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Thursday, February 2, 2023   WECA Political Update February 2, 2023

‘Recession Is Underway’ For Home Builders Construction Dive has concluded the recession is here. The housing industry downturn is poised to push the U.S. economy into a mild recession this year, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ chief economist. Elevated inflation and mortgage rates coupled with the high building material and construction costs that have plagued the industry since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to take a toll on residential contractors, Rob Dietz said at a press briefing at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. 2022 was the first time in 11 years that single-family starts declined, falling an estimated 12% to 999,000 units, the NAHB reported. “Our thesis is that recession is underway,” Dietz said. Story

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Republican U.S. House Candidates Outperformed 2020’s Presidential Results In 327 Districts Last Year Republicans in 327 congressional districts last year outperformed Donald Trump’s (R) 2020 vote totals in those same district boundaries. Democratic House candidates, meanwhile, outperformed Joe Biden in 68 districts (16%). Florida’s 26th Congressional District saw the largest swing towards the same party. Incumbent Mario Diaz-Balart (R) improved on Trump’s margin of victory in the district by 23.5 percentage points. Alaska’s at-large congressional district saw the largest swing in a district that changed party control. Incumbent Mary Peltola (D) won the state by 10 percentage points in 2022 after Trump won the state by 10.1 percentage points in 2020, resulting in a 20.1 percentage point swing toward Democrats. In two districts, the margins of victory in the 2020 presidential election and 2022 midterms matched: Texas’ 9th and Texas’ 35th.

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A New Pacific Legal Foundation Documentary, Trust Us, Reveals the Government’s ‘Expert’ Problem For nearly every aspect of American life—the food you eat, the house you live in, the way you raise your kids—there is an expert in the federal government who thinks you’re doing it wrong. In Trust Us, a new documentary from Pacific Legal Foundation, you’ll see how the U.S. federal government has funneled power to unelected experts who believe they can engineer solutions to all the country’s problems, with often-disastrous results for the American people. Trust Us is now available to watch for free on YouTube, Tubi, and commercial-free on Amazon.

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Arizona Republican Leaders Don’t Want Gov. Hobbs To Use Her Leftover Inaugural Fund for Democrats The top two Arizona Republican lawmakers want Gov. Katie Hobbs to put money left over from the inaugural celebration into a state account--where it can’t be used to elect more Democrats. In a hand-delivered letter Thursday, House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen called on her to surrender control of what’s left from the more than $1.5 million Capitol Media Services first reported she collected for the Jan. 5 celebration. At the same time, the costs listed totaled only about $207,000. Story

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Are Public Employee Unions Unconstitutional? A Commentary by Michael Barone. “How did it come to pass that public employee unions, which scarcely existed 60 years ago, have come to run public schools and myriad state and local government agencies? Answers to this question, which few people think about these days, come from Philip K. Howard’s latest book, “Not Accountable,” accompanied as in his earlier books (“The Rule of Nobody,” “Try Common Sense”) by outspoken outrage and generous dollops of common sense. The rise of public employee unions in the 1960s was not inevitable. President Franklin Roosevelt, who wanted his New Deal programs to deliver results, explained that “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” That was in 1937, when New Deal legislation sparked the drives that vastly increased private-sector unionization. In 1955, when private-sector unionization percentages peaked, AFL-CIO President George Meany opined confidently that it was “impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” More

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What is the Debt Ceiling? The U.S. federal government has reached the limit on the amount of debt it is legally allowed to accrue. Congress sets this amount, known as the debt limit, and has the power to raise it to meet the country’s financial obligations. Once the debt limit is reached, the Treasury Department has a limited number of tools, called extraordinary measures, that allow the Treasury to keep paying the government’s bills. The debt limit is the total amount of money the U.S. federal government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing financial obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, salaries of members of the military, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. It is impossible to overstate the negative consequences that would occur if the United States were to default on its debt. Click here to learn more.

By the Numbers:

$31.381 trillion: The current federal debt limit, which was last raised in December of 2021.

102: The number of times the U.S. government has increased the debt limit since World War II.

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2024 California Elections Democratic state senator and longtime appropriations chair Anthony Portantino officially announced his bid for CA-30 on Monday, hoping to beat out other ambitious LA-based Democrats for Rep. Adam Schiff’s seat. His challengers may include Assemblymember Laura Friedman, Los Angeles Unified School District board member Nick Melvoin, actor Ben Savage, and activist and 2022 challenger Maebe A. Girl.

In related news, Rep. Katie Porter will hold a fundraiser in Silicon Valley next month for her newly launched Senate bid, making her the latest critic of tech giants to make the pilgrimage to their cash-flush backyards. Porter will headline a fundraiser at the Palo Alto home of Sarah Sands, whose husband is venture capitalist Greg Sands. Like a fundraiser hosted by Sands for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) earlier this month, the event was organized by the Bay Area fundraising group Electing Women Bay Area, according to the invite. The suggested contribution amount is $1,000.

And finally, Rep. Nancy Pelosi on Thursday endorsed Rep. Adam Schiff for the Senate primary, backing the former House Intelligence Committee chair only on the condition that Sen. Dianne Feinstein opts not to run again. “If Senator Feinstein decides to seek re-election, she has my whole-hearted support. If she decides not to run, I will be supporting House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, who knows well the nexus between a strong democracy and a strong economy,” Pelosi (D-CA)—a two-time speaker of the House who stepped down from leadership earlier this year—said in an email. “In his service in the House, he has focused on strengthening our democracy with justice and on building an economy that works for all.”

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Labor provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act kicked in over the weekend for projects that want to take advantage of tax incentives. They’re meant to boost wages and job training opportunities. But developers, contractors, and investors need further guidance to maximize the IRA’s roughly $270 billion in clean energy tax credits. They’re still trying to figure out exactly when the apprenticeship requirements apply, how exemptions from the requirements are interpreted, and how to determine wages for specific renewable energy jobs. “If one party is willing to assume the risk of non-compliance, then projects are moving forward,” said Hilary Lefko, a renewable energy tax partner at Norton Rose Fulbright. “But if no one is willing to accept the risk of the consequences of not being compliant, then that’s halting investment, that’s halting construction, and projects won’t get built until people are more comfortable with the rules.” More broadly, the layering of domestic-content provisions on top of the clean-energy push complicates things. E&E News.

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Vacation Rentals Boom in Phoenix As Phoenix, Arizona, counts down to the Super Bowl on Feb. 12, the clock is also ticking for the region’s short-term rental owners, who are frantically getting their properties ready for the thousands of visitors, reports the Phoenix Business Journal. As many of the hotels in the area have already filled up, some homeowners have been able to list their properties on short-term rental sites like Airbnb and snag rates as high as $10,000 each night. For instance, Hózhó Scottsdale—an 11-bedroom, 12-bathroom property in Scottsdale complete with a lazy river—is already booked for the entire week before the Super Bowl for $11,770 a night. Maybe WECA’s Bob Bartlett could rent you a room!

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California’s High-Speed Rail Gains Another Capitol Hill Detractor The seemingly never-ending bullet train project didn’t have a terrific 2022, and, if trends are any indicator, things won’t look much better in 2023. For the newest member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the stalling out of California’s bullet train means it's time to get serious about road expansions on the Valley floor. During The Sun’s interview with Rep. John Duarte (R–Modesto), Duarte touched on the major need to improve transportation in the region, starting with two key numbers: 5 and 99. More

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Thursday, January 26, 2023   Arizona Electrical Contractors: Why Should You Train Your Employees with WECA?

Our new video explores the benefits for Arizona electrical contractors in enrolling their employees in

WECA Electrical Apprenticeship
 

Pro Tip: WECA's California and Utah Programs Offer All these Benefits to Contractors, Too!



 

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Thursday, January 26, 2023   A Special Video Invitation from Terry Seabury, WECEF Executive Director; WECA Executive Director/CEO

You're Cordially Invited to the 2023 WECEF Claws for a Cause Crab Feed Fundraiser and Board Installation


 

2023 WECEF Claws for a Cause Crab Feed Fundraiser and Board Installation

When: Friday, March 10, 2023

Time: 5:00 to 8:00 PM

Where: WECA California HQ

3695 Bleckely St.

Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
 

After a three-year hiatus, the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to invite you to once again come out for a good cause on March 10th! Join us for WECEF's annual fundraiser and crab feed, to support education and careers in the electrical and low voltage trades. This fundraiser helps WECEF create more opportunities for student scholarships, materials, and improvements to WECA labs, classrooms, and the electrical industry.

Please join us for the installation of the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, Apprenticeship Training Trust Board of Trustees, and Health and Welfare Board of Trustees at this event, in addition to a delicious dinner of fresh Dungeness crab, sides, and festive libations, celebrating in support of WECEF's mission, and mingling with your peers and industry professionals.

This is a "bring your own butter" event!

King Crab Sponsor ($1,000)
  • Includes (6) dinner tickets, reserved table, acknowledgement from podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites. We'll contact you to get the names of your additional guests.
Snow Crab Sponsor ($750)
  • Includes (4) dinner tickets, acknowledgement from podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites. We'll contact you to get the names of your additional guests.
Blue Crab Sponsor ($500)
  • Includes (2) dinner tickets, acknowledgement from podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announced on WECA and WECEF websites. We'll contact you to get the names of your additional guests.
WECEF Crab Feed Dinner Ticket ($75/person)
 

Sign up for a sponsorship or purchase individual dinner tickets at the link, and thank you for your continued support of electrical and low voltage education!

Reserve your sponsorship package and/or dinner tickets today!

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Thursday, January 26, 2023   Making WECA History in Utah

WECA's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program Now Serving Commercial Electrical Contractors and Their Apprentices in the Salt Lake City Area






 

This week is a historic week for WECA's Utah Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program and Salt Lake City-area training facility in Woods Cross! Monday was the first day of class for our inaugural cohort of first year, first semester Commercial Electrical apprentices at our brand-new, state-of-the-art training facility!

Don Black, Apprentice Training, IT, and Facilities Director, applauded Utah Apprenticeship Manager/Instructor Talon Pobuda for working tirelessly to get the facility and program ready, and also credited Carolyn Black, Lab and Facilities Technician, with preparing the training aids for the program and Christine Hall, Director of Operations, with making sure that the apprentices were ready to be successful in their new training and career. Countless other WECA staff were also instrumental in making the WECA Utah Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program and new training facility a reality, and appreciates all the support from founding Utah member Hunt Electric.

WECA is thrilled to educate and train the next generation of premier commercial electricians in the Beehive State, and looks forward to all that our apprentices will accomplish!

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Thursday, January 26, 2023   Read: Inflation Reduction Act Apprenticeship Resources

Content Courtesy of: Apprenticeship USA

On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed Public Law 117-369, 136 Stat. 1818, commonly known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), into law. The IRA amended the Internal Revenue Code to add prevailing wage and Registered Apprenticeship requirements for taxpayers constructing, and in some case performing alteration or repair, of qualified clean energy facilities, property, projects, or equipment to qualify for increased tax credit or deduction amounts. The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Apprenticeship is committed to supporting the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the effective implementation of these apprenticeship requirements. The IRS has launched a page dedicated to providing the latest information and guidance on the implementation of the IRA.

By statute, the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements generally apply to qualifying facilities where construction begins 60 days or more after Treasury and the IRS publish guidance on those requirements. On November 30, Treasury and the IRS published initial guidance on the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements. The publication of guidance on November 30 starts the 60-day period, meaning the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements will be operative for facilities where construction begins on or after January 29, 2023.

This webpage provides resources on apprenticeship for background information purposes only. Please consult Notice 2022-61 published by the Internal Revenue Service for guidance on the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements.

The IRA is by far our nation’s largest investment in clean energy solutions to date. By pairing climate investment, with the creation of good paying jobs, the IRA’s unparalleled investments to fight the climate crisis will help improve job quality in clean energy industries and incentivize the expansion of workforce training pathways into these jobs. The inclusion of Registered Apprenticeship provisions also enables a talent pipeline for developing this critical workforce and ensures that it is an industry-driven approach with high-quality career pathway opportunities for all workers. By utilizing Registered Apprenticeships, employers can develop and prepare their future workforce, and individuals can obtain paid work experience, receive progressive wage increases, classroom instruction, and a portable, nationally-recognized credential.  

The IRA’s prevailing wage and apprenticeship provisions apply to the: 

  • Alternative Fuel Refueling Property Credit  
  • Production Tax Credit 
  • Credit for Carbon Oxide Sequestration  
  • Credit for Production of Clean Hydrogen 
  • Clean Fuel Production Credit  
  • Investment Tax Credit  
  • Advanced Energy Project Credit  
  • Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction 

In addition, the IRA’s prevailing wage provisions apply to the: 

  • New Energy Efficient Home Credit 
  • Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit 
Click here to explore more featured resources and read and get answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
 
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Wednesday, January 25, 2023   Congratulations to the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022!

Thank You to Our Sponsors and Gift Donors for Making Graduation Special! Plus, Watch the Graduation Video and Meet Some of Our Graduates



Thank you to our Arizona Graduation sponsors and gift donors for making the event extra special and memorable for our graduates and their guests!



