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Thursday, May 16, 2024   WECA Member Contractor Spotlight: Lightworks





Lightworks CEO and Owner Troy Dunnington

For Lightworks founders Troy Dunnington and Todd Walling, lighting, construction, and design are a shared passion.

Troy and Todd initially met in 1999 while both working for a design center in San Diego. Troy—then the owner of Lightz On—worked as an electrical subcontractor for the company, while Todd worked as the company’s Lighting Specialist. While collaborating on projects together, Troy and Todd experienced firsthand the “fragmented nature” of subcontractor services in the market—most notably how multiple subcontractors handled electrical, low voltage, lighting control, landscaping, telecommunications, security, and motorized window treatments during a project, separately, without communicating with each other.

Troy and Todd decided to address these pain points by founding a company that offered a more cohesive approach—Lightworks. Troy began implementing his passion for audio-video and lighting control into his projects, while Todd contributed expertise in lighting specification and design software, to offer unified systems to their clientele. Altogether, Lightworks stands out from its competitors by offering seven different disciplines—electrical, lighting design, lighting control, audio visual, security, surveillance, shades, drapes, and smart power—under one roof.

“We offer expertise in smart power electrical, lighting design, lighting fixtures, lighting control, shades, audio-visual, and security, and pride ourselves on being a comprehensive design-build firm,” says Lightworks. “We have established partnerships with prominent Southern California builders, architects, and designers, positioning ourselves as trusted design and consultation allies. We have also fostered numerous alliances with top technology partners, and garnered accolades such as induction into the Lutron Hall of Fame, Savant Ambassadorship, HTA certification, and the Lutron Black Diamond dealership.”

Lightworks is projected to achieve more success and demand in Southern California over the coming years, as the need for smart power, home automation, and more increases.

“With the adoption of smart power, battery storage, and linking power to your smart home, this will revolutionize homeowners’ ability to give visibility into their energy usage, while also giving them the ability to determine what course of energy can be used throughout the day—like pulling from the grid, pulling from batteries, or recharging from the sun or the generator in the event of power outages,” says Lightworks.

Additionally, Lightworks says that “Our thirst as humans to be connected means that technology becomes a bigger part of everyone’s lives both at home and at work. With more people working from home and more electric vehicles, there is more demand for electrical and technology being packed into houses.”

Thank you, Lightworks, for being a WECA Member Contractor and training your employees with us! We’re thrilled to be helping you develop a qualified, educated workforce to deliver the increased demand for smart power, battery storage, smart homes, and more in Southern California. 

 




 
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Thursday, May 16, 2024   WECA AZ Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist Heath Anderson Featured in Electric Times

WECA Arizona Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist Heath Anderson Featured in Electric Times Article on 'Attracting Women to the Trades,' along with mention of WECA Industry Partner ToolWatch

Content Courtesy of Electric Times

Alan M. Petrillo, Electric Times

Heath Anderson, Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist for the Western Electrical Contractors Association (WECA), has a finely tuned antenna aimed at getting more young people into the electrical trades, and recently had an opportunity to address the Phoenix chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) on the subject of increasing the number of women getting into the construction trades.

Anderson said the invitation to speak to NAWIC was the result of a chance encounter with Samantha Miller, Construction Operations and EHS Platform Account Executive for ToolWatch. He said that ToolWatch also shares WECA's passion for encouraging more women to join the electrical trade, and to that end, Miller invited Anderson to be a guest speaker at some ToolWatch events, including an episode of ToolWatch’s Women in Innovation podcast last December, and at the NAWIC Phoenix chapter meeting this March.

“The audience were great hosts and provided great discussion,” Anderson said of the NAWIC Phoenix chapter meeting. “The members appreciated the efforts that have gone into the marketing materials aimed at helping women see the benefits of a career as an electrician.”

Anderson added that this year is the 95th anniversary of his organization.

“I told the group that WECA has a federally approved apprenticeship program, and that it maintains ambassador status at federal Department of Labor under its apprenticeship program division,” he said. “I mentioned to the group that WECA has dedicated open houses during the national Women in Construction Week, and that as an organization, we have quarterly female apprentice roundups where Arizona, Utah and California women apprentices can come together to discuss issues important in being successful in the construction industry.”

Anderson said that WECA’s outreach is designed to allow women to have a great opportunity in the electrical trade. “We have worked closely with the Fresh Start Foundation for Women, which focuses on women in general in the trades; have a federal Department of Labor grant to assist women in non-traditional occupations; and work with the nonprofit group, Arouet, that’s dedicated to helping women who have been incarcerated to get the tools they need for success in the construction field.”

He pointed out that “Many of our electrical contractor members are very second chance friendly; they have a good many folks who have had major issues in their lives, and gave them a chance to succeed in their companies. Those were good things for the NAWIC chapter to hear, and gave them ideas where they can also be helping the cause.”

Anderson said WECA also recently had good interaction in beginning to work with Girls Can Build, stated Tiffany Sharp of Sharp Construction, whose group provides knowledge and mentoring for young women considering work in the electrical field. He noted that Sharp will begin a new mentoring process in August.

“A very important thing we talked about at the NAWIC meeting is that it is of upmost importance that women are shown that where they will go to work is where there are people like themselves,” Anderson said. “Women in construction should be very visible so they can serve as role models.”

One of the barriers in the construction industry is the relationship with film, television and the media, Anderson said.

“I challenged the NAWIC Phoenix chapter to be a voice to tell the broadcasting world that there are no positive role models of construction workers in broadcasts, women or men, living a good life,” he said.

“They should be showcasing the quality of life by the people who build, and give young women and parents a lesson on how women can be successful in the construction industry as a whole.”

Read more >>


Thursday, May 16, 2024   Have You Considered WECA's Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program Lately?

Develop Your Non-Electrician Construction Employees in Electrical Fundamentals


 

Our contractors asked, and WECA delivered.

Essential training for non-electrician construction professionals:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager

(PE to PM) Program
 

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

The PE to PM Training Path is made up of five online courses which should be taken in the following order:

1. Practical Electrical Theory is an online, self-paced introduction to electrical theory, laws, and circuits. Course topics include:

  • Atomic Theory
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Series Circuits
  • Parallel Circuits

Learn more and enroll here.

