Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Thursday, July 30, 2020   Thank You, Rex Moore, for Your Generous Donations!


 

Thank you, Rex Moore, for your generous donations!

Rex Moore recently donated a plethora of tools for WECA's labs, which we very much look forward to using when it is safe for our students and instructors to get back into the labs.

Thanks to dedicated Member Contractors like Rex Moore--and you and your companies--WECA is able to fulfill its mission of educating the finest up-and-coming electricians and low voltage technicians in California to support the needs of our member contractors for a talented and skilled workforce. Please join us in thanking Rex Moore for their generosity, and please take a moment to read the article below and consider making a donation of your own if you are able to do so.
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Thursday, July 30, 2020   Help Make a Difference w/ Donations to WECA: Lab Scoreboard Update; Thank You to Our Generous Donor!

We could do not do what we do here at WECA without the support of our dedicated members and industry partners. Please join us in recognizing the individuals and companies that help make WECA's state-of-the-art labs and comprehensive, hands-on education the best in the state of California.

"Thank you to everyone who's donated supplies and equipment this year," said Jimmie Slemp, WECA's lead instructor and lab facilities manager. "It means a lot to us that we're working together to provide students with a comprehensive and hands-on education, even in the midst of a pandemic. We can't wait to get our hands on these once we get back into the labs."

WECA extends a huge thank-you to:
  • Rex Moore (our new scoreboard leader!)
  • Western Tube and Conduit
  • Milwaukee Tools
Want to make a difference and claim your place on this year's scoreboard? There's still time! To see what kind of lab materials WECA could best use, click here or on the image above to be redirected to our lab donations scoreboard and wish list. Donors are featured on the lab donations scoreboard and our website!
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Thursday, July 30, 2020   WECA Begins Outdoor Apprentice Applicant Testing at Rancho Cordova Headquarters


In efforts to meet the growing needs of our member contractors for apprentices, and to ensure a quicker onboarding process for WECA Apprenticeship applicants (rather than testing applicants separately and remotely via the Internet), WECA has begun to proctor applicant testing onsite (and outdoors!) at its Rancho Cordova headquarters. Following this first successful event, WECA anticipates holding further outdoor testing this summer, including in Southern California.

The tests--shown being proctored recently by WECA administrators outside of our headquarters--ensure a quicker onboarding process for WECA Apprenticeship applicants (rather than testing applicants separately and remotely via the Internet) while adhering to strict COVID-19 safety practices. Testing more applicants at once helps us to meet the growing needs of our member contractors for apprentices.
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Thursday, July 30, 2020   Employee Spotlights: Married WECA Colleagues Will and Trisha Hughes

 
Will and Trisha Hughes, Then and Now!
Here at WECA, we take pride in being the “WECA Family.” However, some of our employees are actually family! Such is the case of William Hughes, Electrician Trainee and Journeymen Registrar II, and his wife, Trisha Hughes, Junior Client Services Specialist.

But lest you think this began as a workplace romance—Will and Trisha’s story actually began in high school. They dated for a time before heading their separate ways, but reconnected on Facebook years later. Eighteen months later, they got married. Today, they’re a close family—which consists of themselves, Will’s teenage son Ethan, and their two dogs, Lilu and Corbin.

Will, a Sacramento-area native, began working for WECA on January 7, 2019. He considers himself a “jack of all trades”, stating that he “mainly processes E-Commerce, final grades, cancellation letters, and prepares labels for mailing class materials”. However, he also provides tech support for GetWired! and self-paced courses, processes contractor payment requests, and serves as third-tier support on phones as needed.

“I love interacting with all of the people in my job—students and coworkers alike,” says Will. “And I really like the idea of helping people”.

This is evident when considering Will’s personal philosophy: “kindness, compassion, understanding, and empathy. I try my best to only put good energy out into the world.”

Meanwhile, Trisha—also a Sacramento-area native—began working for WECA on January 6, 2020--just one day shy of a year after Will began working at WECA! Prior to being hired on at WECA, she would listen to Will talk about his workdays at home—about how students would thank him for his help and how it made him feel good about himself—and knew that she wanted to make a difference, too.