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Watch: WECA Arizona Class of 2022 Graduation:



Meet Some of the Grads in Our First WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Graduating Class

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Erik Ramirez

Erik Ramirez, a WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022 graduate, knew that his WECA education would be exceptional from the first class.

“After transitioning from a different institute over to WECA, in the first class I realized just how much better my education experience was going to be,” says Erik. “WECA’s staff is exceptional, and the instructor [Keith Smart, WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program Manager and Instructor] was always there to support me and answer any question I had."

The quality of WECA’s education has also played a pivotal role in helping Erik prepare for his chosen career.

“Their curriculum offered a full range of topics that cover a lot of the fundamentals needed to succeed in this industry. Many of the hands-on labs were based on real-life situations in the field,” says Erik.

Additionally, Erik’s on-the-job training with his employer, WECA Arizona Founding Member Contractor Corbins, has provided opportunities to work alongside experienced coworkers and gain invaluable experience doing different scopes of work through various projects.

Outside of school and work, Erik credits his family with providing essential support every step of the way.

“The main factor that contributed to my success at WECA and in my career was and still is my family,” says Erik. “Without their support and motivation, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today.”

However, we suspect that Erik’s ambition and tenacity has also propelled him along his journey, as evidenced by his post-graduation plans.

“My plans after graduating are to keep growing in my career and knowledge. I won’t settle with just a journeyperson title. I want to be part of the next generation of leaders in the electrical industry,” says Erik.

Congratulations, Erik! We are proud of your hard work, determination, and success, and are confident that you will make an excellent future leader for Arizona’s commercial electrical industry.

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Chase Quillin

For WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022 graduate Chase Quillin, WECA’s Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program and instructor Keith Smart have given him a new perspective on the electrical industry.

“My WECA experience has consisted of constant learning and exposure to new ideas in the electrical field with real-world experience to back it up,” says Chase. “When I go to a job site now, I can understand what it is we are installing and why. With the preparation and knowledge gained at WECA, combined with the skills I’ve gained on-the-job, I am ready to tackle any task presented to me.”

Chase says this is all thanks to Keith Smart, WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program Manager and Instructor.

“Keith is an awesome instructor, and his experience is shown every day in class through his expounding on the material presented and ensuring everyone has a full understanding of the concepts presented,” says Chase.

Outside of the classroom, Chase’s employer – WECA Arizona Founding Member Contractor Corbins – has provided him with forepersons and journeyperson electricians who have not only led him, but showed him how to lead others. Such leadership gave Chase the opportunity to become a lead for his crew in the past year.

Thanks to his high-quality WECA education and steadfast guidance from his employer, Chase’s plans for the future are rock-solid.

“My goal is to continue refining my leadership skills, apply my credits [earned at WECA, whose apprenticeship programs have been awarded college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service] to an Associates degree, and I hope I get the opportunity to become a foreperson to continue passing on my knowledge,” says Chase.

Congratulations, Chase! We are pleased that WECA and Arizona Founding Member Contractor Corbins built up your leadership skills and paved the way for you to tackle the rest of your career in the commercial electrical industry! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

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Aaron Reali

WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022 graduate Aaron Reali credits his WECA education with giving him confidence, helping him develop problem-solving skills, and presenting excellent opportunities to lead and learn, and Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program Manager and Instructor Keith Smart with making his time at WECA challenging and rewarding.

“My education and training at WECA were really centered on real-life situations, helped me learn how to problem solve situations at work, gave me the confidence to have conversations with my leads, foremen, and superintendents about the work we’re performing, and I have been given the opportunity [by employer Corbins, a WECA Arizona Founding Member Contractor] to lead teammates. Also, Keith deserves a lot of the credit for the progress a lot of us have made,” says Aaron.

Another benefit of his WECA education, Aaron says, is learning in the classroom alongside his coworkers.

“We can talk about what we learned in class and bounce ideas off each other,” says Aaron. “Keith contributed real work examples and cited personal experiences, which helped a lot of us grasp certain concepts. Hands-on activities in class also helped build confidence in my work.”

Looking back on his WECA experience, Aaron encourages current and future WECA students to ‘take it all in.’

“It goes by so quickly and before you know it, graduation is happening. Really take advantage of the experience and the training. You’ll be surprised what you’re capable of if you just apply yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and volunteer for any opportunity because those can be your door to the next great step in your career,” says Aaron.

When it comes to next steps, Aaron is already carving a definitive pathway for his career in the commercial electrical industry.

“I’ve been given a great opportunity to lead a couple of my teammates in a job we are in right now,” says Aaron. “I’m excited to complete this job and continue to lead in other jobs and soon become a foreman for a couple of years and then transition into a superintendent role. I also plan to work with apprentices and help them out on their path.”





 
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Wednesday, January 25, 2023   WECA Riverside Training Facility Spotlight: Commercial Electrical Apprentices Getting It Done











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Wednesday, January 25, 2023   Low Voltage Apprentice Applicants in High Demand in Los Angeles, Orange, and Kern Counties

WECA Member Contractors Want YOU: Apply Today!


 

Get paid to start a new career as a Low Voltage Technician with WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program. Get hands-on learning and real-world skills in the classroom and on-the-job, and get paid while doing it. We currently have high need for Low Voltage apprentice applicants from Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Kern County, so click below to apply, or share this with someone looking to get trained for a well-paid career with no student debt.

Learn more about WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program below.

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WECA's apprenticeship programs have been called the best in the West. High graduation rates; great reviews from apprentices and contractors alike; to-the-point, up-to-date curriculum and on-the-job training, and a dedicated, experienced teaching staff and administration all contribute to the success of these programs.

Each apprentice enrolled in the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program works under the supervision of a journeyperson technician installing and testing, servicing and maintaining systems utilizing the transmission and/or transference of voice, sound, video and digital signals for commercial, educational, security and entertainment purposes, as well as for fire, life and safety purposes.

A WECA apprentice's tuition costs are paid for by the WECA member contractors who employ them. WECA apprentices attend classes in an accelerated and intensive format consisting of full-time classroom training and hands-on labs for consecutive weeks every five to seven months. Each two-week session is equal to one semester of classroom instruction. The rest of the time, apprentices are learning on the job and getting paid to do it! No college debt here. This is the alternative path to a rewarding and well-paying career.

WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program is a three-year commitment to classroom and paid on-the-job training. We're actively seeking apprentices for our member contractors in California--especially in Los Angeles County, Orange County, and Kern County. Right now, there's little to no wait time for qualified applicants, so what are you waiting for? Click here to learn more and apply today!

Not for you? Please forward this email to someone who might be interested -- especially if they also live in Los Angeles County, Orange County, or Kern County!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023   Continue Your Journey Toward an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate This February

Take Advantage of Late Enrollment Fees Waived on Select Instructor-Led GetWired Classes Running in the First Half of the Month

No matter where you are in your Electrician Trainee Program Certificate journey, GetWired has just the class to bring you one step closer to completion.

This February, we've waived late enrollment fees on select instructor-led GetWired 102, 103, 104, 202, 203, 204, and 302 classes running in the first half of the month -- some of which are offered with your choice of onsite in-person labs or online labs. Classes start soon, so don't wait -- visit our course catalog to enroll in your desired course today!

And if you prefer to get things done on your own time, at your own pace, be sure to check out the self-paced online course option for GetWired 101-104.

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GetWired 102: Introduction to the Basic Installation of Lighting Fixtures and Branch Circuits, is the second course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

This 42-hour course expands on the theories and applications taught in our 101 courses. Core competencies include: GFCI and AFCI; series circuits and parallel circuits; luminaries, fixtures, ballasts, and lamps, and more.

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GetWired 103: Continuation of Lighting Branch Circuits & Introduction to Special Purpose Outlets, is the third course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

This 42-hour course focuses on installing lighting branch-circuits in dwelling units while exploring NEC requirements for safe installations and standard industry practices. Core competencies include: conduction in liquid and gases; batteries and other sources of electricity; inrush current, voltage drop and use of Ohm's Law in calculating basic measurements, and more.

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GetWired 104: Special Systems & Single-Phase Transformer Theory in Residential Electrical Applications, is the fourth course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

This 42-hour course expands your area of expertise into a variety of special applications. Core competencies include: single-phase transformers; special purpose outlets for electric heating and air conditioning; gas and oil central heating systems, and more.

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GetWired 202: Three-Phase Electrical Systems, Conductors and Overcurrent Protection, Grounding, Wiring Methods, Basic Trigonometry and Vectors, is the sixth course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

This 36-hour course expands on the concepts and skills built in the 201 courses. Topics covered include: conductors and overcurrent protection; types of three-phase transformers; three-phase transformer calculations and connections, and more.

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GetWired 203: Raceway Systems, Switchboards and Panelboards, DC Motors, Three-Phase Alternators and Motors, is the seventh course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

This 39-hour course expands on skills built in earlier courses. Topics covered include: wiring materials; DC motor; sizing branch circuits, and more.

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GetWired 204: Transformers, Special Locations and Single-Phase Motors, is the eighth course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

This 39-hour course expands on skills taught in previous courses. Topics covered include: transformers; special locations; hazardous locations, more.

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GetWired 302: Blueprint Reading Part 2: Electrical Work for Commercial Construction from the Ground Up, Part 2, is the tenth course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

Key course subjects in this 42-hour course include: public utility requirements; electrical room layout; floor types and planning conduit runs, and more.

 

 


 

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023   WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentices: Important Health Benefit Summary and Notice Updates Within

Dear WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentices,

To view your health benefit summaries and annual notices, please login at www.goweca.com. Use your WECA student ID number and password to login, then navigate to "Commercial Apprentice Benefits."

The WECA health insurance provider is United Healthcare, which includes medical (HMO/PPO), dental (PPO), vision (PPO), Life/ADD and STD/LTD.

Please note that the United Healthcare dental PPO ID card only displays the subscriber's name. If dependents are covered, their name will not be displayed on the dental ID card.

Additionally, please note that United Healthcare does not send out vision ID cards. You may visit www.myuhcvision.com and register with United Healthcare (if you are not already registered) to print out a vision ID card.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Cormier, Insurance Administrator, at ccormier@goweca.com or at 877-444-9322 ext. 117.

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Thursday, January 19, 2023   WECA Political Update January 19, 2023

California Labor Commissioner Issues FAQs Clarifying Pay Transparency Law California enacted a pay transparency law (SB 1162) requiring employers with 15 or more employees to disclose pay scales in job postings beginning January 1, 2023. The Labor Commissioner recently issued guidance in the form of FAQs to address some of the unanswered questions regarding the interpretation and enforcement of the California Equal Pay Act.

The law expands pay data reporting requirements for California employers with 100 or more employees. It requires employers with 15 or more employees to include the “pay scale” for a position in any job posting. However, the law is silent on some key issues, such as: (1) how to determine the 15-employee threshold for coverage; (2) how to calculate the “pay scale;” and (3) whether positions that are not required to be filled by a California employee are covered (i.e., remote positions that may, or may not, be performed outside of California). The FAQs provide helpful guidance to address these questions.

The Labor Commissioner’s FAQs clarify the following:

  • Determining 15 Employee Limit: The Labor Commissioner’s guidance explains which individuals companies must count to determine whether an employer is covered under the law and, therefore, must disclose pay scales in job postings. Specifically, the law applies when (1) an employer reaches 15 employees at any pay period and (2) one employee is currently located in California. When calculating the 15-employee minimum threshold, “bona fide” independent contractors are excluded, while exempt employees, part-time workers, minors, and new hires are included.
  • Defining Pay Scale: The law defines “pay scale” as the salary or hourly wage range that the employer reasonably expects to pay for the position. The FAQs clarify that “pay scale” excludes bonuses, commissions, tips, or other benefits. However, if a position’s salary or hourly wage is based in whole or in part on either commission or a piece rate, then the commission range or piece rate the employer reasonably expects to pay for the position must also be included in the job posting.
  • Posting Requirements: The guidance clarifies when and how the new “pay scale” information must be disclosed. The FAQs explain that the “pay scale” must be included within a job posting if the position “may ever be filled in California,” either in-person or remotely. The wage info must be displayed in the job posting and cannot be included via a link or QR code. 