2. Subject Indexing and Code is an online, self-paced course in which students will learn how to effectively navigate and answer code-related questions in the National Electrical Code (NEC 2017) book and complete the calculations needed for electrical installations. Course topics include:

  • NEC Subject Indexing
  • Conductor Sizing and Protection
  • Raceway, Box Fill, and Conduit Fill Calculations
  • Service Sizing, Clearances, and Terminations
  • Wiring Methods, Special Equipment and Occupancies
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Motors
  • General Equipment, Lighting and Panelboards

Learn more and enroll here.

3. Electrical Wiring Methods and Installations is an online, self-paced introduction to the most used wiring methods with emphasis on proper installation and correctly applying electrical code. Course topics include:

  • Installation basics
  • National electrical code
  • Workmanship standards
  • Identification of methods

Learn more and enroll here.

4. Job Costs and Estimating Basics is an online hybrid (a scheduled instructor-led introduction and otherwise self-paced) course which introduces estimating job costs, material and labor for electrical installations. Course topics include:

  • Material estimations
  • Labor estimations
  • Voltage drop as applied to installation
  • Total job cost analysis

Learn more and enroll here.

5. Commercial Electrical Blueprint Reading is an online, scheduled, instructor-led course (with a self-paced online option launching very soon!) in which students learn how to coordinate cut sheets, submittals, the NEC and more with digital blueprints to plan electrical installation for commercial construction from the ground up. 

Learn more and enroll here.
 

FAQs

Q: Is this for Project Engineers only?

A: Nope! Any construction industry professional (for instance, General Contractors, Construction Managers, Solar Installers, etc.) who requires a grounding in electrical concepts, the National Electric Code, and best practices on the electrical job site can benefit from this program. 

Q: Is the PE to PM Program appropriate for Electrician Trainees?

A: No--Electrican Trainees should take the WECA Path to the Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, including the whole GetWired! series, in order to make sure they are getting the thorough electrical education and amount of education hours needed to qualify for the State of CA electrician certification exam.

Q: Does the WECA discount structure for Member Contractors and their employees apply to the PE to PM program?

A: Yes, discounts on these classes are available to WECA Member Contractors and their employees as a WECA membership benefit. Members: Please log in to your secured member dashboard to access and download the PE to PM discount rate sheet, or call our office for more information. Member employees: Please speak to your contractor about accessing a discount.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?

A: The program is modularized and was designed to accommodate individual choice in the intensity and speed of completion. Motivated students might complete it in as little as 6 months. A student who would like to integrate the concepts more slowly, or who is combining this program with other on-the-job training, might prefer to enroll in only one course per quarter, taking approximately 18 months to complete the program.

Q: Will the timing of the classes interfere with job duties?

A: The program has been designed for busy working professionals and should not interfere with full-time job duties. All of the courses are fully online. Three of the courses are entirely self-paced. One of the courses has one instructor-led class, which is held online in the evening, and then the remainder are self-paced. The final course is scheduled, online, instructor-led, but classes occur on weeknight evenings and one Saturday.

Q: I'm a construction professional who has had some electrical training already. Can I skip a class? 

A: WECA recommends the full program, taken in the order outlined above. However, if you've had previous electrical training (for instance, by taking some WECA GetWired! classes), we recommend you review the course outlines closely, and then enroll in whatever is most appropriate for you. Call WECA and talk to one of our client services specialists if you're not sure what to take.

Q: Does WECA provide a certificate of completion at the end of this program?

A: Yes, a student who successfully completes all five courses in the PE to PM Program Path with be granted a certificate of completion from WECA. (Credit towards the certificate for alternative courses previously taken at WECA will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

Q: How much does this cost?

A: Individual courses in the path range from $99 - $389 each, and WECA member discounts apply to each of them. Total program tuition costs are under $1,000, even without member discounts applied. One of the two required textbooks may be rented for additional savings. (See the WECA booklist on each course's web catalog page for details. Some textbooks can be rented.) 

Enroll your employees (and be sure to utilize WECA's member training discounts) today!

 

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Thursday, May 16, 2024   Snaps from the WECA Camera Roll

California and Utah Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the Labs

Fifth year, second semester Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the lab with instructor Jimmie Slemp at WECA's California headquarters in Rancho Cordova










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Fifth year, second semester Commercial Electrical apprentices in instructor Lakeal Morris' lab at WECA's California headquarters in Rancho Cordova









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Fourth year, second semester Commercial Electrical apprentices in the lab with instructor Talon Pobuda at WECA's Utah headquarters in Woods Cross, UT.









 
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Thursday, May 16, 2024   Electrician Trainees Who Want to Get Started Right Away Can Start Taking GetWired 101 Self-Paced


 

Member Contractors: The next round of instructor-led GetWired 101 classes, the first in the path to the WECA Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, start up in July.

Have trainees who want to get started sooner?

GetWired 101 Self-Paced is an entirely online, self-paced version of our instructor-led GetWired 101 course which introduces fundamental electrical laws and theory and explains how the National Electrical Code (NEC governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment. Core competencies include:

  • Refresher on basic math skills applied to electrical calculations
  • General information on electrical installations
  • Introduction to hand and power tools used in the field
  • Electrical symbols and receptacle outlets
  • Atomic structure
  • Electrical quantities and Ohm's Law
  • Static electricity and magnetism
  • Resistors
  • Conductors
  • Voltage drop and neutral sizing for services
  • Wiring methods
  • Switch control of lighting circuits, receptacle installation, bonding, and induction heating

Total class hours available: 40
Standard tuition fee: $319

Encourage them to enroll in GetWired 101 Self-Paced here!

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Thursday, May 16, 2024   Do You Handle Permit Applications for Single-Family Alterations?

