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Thursday, November 16, 2023   A Thought Piece from WECA Utah Founding Member Contractor Hunt Electric

Unlocking Design-Build Construction's Potential: Two Keys for Maximum Performance


Content courtesy of: WECA Utah Founding Member Contractor Hunt Electric

Getting the most from design-build delivery often depends on the quality of the electrical, mechanical, and general contractors you select. How can owners and developers identify the right design-build partners? Look for the following factors.  

Standardization: A contractor using well-documented processes will ensure a more predictable outcome. 

Trends in the AEC industry, such as employee turnover, make standardized processes critical. 

Engineers are retiring from the profession in far greater numbers than new engineers are replacing them. This imbalance, coupled with the immense demand for new construction in many markets, puts fewer engineers with less experience under greater pressure to do more work. This same trend applies to the field staff as well. 

By standardizing and fully documenting every step of the design process, a design-build partner can support its engineers with detailed documentation that provides clear guidance to help them make the best decisions in every design step. This standardization also keeps engineers on schedule. 

Hunt Electric anticipated this challenge to the industry years ago. We responded by extensively analyzing our design-build processes and standardizing them with clear documentation. This empowers us to support new members of the engineering team with the guidance they need to maximize the amount and quality of work they can accomplish with limited direct oversight. 

Our standardized and well-documented processes give you and the rest of the team a more predictable and complete electrical design. 

Constructability Reviews: Get a practical design that can be efficiently constructed in the field. 

Once the design has been completed, a good design-build partner will have a team of expert electricians with extensive field experience review and modify the drawings to ensure they can be built efficiently in the field. The constructability review forces the project team to confront and address potential conflicts with other trades and resolve them in the design phase. This process prevents costly conflicts and rework in the field by making changes when they are the easiest and most cost-effective. 

Read the rest of the article here.


Thursday, November 16, 2023   Veterans Day Spotlight

Meet WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprentice and Army Veteran Teal LeBeau

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, November 16, 2023   WECA; AZ Members Engage with Arizona High Schoolers at 23rd Annual Arizona Construction Career Days

WECA Arizona recently joined dozens of Arizona contractors at the 23rd annual Arizona Construction Career Days, held at the Army National Guard base in Phoenix. Also in attendance were 4,000 high school students from across the state!

Heath Anderson, the Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist for WECA Arizona, says "It was amazing to share this experience with several WECA Arizona Member Contractors. Corbins and Brycon hosted their own booths and sent students our way to have a full wrap-around conversation about electrical careers and training with WECA and our members. WECA shared our booth with Specified Electrical Contractors (SECON), which added to the experience for both students and educators. We spoke about career opportunities and the benefits of apprenticeship. We look forward to seeing some of these young men and women in our program one day soon!"


Thursday, November 16, 2023   WECA Launches Its First In-House-Developed Virtual Reality App for Apprenticeship

Dear WECA Community,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read our full press release here.


Thursday, November 16, 2023   WECA Member Contractors: A Message from WECA About an Update to Your WECA Member Benefits

Dear WECA Members,

A message from the WECA Membership Team: Effective January 1, your HR Platform Benefit is transitioning from MINERAL HR to ZYWAVE HR

In order to enhance your WECA Member HR Platform benefit, effective January 1, 2024, WECA is moving from Mineral HR to Zywave, an online, cloud-based provider of HR benefits that offers even more services than Mineral’s platform. Zywave’s product is easy to use and offers substantial employee and supervisor training options.

To clarify the value of this benefit: If you wanted to use Zywave by negotiating a single-use agreement with them, the cost would be $3,000/year, and that wouldn't even include the Hot Line and the Learning Management System (LMS) for the training courses. But because of your membership with WECA, this dynamic HR Platform is a member benefit that will remain free of charge by virtue of your WECA membership.

The Zywave product will be operational January 1, 2024. Concurrently with this transition, we will be presenting a webinar tutorial for our members so you can become well-versed in the use and functions of Zywave's offerings.

Those WECA members who are currently using the Mineral platform will have sufficient time between now and early January to prepare to exit Mineral and enroll in Zywave. All other members who are not enrolled in Mineral are strongly encouraged to attend our January Zywave webinar and sign up for this informative and highly useful HR service, compliments of WECA. The enrollment process will be quick, easy and painless……so don’t pass up this exciting WECA benefit.

Please watch your inbox for our follow-up announcements regarding the Zywave transition and our upcoming member webinar!

Questions? Please contact WECA Membership team members Jeff Van de Moere or Bob Bartlett.


Thursday, October 19, 2023   Through the Lens of WECA: Past & Future Outreach Highlights

WECA's outreach teams have been hard at work out in the communities we serve, attending events and encouraging your future workforce to consider apprenticeship and careers in construction.

A big thank you to members Helix Electric and Capitol Valley Electric for partnering with us at recent events. We have several more coming up--scroll down to see if there's an event in your region on which you'd like to join forces!

These action shots are of John Knapp of Helix Electric, at the Port of Los Angeles - SRBX - CIEF Trades Day, telling young people about the rewards of a career in the electrical industry.