Considering the Labor Commissioner’s FAQs, California employers should thoroughly review their job postings to ensure compliance with the new pay transparency law and the Labor Commissioner’s guidance. They should consult counsel before revising or posting new job positions in 2023. Story

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Cal/OSHA Approved COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations On December 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) voted to adopt COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations (Non-Emergency Regulations). Approval by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) is expected shortly, and the new regulations are expected to take effect this month. Although the new regulations include requirements like those currently found in the Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), the Non-Emergency Regulations also incorporate significant differences that will change how employers engage with their employees and operate their businesses for COVID-19. Story

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California Legislators Have Refused to Fix CEQA. Davis Law Professor Offers Advice to Newsom and the Courts to “Take Charge” Chris Elmendorf is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis and a longtime resident of San Francisco. He wrote this (#nottheonion) for the San Francisco Chronicle. “The California Environmental Quality Act — colloquially known as CEQA — has long been considered the state’s flagship environmental law. Debate over whether CEQA deserves to retain that status, however, has grown heated in recent years. The nub of the problem is that the law’s central premise doesn’t fit the great environmental problems of our day. It wouldn’t be hard for the Legislature to resolve CEQA’s flaws, but there’s no political will to do it. That’s because CEQA, in practice, is not just an environmental protection law. Trade unions have become experts at using the threat of CEQA litigation to extract labor agreements from developers. Time is money — literally — for project investors, and litigation and delay have become so costly that developers of high-value projects will gladly incur substantially higher labor costs to avoid it. On smaller, more financially marginal projects, however, developers can’t afford the extra labor costs or the risk of delay. So, these projects don’t get proposed at all. Perhaps not surprisingly, the trades have defeated almost every legislative proposal to streamline CEQA review of green projects — unless the bill comes with labor requirements that raise the cost of building the very things we need the most. A couple of years ago, the Planning and Conservation League Foundation convened a group of veteran CEQA attorneys from across the ideological spectrum to develop a consensus proposal for modest procedural reforms. Even this was too much for the trades, which killed it. Story

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2024 Election Season is On Politico notes it’s “game on” for 2024. “Thirteen months before the primary and 400 miles from her home base, Rep. Katie Porter held the first event of what promises to be a raucous U.S. Senate race. The Orange County Democrat kicked off her campaign with a visit to the East Bay’s Rossmoor Democratic club, a rich vein of three critical resources: donations, volunteers and high-propensity Democratic voters. It’s also all but impossible to win statewide without piling up votes in the Bay Area. ‘The fact that she’s here within a week of announcing her candidacy means Northern California is in her heart,’ Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan told a crowd of hundreds in an intro speech (RBK is so far neutral in the Senate race.). Whiteboards were featured heavily — fittingly, since Porter built her reputation by grilling executives with her signature prop and is centering her campaign on countering entrenched interests. A few women in the audience had specially made “4 Katie!” mini whiteboards pinned to their shirts. An emcee screened a video of one memorable interrogation and recounted others to murmurs of recognition. Porter boasted about lobbyists cowering from ‘the whiteboard treatment.’ California, she said, needs ‘our best warrior in the Senate.’ In a possible preview of how she’ll approach Democratic rivals, she said it’s for ‘a fresh new voice.’ Porter was able to get in front of potential voters before the competition because she didn’t wait for Sen. Dianne Feinstein to confirm the pervasive presumption that she won’t seek another term. Before holding the cycle’s first campaign event on Tuesday, Porter issued the first strength-signaling fundraising release ($1.3 million in 24 hours) and rolled out the first high-profile endorsement (Sen. Elizabeth Warren, her mentor and former professor). But she won’t long have the field to herself. Rep. Barbara Lee has already said she’s in, and Rep. Adam Schiff shouldn’t be far behind. To differentiate themselves from rival Democrats, they’ll need to put in the time with the party faithful at Rossmoor-like clubs around the state. They’ll also need to raise enormous sums of money — and a key to that is accumulating numerous small-dollar donors, like the types of people who show up to a campaign event on a Tuesday night many months before they’ll cast a vote. Porter has demonstrated fundraising acumen — and some ground to make up. She raised more than $25 million last cycle but spent some $27 million to survive a bruising reelection race, leaving her with about $7.7 million at November’s end. Schiff, ensconced in his safe Los Angeles district, raised a similar amount but spent markedly less than Porter, leaving him with more than $20 million on hand. Lee, who is less of a fundraising juggernaut, had $54,000.”

Dan Walters opines on the race here.

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And because Porter will give up her hard-won and costly house seat to run for Senate, it Opens Up a Desirable House Seat. There is a new contender for Porter’s opening House seat: Democratic state Sen. Dave Min is running for CA-47 with an endorsement from Porter, who said in a statement Min has “proven that he can win in this area while delivering on a progressive agenda.” Min finished behind Porter in the 2018 House primary. He joins a field that includes former Democratic Rep. Harley Rouda and former Republican Assembly member Scott Baugh. One big winner from this development is State Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton. Last year, California’s redistricting commission put Min and Newman, both Democrats, in the same district. Min’s announcement spares Newman the prospect of an incumbent-on-incumbent fight. Min unseated Republican state Sen. John Moorlach in 2020, flipping one of that cycle’s most contested state Senate seats. He represents much of Porter’s district in the Legislature and could show strength with its large Korean-American electorate. More

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And another look at the Senate Race is Everyone for Themselves — “California’s shadow Senate campaign is already spilling out into the light,” said the Daily Beast’s Sam Brodey. “No matter how the eventual field shakes out, California politicos are bracing for a bruising intra-party battle royale. In the state’s election system, the top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party — which means that in this deep blue state, a Democrat-versus-Democrat matchup in November 2024 is not only possible, it’s likely.”

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Klobuchar Leery of Silicon Valley Influence: Their Cash, Not So Much Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), one the chief architects of last year’s Senate push to rein in tech giants, went to Silicon Valley to raise money for her reelection, according to a recent story. She held a fundraiser at the Palo Alto of venture capitalist Greg Sands and his wife Sarah. According to the invite, the event was organized by the Bay Area fundraising group Electing Women Bay Area. Greg and Sarah Sands are longtime Democratic donors who bundled at least $25,000 for Klobuchar’s 2020 presidential bid, according to an archived page on the campaign’s site. They also hosted fundraisers for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2019. For Klobuchar, tonight’s fundraiser will take her onto the home turf of several top foes whose furious lobbying efforts last year sank the senator’s bipartisan antitrust push. Tickets started at $1,000 for guests to get face time with Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate’s antitrust subcommittee and has vowed to forge ahead with efforts to crack down on the dominance of tech companies like Apple, Meta, Amazon, and Google. And in case you’re wondering, no, I did not attend.

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And You Thought 2024 Would Be Biden vs. Trump? Five hundred and thirty-one people have filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to run for president in 2024 as of January 17. The list includes 77 Democratic candidates (14.5%), 145 Republican candidates (27.3%), and 309 nonpartisan or minor party candidates (58.2%). This figure excludes candidates whose filings have expired or were identified as fake candidates (George Santos?). Any person running for president that raises or spends more than $5,000 for a campaign must file a Statement of Candidacy with the FEC within 15 days. To do so, that person must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years old, and a resident of the United States for at least 14 years. A Statement of Candidacy includes basic information like the candidate’s name and address and any campaign committees working for them. The number of filings in the 2024 election is the third-most in 40 years. In 2016, 1,762 candidates filed with the FEC to run for president. In 2020, 1,212 candidates filed.

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Ouch! Major Orange County Republican Group Lost on 96% of its Local Bets in Latest Election The Voice of OC reports: “They’ve been a dominant force in Orange County elections for decades. In the November election alone, the Lincoln Club of Orange County spent nearly $1 million on local races, weighing in on campaigns for county supervisor, city council, and school board. But this time, the club – one of the county’s most prominent GOP spending groups – lost most of its bets. A whopping 96% of the group’s major spending on local races went to support candidates who lost or opposed people who ended up winning.” Story

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Sinema Angles for Approps Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) is eyeing a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee, according to two people familiar with the matter. Sinema is entering her fifth year in the Senate, a level of seniority that puts her in contention for the plum gig. However, there’s a new dynamic in town: Sinema left the Democratic Party to go independent, though she is still essentially a part of the Democratic Caucus. Regarding timing, Senate leaders are still working out the committee ratios, and it’s unclear when they will be announced.

And Sinema may have her hands full in 2024! The Washington Post reports Kari Lake, Blake Masters, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, and Karrin Taylor Robson are all “seriously” considering jumping into the 2024 Arizona Senate race. No word on former Governor Doug Ducey, whose race for Senate was torpedoed by DJT because Ducey wouldn’t embrace “the steal.”

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California’s Top Oil Regulator Abruptly Exits: SV Sun reports “For the second time in two years, the Golden State’s oil czar is hitting the exits after ruffling one too many feathers with environmental activists. Uduak-Joe Ntuk took over running California’s Geologic Energy Management Division (or CalGEM) in late 2019 after his predecessor, Ken Harris, was sacked by Gov. Gavin Newsom for quietly approving a hefty number of fracking permits. Since Newsom took office, Sacramento has focused on virtually eliminating all oil production. CalGEM (formerly named the clunky “DOGGR”) has retained its position as the most demanding regulatory agency to balance ongoing needs with Sacramento’s demands.”

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Solar Struggles: Three environmental groups filed an appeal this week, insisting the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reconsider a decision to slash the prices utilities must pay new rooftop solar customers for excess power. The Center for Biological Diversity, Protect Our Communities Foundation, and the Environmental Working Group said in a news release announcing their appeal that the change “threatens the growing rooftop solar market and puts affordable and resilient renewable energy out of reach for most communities.” The CPUC sharply reduced the rates for customer-generated power in a December decision that also eliminated a solar tax. Commissioners said the change was aimed at encouraging new customers to add battery storage at their homes to help offset heavy energy usage during California evenings when solar generation stops. A CPUC spokeswoman said the program has essentially subsidized electricity prices for wealthier Californians who can afford rooftop solar. The appeal asks the CPUC to reconsider the analysis that led to the December net metering decision and to reverse it, saying it fails to fulfill state statutes that require growth of distributed renewable generation, including among disadvantaged communities. I, for one, am not holding my breath. The CPUC was unanimous in voting for NEM 3.0, and I doubt any commissioner, much less a majority, will say, “Whoops, my bad.”

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And We’re Done Republican David Shepard conceded his race for Senate District 16 (Sanger). His statement reads: “Thank you to the constituents of Senate District 16. This race has been historically close, and as the recount draws toward the end, I believe our path forward to victory is no longer feasible. From our 22-vote deficit, our recounting of ballots closed the gap to 13 votes. This means that nine voters who initially were prevented from voting in this election had their votes tallied. This election has exemplified the saying that, ‘every vote counts.’ Although the result is not the one we had hoped for, I am so incredibly thankful for the team that surrounded me during the recount and believed in me and my candidacy for state senate.” Shepard is a supervisor of table grape operations for his family’s farming company EW Merritt Farms.

Read more >>


Thursday, January 12, 2023   Graduation Held January 7 in Phoenix for the WECA Arizona Class of 2022

Please join us in thanking our sponsors and gift donors for making the event special and memorable for our graduates and their guests!



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WECA Arizona Class of 2022 Graduation

Watch: WECA Arizona Class of 2022 Graduation Event

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WECA celebrated the hard work and accomplishments of the Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022 at their graduation on Saturday, January 7th at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Phoenix.

75 people – including graduates’ family and friends, special guests, WECA Member Contractors, WECA Industry Partners, gift donors, and WECA staff – attended the celebration. Notable attendees included Darin Johnson, Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety and Workforce Development at Corbins and WECA Apprenticeship Training Committee Trustee; Mike McBride, National Account Manager for WECA Industry Partner Talent Corps, and Andrew Spleth, Territory Manager for the Greater Phoenix area for tool donor Milwaukee Tool.

The evening was memorable and poignant, according to Wendy Flanagan, WECA’s Assistant Director of Apprenticeship and Don Black, WECA’s Apprentice Training, IT, and Facilities Director.

“Everyone was excited and proud of their accomplishments,” said Wendy. “Most of the graduates chose to speak and they thanked Corbins and their loved ones, and also expressed their appreciation for WECA and the higher level of education that we and Keith Smart [WECA Phoenix Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program’s Manager and Instructor] offer. It was very moving to hear about how much they appreciate and respect Keith and his teaching and his mentorship.”

Don concurred with Wendy, stating “The graduates were very grateful that Corbins switched to using WECA as their apprenticeship program. Many graduates said that Keith was the best instructor they ever had and were grateful for his mentorship.”

The graduation ceremony also had a unique twist – certainly a WECA graduation first!

“Several of the graduates brought their kids, and one of the kids had a birthday that day. Her dad thanked her for cutting her birthday short to be at the ceremony, and we all sang happy birthday to her,” said Wendy.

Congratulations to the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022! We’re proud of you, and thankful that you are part of the WECA family. We look forward to seeing how you shape the future of the Arizona commercial electrical industry! 



 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 12, 2023   Congratulations to the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022!

Meet Some of Our Graduates

Erik Ramirez



 

Erik Ramirez, a WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022 graduate, knew that his WECA education would be exceptional from the first class.

“After transitioning from a different institute over to WECA, in the first class I realized just how much better my education experience was going to be,” says Erik. “WECA’s staff is exceptional, and the instructor [Keith Smart, WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program Manager and Instructor] was always there to support me and answer any question I had."

The quality of WECA’s education has also played a pivotal role in helping Erik prepare for his chosen career.

“Their curriculum offered a full range of topics that cover a lot of the fundamentals needed to succeed in this industry. Many of the hands-on labs were based on real-life situations in the field,” says Erik.