Access 2022 Energy Code Checklist Videos for Permit Technicians, Courtesy of California Energy Commission

Content Courtesy of: California Energy Commission

Energy Code Ace has checklists designed specifically for Permit Technicians that summarize California’s Energy Code requirements for common residential alterations. These videos are designed to increase knowledge intake and evaluation of low-rise single-family residential permit applications for compliance with the 2022 Energy Code. The videos were developed by Energy Code Ace with funding by the California utility customers and administered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E®), and Southern California Edison Company (SCE) under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. The videos links will open in the Energy Code Ace YouTube webpage. Watch this short two-video playlist and learn how to use these no-cost resources to guide intake of your projects.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) coordinates with utility partners and stakeholder organizations to offer opportunities aimed at enhancing the skills and awareness of persons working with the Energy Code and other CEC efficiency programs. Training and links to the Energy Code and compliance software are available at the CEC's Online Resource Center webpage and at utility training centers throughout the state.


 
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Thursday, May 2, 2024   Here's What WECA Outreach Was Up to on the Workforce Development Front in April

The beginning of April was a whirlwind for WECA's outreach and workforce development teams!

First, WECA visited Twelve Bridges High School in Lincoln with WECA Board Member and Member Contractor Ian Vander Linden and his company, KS Telecom.

Top: Ian Vander Linden talks to two attendees.

Bottom: WECA's setup at Twelve Bridges' event.



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Then, WECA had a busy day at Sheldon High School in Elk Grove, joined by WECA Lead Instructor and Lab Manager Jimmie SlempWorkforce Development Specialist Jeanette Santos, and WECA Member Contractors Royal Electric Company and Capitol Valley Electric. There, Jimmie and Jeanette assisted Workforce Development Manager Diane Trotter in educating attendees about WECA's Apprenticeship programs and how to start their Apprenticeship journeys.



Jeanette and Jimmie are all smiles for the camera!



Jimmie talks with an interested attendee.



Jeanette encourages an attendee as he plays a game to win some WECA swag.



We were excited to have WECA Member Contractor Royal Electric Company at the event with us!



It was also great to see Capitol Valley Electric at the event, too!



Jimmie using our portable outreach electrical lab wall to explain concepts to interested attendees.

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And then, on Saturday, April 13, WECA attended North State Building Industry Foundation's Skilled Trades Job Fair in Sacramento. Commercial Electrical instructors Lakeal Morris and James Hall were also on hand to provide great demonstrations for attendees interested in pursuing careers in the electrical industry.



Lakeal shares a moment with an attendee.



Lakeal and Diane in their elements as they converse with attendees.



James shares some career insights.



James gives an electrical demonstration.

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Thursday, May 2, 2024   Meet New WECA Apprenticeship Instructor Erwin Marquez

At WECA, we pride ourselves on the fact that many of our instructors have professional backgrounds in myriad facets of the electrical industry. That includes Erwin Marquez, our new Apprenticeship instructor at WECA’s San Diego training facility.

Before joining the WECA team, Erwin—a native of the Philippines—received a B.S. degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and worked in the electric vehicle, renewable energy, power supply, and semiconductor industries.

His new role at WECA, however, has proven to be exceptionally rewarding. 

“It’s rewarding because you’re helping your students every step of the way and teaching them how to be successful in their careers. My goal is to serve as a role model for students by demonstrating passion, perseverance, and a commitment to lifelong learning in their own career pursuits. I want to lead by example and show students what it means to be successful in their chosen field,” says Erwin.

For Erwin, leading by example means weaving sage advice into his teaching and committing to leveling up at his job and in his understanding of the electrical industry.

“Discover your passion by exposing yourself to a variety of subjects and career paths. Find what you love and enjoy doing, because once you have landed that career, you will feel like you’re never working for the rest of your life,” says Erwin. “And remember these three words—integrity, intelligence, and energy. If you don’t have the first, the other two will bring you down.”

Additionally, Erwin says “I want to always improve at my job and enjoy learning new things, gaining new skills, and becoming more proficient in tasks that I already know. My favorite thing about the electrical industry is the problem-solving and investigating how things like an electrical circuit failed. I enjoy root cause analysis, because it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.”

Outside of work, Erwin enjoys playing sports (especially table tennis!), watching movies, and walking outdoors—particularly with his family.

“I’m blessed with two beautiful angels and a wonderful wife,” says Erwin. “They are my inspiration and motivation in life.”

Thank you for joining the WECA team, Erwin! We’re excited to see how your fascinating background, wisdom, and passion for and knowledge of multiple aspects of the electrical industry help propel the continued success of WECA’s Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in San Diego!


 
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Thursday, May 2, 2024   DOL Offering Online Wage Seminars in May; Aug. on Prevailing Wage Reqs for Federally-Funded Projects

Content Courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor


 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Labor today announced its Wage and Hour Division will offer contracting agencies, contractors, unions, workers and other stakeholders opportunities in May or August to attend an online seminar on meeting federal requirements for paying prevailing wages on federally funded construction and service contracts.

Part of the continuing effort by the division to increase awareness and improve compliance, the day-long seminars will offer sessions on the labor standards protections in the Davis-Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act, including how the department sets and administers prevailing wages and other topics. Participants can choose from several sessions to get the information they need. 

“Prevailing wage laws empower workers by ensuring that federally funded construction and service jobs are good jobs with fair wages and benefits,” said Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman. “The Biden-Harris administration’s historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure means a significant increase in the number of federal and federally funded projects, and the Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring stakeholders understand the labor standards protections critical to these investments.”

Seminars will be held online on May 15 and Aug. 29 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT. The seminars are free to attend but registration is required. Additional information and links to the online seminars will be sent to registered participants. Sign up to receive event updates. 

Learn more about the requirements for federal contractors.

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Thursday, May 2, 2024   Turning Conversation into Action: Mental Health in Construction Webinar on May 21 at 9 A.M. PT

Hosted by Procore and The B1M as Part of Their Get Construction Talking Initiative


 

What: Turning Conversation into Action: Mental Health in Construction Webinar

When: May 21 at 9 A.M. Pacific Time

Where: Virtual

Content Courtesy of Procore

Among men in the US, UK and Australia, construction has one of the highest suicide rates of any sector. As awareness of the mental health crisis has increased, so have expectations for employers to take action.