Now at WECA, Trisha answers phones, signs students up for classes, takes care of the Student Referral Service (SRS) and connects Member Contractors with students looking for work, and as of late, has been contacting students enrolled in classroom-based courses to help them transfer to online alternatives.

“I love the people I work with,” says Trisha. “And I always feel like giving good customer service is very important to give people a better day, and helping students is great”.

And as for her personal philosophy, Trisha states that it is “treat all creatures with kindness. People think I am crazy when I stop and talk to the squirrels, but my husband calls me a Disney princess when they walk right up to me and chirp back!”

At the office, Will and Trisha both agree that it is simultaneously fun but weird to work together, stating that they have to remember to use their actual names—rather than pet names—with each other.

“It’s hard not to use our everyday terms for each other [in the office]”, says Will. “We always talk about how weird it is when we say our first names!”

And as of late, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Will and Trisha report that it is “great” but also “a struggle” to work together at home because they can help each other out, but also drive each other crazy.

Will adds that “there is no ‘me’ time! Because I am high-risk, I constantly have to stay at home. Trisha has to be equally as safe, so we’ve spent pretty much every moment together since the start of this.”

Outside of the office (and the at-home office), Will and Trisha partake in similar interests. Will enjoys spending time with Trisha, his son, and dogs, playing video games, watching movies, and reading. Trisha, meanwhile, delights in walking her dogs twice a day, playing video games, watching scary movies, and cleaning her house.
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Thursday, July 30, 2020   EEOC Releases Updated Guidance on COVID-19 for Employers

Content Courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP

By: Terry A. Wills and Hanh B. Phan

Businesses are beginning to regain their footing after closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses work to reopen, employers must inevitably weigh their growing economic losses and public health concerns with shielding themselves from discrimination lawsuits.

Planning for Reopening

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently updated its technical assistance publication to address important questions arising under discrimination laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the latest update, the EEOC clarifies information on coronavirus testing, planning for reopening, accommodations and flexibility, and discrimination. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) strictly requires that any mandatory medical exams of employees be “job related and consistent with business necessity.” The EEOC has clarified that this standard permits employers to require COVID-19 testing, but does not allow them to require antibody testing before allowing employees to re-enter the workplace as it does not meet the “job related” criteria. (See Q&A A.7.) Employers may also screen applicants for COVID-19 and may postpone a new employee’s start date or withdraw an offer altogether if the individual has COVID-19 or is displaying symptoms of the virus.

Public health mandates serve to maintain the integrity of the health care system and protect especially vulnerable populations, such as individuals age 65 and over or pregnant. Accordingly, employers may want to take extra steps to protect these employees. To this end, the EEOC affirmed that employers are free to provide maximum flexibility to older employees even if younger employees are being treated less favorably in comparison. Job modifications, telework, or changes to work schedules and assignments are all acceptable options. In taking steps to protect pregnant employees, employers have the option to provide flexibility beyond what the law requires, notwithstanding disparate treatment on a protected EEO basis.

However, the EEOC warned that employers cannot bar elderly or pregnant workers from returning to the job site, even if the employer is trying to protect them from severe sickness. According to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), employers may not exclude anyone from the workplace because of age. Similarly, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination based on pregnancy. Therefore, companies cannot single out workers on the basis of either age or pregnancy and require them to stay home even if the reason for doing so is to protect the employee from being exposed because they are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. (See Q&A H.1.) Read the rest of the article here.
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Thursday, July 30, 2020   It's That Time of Year Again!

Commercial Apprentice Insurance Open Enrollment Runs from August 17 – August 28

WECA's annual open enrollment period for Commercial Apprentices will take place from August 17 – August 28 for changes to become effective on October 1, 2020. Your Commercial Apprentices will receive an email with open enrollment information along with the annual notices that include Medicare Part D and instructions if they are adding a dependent not already enrolled to the group health plans.

WECA is also mailing out postcards as a reminder of our annual open enrollment to Commercial Apprentices; these will be mailed within the next few weeks.