Additionally, Erik’s on-the-job training with his employer, WECA Arizona Founding Member Contractor Corbins, has provided opportunities to work alongside experienced coworkers and gain invaluable experience doing different scopes of work through various projects.

Outside of school and work, Erik credits his family with providing essential support every step of the way.

“The main factor that contributed to my success at WECA and in my career was and still is my family,” says Erik. “Without their support and motivation, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today.”

However, we suspect that Erik’s ambition and tenacity has also propelled him along his journey, as evidenced by his post-graduation plans.

“My plans after graduating are to keep growing in my career and knowledge. I won’t settle with just a journeyperson title. I want to be part of the next generation of leaders in the electrical industry,” says Erik.

Congratulations, Erik! We are proud of your hard work, determination, and success, and are confident that you will make an excellent future leader for Arizona’s commercial electrical industry.

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Chase Quillin


 

For WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022 graduate Chase Quillin, WECA’s Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program and instructor Keith Smart have given him a new perspective on the electrical industry.

“My WECA experience has consisted of constant learning and exposure to new ideas in the electrical field with real-world experience to back it up,” says Chase. “When I go to a job site now, I can understand what it is we are installing and why. With the preparation and knowledge gained at WECA, combined with the skills I’ve gained on-the-job, I am ready to tackle any task presented to me.”

Chase says this is all thanks to Keith Smart, WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program Manager and Instructor.

“Keith is an awesome instructor, and his experience is shown every day in class through his expounding on the material presented and ensuring everyone has a full understanding of the concepts presented,” says Chase.

Outside of the classroom, Chase’s employer – WECA Arizona Founding Member Contractor Corbins – has provided him with forepersons and journeyperson electricians who have not only led him, but showed him how to lead others. Such leadership gave Chase the opportunity to become a lead for his crew in the past year.

Thanks to his high-quality WECA education and steadfast guidance from his employer, Chase’s plans for the future are rock-solid.

“My goal is to continue refining my leadership skills, apply my credits [earned at WECA, whose apprenticeship programs have been awarded college credit recommendations by the National College Credit Recommendation Service] to an Associates degree, and I hope I get the opportunity to become a foreperson to continue passing on my knowledge,” says Chase.

Congratulations, Chase! We are pleased that WECA and Arizona Founding Member Contractor Corbins built up your leadership skills and paved the way for you to tackle the rest of your career in the commercial electrical industry! We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

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Aaron Reali


 

WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Class of 2022 graduate Aaron Reali credits his WECA education with giving him confidence, helping him develop problem-solving skills, and presenting excellent opportunities to lead and learn, and Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program Manager and Instructor Keith Smart with making his time at WECA challenging and rewarding.

“My education and training at WECA were really centered on real-life situations, helped me learn how to problem solve situations at work, gave me the confidence to have conversations with my leads, foremen, and superintendents about the work we’re performing, and I have been given the opportunity [by employer Corbins, a WECA Arizona Founding Member Contractor] to lead teammates. Also, Keith deserves a lot of the credit for the progress a lot of us have made,” says Aaron.

Another benefit of his WECA education, Aaron says, is learning in the classroom alongside his coworkers.

“We can talk about what we learned in class and bounce ideas off each other,” says Aaron. “Keith contributed real work examples and cited personal experiences, which helped a lot of us grasp certain concepts. Hands-on activities in class also helped build confidence in my work.”

Looking back on his WECA experience, Aaron encourages current and future WECA students to ‘take it all in.’

“It goes by so quickly and before you know it, graduation is happening. Really take advantage of the experience and the training. You’ll be surprised what you’re capable of if you just apply yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and volunteer for any opportunity because those can be your door to the next great step in your career,” says Aaron.

When it comes to next steps, Aaron is already carving a definitive pathway for his career in the commercial electrical industry.

“I’ve been given a great opportunity to lead a couple of my teammates in a job we are in right now,” says Aaron. “I’m excited to complete this job and continue to lead in other jobs and soon become a foreman for a couple of years and then transition into a superintendent role. I also plan to work with apprentices and help them out on their path.”

Read more >>


Thursday, January 12, 2023   Please Join Us in Congratulating This Year's WECA Board Election Winners

The results are in! Please join us in congratulating the following individuals on their respective elections to the following WECA Boards of Directors and Trustees:
 

WECA Board of Directors:

Ian Vander Linden

Mark Cooper

Rick Butterfield

Rob McMillian
 

WECA Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees:

Dru Wells

Matt Liefer

Leslie Schlaegel

Windell Pascascio, Jr.

Cody Eaton
 

WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees:

Jeremy Alessandro

Nathan Gosink

Dustin Phillips
 

Congratulations to the newly elected!

You can view our full Boards of Directors and Trustees rosters here.

Read more >>


Thursday, January 12, 2023   Starting the Year Off Strong

Three WECA Member Contractors Make Engineering News Record California's 2022 Top Specialty Contractors Preview List

Rankings for Top Contractors by Sector: Electrical

Please join us in congratulating WECA Member Contractors Helix Electric, Royal Electric Company, and Barnum & Celillo Electric, Inc. on being named to Engineering News Record California's 2022 Top Specialty Contractors! Shown below are the rankings for top contractors for the electrical sector:

Read more >>


Thursday, January 12, 2023   Fresno-Area Contractors: RSVP Today for Feb. 22 "Jump Start Your Career" Job Fair

Greater Fresno-Area Member Contractors: Participate in Our Feb. 22 "Jump Start Your Career" Job Fair at WECA's Fresno Training Facility: Meet WECA Apprenticeship Applicants In Your Area

RSVP Today!



We are excited to host the "Jump Start Your Career" job fair at WECA's Fresno training facility on February 22 from 4 to 7 p.m.!

But, your help is needed to make this event a success! This is a great opportunity for Fresno-area member contractors to connect with apprentice applicants about career opportunities in the trades as an electrician, and to share information about your company.

We will be providing information about the different pathways and programs we offer at WECA and some hands-on activities.

Please let us know if you want to be included in this fabulous event to showcase all the great things about a careers as an electrician. WECA will provide tables and chairs for the event booths, as well as meeting space, if you would like to conduct interviews at the event.

To RSVP, please email Wendy Flanagan at wflanagan@goweca.com or Diane Trotter at dtrotter@goweca.com.

We look forward to seeing you there! And if you RSVP soon, we'll add you to the "attending contractors" section of this flyer:

?Download the "Jump Start Your Career" Job Fair flyer here.

Read more >>


Thursday, January 12, 2023   Behind the Scenes at WECA: Winterfest Staff Breakfast 2022 Edition







Happy New Year, everyone!

We're looking forward to a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2023, but before we continue diving head-first into the new year, we'd like to look back on the joyous time we had at WECA's staff Winterfest breakfast at our California headquarters in Rancho Cordova on December 30.

Everyone had a blast -- we enjoyed yummy breakfast foods and beverages, listened to festive music, enjoyed each other's company, and showed off our competitive sides with a suspenseful but friendly game of White Elephant (pictured above)!

Thank you for being part of the WECA family and allowing us to serve you -- here's to a wonderful 2023!

Read more >>


Thursday, January 5, 2023   WECA Political Update January 5, 2023

Arizona Senate 2024 According to Politico, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) is ramping up his political operation ahead of an expected entry into the Arizona Senate race against newly independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Gallego has recently hired a pollster, interviewed paid media firms, and started hiring veterans from the successful campaigns of Sens. John Fetterman, Mark Kelly, and Raphael Warnock. Since Sinema announced her party switch, Gallego has reportedly received more than 25,000 individual financial contributions.

And, Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs is at the forefront of efforts to keep California Republican Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from being Speaker of the House. Biggs, the former head of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, was the first Republican to challenge McCarthy's bid. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) formally nominated Biggs. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), a freshman, was among about 20 House Republicans who consistently sided with someone other than McCarthy. Story

And, California Republicans fear McCarthy's loss would be theirs as well. Politico reports, "For many GOP lawmakers in California, McCarthy is not only a friend and former colleague. He's a source of campaign cash and proof that their party could still be relevant — at least outside the state. Now, that seems to be slipping away along with his grip on the speakership. 'He has been the most important Republican in California for the past decade,' said Rob Stutzman, a Republican consultant who worked under former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger when McCarthy was in the state Legislature.

But, the would-be speaker's ascent has also divided him from some conservative former allies who believe he has put ambition — and loyalty to Trump — over principle. Bill Thomas, the former Republican Congress member and onetime mentor, denounced his former aide in 2021 for enabling Trump's 'lies' about the election. 'I'm very troubled by what appears to be an active preference of a minority of elected officials that believe throwing bombs is their key to success,' said former Republican State Sen. Roger Niello, who served in the Assembly with McCarthy. 'Kevin McCarthy is not a bomb-thrower."

New Boss at California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA). The Sacramento Bee reported Gov. Gavin Newsom's top adviser on California labor issues abruptly left her post in December under uncertain circumstances. Natalie Palugyai, who Newsom appointed as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency in July 2021, is no longer with the department, the governor's office and the agency confirmed. Before arriving in Sacramento, Palugyai was Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Palugyai replaced Julie Su after the U.S. Senate approved her as the next Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor. Lest any of you readers be concerned for Palugyai's financial condition, Newsom appointed her to the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board. Salary: $170,464. Her replacement at LWDA is Stewart Knox, undersecretary since 2021. His new salary: $232,858.
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 21, 2022   WECA Wishes You Very Happy Holidays!



Santa and his elves (AKA instructor Jimmie Slemp and his second year, first semester Commercial Electrical apprentices) wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope you all have a safe and joyous holiday season!
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 21, 2022   Big News! Announcing WECA Utah!

Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program Will Be Based at New Salt Lake City Region Training Center


 

WECA now offers a Commercial Electrical Registered Apprenticeship that is both federally-approved and recognized by the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Professional Licensing at its new Salt Lake City Region training center in Woods Cross.

WECA's apprenticeship programs have been called the best in the Western United States. High graduation counts; great reviews from apprentices and contractors alike; to-the-point, up-to-date National Electric Code-based curriculum and on-the-job training; and a dedicated, experienced teaching staff and administration all contribute to the success of these programs.

A Quick Look at our Utah Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program

Commercial Electrical (Inside Wireman) Apprenticeship

The Apprentice enrolled in the Commercial Inside Wireman Apprenticeship Program works under the direct supervision of a licensed journeyperson electrician installing electrical distribution centers, panel boards, sub panels, conduit systems, motor controls, lighting, fire alarms, and temporary wiring in commercial buildings. 

A WECA apprentice's school tuition costs are paid by the WECA Member Contractors who employ them. WECA Apprentices attend classes in an accelerated and intensive format consisting of full-time classroom training and hands-on labs for two consecutive weeks, approximately every five to seven months. Each two-week session is equal to one semester of classroom instruction.

  • 4 Year Program (UT)
  • Paid On the Job Training

Now taking apprenticeship applications for Utah! Apply Online



 
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 21, 2022   Behind the Scenes: First WECA Utah Apprenticeship Intake

Behind the Scenes: First WECA Utah Apprenticeship Intake with Talon Pobuda, Utah Apprenticeship Manager









WECA is excited to have held our first intake of apprentices to our new Utah electrical apprenticeship program! Thank you to WECA Utah Founding Member Contractor Hunt Electric Inc. for hosting the event!
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 21, 2022   WECA Artist in Residence: Showcasing Low Voltage Instructor Randy Rivera's Airbrushed Masterpiece





There are many talented and dedicated individuals on WECA's staff -- but we have to say that Low Voltage instructor/WECA artist-in-residence Randy Rivera's airbrushed Nikola Tesla masterpiece, prominently displayed in his classroom -- takes the cake! This is an awesome addition to our California headquarters, and we hope that Nikola's presence in Randy's classroom inspires current and future generations of electrical and low voltage apprentices!
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 21, 2022   Pics: This December in the GetWired Program Onsite Labs










 

California Electrician Trainee? Enroll in a GetWired class towards earning your Electrician Trainee Program Certificate here.

California Journeyperson Electrician on the hunt for Continuing Education? Get your 32 hours here.

Read more >>


Wednesday, December 21, 2022   Pics: Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentices In WECA's Phoenix Training Center and On the Job








 

A Quick Look at our Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program

Commercial Electrical (Inside Wireman) Apprenticeship

The Apprentice enrolled in the Commercial Inside Wireman Apprenticeship Program works under the direct supervision of a journeyperson electrician installing electrical distribution centers, panel boards, sub panels, conduit systems, motor controls, lighting, fire alarms, and temporary wiring in commercial buildings.

A WECA apprentice's school tuition costs are paid by the WECA Member Contractors who employ them. WECA Apprentices attend classes in an accelerated and intensive format consisting of full-time classroom training and hands-on labs for two consecutive weeks, approximately every five to seven months. Each two-week session is equal to one semester of classroom instruction.