That's why Procore and The B1M have joined forces to launch Get Construction Talking, an initiative aimed at raising awareness and reducing the stigma around mental health in construction. Register for the webinar to support this critical initiative and you'll hear perspectives from leaders like:

  • Fred Mills, Founder, The B1M
  • Alison Mirams, Former CEO, Roberts Co.
  • Brian Murray, CEO, Ryan Companies

Hear how executives and construction leaders from around the world are taking action and what you can learn from their experience.

Register now

Can't attend live? Register anyway--we'll send a recording of the webinar straight to your inbox.

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Thursday, May 2, 2024   Do You Employ WECA Electrician Trainees?

Let Them Know the 2024 WECEF Scholarship Round for Electrician Trainees is Now Open!



wecef
 

If you have employees on the path to a WECA Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, they can follow the link below, review the eligibility requirements, and apply for this scholarship which can result in money for books, tools, and tuition fees, plus sponsored enrollment in upcoming courses. The application deadline is June 15, 2024.

Learn more

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Thursday, April 18, 2024   WECA 95th Birthday Celebration and Gratitude



WECA celebrated its 95th birthday on Tuesday, April 9th! We're thrilled to celebrate 95 years of serving our member contractors and industry partners, educating the finest electricians and low voltage technicians in the Western United States, and advocating for the merit shop industry in California, Arizona, and Utah. Thank you for being part of our legacy, and we look forward to the next 95 years of excellence with all of you.
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Thursday, April 18, 2024   WECA Member Makes SBJ's List of Top Solar Contractors in the Sacramento Area



We would like to congratulate WECA Member Contractor Barnum & Celillo Electric Inc. for being named to the Sacramento Business Journal's Top Solar Contractors in the Sacramento Area list! Congratulations, Barnum & Celillo!
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Thursday, April 18, 2024   1st Year, 2nd Semester Low Voltage Apprentices Test Out Virtual Reality Confined Spaces Training












First year, second semester WECA Low Voltage apprentices recently piloted virtual reality Confined Spaces training from developer PaleBlue.

In this virtual and immersive safety training, they practiced entering a space with limited entry and egress, prepared for accessing a confined space, and then tried out two roles: an entrant and an attendant.

Our instructors and apprentices gave the training two thumbs up. WECA is now rolling it out to all of our Low Voltage apprentices in their first year and second semester of their Apprenticeship program with us, and this VR training will be coming soon to our Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship programs, too!

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Thursday, April 18, 2024   Support the WECA Utah Class of 2024 by Sponsoring Their Upcoming Graduation Event in June


 

Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Utah Graduating Class of 2024!

Our Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the Class of 2024 have successfully completed their education with WECA.

Help us honor their achievement with your sponsorship of their graduation event on:

Saturday, June 22, 2024 from 4:00 to 7:30 PM

DoubleTree by Hilton Salt Lake City Airport

5151 West Wiley Post Way

Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Help us make their graduation memorable--your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend the graduation event, which is especially meaningful for grads if you're their contractor. Plus, you can meet WECA instructors and staff, other member contractors, and electrical industry supporters as well. Sponsorship packages at different levels may include tickets to attend the graduation, ads in the graduation program, recognition of your sponsorship during the ceremony, mention of your support on our website, in our newsletters, and over social media.   

Please consider the sponsorship opportunities at the link below, and thank you for your support of electrical training, apprenticeship, and workforce development for Utah!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team

Reserve your sponsorship package

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Thursday, April 18, 2024   Please Give Your Team a Heads-Up: WECA Summer Session (Jul - Sep 2024) Now Available for Enrollment



Our Summer 2024 (Jul - Sep) course catalog is now available on our website for your electrician trainees in our certificate program, and journey worker continuing education students who need 32 hours this year. GetWired instructor-led classes can fill quickly. Be sure to encourage your employees to secure their spot!

View the Electrician Trainee course catalog

Jump to the Journey Worker continuing education course catalog

They 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.



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Thursday, April 18, 2024   Court Decision Answers the Question: When Are Employees On-the-Clock?

Content Courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP


 

Content courtesy of: WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP

Court Decision Answers the Question: When Are Employees On-the Clock?

In Huerta v. CSI Electrical Contractors, a decision focusing on the construction industry, the California Supreme Court recently provided specific guidance on whether time spent waiting for a vehicle inspection is compensable. The Court also provided guidance on the factors which must be considered when determining whether time spent driving to a remote site after such inspection should be paid as compensable travel time, as well as whether thirty-minute meal breaks should be paid if workers remain on site while on break. While the decision is expressly limited to on-site construction (Wage Order 16), the principles articulated by the Court apply to every California worksite. Accordingly, the Opinion offers helpful insights to all workplaces where employees undergo entrance or exit routines before or after work.

The issues came before the Supreme Court – not through the normal appellate procedures – but by means of a specific request from the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for guidance on California law. In requesting this assistance, the Ninth Circuit noted the issues “have significant public policy implications for California workers and employers” and no current California case addresses them specifically.

Mandatory Vehicle Stop

In resolving the first issue, the Supreme Court closely examined the circumstances at the site where plaintiff, George Huerta, was employed. Specifically, it noted that workers were required to pass through a security gate before entering the project’s perimeter. The security gate was located several miles from the perimeter. To pass through the security gate, workers had to show a badge and, when asked, allow a guard to peer into their vehicles. The inspection process could take up to a minute or more per vehicle. Based upon these facts, the Supreme Court concluded that when an employee spends time on an employer’s premises awaiting and undergoing an employer-mandated entrance or exit security procedure, such as a vehicle inspection, such time shall be compensated.

In resolving the second issue, the Supreme Court was required to consider whether the mandatory vehicle stop amounted to an initial work location, comparable to a requirement to check in at a shop prior to heading out to the worksite. The Court recognized that when employees are required to “check in” at a certain location, all time after the check-in should be paid. The Court concluded that the circumstances of a vehicle inspection, however, do not equate to a check-in unless it is required for reasons other than accessing the worksite. The Court expressly held that if the employee was required to pick up supplies, receive work orders, or otherwise perform any work at or during the inspection process, the time spent driving would be compensable.