If you or your employees have any questions or concerns, please contact Cindy Cormier, Insurance Administrator, by phone at (877) 444-9322 ext. 117 or by email at ccormier@goweca.com.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 30, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
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Thursday, July 16, 2020   CA DAS Features WECA's Article in Quarterly Publication


When the COVID-19 outbreak hit and Californians were told to stay at home, Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc. (WECA) found itself well positioned to transition its electrical and low voltage apprenticeship classes online, quickly and appropriately.

Before these unprecedented events, WECA’s apprenticeship training board of trustees had the vision to ask us to expand our usage of learning technologies for our apprenticeship program, as well as increase the flexibility of our delivery model. This head start enabled us to rapidly convert our onsite apprenticeship classes to online delivery when everything began escalating so quickly in early-mid March. It also helped enormously that WECA has been delivering online education for its other programs since 2007. Our administrative and instructional teams had nearly 15 years of experience on which to draw.

“The (COVID-19) situation was constantly changing, so as it developed, we had to be ready at a moment’s notice to pull the trigger on transitioning our classes to online learning,” said Tom Thompson, WECA curriculum development manager. Read the rest of the article here.
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Thursday, July 16, 2020   Sacramento County Public Health Order Amended

Governor Gavin Newsom announced on July 13 that all counties on the State’s County Monitoring List for three consecutive days are required to shut down certain industries and activities unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up. Sacramento County is on the Monitoring List, and the following industries/activities are to shut down unless they can operate outside/via pick-up:
  • Fitness centers
  • Worship services
  • Protests
  • Offices for non-essential sectors
  • Personal care services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
  • Hair salons and barbershops
  • Indoor Malls
This is in addition to the sectors that previously shut down indoor operations on July 2: 
  • Bars/Brew Pubs (only in conjunction with sit-down, outdoor meals)
  • Zoos/Museums
  • Wineries
  • Restaurants
  • Movie Theaters
  • Family Entertainment Centers
  • Cardrooms?
The amended Pub?lic Health Order went into effect at 3 p.m., July 14. 

For questions about the Public Health Order, call the Public Health hotline at (916) 875-2400. 

For more information about the County’s response to COVID-19, visit Sacramento County’s COVID-19 webpage.
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Thursday, July 16, 2020   Which face coverings are best for preventing jobsite coronavirus spread?:

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science, using flow visualization testing in a laboratory equipped with laser light and a mannequin, recently published their findings as to which masks were the most effective.
 
Members are encouraged to check local County Public Health Orders in the communities where you are doing work to ensure your companies are complying with local regulations. Please note some jurisdictions may prohibit use of medical-grade PPE, unless specifically required due to the nature of the jobsite. California’s Public Health Order is found here.

Local orders can be accessed at the following links:

Northern California

Alameda County | Alpine County | Amador County | Butte County |

Calaveras County | Colusa County | Contra Costa County | El Dorado County |

Marin County | Napa County | Nevada County | Placer County |

Sacramento County | San Francisco County | San Joaquin County | San Mateo County |

Santa Clara County | Sierra County | Solano County | Stanislaus County |

Sutter County | Yolo County | Yuba County

Southern California

Imperial County | Kern County | Los Angeles County | Orange County |

Riverside County | San Bernardino County San Diego County | San Luis Obispo County

Santa Barbara County | Ventura County
Read more >>


Thursday, July 16, 2020   Learn About Sacramento, California's Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act

Content Courtesy of Littler

By: Kayla Cox and Bruce Sarchet

On June 30, 2020, the Sacramento City Council enacted the Sacramento Worker Protection, Health, and Safety Act. This ordinance, which becomes operative on July 15 and sunsets on December 31, 2020,1 addresses various workplace concerns in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance has six particularly notable provisions: 1) Employer Safety Practices and Protocols, 2) Right to Refuse Work Under Certain Circumstances, 3) Supplemental Paid Sick Leave, 4) Enforcement, 5) Conditions on City Financial Assistance, and 6) No Waiver of Rights. Each of these provisions are discussed below.