  • 4 Year Program (AZ)
  • Paid On the Job Training

Apply for Apprenticeship in Arizona

Read more >>


Wednesday, December 21, 2022   'Tis the Season for Giving: Pics of Commercial Electrical Apprentices Donating to WECA Food Drive



One of the best parts of the holiday season is giving back, and instructor Jimmie Slemp's second year, first semester Commercial Electrical apprenticeship class did just that by contributing to the annual food drive at WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ. Thank you to Jimmie's class as well as all the other apprentices, students, and staff who participated for your donations to help our local community during the holiday season!
Read more >>


Thursday, December 15, 2022   WECA Announces Expansion of Electrical Apprenticeship Training Program into Utah

The Western Electrical Contractors Association (WECA), an industry leader in electrical training and apprenticeship and contractor business services in the Western United States, is pleased to announce the expansion of its registered, electrical apprenticeship training program into Utah, having obtained approval to be a Division of Professional Licensing Recognized Electrical Apprenticeship for Utah in October 2022. 

In partnership with founding Utah Member Contractor Hunt Electric, a full-service electrical, technology and infrastructure contractor known for providing quality services which span all markets, WECA is bringing its lauded programs to meet workforce development needs in Utah. Membership and usage of its apprenticeship training program is open to all licensed electrical contractors in Utah and WECA looks forward to serving the contractor community. Cody Eaton, Operations Manager of Hunt Electric, speaks to the state’s workforce development needs, saying “Too few people looking to start a career today are familiar with the benefits of working as an electrician. Encouraging new applicants to pursue this lucrative and rewarding career that doesn’t require taking on student loan debt to get started can give them a promising future. It also benefits the industry by replacing an aging workforce with new talent.”

WECA’s newest training facility, located in Woods Cross, is intended to serve apprentices in the greater Salt Lake City region as well as the entire state of Utah. WECA will register its first Utah commercial electrical apprenticeship class in early 2023.

WECA thanks the Utah Apprenticeship community and electrical industry for their welcome. “Over the past several months WECA Utah Apprenticeship Manager and Lead Instructor Talon Pobuda and I have had the opportunity to work closely with several of the other Utah electrical apprenticeship and training programs, contractors, and educators,” says WECA Operations Director Christine Hall. “We’re grateful for the welcome we’ve received and look forward to contributing to and being part of training the future electrical workforce in Utah. It was also great to get the opportunity to attend the Apprenticeship Utah Summit and Apprenticeship Job Fair this past November 2022.”

Registered Apprenticeship is a system of learning in the classroom and receiving on-the-job training while earning wages. WECA’s apprenticeship programs are known for their high graduation counts; great reviews from apprentices and contractors alike; to-the-point, up-to-date competency-based curriculum and on the job training; and a dedicated, experienced instructional staff and administration. WECA’s apprentices attend classes in an accelerated and intensive format consisting of full-time classroom and lab instruction for two consecutive weeks every six to seven months. Each two-week session is equal to one semester. WECA’s daytime program is unique, and participants—apprentices and their sponsoring employers alike—appreciate the opportunity for apprentices to focus on their classroom and onsite lab education for these short, productive, and intense periods, rather than attending school in the evenings in a tiring and drawn-out fashion. 

WECA has provided Commercial Electrical Apprentice Training, Residential Electrical Apprenticeship, and Low Voltage Apprentice Training programs since 1992, 1997, and 2005, respectively. All of WECA’s apprenticeship programs have undergone rigorous evaluation and subsequently received college credit equivalency recommendations from the National College Credit Recommendation Service.

For over 90 years, WECA has been honored to prepare thousands of the most skilled electricians in the American West for a competitive workforce. The association currently serves over 300 member contractors, over 1,000 apprentices, and approximately 4,000 non-apprenticeship electrical students. WECA is proud to bring its programs to Utah for the benefit of its electrical industry and the development of its skilled workforce.

Interested Utah apprenticeship applicants can submit an application, and Utah electrical contractors can explore membership, at GOWECA.COM.

Read more >>


Thursday, December 15, 2022   Watch: A Sneak Peek of All That's to Come in Utah!

Read more >>


Thursday, December 15, 2022   WECA Arizona Member Contractor K2 Electric Wins Accolade from Phoenix Business Journal



At WECA, we say that our Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and industry suppliers are the best of the best -- as shown by the awards and accolades that consistently come their way. WECA Arizona Member Contractor K2 Electric, LLC is the latest member to clinch such an honor, being named in the Phoenix Business Journal as being among the "Best Places to Work - Midsize." Congratulations, K2 Electric -- way to end 2022 on a high note!
Read more >>


Thursday, December 15, 2022   WECA Member Contractor Solutionz, Inc. Makes System Contractor News Top 50 List



Earlier this month, WECA Member Contractor Solutionz, Inc. -- the largest individually owned and operated audiovisual integration company in the United States -- was named the 4th best systems integrator company in the United States in 2022 by Systems Contractor News! Congratulations on this incredible achievement, Solutionz, Inc. -- we are so proud!
Read more >>


Thursday, December 15, 2022   After a Three-Year Hiatus, We're Pleased to Host WECEF's Annual Crab Feed Once Again

Please Save the Date for the WECEF Crab Feed on March 10, 2023

After a three-year hiatus, WECEF is pleased to invite you to once again come out for a good cause this coming March! Join us for WECEF's annual fundraiser and crab feed to support education and careers in the electrical and low voltage trades.

Please save the date to join us for a delicious dinner of fresh Dungeness crab and festive libations, celebrate in support of WECEF's mission, and mingle with your peers and industry professionals. We will also be installing the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, Apprenticeship Training Trust Board of Trustees, and Health and Welfare Board of Trustees at this event.

When:

March 10, 2023

Where:

WECA California Headquarters

3695 Bleckely St.

Rancho Cordova, CA 95655

Be on the lookout for ticket and sponsorship options coming soon! We look forward to seeing you!


wecef

Read more >>


Thursday, December 15, 2022   'Tis the Season for Giving: Commercial Electrical Apprentices Donate to Annual WECA Food Drive



One of the best parts of the holiday season is giving back, and instructor Jimmie Slemp captured record of his second year, first semester class doing just that by contributing to the annual food drive at WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ. Thank you to Jimmie's class as well as all the other classes, staff, and members of the WECA community for your donations to help out during the holiday season!
Read more >>


Thursday, December 15, 2022   WECA Artist in Residence: Showcasing Instructor Randy Rivera's Airbrushed Nikola Tesla Masterpiece



WECA's comprised of many talented and dedicated individuals -- but we have to say that Low Voltage instructor Randy Rivera's airbrushed Nikola Tesla masterpiece, displayed prominently in his classroom -- certainly takes the cake!

What a wonderful addition to our California headquarters, Randy! We are in awe of your artistic ability, and proud to have you as part of the WECA family. As for Nikola Tesla, we hope that his presence in Randy's classroom inspires current and future generations of electrical and low voltage apprentices!

Read more >>


Thursday, December 15, 2022   Download the Inflation Reduction Act Guidebook Below

Content courtesy of whitehouse.gov

This guidebook provides an overview of the clean energy, climate mitigation and resilience, agriculture, and conservation-related tax incentives and investment programs in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, including who is eligible to apply for funding and for what activities. The Biden-Harris Administration is working quickly to design, develop, and implement these programs; as such, the information in this guidebook is current as of publication. In the coming weeks and months, we will publish new developments on www.CleanEnergy.gov to keep stakeholders and potential beneficiaries of these programs up to date on the latest deadlines and details. This guidebook does not cover the Inflation Reduction Act’s health care provisions or certain corporate tax reforms.

The guidebook groups the Inflation Reduction Act’s tax incentives and investment programs into thematic chapters and explains how the law will deliver on the President’s commitments to the American people. Each chapter outlines the significance of these programs and includes a one-page summary of each program’s eligible uses, potential beneficiaries, and other important information. Given the cross-cutting nature of energy and climate issues, many of these Inflation Reduction Act programs and tax provisions could fall under more than one chapter. For ease of presentation, each program or provision is featured only once in the guidebook. 

Read and download the guidebook here.

Download a list of Inflation Reduction Act funding programs in the guidebook.

Download a data dictionary for the list of Inflation Reduction Act Programs above.

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   Wrapping Up a Successful Year of Outreach

WECA and Members Promoted Apprenticeship at CIE Foundation's Trades Day in Sacramento on November 28th











WECA’s Apprenticeship Outreach team is wrapping up a very productive and successful year! We were thrilled to attend CIE Foundation’s Trades Day at Cal Expo in Sacramento on Monday, November 28th as one of our final events of the year.

Representing WECA at the event were Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, and Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructors John Arias and Randy Rivera. WECA Member Contractors Royal Electric Company and Mark III Construction, Inc. joined in the outreach efforts.

“We had hundreds of individuals from various high school and construction trades programs visit our booth,” said Wendy. “They were eager to hear about the classroom and get hands-on demonstrations with John and Randy, while I shared program information with them and handed out our fun swag.”

Thank you for having us, CIE Foundation! It was an rewarding day, as always, of reaching out to the future of California electrical and low voltage workforce! 

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   Congratulations to the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Winners!

wecef
 

Please join us in congratulating the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Winners!

·        Phillip Anossov

·        Gabriel Avila

·        Damien Carlos

·        Cody Carpenter

·        Charles-Joshua Cortez

·        Ivan Cruz Perez

·        Saul Fernandez, Jr.

·        Javier Garcia, Jr.

·        Dane Godbe

·        Benito Gonzales

·        Micah Kirk

·        Scott McFarland

·        Roeun Morng

·        Elissa Penn

·        Shane Peters

·        Ricardo Ramirez

·        Jake Ramsey

·        Justin Robinette

·        Daniel Rojas

·        Brandon Roome

·        Cody Ruggles

·        Ulises Sanchez

·        Brian Shipp

·        Taiye Skillman

·        Dane Storm

·        Brandon Velasco

·        Andres Vera

We were pleased to receive a record number of scholarship applications this year, and are continually inspired by applicants' talent and determination. This year, WECEF focused its scholarship opportunities on students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program.

Each annual WECEF scholarship round helps support students in continuing their education with WECA. This year, awardees received up to $1,000 each in monetary awards towards furthering their education, and/or tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path.

Leanne Sipes, WECA Senior Accountant, says "This year's applications yielded many thoughtful responses. We were pleased to receive applications from the employees of members and non-members alike. It was also great to see that many applicants espoused the importance of safety in the workplace, stating that their approach to safety was to 'continually train on it and embed it into everyone's psyche."

Terry Seabury, WECA Executive Director and CEO, also notes that many applications touched upon common themes in response to questions posed during the application process, such as "What does it take to be an effective leader?" and "Ideas to improve the work environment?" The most common responses to these questions were: leading by example, listening and communicating effectively, remaining calm in the face of challenges, highlighting and sharing everyone's strengths and talents, demonstrating honesty and sincerity, and practicing proper planning and execution to ensure safety on the jobsite. "Many applicants also demonstrated a desire to contribute to improving jobsite and team communication," said Terry.

Congratulations, everyone!

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   Rising Above the Competition in Arizona

WECA Arizona Founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric Makes Phoenix Business Journal's Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) Private Companies List

Please join us in congratulating WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric in making the Phoenix Business Journal's Arizona Corporate Excellence Private Companies List!

We're pleased that our Member Contractors continually dominate these types of lists and demonstrate merit shop excellence in the West.

Congratulations, Corbins! Thank you for anchoring WECA in Arizona, and we are excited to see further accomplishments and accolades in the coming new year!

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   Congratulations Larry Thomas, Jr.: Recipient of Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award









Please join us in congratulating Larry Thomas, Jr., WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentice with Member Contractor Corbins Electric, who recently won an Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award!

Larry received the award at the 60th annual Outstanding Apprentice Awards ceremony on Saturday, November 19th at the Wigwam Resort and Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona. There were 600-plus people in attendance, 99 of whom were award recipients. Larry’s wife and daughter were on hand to help celebrate, as were Darin Johnson, Vice President of Foreman Development at Corbins Electric, Olivia Kasparek, Apprenticeship Program Coordinator at Corbins Electric, and Bob Bartlett, WECA Membership Director.

Dennis Anthony, the Chairman of the Arizona Apprenticeship Advisory Committee, was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Additionally, Ted Cooke – the General Manager of the Central Arizona Project – was a featured guest speaker and gave a speech on what it takes to be a leader and not just a manager.

And last, but not least, the award winners had their pictures taken with Willie Higgins, the director of the Arizona State Apprenticeship Program, while receiving their awards.

Congratulations, Larry! We are so proud of your momentous achievement and thank you for representing excellence in apprenticeship! 

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   It's Time to Come Together to Celebrate the WECA Arizona Graduating Class of 2022!

There's One Month Left to Support WECA Graduates by Sponsoring This Graduation Event.

Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Arizona Graduating Class of 2022!

Our Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the Class of 2022 have successfully completed their education with WECA!

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

Saturday, January 7, 2023 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM

The Grand Ballroom

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Phoenix Airport

320 North 44th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85008

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 Arizona!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team

Reserve your sponsorship package

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   Congratulations to the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Winners!

wecef
 

Please join us in congratulating the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Winners!
 