And here's WECA instructor Zach Wallace in action at the 2023 Diversity Job & Career Fair put on by the Greater Sacramento Urban League.

The WECA Outreach Team invites you to join us in reaching out to the next generation of electricians in California or Arizona at any of these upcoming events:


Arizona Construction Career Days - November 1 and 2
Southern Arizona Construction Career Days - November 15 and 16
If you're a WECA member with workforce development needs in any of these Arizona regions and would like to join forces with WECA at the event, just say the word! Please email Heath Anderson, Outreach and Workforce Development Specialist for WECA Arizona at handerson@goweca.com, and we'll make plans.


SRBX CIEF Jr. High Trades Day - October 30
DOR Apprenticeship Fair – Los Angeles - November 2

Inland Empire Apprenticeship Expo - November 14
SRBX Sac HS Trades Day - November 16
If you're a WECA member with workforce development needs in any of these California regions and would like to join forces with WECA at the event, just say the word! Please email Diane Trotter, Worforce Development Supervisor, (dtrotter@goweca.com) and we'll make plans.


Thursday, October 19, 2023   Sunrun Makes Fast Company's List of "Brands That Matter 2023"


Thursday, October 19, 2023   Power Design, Helix, and Bergelectic Make ENR's 2023 List of Top Specialty Contractors

A big congratulations to WECA Member Contractors Power Design, Helix Electric Inc., and Bergelectic for making ENR's 2023 list of Top Specialty Contractors and Top 50 Firms in Electrical! We're proud to see our members getting this national recognition!

Thursday, October 19, 2023   Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for a Two-Part Webinar Series

Part 1 (Prevailing Wage) on Nov. 8
Part 2 (Skilled and Trained Workforce) on Nov. 15

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman November 8 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 November 8, 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 November 8 webinar here!

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for Part 2 of a two-part webinar series on November 15. Part 2 will focus on Skilled and Trained Workforce, where Carrie will discuss:

·   Recognizing to which types of projects Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements apply
·   Understanding apprentice graduation requirements
·   Compliance and enforcement
Register today to join us online on November 15, 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 November 15 webinar here! 

Thursday, October 19, 2023   National Apprenticeship Week 2023

Have Employees You Want to Encourage to Consider Apprenticeship with WECA?

They Can Pre-Register to Attend One of Our Open Houses

WECA is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2023 with Open House events at four of our Apprenticeship Training Facilities! Please encourage your employees whom you want to consider apprenticeship to join us at our Fresno, Sacramento, Phoenix, or San Diego locations for one of these informative November events. Details and registration links below!

Download this Flyer

RSVP for One of These Events

Friday, September 8, 2023   WECA Attends Joint IAEI Southwestern/Northwestern Section Meeting in Bakersfield

WECA exhibited our role in the electrical industry to hundreds of attendees at the Joint IAEI Southwestern/Northwestern Section Meeting in Bakersfield last week.
Electrical industry professionals from across the country, including California, Arizona, and Utah, attended this conference; attendees included inspectors, contractors, plant and facilities engineers, and manufacturers.
WECA was a high-voltage sponsor for the event. This allowed for Terry Seabury, Executive Director and CEO, Jimmie Slemp, long-time WECA Instructor and IAEI member, and Rex Hime, Central Valley Regional Relationship Manager, to educate the attendees o
n what makes WECA training and apprenticeship so special, including our emphases on Code knowledge, safety, and hands-on, competency-based apprenticeship training.

With WECA now having training facilities across California, Arizona, and Utah, this event was a great opportunity to spread awareness about not only the merit shop philosophy and the services and benefits we offer to contractors, but also about the Apprenticeship and Electrician Trainee Programs we offer!
A big thank you to WECA board member John Pavletich and Pavletich Electric & Communications for also sponsoring the event and helping us to wave the WECA flag at the event this past week.


Friday, September 8, 2023   You're Invited to the WECA Riverside Apprenticeship Training Center Open House!

We hope all of our member contractors, industry partners, and affiliates in the Riverside community--as well as any members of the public curious to learn more about our programs--can join us for an Open House we're holding jointly with AGC in Riverside at our Apprenticeship Training Center there on September 14th. Please mark your calendars, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, September 8, 2023   Join WECA at the 2023 Diversity Job & Career Fair - Greater Sacramento Urban League

We are excited to extend a warm invitation to all our members to join us at the 2023 Diversity Job & Career Fair hosted by the Greater Southern United Labor Council (GSUL). This event is a unique opportunity to connect with a diverse talent pool and explore potential partnerships that align with our commitment to inclusivity and excellence. Taking place on October 9th at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, the career fair promises to be a dynamic platform for networking, recruiting, and fostering collaboration. We believe your participation will not only contribute to your organization's growth but also support our collective efforts to promote diversity and equal opportunity within our industry.

Learn more and secure your spot.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, September 8, 2023   Congrats K2 Electric For Making the Phoenix Business Journal's List of Top Family-Owned Businesses

Sergio Sanchez-Rangel was born in Riverside, California, and is now an Apprenticeship Instructor at our Riverside Training Facility. He was exposed to the construction industry at an early age because his great aunt was always working for a construction company. His Dad maintains a passion for working on cars, so Sergio also grew up watching and helping his Dad work on them in the garage. “I would say my first electrical job was installing Christmas lights for 5 cents a bulb when I was about 6 or 7,” says Sergio.