Employer Safety Practices and Protocols: Under this provision, covered employers are required to implement specific safety practices and protocols at employment sites: 
  1. Daily cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines;
  2. Formalized cleaning protocols for all other areas of an employment site;
  3. Formalized protocols for responding to the discovery that a person with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 has been at the employment site;
  4. Ensuring employees have access to regular handwashing with soap, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes;
  5. Cleaning of common areas (e.g., break rooms, locker rooms, dining facilities, restrooms, conference rooms, and training rooms) daily and between shifts;
  6. Providing face coverings for employees to wear during their time at the employment site, mandating the use of face coverings while at the employment site in accordance with the CDC guidelines and subject to exceptions, and establishing protocols to ensure proper physical distancing; and
  7. Providing employees with written notice of these required practices and protocols in English and any other language spoken by at least 10 percent of the employees at the employment site.
For employees working at sites that are not owned, maintained, leased, or controlled by their employer, an employer is not in violation of requirements 1, 2, and/or 5 if it takes steps to contact the entity that owns, maintains, leases, or controls the site and encourages compliance with the required safety practices and protocols.

Right to Refuse Work Under Certain Circumstances: An employee may refuse to work for an employer if the employee reasonably believes that the employer is in violation of one or more of the seven specified safety practices and protocols listed above, and provides the employer with notice of the alleged violation(s).

Additionally, the city may investigate whether an employer violated a required safety practice or protocol, as alleged by an employee. If after conducting its investigation, however, the city finds that the employer was not in violation of a required safety practice or protocol, or if the employer provides the city with proof that it has cured the violation, the employee who made the allegation no longer has the right to refuse to work. Read the rest of the article here.
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Thursday, July 16, 2020   Use Your Member-Exclusive Job Board Benefit: Post Open Positions to WECA's Job Board Today!

WECA Member Contractors: Have you posted your open positions on the WECA Job Board lately? Applicants are looking! 

WECA has been seeing unprecedented traffic to its job listings page by internet searchers over the past few months. Get your open listings in front of unemployed CA electricians and industry workers hoping to apply to a great company like yours.

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 contractors who want to hire them. 

Our job board exists for...
  • Talented electricians, 
  • Low voltage technicians, 
  • Electrician Trainees and Journeymen,
  • Industry employees (including office personnel!),
  • And the Member Contractors who want to hire them. 
This is a free, no-obligation service open to all workers seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 

WECA Members: Post a job today
Read more >>


Thursday, July 16, 2020   All WECA GetWired! Classes Continue to be Delivered Online Without Interruption

In the screencap above, students thank Lead Instructor Galen Eckert for a great class. Eckert had just finished delivering an alternative online lab on combination circuits to a cohort of electrician trainees taking GetWired 102, the second class in their path towards certification. WECA is constantly innovating to make sure all learning objectives are still met during this time of 100% online instruction due to COVID-19.

Our GetWired classes have been running at full tilt, with enrollment continuing to grow even in the time of COVID, as WECA trains an ever-larger percentage of the electrician trainees in the State of CA.

An increasing number of our contractors cover their electrician trainees' tuition as an employment retention initiative, a way to ensure a skilled workforce, and a way to make sure their employees stay registered with the State and legal to work.

If you're interested in sponsoring the education of your trainees, make sure you get all the discounts available to you as a WECA member contractor--and they're substantial--by calling us at 1-877-444-9322 and letting us know you'd like to get started with using this member benefit.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 16, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 02, 2020   An Inside Take on WECA's Online Apprenticeship This Summer

WECA's Apprenticeship program has had a significant ambassador this summer in longtime WECA Apprenticeship instructor Rick Mortensen.

Mortensen, based out of WECA's San Diego facility, came to WECA in 2011 after a successful thirty-plus year career in the electrical field—including a stint as owner of Active Power Electric. Mortensen initially started out as a Get Wired instructor, primarily teaching online, before pivoting over to the historically classroom-based Apprenticeship program.

As of late, he's taken his teaching back online—officially teaching Apprenticeship courses online due to the COVID-19 crisis, and dispensing advice and sharing resources on all things electrical via social media.

“I like to keep my Facebook and LinkedIn pages current [in regards to what I'm currently teaching],” says Mortensen. “When we have an event at WECA, such as adapting our curriculum delivery for online instruction, I will post on those sites. And all the instructors spend time online looking for resources to use in the classroom and to share with each other.”

