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Thursday, January 16, 2020   GetWired! Program Instructors Talk Progress at Biannual Train the Trainer Event


WECA held its first Train the Trainer event of the decade on Saturday, January 11th at its Rancho Cordova headquarters. The event - which was facilitated by Dan Bierly (Curriculum Development and GetWired! Training Manager); Galen Eckert (Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Lead Instructor); Ana Lopez (Electrician Trainee/Journeyman Program Manager); Emily Groetsema (Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Program Coordinator), and Rebecca Archer (Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist) - covered topics such as the latest teaching strategies and techniques, new processes such as rolling out a new code year (2017 NEC), and burning questions that the GetWired! program instructors in attendance brought to roundtable discussions.

One highlight of the event came as the team celebrated that at the beginning of the previous decade (2010), the GetWired! program had less than 200 students per session. But now, as we enter a new decade, the program regularly draws over 1,000 students per session. The growth of this program is due in no small part to the skill and dedication of our GetWired! program instructors.

Dan Bierly, the Curriculum Development and GetWired! Training Manager, says that "Train the Trainer is all about team building. All of our instructors teach from different locations, and this is a way to bridge the gap and open the lines of communication with all instructors so no person has to teach in a vacuum."

Rebecca Archer, the Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, concurred with Bierly, adding that with the event, "we get to express gratitude to our instructors for their hard work." 

"Many instructors go above and beyond every session to help us meet the ever-increasing student demand," said Bierly. "If it wasn't for our part-time instructors - some of whom teach four nights a week plus weekend labs in addition to their full-time jobs - we would not have the successful program that we have today."

As we begin a new year and a new decade here at WECA, we are grateful to our instructors for continually striving to ensure that WECA's students receive the most cutting-edge and well-rounded electrical industry education possible.

Electricians: Want to get paid to share your knowledge and expertise, nights or weekends? We'd love to talk to you about joining the GetWIred! instructor team. Click here to learn more about open positions.
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Thursday, January 16, 2020   Learn More about CSLB's New Renewal Fee Schedule

Content Courtesy of: Contractors State License Board cslb

January 3, 2020                                                                                        CSLB #20-01

CSLB Announces New Renewal Fee Schedule
License and Home Improvement Sales Registration Renewal Fees Will Increase; Also, Active C-10 Contractors will be Charged an Additional $20

SACRAMENTO -- Since its creation almost 90 years ago, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) has carried out its mission to protect consumers by regulating California's construction industry in the most financially responsible way possible.

CSLB operations are funded entirely by license fees, and today a combination of increased costs, including extensive disaster response and a decline in the number of license renewals, necessitates that CSLB raise renewal fees to their statutory maximum. The new fee schedule was approved as an emergency measure by the Office of Administrative Law in December of last year and takes effect February 1, 2020.

Please note that if your license expires on or after February 1, 2020 you cannot renew early to avoid the fee increase.

The decision to raise fees is not made lightly, and over the past number of years CSLB has taken multiple measures to reduce costs. Unfortunately, CSLB cannot further reduce the expenditures that support our licensing and enforcement programs without negatively affecting our ability to process applications in a timely manner, to quickly mediate or investigate consumer complaints, and to effectively respond to disasters throughout the state.

To read more and access CSLB's new licensing renewal fee schedule chart, click here. 
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Thursday, January 16, 2020   Spring 2020 Courses Now Available for Online Enrollment!


Help your Electrician Trainees and Journeyman start the new year off right -- let them know that WECA's Spring 2020 Electrician Trainee and Journeyman Continuing Education courses are now available online for enrollment. 

Refer your Electrician Trainees to the Electrician Trainee course catalog here.

Refer your Journeyman to the Journeyman Continuing Education course catalog here.

And as always, you or your employees may enroll for courses over the phone at (877) 444-9322, in person, or via email. Many GetWired! courses fill fast, so be sure to enroll early to secure a seat!

If you or your employees have any questions--or if you're sponsoring their education and want to make sure you get all the member contractor discounts available to you on their tuition--please call us at (877) 444-9322 or email us at info@goweca.com.
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Thursday, January 16, 2020   Get your Tickets and Sponsorships today for WECEF's "Claws for a Cause" Crab Feed in March!


Get your tickets and sponsorships today for the 

WECEF Claws for a Cause Crab Feed!

Get crackin' for a good cause in March -- join the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) for our annual fundraiser and crab feed to support education and careers in the electrical and low voltage trades. 