After graduating from Arlington High School in 2013, he moved to Gypsum, CO, and undertook two jobs at once: auto parts store clerk from 7 am - 2 pm, and then meat wrapper/sanitation worker from 2:30 pm- 9 pm. He endured that schedule for several months until he landed a job as a maintenance worker for a strip mall with apartments above retail stores; there he learned how to retrofit fluorescent lighting to the new (at the time) L.E.Ds. In September of 2014, his great aunt let him know that Champion Electric Inc. was looking for workers, so he flew back to California for the opportunity. Sergio says “I never knew I would become an electrician or, early on, even have considered it being such a great career. But I liked science, and since I had a basic understanding of how electrons and electricity worked and always try to have a good work ethic I realized being an electrician was a good career choice for me--especially factoring how rewarding it can be financially. It's personally rewarding, too--I can look around my community and say 'I helped build that.'"
Sergio began his electrical apprenticeship in 2015. He has been on all types of projects around Southern and Central California. “I was blessed to be exposed to many different types of projects and I tried to soak up all the knowledge I could. The apprenticeship program meant my education was paid for, and I tried to take advantage of the free education as much as I could because I wanted to be knowledgeable in my field. It paid off because I was always able to take what I learned from class and directly apply it in the field and help solve problems.” Sergio passed his California General Electrician Certification exam in 2018 and graduated from the Inside-wireman apprenticeship program (Associated Builders and Contractors Anaheim Chapter) in 2019.  He has worked for Champion Electric Inc, Bergelectric, and Rancho Pacific Inc, and has also done contracting work as his own C-10, Control of Power Electric.
When it comes to teaching, Sergio believes, “Teaching our students safe electrical work practices through what I have experienced, and providing real-life examples is so important; this trade is rewarding but it can be dangerous if you aren't safe. I try to make the school experience fun and enjoyable so our students will be engaged with learning the skills it takes to become an electrician and pass their California General Electrician Certification Exam!”

Friday, September 8, 2023   A Warm Welcome to Our New WECA Apprenticeship Instructor Donald Williams

WECA Apprenticeship Instructor Donald Williams, based at our San Diego Training Facility, was born in San Diego but moved to Texas until he was 5. Then he and his family moved back and he’s been here ever since.
Donald got interested in the electrical field just from doing research on the trades—he says he needed something that would pay the bills, because college wasn’t for him. In his research, he found that electricians are very sought after; that they are the first ones on the jobsite and one of the last to leave.
Donald was hired by Bergelectric in 2015 and they registered him in WECA’s apprenticeship program shortly thereafter. He was with them through the majority of his apprenticeship. With Berg, he led work, became an estimator, and then became a project engineer (PE), all while still an apprentice. Bergelectric earned the CalOsha Golden State Award on an airport job on which Donald was a PE.
He graduated from WECA’s Commercial Electrical apprenticeship program as its Southern California valedictorian and became a certified journeyperson; working for a few years as an electrician at SeaWorld. There he was a safety trainer and safety liaison as well. He also began teaching for WECA’s Get Wired program shortly after becoming a journeyperson. “I found out I loved teaching when I became a scuba instructor before ever getting into the trade. My ultimate goal was to become a fulltime WECA apprenticeship instructor, so when I saw the job opening, I applied. Needless to say, it went well, so here I am. I specialize in motors, troubleshooting, and Code,” says Donald.
Additionally, he says "I feel that training is important because out in the field you never hear why we do things. It’s always 'do this or that because your boss or the prints say so.' The training gives students a chance to learn why they are doing it that way; why the engineer designed it that way.”
His primary teaching philosophies are:
‘When one teaches, two learn.’ –Robert Heinlein
‘A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.’ –Thomas Carruthers

Friday, September 8, 2023   It's time to come together to celebrate the WECA California Graduating Classes of 2023! Support WECA

Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Industry Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the WECA California Graduating Class of 2023!
These Commercial Electrical, Residential Electrical, and Low Voltage Apprentices -- as well as a record number of Electrician Trainees in our GetWired ET Certificate program -- have successfully completed their education with WECA!
Help us honor their achievement with your sponsorship of their graduation event(s) on:
- Saturday, September 30, 2023 at Lake Oak Meadows (36101 Glen Oaks Road A, Temecula, CA 92592) from 1:00 to 4:00 PM for Southern California graduates.
- Saturday, October 7, 2023 at WECA's California Headquarters (3695 Bleckely Street, Rancho Cordova, CA 95655) from 4 PM - 7:30 PM for Northern California graduates.
Make their graduation memorable. Your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend and meet the graduates -- especially meaningful for them if you're their contractor. Plus, you can meet WECA instructors and staff, other member contractors, and electrical industry supporters as well.
Your sponsorship will be recognized at both graduation events!
Please consider the sponsorship opportunities available at the link, and thank you for your support of electrical and low voltage education!
The WECA Graduation Team
Reserve your sponsorship package

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