Mortensen continues, stating that “It [teaching online] is different than teaching in a' brick and mortar' classroom. However, in past years I have benefited from training presented by Dan Bierly [the Get Wired Training Manager] in the Get Wired program. Input from other online and Apprenticeship instructors has been immeasurable to me, and the experience has been very gratifying.”

Despite the inherent challenges of teaching a hands-on profession to students online, Mortensen reports that the instructors are positive about the experience, and meet every couple of weeks to share their online teaching experiences. Additionally, the instruction team is in frequent contact online, posting useful documents, conversing, and sharing information.

“[To teach Apprenticeship online], preparation is key,” says Mortensen. “Review your material with an eye on how to modify your presentation. With distance learning, there is a need to make sure you are keeping the students engaged—ask direct questions, poll the classroom, and use breakout groups for group discussions and projects. And it's great to hear a student say “Hey, we missed break” because everyone was focused on a topic or project.”

Whatever Mortensen—and WECA's instructors as a whole—are doing must be working, because the reviews are in, and they're stellar all around.

“WECA has received many comments about the quality of our instruction, regardless of the platform,” says Mortensen. “I attribute that to two factors. One is that our curriculum is second to none—WECA is always updating, modifying it, and making it better. The second is the instructors—in the expanse that is career training, our instructors are shining lights in an otherwise black void of mediocre presentation. All members of the instructional team are dedicated to being the best, and all of us have been shown how to reach, stretch, and grow in ways that I personally did not know I was capable of.”

And when it comes to the students, Mortensen says that the students have adjusted to learning in an online format as well.

“Some are intent on learning, and others need to be nudged, while a few will try to use the distance learning to their advantage. It is really up to the instructor to set the environment in the virtual classroom as a place of learning, with the respect due in any setting where a group of individuals has gathered with a common goal: to learn. The students have—and should continue to—enjoy the experience,” says Mortensen.

So, how does Mortensen advise that students best prepare for success in a less-traditional classroom environment? He says that students should review reading material in advance, ask questions, have good equipment, and most of all, take their educations seriously.

“Learning is like a bank account,” says Mortensen. “You can only get out of it what you put in!”
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Thursday, July 02, 2020   Get Wired Instructional Team Holds Biannual Train-the-Trainer to Celebrate Successes

The COVID-19 crisis has completely reshaped our world as well as the WECA educational experience. However, WECA's dedicated instructors and advisers have met this challenge head-on and risen above and beyond—as was evident at June 27th's GetWired Advanced Train-the-Trainer Workshop (held via Zoom).

The biannual convening of instructors and the GetWired delivery team recognized WECA's GetWired instructors for their instrumental role in delivering traditionally hands-on lab instruction in an online format since March with as much clarity and as little disruption as possible.

During the three-hour virtual meeting, the team welcomed new instructors, lauded the success of WECA's new Live Online 2-Day Test Prep class, and discussed strategies for how to best conduct online and in-person learning safely moving forward, among other things. The meeting also featured delicious food delivered to participants courtesy of GrubHub—a welcome surprise to all!

Dan Bierly, the Get Wired Training Manager, reported that the meeting was “easy and engaging,” and that “all present were pretty positive and uplifting” despite the unique situations and unprecedented times in which WECA continues to deliver its education.

And Lead Electrician Trainee and Continuing Education instructor Galen Eckert also noted that “Everyone was in good spirits—we had a lot of input and engagement from instructors. Instructors continually brought up questions and provided answers regarding teaching labs online and being prepared for class. It was nice to see instructors talking to each other, offering support, and answering each other's questions.”