Enjoy a scrumptious dinner of fresh Dungeness crab, shrimp, and salad; congratulate recent WECEF scholarship winners, and mingle with your peers and industry professionals.

When

Save the Date!
Friday, March 20, 2020
Time: 5 PM to 8 PM

Where

WECA Headquarters and Training Facility
3695 Bleckely St.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95655

Get your Tickets and Sponsorships Today!
 
wecef
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Thursday, January 16, 2020   Thank You to Our Generous Donor -- Ron Arnall of Western Tube and Conduit!


We could not do what we do here at WECA without the help of our dedicated members and industry partners. Please join us in saying 'thank you' to companies and individuals - like Ron Arnall of Western Tube and Conduit - that help make WECA's state-of-the-art labs and comprehensive, hands-on education the best in the State of California.

"We're getting the year -- and the decade! -- started off on the right foot," said Jimmie Slemp, WECA's lead instructor and lab facilities manager. "This donation will help WECA continue to be at the forefront of electrical industry education and provide the cutting-edge education that the next generation of merit shop electricians and electrical contractors deserve." 

The year is young -- so there's still time to make a difference at WECA and claim your place on this year's lab donation scoreboard! 

Learn more about how to make a donation to the Western Electrical Contractors Foundation.
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Thursday, January 16, 2020   Behind the Scenes at WECA: Educational Technologies in Action During Apprenticeship Classes


At WECA, we're all about incorporating educational technologies to enhance the learning experiences of our students. Above, in a behind-the-scenes picture of an apprenticeship class in action this week, Instructor John Arias utilizes a SmartBoard to make sure that every student has a clear, detailed view of his demonstration. 
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Thursday, January 16, 2020   Help Your Employees Fulfill Their Journeyman CE or Trainee Hours

Encourage them to enroll in Basic Motor Controls Part 1 on Jan. 18 & 25 in San Diego bmc
 

Do your employees need to fulfill their Journeyman CE or Trainee hours? We've got the perfect opportunity for them -- our two-session, 16-hour Basic Motor Controls Part 1 class at our San Diego training facility on Saturday, January 18th and Saturday, January 25th. Plus -- we've waived our late enrollment fees!

They'll get to earn 16 Journeyman CE or Trainee hours, get hands-on experience building control circuits for motors, and learn the basics of Motor Controls.

(Prerequisite for Electrician Trainees: you should complete GetWired! 401 prior to enrolling in Basic Motor Controls Part 1).

In this lab-based course, your employees will learn about and gain experience with:
  • the parts and components of a motor circuit
  • manual control, automatic control, and control logic
  • motor control line - ladder diagrams
  • local stop/start station
  • multiple start/stop stations
  • using selector switches and pilot devices
  • reversing circuits
Encourage your employees to learn more about and enroll in the Jan. 18th and 25th Basic Motor Controls Part 1 course here.

This course is worth 16 hours of continuing education or Electrician Trainee credit.

Courses may be ordered online or by phone at (877) 444-9322.

Do your employees need continuing education, but these dates don't work for them? Check out WECA's wide variety of other continuing education offerings for Journeymen -- including fully-online options -- here!

Have questions, or need assistance? Please call us at (877) 444-9322 or email us at info@goweca.com.
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Thursday, January 09, 2020   Opinions

  
 
Richard Markuson

WECA Approves Expanded Advocacy Program

The WECA Board approved a new advocacy initiative developed at a recent strategic planning meeting. The first phase of the effort will feature a "Grass Tops" activity that will link WECA members with local officials in regions where WECA has permanent training facilities. WECA will pattern the program on WECA's current operations in Sacramento, where we invite local political and business leaders to tour WECA's apprenticeship program and visit with students. WECA plans to schedule 2-3 visits per month in each region - so please plan to participate when contacted by WECA staff. Although one of our goals is related to the growth of PLAs - the primary conversation will be about apprenticeship and workforce development. If you are located in the San Diego or Riverside vicinity - and know you want to participate in this program - contact Richard Markuson for more information.
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Thursday, January 09, 2020   What We're Reading

Federal Judge approves Greenmail. In a much-anticipated ruling, a federal court judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by San Diego-based Evans Hotels accusing local labor unions of extortion and bribery in their efforts to unionize the hospitality industry. The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes marks a crucial victory for organized labor, which has pushed hard for using union labor not only in the operation of hotels but also in their construction. Hayes' decision comes more than a year after Evans Hotels, which operates three longtime San Diego resorts, filed suit to break what it claims is a union-engineered stranglehold on development. Story
 