The Court further clarified that the Employer’s imposition of certain restrictions when driving from the vehicle inspection site to the parking lot did not transform commute time to compensable work time. Although those restrictions – speed limits, bans on passing, smoking and the use of earpods – arguably benefitted the employer, the Court considered them common sense safety rules that did not convert the travel to work time.

Meal Break Rules

The third issue was complicated by the applicability of two collective bargaining agreements governing the project. Under Wage Order 16, meal break rules under the Labor Code do not apply when a collective bargaining agreement governs the worker and addresses meal periods, hours worked, and provides wages thirty percent higher than minimum wage. The Court held that although specific meal break rules under the Labor Code were inapplicable due to the collective bargaining agreements, the employer was still bound to pay employees for time spent on a meal break when and if the employee was restricted to the premises. The Court held that the employer and applicable union could negotiate for an on-site break, but such break would have to be paid.

Takeaways

For non-construction employers, the most important takeaways in the case are two-fold. First, it is a reminder that any time – even less than a minute – spent prior to or after work on activities that benefit an employer are likely to be compensable, even if such activities can be done from the comfort of the employee’s vehicle. Second, notwithstanding the obligation to pay for time spent during a vehicle stop and inspection, the time spent after the inspection to the actual worksite is probably not compensable. Moreover, employers can impose safety restrictions on access roads without concern that such safety measures will transform commute time to paid time.

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Friday, April 5, 2024   WECA San Diego Elected Officials Visits; Discussion of Workforce Needs and Industry Challenges in CA

WECA CEO Don Black Discusses Regional Workforce Development Needs and Construction Industry Challenges with San Diego Elected Officials and Staff; Gives Tours of Our San Diego Training Center
 

A dispatch from Dave Everett, WECA's new Southern California Government Relations Representative:

WECA’s staff works hard to protect the rights of merit shop business owners and their employees throughout the West. Part of that work is showing our elected officials and their staff members first-hand the great work WECA is doing in workforce development at our San Diego Training Center.

To that end, WECA CEO Don Black was recently in San Diego and had a chance to sit down with some of our local elected officials here in San Diego County and discuss the workforce development needs of the region as well as some of the challenges facing the construction industry in California.

After a breakfast event with San Diego Supervisor candidate and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, WECA's CEO met with with California State Assembly candidate and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio and staff from Assemblymember Chris Ward's office and gave them a brief tour of our WECA facilities in San Diego. It was a good opportunity to highlight the many ways WECA’s apprentices learn in the classroom and to see the hands-on, competency-based labs they undertake. The day concluded with an opportunity to talk with State Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones, State Senator Catherine Blakespear and Vista Mayor John Franklin as they celebrated the AGC National Convention hosted here in San Diego and Thomas L Brown becoming AGC of America Board President in 2024.

WECA members embrace the idea that political action is not simply prudent, but essential to preserving and enhancing their ability to pursue business opportunities in the public and private marketplace.







Above, WECA CEO Don Black gave California State Assembly candidate and former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio a tour of WECA's San Diego electrical apprenticeship and training center and discussed WECA's workforce development efforts

Below, Don and Jeff Van de Moere, WECA's Membership Manager for California and Utah, met with Assemblymember Chris Ward's staff at our San Diego facility and highlighted for them the many ways our electrical and low voltage apprentices and students learn in our classroom and labs.





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Friday, April 5, 2024   New Industry Partner Spotlight: DeWalt


 

Like many of WECA’s industry partners, our newest one, DeWalt, is time-tested. Since founder Raymond DeWalt invented the radial arm saw in the 1920s and “ushered in a new era of jobsite productivity,” DeWalt has provided the construction industry with safe, high quality, durable, and innovative tools and power tools.

Currently, DeWalt offers more than 1,000 products that focus on the professional end user. These products include power tools, hand tools, accessories, storage, anchors, and fasteners. These tools are stand-alone products but also include systems such as cordless platforms, Perform and Protect, Tool Connect, and more. DeWalt also offers trade solutions such as software and online safety training courses.

Additionally, DeWalt also offers product lines and solutions built specifically for the electrical industry. DeWalt’s software offerings designed for electrical workflows include MSUITE, HangerWorks PRO, and TOOL CONNECT Site Manager. Meanwhile, DeWalt offers tools made for fabricating and installing, as well as tools aimed toward stripping, crimping, and maintenance. Lastly, DeWalt offers myriad anchors and fasteners that work well with comprehensive electrical workflows. 

“WECA Member Contractors would benefit from using DeWalt’s products, systems, and solutions because DeWalt is leading the way in the era of modern construction sites and constantly developing new technology, products, and software to improve efficiencies,” says Justin Miller, DeWalt’s San Diego-based Trade Specialist.

To that end, DeWalt has partnered with WECA because “WECA is where apprentices learn and grow, and DeWalt wants to be involved. We feel it’s important for apprentices to have the opportunity to have experience with DeWalt tools,” according to Miller.

WECA Member Contractors interested in procuring products, systems, and solutions from DeWalt can reach out to the following contacts:

·        Justin Miller (Trade Specialist, San Diego)

o  Phone: (951) 216-5958

o  Email: justin.miller@sbdinc.com

·        Nate Longabach (Trade Specialist, San Diego)

o  Phone: (949) 351-5154

o  Email: nate.longabach@sbdinc.com

·        Erick Cornejo (Account Manager, San Diego)

o  Phone: (562) 377-6195

o  Email: erick.cornejo@sbdinc.com

Thank you, DeWalt, for being a WECA Industry Partner! Together, we look forward to continuing WECA’s tradition of innovation and excellence in the West. 

Read more >>


Friday, April 5, 2024   When Is Entering and Leaving a Jobsite Compensable Work Time?

Guidance from Dennis Cook, Partner at Cook Brown, LLP

A WECA Industry Partner


 

When Is Entering and Leaving a Jobsite Compensable Work Time?

Guidance from Dennis Cook, Partner at Cook Brown, LLP

The question of when an employee’s compensable workday begins seems simple enough; it’s when an employee starts work, right? However, since California law says that “hours worked” includes all time when an employee is under the control of an employer or is suffered or permitted to work, the workday has been stretched to include time that historically may not have been treated as paid time.