·        Phillip Anossov

·        Gabriel Avila

·        Damien Carlos

·        Cody Carpenter

·        Charles-Joshua Cortez

·        Ivan Cruz Perez

·        Saul Fernandez, Jr.

·        Javier Garcia, Jr.

·        Dane Godbe

·        Benito Gonzales

·        Micah Kirk

·        Scott McFarland

·        Roeun Morng

·        Elissa Penn

·        Shane Peters

·        Ricardo Ramirez

·        Jake Ramsey

·        Justin Robinette

·        Daniel Rojas

·        Brandon Roome

·        Cody Ruggles

·        Ulises Sanchez

·        Brian Shipp

·        Taiye Skillman

·        Dane Storm

·        Brandon Velasco

·        Andres Vera

We were pleased to receive a record number of scholarship applications this year, and are continually inspired by applicants' talent and determination. This year, WECEF focused its scholarship opportunities on students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program.

Each annual WECEF scholarship round helps support students in continuing their education with WECA. This year, awardees received up to $1,000 each in monetary awards towards furthering their education, and/or tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path.

Leanne Sipes, Senior Accountant, says "This year's applications yielded many thoughtful responses. We were pleased to receive applications from the employees of members and non-members alike. It was also great to see that many applicants espoused the importance of safety in the workplace, stating that their approach to safety was to 'continually train on it and embed it into everyone's psyche."

Terry Seabury, Executive Director and CEO, also notes that many applications touched upon common themes in response to questions posed during the application process, such as "What does it take to be an effective leader?" and "Ideas to improve the work environment?" The most common responses to these questions were: leading by example, listening and communicating effectively, remaining calm in the face of challenges, highlighting and sharing everyone's strengths and talents, demonstrating honesty and sincerity, and practicing proper planning and execution to ensure safety on the jobsite. "Many applicants also demonstrated a desire to contribute to improving jobsite and team communication," said Terry.

Congratulations, everyone!

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   Congratulations Larry Thomas, Jr.: Recipient of Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award

Please Join Us in Congratulating WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentice, Corbins Electric Employee, and 2022 Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award Recipient Larry Thomas, Jr.









Please join us in congratulating WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentice and WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric employee Larry Thomas, Jr., who recently won an Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award!

Larry received the award at the 60th annual Outstanding Apprentice Awards ceremony on Saturday, November 19th at the Wigwam Resort and Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona. There were 600-plus people in attendance, 99 of whom were award recipients. Larry’s wife and daughter were on hand to help celebrate, as were Darin Johnson, Vice President of Foreman Development at Corbins Electric, Olivia Kasparek, Apprenticeship Program Coordinator at Corbins Electric, and Bob Bartlett, WECA Membership Director.

Dennis Anthony, the Chairman of the Arizona Apprenticeship Advisory Committee, was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Additionally, Ted Cooke – the General Manager of the Central Arizona Project – was a featured guest speaker and gave a speech on what it takes to be a leader and not just a manager.

And last, but not least, the award winners had their pictures taken with Willie Higgins, the director of the Arizona State Apprenticeship Program, while receiving their awards.

Congratulations, Larry! We are so proud of this momentous achievement and thank you for representing WECA’s excellence in Arizona and the West! 

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   National Apprenticeship Week 2022 and Veterans Day Recaps, Spotlights, and Videos

Read About Our Three Successful National Apprenticeship Week Open Houses and Read Our National Apprenticeship Week Apprentice Spotlights and Veterans Day Spotlights on Veteran Apprentices

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Was One for the Books!


WECA Northern California Open House at Our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova Training Facility

WECA hosted our Northern California National Apprenticeship Week open house at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility on Nov. 15!

The open house drew electrical and low voltage apprenticeship applicant hopefuls as well as attendees from select organizations, schools, and programs.

"Everyone was friendly and social with each other," says Jeanette Santos, Workforce Development Specialist. "And we got a lot of feedback from instructor John Arias' tour -- everyone noticed how much passion he has for his field." Attendees received the opportunity to participate in hands-on electrical demonstrations with John during the tour.

Thank you for coming, Sacramento and Rancho Cordova! We appreciate your enthusiasm, and are excited to help you succeed in the electrical and low voltage fields soon!

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WECA Arizona Open House at Our Phoenix Training Facility

On Nov. 16, WECA hosted our Arizona National Apprenticeship Week open house at our Phoenix training facility!

Attendees included representatives from Arizona state agencies, prospective WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship applicants, WECA Industry Partners, instructors from a local high school pre-apprenticeship program, and current WECA apprentices.

Bob Bartlett, Membership Director, said that the current WECA apprentices were on hand to share their experiences at WECA in comparison to their previous electrical apprenticeship program.

"They answered questions regarding how good the WECA program is, and why the other programs did not [positively] compare to ours," says Bob.

Keith Smart, Apprenticeship Manager and instructor, gave attendees a thorough presentation via our Smart Board and touched upon the subject matter taught per apprenticeship program year. A WECA National Apprenticeship week video featuring WECA apprenticeship graduate, professional motorcycle racer, and wildfire fighter Jayson Uribe was also shown, and greatly enjoyed by the attendees. Have a watch here:



Professional Motorcycle Racer. Wildfire Fighter. WECA Electrical Apprenticeship Grad. Is there anything Jayson Uribe can't do? Get to know this real-life hero, this National Apprenticeship Week 2022.

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WECA Southern California Open House at Our San Diego Training Facility

And last, but not least, WECA hosted our Southern California National Apprenticeship Week open house at our San Diego training facility on Nov. 16!

Jeff Van de Moere, Membership Manager, says that the diverse mix of attendees -- existing WECA Electrician Trainees, WECA Apprenticeship program applicants, and people new to but curious about pursuing careers in the electrical and low voltage industries -- peppered himself and instructor Neil Pesarillo with questions throughout the presentation and tour.

Thank you for coming, San Diego! We can't wait to see you in our labs and classrooms soon!

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Terry Travis Jr.

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

“For as long as human beings walk the earth, we will continually use electricity. Those that understand and know how to harness the power of electricity will always be wanted and needed,” says Commercial Electrical Apprentice Terry Travis, Jr.

Electricians are the backbone of today’s modern society, and as such, will always be in demand. But being an electrician wasn’t on Terry’s radar until a family friend recommended that he apply for an apprenticeship with the union. But despite applying, Terry never heard back – so he then began WECA’s Electrician Trainee program on the recommendation of a church elder.

While enrolled as an Electrician Trainee, Terry sent his resume to ten WECA Member Contractors in hopes of being hired for eventual apprenticeship sponsorship. Terry’s tenacity paid off when WECA Member Contractor Alessandro Electric Inc. hired Terry as a material handler. After six months, Alessandro sponsored his Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship with WECA – an event that drastically altered and determined the course of Terry’s life.

“Becoming an apprentice has given me the power to change my world,” says Terry. “It has given me the ability to create stability for myself and my family. When I was a child and young adult, I went through periods of homelessness – I have slept in cars, lived in motels, and ridden public transportation all night because I had nowhere else to go. That is no longer the case or reality in my life – I own a home and am the first person in my family to do so. My wife and children will never struggle like I did. I thank God that I have become an electrician. The apprenticeship has provided me the opportunity to learn a skill that will always be in demand,” says Terry.

Though tenacious and determined, Terry is also humble. In his continual pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement, Terry also credits WECA and his apprenticeship instructors – James Hall, Lakeal Morris, and Zack Wallace – with “providing me with the resources to become the best electrician I can be.”

Terry looks forward to every class because it provides him the chance to grow in knowledge and understanding – due in large part to his instructors.

“The instructors at WECA are some great individuals … after every class, I feel that I have leveled up and am ready to apply what I was taught. James is very knowledgeable about the NEC, and he has helped me to understand it much better. I also love the analogies Lakeal uses to relate and show the connection between electricity and life. And thanks to Zack, I have a much better understanding of how to read and make sense of blueprints,” says Terry.

However, WECA’s instructors aren’t the only ones full of wisdom. Terry also has some great wisdom to impart, himself.

“Humility comes before honor, and persistence and determination alone are omnipotent,” says Terry. “Being an apprentice is a humbling position; there are so many things you do not know, and you will not find out that you do not know those things until you are in that situation. As an apprentice, you are constantly learning and the best way to learn is to heed the advice of those that have been where you are. Being teachable has led to my success as an apprentice and I encourage all apprentices to practice humility.”

Terry, thank you for choosing to pursue a Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship with WECA. We are humbled to play such an instrumental role in your life, and know that your tenacity, humility, and talent will take you far in life.

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Alec Briseno

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

One thing that a lot of our apprentices have in common is being mechanically inclined since they were a kid, or having been exposed to the construction industry from a young age. Alec Briseno, a Commercial Electrical Apprentice studying at WECA’s Rancho Cordova training facility, is no different.

“I have been mechanically inclined from a young age,” says Alec. “My dad had his own industrial shop that repaired appliances and offered other parts to local vendors. The mechanics of it was very simple to me, but one thing that challenged me was how a single-phase system or a three-phase system worked on the motors. I felt like it really grabbed my interest in a way that nothing else could.”

As an adult, Alec followed up on that passion by joining up with WECA Member Contractor Reyff Electric.

“I was referred to WECA by Reyff Electric and after doing some research, I figured it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. It’s a complete setup for success and what you put in is what you will get out [of it]”, says Alec. “I was job-hopping before and not sure what I was going to do, or what was interesting to me. The electrical trade and the people at Reyff Electric have inspired me to push through hard times because there is a brighter future ahead.”

In his apprenticeship, Alec enjoys having the opportunity to work on commercial jobs and seeing everything that goes into getting the job done.

“Communication, ability to work with a team, and helping yourself at 100 percent is what’s important on a job. These traits have allowed me to challenge myself every day,” says Alec.

Alec also cites instructor Jimmie Slemp as being another positive influence on his apprenticeship.

“So far, my favorite instructor has been Jimmie,” says Alec. “With his years of experience and knowledge of the trade, he can teach and answer questions with complete honesty. One thing that has always stood out to me was that he can teach apprentices from just his field experience alone.”

Though Alec is enjoying the here and now, he also looks to the future with optimism and implores his fellow apprentices to do the same.

“Keep pushing and challenging yourself every day,” says Alec. “Those challenges are what’s going to make you better for yourself and your crew.”

Those are great words of wisdom, Alec! We’re glad that you followed your passions and turned them into a career, and are excited to see where your passion, hard work, and dedication take you in the future!

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Please Join Us in Thanking Veteran WECA Apprentices for Their Service! Learn More About Their Stories in Our Article and Videos in Honor of Veterans Day 2022

Abigail Stone


Air Force veteran, current Air National Guard member, and WECA Commercial Electrical apprentice at our Fresno training facility

Meet Abigail Stone – Commercial Electrical Apprentice at WECA’s Fresno training facility, Air Force veteran, and current member of the Air National Guard.

Abigail – who served as a vehicular mechanic during her six years at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State and reached the rank of Staff Sargeant – cites her former profession as the reason for choosing to become an electrician.

“I was a vehicular mechanic during my service, and that was a reason for choosing to be an electrician,” says Abigail. “I already knew electrical systems on vehicles, so I wasn’t going into the trade blind. It’s helped me on job sites with running equipment and being able to troubleshoot little issues so we can keep working.”

In her apprenticeship, Abigail says that her favorite thing to work on so far has been Musco Lighting, which are large area lighting systems used in applications such as sports.

“I’ve helped set them up from day one to finish,” says Abigail.

Abigail recommends that fellow veterans consider a career in the electrical industry after their service and offers the following advice to her fellow apprentices.

“Be a sponge. Absorb as much knowledge as you can from those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” says Abigail.

Thank you, Abigail, for your service and for being part of the WECA family! We’re thrilled to have you here and know you will do big things in your career. 

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

Fue Lee

Marine Corps veteran and WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility

A friend told Fue Lee about the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, and the rest is history. This United States Marine Corps veteran and Rex Moore Group employee parlayed his experience as an electrician in the service to a successful apprenticeship with WECA. Learn more about his journey:



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Austin Thomason

Army veteran and WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility



Austin Thomason, a U.S. Army Veteran now enrolled in the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, says that "seeing the joy on our customer's faces" after the crew has accomplished a job well done is one of his favorite aspects of his new career. He also says the competitive pay is great, he enjoys the set schedule, and his apprenticeship qualifies him for an extra paycheck each month provided by the post 9-11 G.I. bill.

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   Proudly announcing the WECA Arizona Graduating Class of 2022!

RSVP today to celebrate your hard work and achievements at your graduation event, to be held in The Grand Ballroom at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Phoenix on January 7, 2023!

Dear Arizona Graduating Class of 2022,

WECA is excited to invite you and your loved ones to come and celebrate your achievement of successfully completing your program! Graduates of WECA's Commercial Electrical apprenticeship program will be honored at this event. Meet with your classmates, instructors, contractors, and WECA staff in honor of your graduation, and celebrate together!

Get your tickets for the event here. Each graduate will receive two complimentary tickets; one for themselves and one for a guest. Graduates also have the option to purchase up to three additional tickets for guests.