All in all, WECA's first-ever fully-virtual Train the Trainer Get Wired meeting was a success! Thank you, all, for dedicating yourselves (and spending your Saturday!) to ensure that WECA's Get Wired students continue to receive the best education possible, even in extraordinary circumstances.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 02, 2020   Learn: Project Management in the Time of Crises, Part 1

A weekly, 4-week, 8-hour, live, video class taught by Kirk Alter of Fast Management, Inc. & Purdue University

July 15-Aug 5

Offered at a discount for WECA Member Contractors through our educational partner IEC-Chesapeake
 
Download flyer: Project Management in the Time of Crises, Part 1

More information and registration

Plus, WECA Member Contractors get a substantial, 25% off discount! Access your discount code by logging into your secure member dashboard on WECA's website here. Scroll to the "Member Benefits and Discounts- Code and Details" section as shown below to access the discount code.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 02, 2020   A Reminder to our Member Contractors to Stay Vigilant about Construction Safety

Let's continue to show the industry how it's done

As California officials reimpose shutdowns on segments of the economy, contractors need to be ever vigilant, as this news clip from the Bay Area points out. "Santa Clara County public health officials now say a third of the county's 89 workplace-related outbreaks since May 4 have come from construction sites.

The City of San Diego Development Services Department issued a public notice on June 12, 2020 that included updates for the construction industry - click here to read the public notice.
 
The Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan has been revised to reflect recent changes with updates highlighted in yellow. 
http://www.agcsd.org/pdf/ConstructionIndustry_ExposurePrevention_Plan.v2.3noted.pdf

We know how seriously WECA Member Contractors are about prioritizing safety. Let's all continue to show the industry how it's done.

As a reminder--we'd love to see your safe jobsite photos and hear about your successful project completions during this difficult time. Please send us pictures and stories at communications@goweca.com.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 02, 2020   What Does Construction Safety Look Like Post-Pandemic?

Find Out With Construction Dive's Podcasts

Content courtesy of Construction Dive:

The coronavirus has changed how construction professionals view safety. With new jobsite demands like social distancing, health checks and remote work, construction companies must determine how to proceed in their new normal. Construction Dive's podcast, "Safe and Sound," takes a closer look at construction safety and how construction professionals will need to evolve to manage jobs as they come out of the pandemic.

Hear from industry experts in our latest episodes:

Episode 4: What Does Construction Safety Look Like Post Pandemic?

Episode 3: Global Construction Leadership During Coronavirus

Episode 2: Jobsite Safety and Technology During the Pandemic

Episode 1: What North American Companies Can Learn From Global Contractors to Improve Safety Standards Locally
Read more >>


Thursday, July 02, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


Thursday, June 18, 2020   Construction Jobs Rebound in May, Recoup Half of Huge April Losses

Content Courtesy of Engineering News-Record

By: Tom Ichniowski

Construction employment bounced back strongly in May from April’s mammoth losses, adding 464,000 jobs during the month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported.

The bureau’s latest monthly employment report, released on June 5, also shows that construction's unemployment rate improved, but still stands at a worrisome 12.7%.

Construction's added jobs contributed to a surprisingly large 2.5 million increase in overall employment in May.

Construction economists viewed the numbers as positive news but cautioned that economic clouds could gather down the road.

The BLS report indicates that construction’s April jobs numbers were even worse than the bureau initially estimated. In its new report, BLS revised the industry’s April job losses downward by 20,000, to 995,000. That reflects the sharp downturn in the economy from the coronavirus.

The jobs added in May recoup 47% of the April losses.

Moreover, construction’s May jobs gains were significant across all industry sectors.

The specialty trade contractors segment led the way, adding 325,300 positions.

To read the rest of the article, click here.
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Thursday, June 18, 2020   Is It Safe to Bring Employees Back to Work Following the COVID-19 Crisis?

Content Courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP

By: Ian B. Sangster


As businesses continue preparing to reopen, many employers share the same concern—what actions can employers take to provide a workplace that is safe from COVID-19?

Because the virus is primarily spread from person to person, preventing people who may be infected from entering the worksite is one of the most effective tools an employer can use to promote the safety and wellbeing of its employees. To that end, the EEOC has confirmed that employers may screen employees who physically enter the workplace by asking if they have COVID-19 or symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g., cough, sore throat, fever, chills, and shortness of breath). Employees with COVID-19 or who exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19 may be excluded from physically entering the workplace because their presence would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of other employees.

Employers in search of more concrete answers also have other tools at their disposal.