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California - Champions of GHG Reduction. California Senators will consider legislation next week that would impose a new 10% state tax on oil extracted within the state, a move that would raise pump prices that already are second highest in the nation. An oil severance tax has been proposed many times in the past and invariably fails. The Senate set a hearing for Wednesday on the bill by Sen. Bob Wieckowski, a Fremont Democrat. The decision to hear the bill is something of a surprise. Democrats have hesitated to approve new taxes after then-Senator Josh Newman, an Orange County Democrat, was recalled in 2018 over his vote to approve a gasoline tax. Sen. Melissa Hurtado, a first-term Democrat from a swing district in oil-rich Kern County, sits on the committee that will hear the bill, and would likely have to vote on the measure. But the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, famous for their environmental lawsuits, will join with oil companies to oppose the measure. Robbie Hunter said that if approved, the Wieckowski's bill would raise pump prices, make California more reliant on Saudi Arabian oil, and "destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs." Meanwhile: AAA's latest survey shows the average price of gasoline in California is the nation's second-highest after Hawaii and almost $1 above the national average. [Calmatters]
 
AB 5 on hold for truck drivers. A federal judge in the Southern District of California granted the California Trucking Association's request for a temporary restraining order on New Year's Eve to block the state from applying AB 5 to truck drivers. The truckers' lawsuit argues that the new California law is "preempted by a 1994 federal statute that prohibits states from making laws that affect the price, route, or service of freight-hauling motor carriers."
 
No Special Election. Congressman Duncan Hunter will resign from Congress next week, more than a month after the California Republican pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds. Since it is the last year of the term, and Hunter's resignation has come after the candidacy filing deadline for the ballot for the March primary, Governor Newsom has opted to leave the seat vacant until the November election. Former Rep. Darrell Issa, former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio and State Sen. Brian Jones are already running against Hunter for the nomination set for the March election as is Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar who ran against Hunter in 2018. In his letter to Speaker Pelosi, Hunter said, "It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years." POLITICO observed The Hunters have been a political dynasty in Southern California politics for decades. Hunter or his father, Duncan Hunter Sr., have held that San Diego seat since 1980. When he first came to Congress in 2009, Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran, was seen as a rising star in the GOP. But he developed a reputation on Capitol Hill for drinking heavily and inappropriate behavior. After being arrested for misusing campaign funds, Hunter - one of Trump's earliest congressional supporters - went on to win reelection in the 2018 midterms. Even without a Republican incumbent, most analysts favor the GOP to hold on to the seat given a robust registration advantage.
 
New Law Brings Changes to Help Employees Be SECURE in Retirement. On December 19, 2019, the Senate passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, which contains provisions that significantly reform many of the existing retirement plan rules and regulations. The SECURE Act encourages the adoption of employer-sponsored plans, alters plan distribution rules, eases administrative requirements, and makes many other changes to existing or newly established retirement plans. Also, the Senate eliminated several excise taxes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the controversial "Cadillac Tax," a 40 percent tax on high-cost employer plans. This article outlines the key provisions of the SECURE Act and when those provisions first become effective. Story
 
DFEH Updates FAQ on Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in Light of New Deadline to Comply The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH") recently updated its Sexual Harassment Prevention Training FAQ guidance to address some of the questions surrounding SB 1343, which requires employers with five or more employees to provide classroom or "other interactive training" for all California employees (not just supervisors) every two years. SB 1343 was initially set to go into effect on January 1, 2020. But in 2019, Governor Newsom signed two amendments to SB 1343 that push the effective date out to January 1, 2021. The deadline to comply with SB 1343 does not change the obligation of an employer with 50 or more employees to train new supervisory employees within six months of their promotion or hire. Story
 
Split roll. The business coalition opposing a proposed split roll ballot measure to revise Proposition 13 is expected to deliver petitions with nearly 200,000 signatures to Newsom in an effort to showcase what it says is a wide range of support from California groups. The move heralds the official kickoff of what's sure to be a pricey battle between business and labor over an initiative that would lift Prop 13 tax caps for commercial and industrial properties. The petitions have no direct effect on the measure.
 