The California Supreme Court reviewed another example of this recently in the case of Huerta v. CSI Electrical Contractors where the court analyzed three issues under Wage Order No. 16 applicable to onsite construction. One of these issues involved whether workers employed by an electrical contractor on a solar project who entered the jobsite in personal vehicles and waited at a security gate for a security guard to scan identification badges and inspect vehicles is compensable hours worked.  

The Court held that this time may be compensable “employer-mandated travel” under Section 5(A) of Wage Order No. 16 which says “All employer-mandated travel that occurs after the first location where the employee's presence is required by the employer shall be compensated at the employee's regular rate of pay or, if applicable, the premium rate … .” The Court said that an employee's presence is “required by the employer” within the meaning of Section 5(A) when it is for an employment-related reason and not for the practical necessity of reaching the worksite. 

In addition to time required for access and inspection at a security gate, other examples of compensable worktime at the beginning of the workday would include:

·        picking up tools or equipment at the shop before going to the jobsite;

·        coming to the shop or yard and loading material; and

·        having employees meet at the shop or other location to receive orders or directives.

General contractors usually control access to jobsites and subcontractors should be mindful of these rules. Generally, merely entering through a jobsite gate and travelling from the gate to a parking lot is not compensable worktime, but the court in the CSI case suggests that relevant factors to determine whether this time could be converted to compensable work time are:

·        the purpose served by the employee’s presence at the gate;

·        the activities that occur at the gate; and

·        how much time is spent there. 

The extent of travel restrictions on the jobsite will also be examined, but the court noted that rules designed to ensure safe, lawful, and orderly conduct while travelling are appropriate and do not impose a level of control causing the travel time to be compensable.

The court also reviewed the jobsite exiting process and imposed a stricter standard determining that an employee’s time spent on an employer’s premises awaiting and undergoing an employer-mandated exit procedure, including a visual inspection of the employee’s personal vehicle, is compensable work hours under Section 2(J) of Wage Order No. 16. While the court recognized that merely stopping at a gate in a parking garage probably is not compensable work time, it noted in this instance that “when an employee spends time on his employer's premises awaiting and undergoing an exit security procedure that includes a vehicle inspection causing delay and that is mandated by the employer for its own benefit, the employee—even when in his personal vehicle—is subject to the employer's control, and the time is compensable”. As noted, a good rule-of-thumb is to review the GC’s jobsite access procedures to determine the level of control related to the exiting procedure. Flashing a badge to exit is probably insufficient to require the time to be compensated, but if this is accompanied by a visual inspection, the time spent exiting may be converted to compensable work time.

Read more >>


Friday, April 5, 2024   Davis-Bacon and Related Act Prevailing Wage Resource Book

Content Courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division


 

Content courtesy of: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division

On April 1, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD) updated the Prevailing Wage Resource Book (PWRB). In light of the recent publication of the final rule, Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations, which took effect on October 23, 2023, WHD conducted a comprehensive review of the PWRB to simplify the language, restructure the format in a more intuitive manner, and provide additional guidance and examples where stakeholders routinely requested clarification.

Contractors, contracting agencies, enforcement staff, unions, associations, and workers have long relied upon the PWRB to gain a better understanding of the labor standards on certain federal and federally funded contracts including those involving the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA), the Service Contract Act (SCA), the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA), the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA), the Copeland "Anti-Kickback" Act, and Executive Orders impacting federal contracts.

The updated PWRB discusses WHD’s policies in a way that is more easily accessible to all stakeholders and provides them with a better understanding of the labor standards that apply to many federal and federally funded contracts. 

For more information on the labor standards on certain federal and federally funded contracts, please visit our Government Contracts Compliance Assistance webpage.

Read more >>


Friday, April 5, 2024   Workplace Violence Prevention Planning

Content Courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP


 

Content courtesy of: WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP

Virtually all California employers must have a workplace violence prevention plan in place by July 1, 2024. 

The Workplace Violence Prevention Plan

Cal/OSHA's model plan offers a starting point for creating a compliant plan. In addition to a model workplace violence prevention plan, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has also published a general fact sheet to help employer’s create and implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (WVPP) that meets the requirements imposed by Labor Code section 6401.9. 

Read the rest of the plan here.

Read more >>


Friday, April 5, 2024   Guidance on Compliance AB 2143/PUC 769.2 Reqs, Incl. Prevailing Wage and Certified Payroll Reporting

Get Guidance on Navigating Compliance Requirements Under AB 2143/PUC 769.2, Including Prevailing Wages and Certified Payroll Reporting?

Content Courtesy of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

Join us on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at 1:00 PM for an informative webinar for the Solar-Utilities Reporting, Guidance, and Education (SURGE) initiative directed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). SURGE is the official platform for AB 2143 reporting and contractor support. This webinar is designed to provide solar contractors with essential guidance on navigating compliance requirements under AB 2143/PUC 769.2 which includes prevailing wages and certified payroll reporting.

For more information about SURGE, please visit our website. Additionally, if you have any questions about the event, please feel free to email events@cpucsurge.org.

Read more >>


Friday, April 5, 2024   NAWIC Phoenix Chapter Had WECA at March Meeting

National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Phoenix Chapter Had Heath Anderson, WECA Arizona's Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist, As Guest Speaker at March Meeting




 

Last week, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) Phoenix Chapter invited Heath Anderson, WECA Arizona's Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist, to be a guest speaker at their chapter's March meeting.

The invitation spurred from WECA's chance encounter with Samantha Miller, Construction Operations and EHS Platform Account Executive for WECA Industry Partner ToolWatch, at the fall 2023 GC Expo. After learning more about WECA, ToolWatch became a WECA Industry Partner.

ToolWatch also shares WECA's passion for encouraging more women to join the electrical trade. To that end, Miller invited Heath to be a guest speaker at some ToolWatch events, on an episode of ToolWatch's Women in Innovation podcast in December, and at the NAWIC Phoenix Chapter meeting in March.