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

Where: 

The Grand Ballroom

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Phoenix

320 N. 44th St.

Phoenix, AZ 85008

When: 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

6:30 - 9:30 PM

Highlights of the Evening:

  • Arriving and socializing with appetizers and beverages
  • Group photo of graduates
  • Graduation ceremony

Registration deadline: December 23

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

On behalf of myself, your instructors, WECA's Board of Directors and Apprenticeship Training Trust Board of Trustees, and WECA staff, I wish you a heartfelt congratulations!

Terry Seabury

Executive Director/CEO

We look forward to celebrating with you!

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   WECA's Student Referral Service: Are You Out of Work? Connect with a Great Employer Today!

WECA Member Contractors Are Urgently Hiring Electrician Trainees and Journeypersons in the Sacramento and Sonoma County Areas NOW!

WECA's Student Referral Service is a conduit to introduce our current Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, and WECA Grads to our Member Contractors. It's meant for students or grads who are currently out of work; to help them find a great new position.

There is no charge to Student or Member to use our Student Referral Service. WECA's Student Referral Service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff provide hands-on referrals, taking some of that work off your plate.  

This is a free, no-obligation service. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 

Electrician Trainees and Journeypersons residing in the Sacramento County and Sonoma County areas are in extra-high demand now. If you're out of work, don't miss out on your next great opportunity! Act today!

Three ways to sign up for the Student Referral Service today!

  1. Contact Trisha Hughes, Client Services ET/CE Specialist, at thughes@goweca.com
  2. Or call our office and ask to speak with her at 1-877-444-9322
  3. Or fill out the SRS sign-up form on our website.
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   Read: Top Changes to the 2023 National Electrical Code Content Courtesy of: EC&M

By: Mike Holt

When it comes to memorable Code revision cycles, this edition will be remembered for making the NEC an easier document to use. Here’s a look at the top 25 revisions.

As it does every three years, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released the latest edition of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®. The 2023 NEC cycle was very active with 4,006 Public Inputs, 1,805 First Revisions, 1,956 Public Comments, 900 Second Revisions, 164 Correlating Revisions, and 55 Certified Amending Motions. This resulted in several new Articles and a wide array of new and revised rules.

Click here to read and download the full article.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2022   WECA Political Update November 22, 2022

I had planned to provide a more comprehensive overview of the November election, but as the editorial deadline approaches – and several California races are undecided – here is Politico’s take on some of the tightest races in California.

Races Still in Limbo Members of Congress targeted for defeat — both Democrats and Republicans — have held onto their jobs or, in one case, led a too-tight-to-determine race. Despite the tens of millions of dollars spent to dislodge officeholders in tight districts, voters chose to return their representatives to the House. But Republican challengers have a clear path to picking up a few seats in the Legislature by ousting Democratic state lawmakers — something we haven’t seen in several cycles — and a Republican could be unseated. To add to the drama, several races are separated by fewer than a thousand votes and two by fewer than twenty.

While Republicans managed to wrest control of the House from Democrats, in California, the two parties have fought to a draw. GOP Reps. Michelle Steel, Ken Calvert, Mike Garcia, and Young Kim bested Democratic challengers; Democratic Reps. Katie Porter, Mike Levin, Julia Brownley, and Josh Harder rebuffed GOP opponents. As a result, Rep. David Valadao has consistently led Democratic Assembly member Rudy Salas and had a 4,500-vote margin on Friday. However, the race has not been called (and we should note that, in 2018, it took weeks for Valadao to lose his lead for good).

On Friday, a prime legislative race came off the board as Democratic Assembly member Brian Maienschein’s Republican opponent, Kristie Bruce-Lane, conceded and ended one of the CAGOP’s preeminent seat-flipping opportunities.

But multiple Sacramento incumbents are in trouble. Republican Assembly member Suzette Valladares Martinez, whose rare pickup of a formerly Democrat-held open seat was a bright spot for the party in 2020, fell 511 votes behind Democrat Pilar Schiavo over the weekend. Democratic Assembly member Ken Cooley slipped 16 votes behind Republican staffer Josh Hoover on Friday. In contrast, state Sen. Melissa Hurtado — forced by redistricting to move rather than take on fellow Democratic Sen. Anna Caballero — trailed Republican farmer David Shepard by a few thousand votes. Democratic party PACs and outside interests spent more than $4 million to protect Hurtado and about $3.5 million to safeguard Cooley in the general election.

The final balance of power will swing on a few nailbiter contests for open seats: In the Central Valley, Republican farmer John Duarte had an 865-vote advantage over Democratic Assembly member Adam Gray for a spot in Congress, and Democrat Esmeralda Soria sat a couple of thousand votes above Republican ex-Sheriff Mark Pazin for a seat in the Legislature.

Further south, Democratic Palm Springs Council member Christy Holstege was just nine (9) votes ahead of Republican staffer Greg Wallis for a battleground Assembly seat. Holstege and Soria have participated in new member activities, including the speakership fight. [Politico]

And many of you will recall Senator Bob “Huggy Bear” Hertzberg, who authored SB 954 that prohibited the use of “industry advancement” credits on prevailing wages by non-union contractors. The Los Angeles Times noted A double defeat for the Hertzbergs: “Termed-out state Sen. Bob Hertzberg had hoped to win a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — but Lindsey Horvath, a progressive West Hollywood city councilmember, beat him. And Daniel Hertzberg, who sought to succeed his father in the Senate, lost to Caroline Menjivar, a military veteran who will be the first openly LGTBQ+ legislator to represent the San Fernando Valley. The two races mark a victory for political newcomers from the left over a nascent political dynasty.” So, let’s all drink a toast to LA voters!

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A Fight is Brewing Politico gave Rep. Mike Garcia’s victory over Democrat Christy Smith in CA-27 as Republicans’ 218th seat in the House — and majority control for the first time since 2018. Others gave that honor to Rep-elect Kevin Kiley (R – representing a vast swath of Northeast California). Whatever, the House is now under Republican control with Kevin McCarthy living by my eternal motto – “be careful what you ask for.” Why, you ask? McCarthy (whose election to speaker is not assured) will be tasked with leading the House with the slimmest (autocorrect kept changing that to slimiest) of majorities which means he will be continually whipsawed by a minority of his caucus who want to repeal the 2020 election, impeach the majority of Biden administration Secretaries, and subject the Biden family to countless hours of House Committee hearings while China prepares to invade Taiwan, Russia pummels Ukraine, DPRK perfects “the peoples’” ICBMs, and Iran builds more nuclear (pronounced – well – you decide) bombs. Sorry – not the best “Thanksgiving” soliloquy.

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Democrats Poised to Take Majority on Orange County Board of Supervisors for First Time in Decades Democrats are on the cusp of having a controlling majority on Orange County’s Board of Supervisors for the first time in nearly 50 years. The latest election results Thursday evening – which reflect 97% of all ballots cast across Orange County (OC) – had Democrat Katrina Foley holding her lead over former State Senator, Republican Pat Bates, 51.2% to 48.8%. Bates reportedly called Foley “to congratulate her.” This south OC 5th District seat decides which party will have a majority on the board. The last time Dems had control – they adopted a countywide PLA – you can bet the building trades are poised with a PLA for early adoption in 2023. [Voice of OC]

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“Back In the Saddle Again!” One week after securing his sixth term in the Assembly, Asm. Jim Patterson (R – Fresno) is throwing himself right back into the campaign trail. First elected under California's current legislative term limits scheme, Patterson is set to reach his maximum twelfth year in Sacramento in 2024. So on Wednesday, while guest-hosting lunchtime rush radio in Fresno, Patterson uncorked what has long been an open secret: he's planning on running for Fresno County Supervisor in 2024, opening up a challenge against a fellow Republican.

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Budget Deficit Projected The State’s Legislative Analyst (LAO) released a report this week – titled Economic Conditions Weigh on Revenues – that reported on several economic factors California will face next year. The LAO concludes these could push the State back into a budget deficit. Facing rising inflation, the Federal Reserve — tasked with maintaining stable price growth — repeatedly enacted significant interest rate increases throughout 2022 to cool the economy and slow inflation. The more prolonged inflation persists, the higher the Federal Reserve increases interest rates in response and the greater the risk to the economy. The chances that the Federal Reserve can tame inflation without inducing a recession are narrow. Reflecting the threat of a recession, the LAO’s revenue estimates represent the weakest performance the State has experienced since the Great Recession.

Under this outlook, the Legislature would face a budget problem of $25 billion in 2023-24. (A budget problem — also called a deficit — occurs when resources for the upcoming fiscal year are insufficient to cover the costs of currently authorized services.) The budget problem is mainly attributable to lower revenue estimates, which are lower than budget act projections from 2021-22 through 2023-24 by $41 billion. However, lower spending in certain areas has partially offset revenue losses. As a result, over the subsequent years of the forecast, annual deficits would decline from $17 billion to $8 billion. (Chump change.)

The Assembly Speaker and other legislative leaders have indicated they want to continue spending. Still, the LAO cautions, “We discuss the State’s reserves, which are the State's key tool available to address budget problems. We urge lawmakers to begin planning the 2023-24 budget without using general purpose reserves and, instead, to save those reserves for when the State faces a recession.” Let’s hope the Legislature and Governor Newsom heed this recommendation! But signals suggest “no.” Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D - San Francisco) told Politico, “Projections are just that — projections.” (Awesome analysis, sir.)

As CalMatters reported earlier this year, California adopted a $308 billion budget that will provide refunds to most taxpayers in the State, pour resources into expanding abortion access, and extend health care to more undocumented immigrants. The final agreement, which includes $234.4 billion in general fund spending, is similar to a placeholder budget that the Legislature passed earlier to meet a constitutional deadline. But at Newsom’s insistence, new spending commitments were slashed by several billion dollars, and some appropriations will only be triggered in future years if revenue estimates hold up. As the state eyes another potential economic downturn, reserves will grow to nearly $38 billion, including more than $23 billion in the general rainy-day fund.

So, if the State does face a deficit, unless spending is cut or additional revenue (taxes and fees) is raised, the State would be forced to spend the entire general rainy-day fund or cut services – and this is before what some economists are forecasting – a moderate recession in 23-24!

The tax rebate program, debated for months, was the centerpiece of the budget deal. Under the $9.5 billion plan, more than 95% of taxpayers — those making as much as $250,000 a year, or $500,000 if they file jointly — are supposed to receive a payment this fall. The amounts vary based on income and whether the recipients have dependents, so a low-income family with children will receive $1,050. In contrast, a single taxpayer with a higher income will receive just $200.

With the new legislative year commencing on December 5, it will be interesting to see if the members take the deficit projections seriously – or if they will punt the ball to Governor Newsom. He might be forced to cut billions from next year’s budget.

By the way, David Crane of Govern for California agrees. Read his letter to the Legislature here..

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State Lithium Panel Recommends PLAs, Other Steps As reported in the Palm Springs Desert Sun, “California’s Lithium Valley Commission has finished a comprehensive report on how to maximize the development of the critical mineral and create jobs and economic opportunities while aiming to protect public health and benefit local communities.” The report included several recommendations urging “California to push to create a so-called ‘circular’ in-state economy related to lithium, from extraction through production, transportation and even recycling of batteries and other products. The report also calls for state and federal funding of badly needed infrastructure to implement commercial lithium production, including paved roads, transmission lines, and repaired or new bridges. It urges the State to incentivize companies to use Project Labor Agreements with area unions, to do local hiring and provide workforce training, but stopped short of asking the Legislature to mandate them explicitly in exchange for public funds.”

There is no direct online link to the final report, but it should be posted on the commission’s docket when it is complete.

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Do People Not Want to Work in Construction Anymore? Most of you probably saw this in Construction Dive but in case you missed it, “Construction is no stranger to labor shortages. Over several decades, funding that advocates for higher education as the primary career route for young adults has continued to increase, drying the well of entry-level workers for the trades. Many believe there is a sentiment that people don’t want to work with their hands anymore in what can be a dirty, back-breaking job.” Story

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Candidates Galore A combined 2,998 candidates ran for president in 2016 and 2020. On Nov. 15, former President Donald Trump (R) announced he would run for a second term — and filed the paperwork to make it official. Anyone can file to run for president with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). In 2016 and 2020, 2,998 individuals filed to run for president with the FEC. In 2016, 1,786 candidates filed with the FEC; in 2020, that figure was 1,212.

Of the candidates who filed in 2020:

·        323 filed as Democratic candidates

·        164 filed as Republican candidates

·        65 filed as Libertarian candidates

·        23 filed as Green candidates

Of the candidates who filed in 2016:

·        228 filed as Democratic candidates

·        288 filed as Republican candidates

·        56 filed as Libertarian candidates

·        14 filed as Green candidates.