Housing Measure. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "State Senator Scott Wiener's latest attempt to pass a bill (SB 50) to boost housing around public transit and in wealthy suburbs met a hostile reception Tuesday from a powerful colleague who could soon decide its fate. The measure has been in limbo since May, when state Senator Anthony Portantino, a Los Angeles County Democrat who chairs the Appropriations Committee, held the bill through a process for legislation with a significant fiscal impact. He has until Jan. 24 to decide whether to advance the measure to a vote before the full Senate. But in the months since his bill stalled, Wiener did not consult with Portantino about amendments that he introduced Monday - and Portantino was not pleased." The most significant change would give cities and counties two years to create plans to boost housing development in their communities before the state mandates to increase density would go into effect, the Los Angeles Times reports. Much of the criticism over the initial version of the bill revolved around the lack of local control. Wiener's latest changes would give local jurisdictions time to decide where they wanted increasing housing density in their cities. In response to another criticism of previous versions of the bill, communities across the state at risk of gentrification will have five years - instead of two - to develop their own development blueprints. Groups representing lower-income communities had argued SB 50 would exacerbate the displacement of residents in those neighborhoods.
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Thursday, January 09, 2020   What We're Reading, Continued

Help for homeless in a trailer park nearby. 
Governor Newsom plans to include $1.5 billion from the state's anticipated budget surplus to help homeless people get off the streets, his office announced Wednesday morning. According to the Sacramento BEE, Newsom plans to sign an executive order directing state departments to identify state property that can be used for emergency shelters and designate 100 trailers in California's fleet for temporary housing and health care services. The executive order will also establish a homelessness strike team. "Homelessness is a national crisis, one that's spreading across the West Coast and cities across the country," Newsom said in a statement. "The state of California is treating it as a real emergency."

5 construction trends to expect in 2020. Construction industry trends to look forward to this year include greater scrutiny of structural processes after notable failures in 2019, more progress on the modular front and in automation, a greater focus on diversity and growing contractor skepticism about high-risk contracts for megaprojects. Story


Lack of Plumbing. "More than 2 million people in the US lack running water and basic indoor plumbing, according to a new report by the human-rights nonprofit DigDeep and the nonprofit US Water Alliance - and race and poverty are key determinants of who has access to clean water and sanitation.... Racial water gaps for Latinx and African-American households are particularly salient at the regional level, the authors added: 'In parts of the South, African Americans are the group most likely to lack complete plumbing. In California and Texas, Latinx people are the most affected.'" Report
 
Young progressives flock to Sanders - but their grandparents prefer Mayor Pete. The Democratic field features candidates who would be the oldest and youngest presidents ever. Many of their supporters seem to value qualities in candidates that complement, rather than mirror, their own. Story But Sheila Bair with the Washington Post said this about Pete: Pete Buttigieg, whose primary asset seems to be a thin résumé . ... [T]his 37-year-old man has never held national office. He has never held statewide office. The sum total of his government experience includes valorous military duty and eight years as the mayor of the roughly 300th-largest town in the United States. He gives a good speech and has some interesting ideas. But he seems more adept at pointing out the frailties of his experienced opponents than explaining how he has any hope of surviving the 'swamp' if elected, given his complete lack of Washington know-how."
 
Major business spending begins in Democrat-on-Democrat legislative race. According to POLITICO Outside business spending to elect moderate California Democrats has begun. Conceding the reality of Democratic hegemony in Sacramento, industry groups regularly channel money into a constellation of political committees that boost friendly Democrats over more-liberal opponents. That dynamic has emerged for the first time in 2020 in a Central Valley state Senate contest (SD 5). A committee sponsored by the Western States Petroleum Association has directed more than $200,000 in independent expenditure funds to help Democratic Modesto City Councilman Manmeet "Mani" Grewal, who is vying with Assemblywoman Susan Eggman for an open Stockton-area seat. About $100,000 of that will fund television spots on Grewal's behalf. The district is seen as a priority for Democrats to defend and a promising Republican pickup opportunity. Its outgoing representative, state Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, has consistently been one of the most centrist Senate Democrats. The clash between Eggman and Grewal has already generated controversy. Grewal last year lost an endorsement from the California Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus after Equality California assailed Grewal over a campaign spot and comments the LGBT advocacy group considered homophobic.
 