"The audience were great hosts and provided great discussion," Heath says of the NAWIC Phoenix Chapter meeting. "The members appreciated the efforts that have gone into the marketing materials aimed at helping women see the benefits of a career as an electrician."

Thank you, NAWIC and ToolWatch, for inviting Heath to be a guest speaker at the Phoenix Chapter's March meeting. Every chance we get to educate the industry on how to encourage women to pursue careers in the electrical trades is very gratifying.

Read more >>


Friday, April 5, 2024   Don't Miss Out: There's Still a Chance to Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for Part Two of Our Webinar

Part 2 (Skilled and Trained Workforce) on Apr. 10

Registrations Are Complimentary for WECA Members as a Member Benefit


 

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for Part 2 of our two-part webinar series on April 10. Part 2 will focus on Skilled and Trained Workforce, where Carrie will discuss:

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

Register today to join us online on April 10, from 8:30 to 9:30 AM, for Part 2 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others are $95/registration.

Register for the April 10 webinar here!

Read more >>


Thursday, March 21, 2024   Spotlight on New WECA Industry Partner, Siemens


 

WECA’s new Industry Partner, Siemens, has been shaping the world we live in today for over 100 years.

“For 177 years, Siemens has played its part in shaping the world we live in today. We have turned great inventions into innovative technologies and risen to the challenges of our time, transforming everyday life for people around the world. We are now helping to change the world to create a sustainable future for generations to come. From electrified factories to revolutionizing and transforming entire industries digitally, from the first electric trains to seamless, safer, and more sustainable transportation, from the first x-ray systems to the digital age of imaging, diagnostics, and therapy…we are building the future,” says Derek Catalano, Siemens’ Senior Sales Executive for Fire Solutions.

And now, Siemens wants to bring their 177 years of experience and innovation to WECA and its Members. Today, Siemens offers myriad solutions to consumers – such as security, building automation, energy services, and fire alarm and suppression systems.

“Siemens’ solutions include installation, monitoring, and preventative maintenance and test and inspection services across all vertical markets,” says Catalano. “We distinguish our products and services from competitors through a focus on innovation, quality, sustainability, and digitalization. We also emphasize cutting-edge technology, comprehensive solutions, and a global presence, positioning ourselves as leaders in sectors like energy, healthcare, and industrial automation. Siemens places a strong emphasis on research and development, customer service, and partnerships to drive differentiation in the market.”

Siemens became a WECA Industry Partner to network with other WECA Industry Partners and with WECA Member Contractors, participate in events, and pursue possible sponsorships of those events. However, Siemens is also excited to work with WECA Members to offer their products and services at a discount on a case-by-case basis.

“WECA Members can benefit from Siemens products and services due to our reputation for quality, reliability, and innovation. Siemens offers a wide range of products and solutions for various applications, including energy distribution, building automation, industrial control, and more. By using Siemens products, WECA Members can access state-of-the-art technology, efficient solutions, and comprehensive support. This ultimately helps Members to deliver high-quality projects, improve operational efficiency, and stay competitive in the industry,” says Catalano.

WECA Members interested in working with Siemens to utilize their solutions can contact Derek Catalano, Senior Sales Executive in Fire Solutions, at 916-402-0945 or derek.catalano@siemens.com.

Thank you, Siemens, for becoming a WECA Industry Partner! We hope your extensive expertise can be leveraged into comprehensive and dynamic solutions for our members! 

Read more >>


Thursday, March 21, 2024   WECA AZ: Learn More About How WECA Encourages More Women to Join Electrical Industry

Join Heath Anderson, WECA Arizona's Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist, and NAWIC on Mar. 26 in Scottsdale from 5-7 PM

Tickets at QR Code Below

Read more >>


Thursday, March 21, 2024   Sacramento-Area Members: Help Build the Future of the Sacramento Region's Electrical Workforce

Join WECA at North State Building Industry Foundation's 8th Annual Skilled Trades Job Fair on Apr. 13


 

When: Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Sacramento Scottish Rite Masonic Center

              6151 H Street

              Sacramento, CA 95819

What: Meet over 200 individuals seeking job opportunities in the homebuilding space

Registration is now open and spaces are filling up fast!

Register here!

Read more >>


Thursday, March 21, 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 soon!

Read more >>


Thursday, March 21, 2024   Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for Two-Part Webinar on Prevailing Wage; Skilled and Trained Workforce

Don't Miss Out: Registrations are Complimentary for WECA Members as a Member Benefit

?Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for a Two-Part Webinar Series on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce

Part 1 (Prevailing Wage) on Apr. 3

Part 2 (Skilled and Trained Workforce) on Apr. 10

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman April 3 for Part 1 of a two-part webinar series on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce. Part 1 will cover Prevailing Wage, including:

  • Identifying and understanding the wage determination applicable to your project
  • Taking credit for employer-provided fringe benefits
  • Record-keeping
  • Apprenticeship compliance
  • Enforcement

Register today to join us online on April 3, from 8:30 to 11 AM, for Part 1 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others are $95/registration.

Register for the April 3 webinar here!

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









 

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for Part 2 of a two-part webinar series on April 10. Part 2 will focus on Skilled and Trained Workforce, where Carrie will discuss:

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

Register today to join us online on April 10, from 8:30 to 9:30 AM, for Part 2 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others are $95/registration.

Register for the April 10 webinar here!

Read more >>


Thursday, March 21, 2024   Save the Date (June 22nd) for the Utah Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2024 Graduation

Come Celebrate Our Graduates' Hard Work and Accomplishments


 

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

Please watch your inboxes for ticketing and sponsorship details as this event draws closer. We look forward to celebrating the hard work and accomplishments of our graduates!

Read more >>


Friday, March 8, 2024   WECA Members Dominate Sacramento Business Journal's Top Electrical Contractors List for 2024




 

WECA's Sacramento-area Member Contractors regularly dominate the Sacramento Business Journal's Top Electrical Contractors lists, and we've done it again in 2024! Please join us in congratulating the following WECA Member Contractors for demonstrating merit shop excellence in the Sacramento area and beyond:

 

Alessandro Electric, Inc.

