN) will provide an update on the status of the workers' comp system in California and activity in the State Capitol. We will also hear from YOU, business owners, who can share your workers' comp experiences with the District Attorney.
  • WCAN is a broad-based, statewide coalition that has successfully fought for reforms to provide state and local officials more tools to combat workers' compensation fraud to help meet the dual goals of stable costs for employers and higher benefits for injured workers. In recent years, state lawmakers enacted several pieces of legislation designed to improve system efficiency, reduce conflict and legislation, and stem abuses by service providers. These reforms are delivering higher benefits to California workers while stabilizing employer costs. Despite these reforms, California's system remains one of the most costly and litigious in the nation and vulnerable to evolving forms of fraud and abuse.
  • Complimentary lunch will be provided. 
 
  •  Why Crack Down on Workers' Comp Fraud?
  • Fraud hurts both employers and injured workers. It inflates employer costs, clogs the injured workers' compensation court and administrative systems, delays the resolution of claims, diverts limited system resources, and exploits injured workers who do not receive the medical care needed to properly heal from their injuries. 
Read more >>


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