Temperature Checks

Under normal circumstances, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits subjecting employees to medical examinations unless they are job-related and consistent with business necessity. Generally, a medical examination of an employee is job-related and consistent with business necessity when an employer has a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition. However, given the significant risk of substantial harm posed by the presence of an infected employee to the health and safety of other employees sharing the same workplace, employers may also measure employee’s body temperatures.

To read more, click here.
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Thursday, June 18, 2020   Updates to GetWired Lab Scheduling and Trainee/Journeyperson Courses; Effective Until Sept. 30

Please review the information below for changes to upcoming onsite lab scheduling and in-person classroom courses, in response to COVID-19 in California.

The good news for Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson Continuing Education Students enrolled in our programs is that most of our class delivery is already online. Online classes will continue to be delivered as scheduled with no interruption, including all evening GetWired classes. Our entire summer catalog is online and available for enrollment here. Alternate arrangements are offered for onsite lab days; please read below for details specific to your course.

For those students currently enrolled in a GetWired class with a lab date from now through the end of Session 3 (September 30, 2020):
  • Your lab will be conducted entirely online.
  • Your lab date will remain identical. Your lab time may shift from afternoon to morning, or vice versa. Please watch your email for further details.
  • WECA will send you confirmation of your login instructions for your online lab.


For those students interested in Two Day Exam Prep, we are currently offering a Live Online Two Day Exam Prep rather than the classroom version; this course uses the same curriculum as our ongoing popular course, but is held in a live, online, instructor-led format across two Saturdays.
  •  Live Online Two Day Exam Prep, 16 hours (July 18th and 25th; open for enrollment)
  • You may also consider GetWired 404 Exam Prep. (GetWired 404 is 42 hours, entirely online and led by a live instructor, and delves even more deeply into preparation for the State certification exam).
The situation around COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and WECA's delivery plans are subject to further modifications based upon subsequent guidance from authorities. We're glad to be able to deliver our regularly-scheduled online classes without interruption. Please follow WECA's communications closely for further updates, as we will do our best to rapidly communicate any further changes to you. Thank you for your patience and solidarity as we all work together to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community.
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Thursday, June 18, 2020   Live Online 2-Day Exam Preparation Lets You Study at Your Own Pace

Seats Going Fast -- Our June Class is Full.
?Register Your Employees Today for July!

Many students are eager to prepare to take their certification exam--especially now that many of PSI's testing centers across California have reopened for appointments--and WECA wants to meet that need. In order to do so safely and easily in this era of physical distancing due to COVID-19, WECA has taken its popular 2-Day Exam Prep class online! 

Live Online Two Day Exam Preparation is an online, instructor-led, fast-paced code study course focused on using the Code book in preparation for the State Certification exam. 

In this class, enrollees meet with their instructor and fellow students over Zoom for two subsequent Saturdays. Students enjoy not only excellent, personalized instruction and the opportunity to get questions answered, but also a ton of practice with simulated exam quizzing.

This course is meant to be a refresher course for individuals otherwise ready to take the General or Residential Certification 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. 

The next instance of this online, instructor-led course will run on two subsequent Saturdays, July 18th and 25th. Learn more and secure a seat for yourself or an employee. As always, be sure to take advantage of WECA member discounts for your employees! (Give us a call if you're using a member discount for the first time, to make sure you're maximizing this benefit. Your employees can get a discount even if they're paying for themselves.)

Students who want a more comprehensive exam preparation experience are encouraged to enroll in WECA's GetWired! 404 Test Prep, consisting of 42 instructor-led hours, also all online.
Read more >>


Thursday, June 18, 2020   Online VDV/FLS technician certification exam prep lets you study at your convenience

Fully Code-and-text updated for current exams!
 
Individuals planning to take California's Voice Data Video (VDV) or Fire Life Safety (FLS) technician certification exams can get prepared with WECA's interactive and self-paced online exam prep courses, 32-Hour VDV Exam Prep and 32-Hour FLS Exam Prep -- both fully Code-updated for the current exam.

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation (32 Hour Course)(2017 Code Edition)

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.

Click here to learn more and enroll!

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation (32 hour course)(2017 Code Edition)

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 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.

Click here to learn more and enroll!
Read more >>


Thursday, June 18, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
Read more >>


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