[Ballotpedia]

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CSLB Shares Additional Details Regarding Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirement for Four License Classifications The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is informing active licensees starting January 1, 2023; renewals will not be processed without proof of workers’ compensation insurance for license classifications C-8 (Concrete), C-20 (Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning), C-22 (Asbestos Abatement), and D-49 (Tree Service), regardless of whether the contractor has employees. The new workers’ compensation insurance requirement for C-8, C-20, C-22, and D-49 licensees results from Senate Bill 216, which takes effect January 1, 2023. The only exception in SB 216 is for joint venture licenses, which will still be able to file a certificate of exemption if one of the joint venture license entities has a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

SB 216 also requires that all active contractors – with or without employees – have a valid Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance by January 1, 2026.

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Brand Offers a Spicy Response in Lawsuit Defense A name is just a name on a bottle of hot sauce, especially when the back of the label and the company’s website says so. That’s the gist of the defense offered by Garner Foods Co. of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in a federal lawsuit that contends the name “Texas Pete” and its packaging are deceptive because the product is not made in the eponymous state but rather in North Carolina. Attorneys for Garner Foods filed their response in the case recently seeking dismissal on numerous grounds, but particularly noting that the company is not in the least deceptive or misleading toward consumers because it makes clear products with the Texas Pete brand name are not made in Texas, reports Triad Business Journal's David Hill. “The back label of the product clearly states the location of its source as Winston-Salem, North Carolina,” states the motion to dismiss. “Nowhere on any of the product's labels does it state or represent that the product is made in Texas or is a product of Texas.” Plaintiff Philip White said in the initial complaint filed Sept. 12 in the Central District of California federal court that Garner Foods violated laws regarding unfair competition and false advertising by presenting or implying Texas Pete as made in Texas.

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And what will surely bring tears to faithful readers - NLRB Feels the Heat: The National Labor Relations Board “will likely be forced to pursue furloughs” if its funding isn't boosted in the next congressional spending deal, the agency's top officials warned last week. “At this point, the Agency has exhausted its ability to absorb cost increases through staff attrition, and operational efficiencies," board Chair Lauren McFerran and General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo told key congressional appropriators. McFerran and Abruzzo’s appeal makes public what the NLRB had been signaling in communications with the unions representing agency staff. Now, don’t get me wrong. Having been furloughed once or twice in my adult life, I am empathetic to those being cast aside (Governor Wilson notified a small group of former Senate employees who were establishing the California Research Bureau, including yours truly, of cancelation of our employment MOU – on Christmas Eve. Who said Wilson had no sense of irony – or humor?) But come on, who thinks the House in the 118th Congress will toss a life ring to the NLRB?

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And Before You Go, Some Good News California’s new poet laureate, Lee Herrick, is a community college teacher from Fresno. Herrick, 52, is a writer and professor at Fresno City College and a teacher at the University of Nevada, Reno, at Lake Tahoe, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was born in South Korea and adopted by a family in Modesto as an infant. In appointing Herrick as California’s 10th poet laureate, Gov. Gavin Newsom praised his “vivid celebration” of the California experience. “Lee’s dedication to highlighting the diverse experiences of Californians, and making them so accessible through his poetry, makes him a perfect candidate for poet laureate,” Newsom said in a statement on Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thursday, November 17, 2022   National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Was One for the Books!



WECA Northern California Open House at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility

WECA hosted our Northern California National Apprenticeship Week open house at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility on Nov. 15!

The open house drew electrical and low voltage apprenticeship applicant hopefuls as well as attendees from select organizations, schools, and programs.

"Everyone was friendly and social with each other," says Jeanette Santos, Workforce Development Specialist. "And we got a lot of feedback from instructor John Arias' tour -- everyone noticed how much passion he has for his field." Attendees received the opportunity to participate in hands-on electrical demonstrations with John during the tour.

Thank you for coming, Sacramento and Rancho Cordova! We appreciate your enthusiasm, and are excited to help you succeed in the electrical and low voltage fields soon!

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WECA Arizona Open House at our Phoenix training facility

On Nov. 16, WECA hosted our Arizona National Apprenticeship Week open house at our Phoenix training facility!

Attendees included representatives from Arizona state agencies, prospective WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship applicants, WECA Industry Partners, instructors from a local high school pre-apprenticeship program, and current WECA apprentices.

Bob Bartlett, Membership Director, said that the current WECA apprentices were on hand to share their experiences at WECA in comparison to their previous electrical apprenticeship program.

"They answered questions regarding how good the WECA program is, and why the other programs did not [positively] compare to ours," says Bob.

Keith Smart, Apprenticeship Manager and instructor, gave attendees a thorough presentation via our Smart Board and touched upon the subject matter taught per apprenticeship program year. A WECA National Apprenticeship week video featuring WECA apprenticeship graduate, professional motorcycle racer, and wildfire fighter Jayson Uribe was also shown, and greatly enjoyed by the attendees. Have a watch here:

Jayson Uribe, WECA Electrical Apprenticeship Grad for 2022 National Apprenticeship Week

Professional Motorcycle Racer. Wildfire Fighter. WECA Electrical Apprenticeship Grad. Is there anything Jayson Uribe can't do? Get to know this real-life hero, this National Apprenticeship Week 2022.

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WECA Southern California Open House at our San Diego training facility

And last, but not least, WECA hosted our Southern California National Apprenticeship Week open house at our San Diego training facility on Nov. 16!

Jeff Van de Moere, Membership Manager, says that the diverse mix of attendees -- existing WECA Electrician Trainees, WECA Apprenticeship program applicants, and people new to but curious about pursuing careers in the electrical and low voltage industries -- peppered himself and instructor Neil Pesarillo with questions throughout the presentation and tour.

Thank you for coming, San Diego! We can't wait to see you in our labs and classrooms soon!

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Terry Travis Jr.

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

“For as long as human beings walk the earth, we will continually use electricity. Those that understand and know how to harness the power of electricity will always be wanted and needed,” says Commercial Electrical Apprentice Terry Travis, Jr.

Electricians are the backbone of today’s modern society, and as such, will always be in demand. But being an electrician wasn’t on Terry’s radar until a family friend recommended that he apply for an apprenticeship with the union. But despite applying, Terry never heard back – so he then began WECA’s Electrician Trainee program on the recommendation of a church elder.

While enrolled as an Electrician Trainee, Terry sent his resume to ten WECA Member Contractors in hopes of being hired for eventual apprenticeship sponsorship. Terry’s tenacity paid off when WECA Member Contractor Alessandro Electric Inc. hired Terry as a material handler. After six months, Alessandro sponsored his Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship with WECA – an event that drastically altered and determined the course of Terry’s life.

“Becoming an apprentice has given me the power to change my world,” says Terry. “It has given me the ability to create stability for myself and my family. When I was a child and young adult, I went through periods of homelessness – I have slept in cars, lived in motels, and ridden public transportation all night because I had nowhere else to go. That is no longer the case or reality in my life – I own a home and am the first person in my family to do so. My wife and children will never struggle like I did. I thank God that I have become an electrician. The apprenticeship has provided me the opportunity to learn a skill that will always be in demand,” says Terry.

Though tenacious and determined, Terry is also humble. In his continual pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement, Terry also credits WECA and his apprenticeship instructors – James Hall, Lakeal Morris, and Zack Wallace – with “providing me with the resources to become the best electrician I can be.”

Terry looks forward to every class because it provides him the chance to grow in knowledge and understanding – due in large part to his instructors.

“The instructors at WECA are some great individuals … after every class, I feel that I have leveled up and am ready to apply what I was taught. James is very knowledgeable about the NEC, and he has helped me to understand it much better. I also love the analogies Lakeal uses to relate and show the connection between electricity and life. And thanks to Zack, I have a much better understanding of how to read and make sense of blueprints,” says Terry.

However, WECA’s instructors aren’t the only ones full of wisdom. Terry also has some great wisdom to impart, himself.

“Humility comes before honor, and persistence and determination alone are omnipotent,” says Terry. “Being an apprentice is a humbling position; there are so many things you do not know, and you will not find out that you do not know those things until you are in that situation. As an apprentice, you are constantly learning and the best way to learn is to heed the advice of those that have been where you are. Being teachable has led to my success as an apprentice and I encourage all apprentices to practice humility.”

Terry, thank you for choosing to pursue a Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship with WECA. We are humbled to play such an instrumental role in your life, and know that your tenacity, humility, and talent will take you far in life.

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Alec Briseno

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

One thing that a lot of our apprentices have in common is being mechanically inclined since they were a kid, or having been exposed to the construction industry from a young age. Alec Briseno, a Commercial Electrical Apprentice studying at WECA’s Rancho Cordova training facility, is no different.

“I have been mechanically inclined from a young age,” says Alec. “My dad had his own industrial shop that repaired appliances and offered other parts to local vendors. The mechanics of it was very simple to me, but one thing that challenged me was how a single-phase system or a three-phase system worked on the motors. I felt like it really grabbed my interest in a way that nothing else could.”

As an adult, Alec followed up on that passion by joining up with WECA Member Contractor Reyff Electric.

“I was referred to WECA by Reyff Electric and after doing some research, I figured it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. It’s a complete setup for success and what you put in is what you will get out [of it]”, says Alec. “I was job-hopping before and not sure what I was going to do, or what was interesting to me. The electrical trade and the people at Reyff Electric have inspired me to push through hard times because there is a brighter future ahead.”

In his apprenticeship, Alec enjoys having the opportunity to work on commercial jobs and seeing everything that goes into getting the job done.

“Communication, ability to work with a team, and helping yourself at 100 percent is what’s important on a job. These traits have allowed me to challenge myself every day,” says Alec.

Alec also cites instructor Jimmie Slemp as being another positive influence on his apprenticeship.

“So far, my favorite instructor has been Jimmie,” says Alec. “With his years of experience and knowledge of the trade, he can teach and answer questions with complete honesty. One thing that has always stood out to me was that he can teach apprentices from just his field experience alone.”

Though Alec is enjoying the here and now, he also looks to the future with optimism and implores his fellow apprentices to do the same.

“Keep pushing and challenging yourself every day,” says Alec. “Those challenges are what’s going to make you better for yourself and your crew.”

Those are great words of wisdom, Alec! We’re glad that you followed your passions and turned them into a career, and are excited to see where your passion, hard work, and dedication take you in the future!

 


 

 

 

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Thursday, November 17, 2022   Please Join Us in Thanking Veteran WECA Apprentices for Their Service

Learn More About Their Stories in Our Article and Videos in Honor of Veterans Day 2022

Abigail Stone

Air Force veteran, current Air National Guard member, and WECA Commercial Electrical apprentice at our Fresno training facility

Meet Abigail Stone – Commercial Electrical Apprentice at WECA’s Fresno training facility, Air Force veteran, and current member of the Air National Guard.

Abigail – who served as a vehicular mechanic during her six years at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State and reached the rank of Staff Sargeant – cites her former profession as the reason for choosing to become an electrician.

“I was a vehicular mechanic during my service, and that was a reason for choosing to be an electrician,” says Abigail. “I already knew electrical systems on vehicles, so I wasn’t going into the trade blind. It’s helped me on job sites with running equipment and being able to troubleshoot little issues so we can keep working.”

In her apprenticeship, Abigail says that her favorite thing to work on so far has been Musco Lighting, which are large area lighting systems used in applications such as sports.

“I’ve helped set them up from day one to finish,” says Abigail.

Abigail recommends that fellow veterans consider a career in the electrical industry after their service and offers the following advice to her fellow apprentices.

“Be a sponge. Absorb as much knowledge as you can from those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” says Abigail.

Thank you, Abigail, for your service and for being part of the WECA family! We’re thrilled to have you here and know you will do big things in your career. 

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Fue Lee

Marine Corps veteran and WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility

A friend told Fue Lee about the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, and the rest is history. This United States Marine Corps veteran and Rex Moore Group employee parlayed his experience as an electrician in the service to a successful apprenticeship with WECA. Learn more about his journey:



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Austin Thomason

Army veteran and WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility

WECA Apprentice and Veteran Austin Thomason

Austin Thomason, a U.S. Army Veteran now enrolled in the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, says that "seeing the joy on our customer's faces" after the crew has accomplished a job well done is one of his favorite aspects of his new career. He also says the competitive pay is great, he enjoys the set schedule, and his apprenticeship qualifies him for an extra paycheck each month provided by the post 9-11 G.I. bill.

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Thursday, November 17, 2022   WECA Member Contractors: There Are About Two Weeks Left; Don't Forget to Vote!

Check Your Mailboxes and Cast Your Ballot for the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees, and Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees by Nov. 30

Dear WECA Member Contractors,

There's about two weeks left to cast your ballot for candidates for the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, WECA Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees, and WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees.

Ballots were sent out to our primary contact at each WECA member contractor. If you haven't yet voted, please check your inbox and submit your ballot!

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Thursday, November 17, 2022   Want to Show Your Support for the WECA Arizona Graduating Class of 2022?

Now's Your Chance -- Support WECA Graduates by Sponsoring Their Graduation Event!

Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Arizona Graduating Class of 2022!

Our Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the Class of 2022 have successfully completed their education with WECA!

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

Saturday, January 7, 2023 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM

The Grand Ballroom

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Phoenix Airport

320 North 44th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85008

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 Arizona!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team

Reserve your sponsorship package

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