Barnum & Celillo Electric, Inc.

Bosley Electric Company

Butterfield Electric Inc.

Garrahan Electric, Inc.

Helix Electric, Inc.

KS Telecom, Inc.

North State Electrical Contractors, Inc.

Rex Moore Group

Royal Electric Company

Setpoint Control, Inc.

Vasko Electric, Inc.

Read more >>


Friday, March 8, 2024   Three AZ Members Listed Among Largest PHX-Area Electrical Contractors by Phoenix Business Journal


 

Quality and quantity prevail at WECA: three of our Arizona Member Contractors were named among the largest electrical contracting companies in the Phoenix area by the Phoenix Business Journal! All three moved up in the rankings this year. Please join us in congratulating our WECA Member Contractors:

Corbins

K2 Electric

Specified Electrical Contractors (SECON)

Read more >>


Friday, March 8, 2024   Celebrating Women in Construction Week 2024

We're celebrating Women in Construction Week 2024 this week, and WECA is highlighting some of the women in our programs: Apprentices, Electrician Trainees, and an Instructor!

Video: Three Women's Journeys into WECA Apprenticeship



Video: Spotlight on WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice Tyana LaBranch

WECA Apprentice Tyana LaBranch

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

Electrician Trainee Dale Canyon


 

It was the theater that brought Electrician Trainee Dale Canyon to the electrical industry.

“I was working as the technical director of a local theater company,” says Dale. “They couldn’t afford to pay me, so I decided to make more money and expand my knowledge base as an electrician.”

As an Electrician Trainee, Dale works for WECA Member Contractor Fort Bragg Electric during the day and completes self-paced GetWired courses by night.

“I’ve been progressing through the self-paced GetWired courses online. Currently I’m finishing up GetWired 103 and looking forward to starting GetWired 104 and eventually the GetWired 200 series. Doing school and work concurrently takes a lot of discipline, but I’ve found a good rhythm,” says Dale.

Additionally, as an Electrician Trainee, Dale has enjoyed seeing her coursework and experiences on-the-job merge occasionally.

“Sometimes the course work is easily synchronized with my field work,” says Dale. “It’s pretty cool to see concepts I’m learning about come to life on-the-job.”

Speaking to being a woman in the electrical industry, Dale reports that the experience is mostly the same as that of her male coworkers, but adds that it does come with perks, both unexpected and expected.

“Nice old ladies get really excited when you show up to do their electrical work. I also enjoy the money and having an expanded skillset,” says Dale.

Dale attributes her success in the Electrician Trainee Program to myriad people.

“I’d like to shout-out to WECA Online Education Manager Galen Eckert for taking the time to answer my questions, my employer Fort Bragg Electric for giving me a shot, and to Ron Grapp for being a rockin’ mentor,” says Dale.

We are glad that you have brought your unique background and outlook on the industry to WECA’s Electrician Trainee Program, Dale, and are excited to see where it continues to take you on this journey! Break a leg!

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

WECA GetWired Instructor Rika Casseres



 

In celebration of Women in Construction Week 2024, WECA is pleased to spotlight Rika Casseres, the first woman to join the WECA instructor team. 

Rika, who teaches GetWired online courses through WECA’s Electrician Trainee Program, has utilized her electrician training in myriad ways and places. After completing apprenticeships and working with Allied Contractors, Rika became an electrical engineer to learn more about the theoretical aspects of electricity.

However, Rika’s heart always remained in the “nuts and bolts of hands-on electrical installations”, so she returned to the electrical industry and eventually landed in her current position with WECA.

“My career in electricity has taken me from Hawaii to California. I enjoy the freedom and versatility that working in the trades has offered me, and I have especially enjoyed sharing my skills as an electrician with future homeowners at Habitat for Humanity. It was with Habitat for Humanity that I understood the value of electrical work in the community,” says Rika.

In her current role, Rika teaches students about the tangible, intangible, and practical concepts of electricity.

“My motivation as a WECA instructor is to make students aware of the opportunities we as electricians have to bring power to our communities and businesses,” says Rika. “As electricians, we work with a natural force that moves as fast as light, has the potential of the sun’s energy, and yet is mostly invisible – therefore, learning how to harness and use that force safely is key to our trade. On a practical level, my goal is to educate students in the areas of safety, NEC compliance, and common practices for electrical installations.”

Further, Rika says that she enjoys teaching at WECA because WECA’s GetWired online program and Electrician Trainee Program provide an accessible platform for anyone who wants to be an electrician.

“WECA’s coursework breaks down the National Electrical Code requirements, along with best installation practices, into bite-sized pieces that build on each other,” says Rika. “Anyone who is willing to show up and do the work is welcome and will succeed.”

Thank you, Rika, for bringing your robust experience and contemplative and altruistic insight to WECA and the GetWired Electrician Trainee Program! We’re thrilled to have you here!

 





 
Read more >>


Friday, March 8, 2024   WECA AZ Team Introduces PHX-Area Students to WECA's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program






 

The WECA Arizona team recently took advantage of a rare class-free week (thanks to Presidents' Day in February) to connect with future electricians at the WECA Phoenix Training Facility and Arizona headquarters.

Keith Smart, WECA Arizona's Apprenticeship Manager and Instructor, hosted students and teachers from Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona at the facility for a tour and immersive overview of WECA Arizona's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program.

During the tour, Keith led the guests through a detailed explanation of the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program and showcased the career opportunities available to apprentices through the program.

The visit was in the works for awhile -- teachers at Red Mountain High School came across WECA Arizona's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program at the 2023 Arizona Construction Career Days event, which WECA attended. Their interest was piqued, and they later requested a tour of the WECA Phoenix Training Facility and Arizona headquarters to introduce their students to the possibilities and career opportunities that WECA Arizona's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program offers apprentices.

The WECA Arizona team greatly enjoyed hosting the students and teachers from Red Mountain High School, and eagerly look forward to seeing some of the students enter WECA Arizona's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program someday!





Read more >>


Friday, March 8, 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's our honor to congratulate the first WECA apprentice 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 >>


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