In a related story... More Dem on Dem Progressive booster Courage Campaign, who "believes that California must be a beacon of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy," is laying down markers in a handful of Democrat-on-Democrat races, endorsing Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria (challenging Rep. Jim Costa), Marisol Rubio (seeking to unseat state Sen. Steve Glazer), Assembly hopeful Tracie Stafford (running against moderate Democratic Assemblyman Jim Cooper) and state Sen. Holly Mitchell (vying for an LA City Council seat). [Politico]
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Thursday, January 02, 2020   WECA Board Elections Results


Congratulations to our newly elected Boards of Directors and Trustees!

Effective January 1, 2020 the following are the newly-elected officers to the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees.

WECA will recognize and install these new Board of Directors and Apprenticeship Board of Trustees at its January 9th board meetings. The new Health and Welfare and Pension Trustees, while also effective January 1, 2020, will be installed at their next meetings on March 12th.

WECA Board of Directors - 3-year terms 2020-2023
  • Ian Vander Linden, KS Telecom - Incumbent
  • Rick Butterfield- Butterfield Electric-Incumbent
  • Mark Cooper- H & D Electric-Incumbent
  • Vacant (Rudy Alanis- Helix Electric (Elected but subsequently declined due to other commitments))
WECA Apprenticeship and Training Trust - Board of Trustees - 3-year terms 2020-2023
  • Ian Vander Linden-KS Telecom-Incumbent
  • John Pavletich-Pavletich Electric-Incumbent
  • Kelly Yost-Sebastian-Moved from the WECA Health and Welfare Board of Trustees to the WECA Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees 
WECA Health and Welfare Apprenticeship Trust- Board of Trustees- 3-year terms 2020-2023
  • Tim Salyers, Energy Efficient Services, Incumbent
  • Leslie Schlaegel, Mark III Construction
WECA Pension Apprenticeship Trust- Board of Trustees -3-year terms 2020-2023
  • Rick Butterfield, Butterfield Electric, Incumbent
  • Jeremy Alessandro, Alessandro Electric
WECA members and your WECA Staff thank you for your voluntary support and involvement!
Read more >>


Thursday, January 02, 2020   Can You See 2020? Are You Ready? Content Courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP

In the world of employment law, staying ahead of constantly evolving laws and workplace legislation is important. In the new year, California employers will want to be sure they are ready for these key legislative changes related to employment.


Independent Contractor Status - AB 5

Assembly Bill 5, also known as the "Gig Economy Bill", imposes a new test for determination of employment status and impacts companies that employ independent contractors in California. It adopts the "ABC test" for determining independent contractor status which was articulated by the Supreme Court in a case decided in 2018, Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. AB 5 expands the Dynamex ruling to apply the "ABC test" to all provisions of the Labor Code and Unemployment Insurance Code, unless otherwise stated. It provides important exemptions for certain industries, including construction, real estate agents, doctors, attorneys, architects, engineers and accountants.

Determining Employment Status

To minimize independent contractor risk, employers should address each factor in the "ABC test" to determine if a worker is an independent contractor.
  • "A" Factor: Is the worker free from the control and director of the hiring entity?
  • "B" Factor: What is your business? Is the contractor doing something integral to your business? Would an outsider view them as working within your business?
  • "C Factor": What type of business is your contractor engaged in?
Businesses that utilize independent contractors on any regular basis to perform tasks that are an integral part of their operations may be compelled to transition these workers to employees. Read this article for more information on the new test for determining employment status.

To read more and view a handy video, click here. 
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Thursday, January 02, 2020   WECA Members Dominate Top Electrical Contractors List in SBJ's Annual Book of Lists Edition

Please join us in congratulating those WECA member contractors who made the Sacramento Business Journal's "Top Electrical Contractors" list in 2019. Named earlier in the year, they were recently shown again in the journal's annual, end-of-year "Book of Lists" edition, across from our congratulatory ad. Please join us in congratulating:

Vasko Electric, Inc.; Royal Electric Co., Inc.; Rex Moore Group, Inc.; North State Electrical Contractors, Inc.; KS Telecom, Inc.; Helix Electric, Inc.; Garrahan Electric, Capitol Valley Electric, Inc.; Butterfield Electric, Inc.; Bosley Electric Co.; Barnum and Celillo Electric, Inc.; Ample Electric, Inc.; All-Bright Electric Company, Inc.; and Alessandro Electric.

WECA members dominate this list every year, and we can't wait to see how we do in 2020!
 
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Thursday, January 02, 2020   Ring in the New Year with a New Career -- Share Info about WECA's Programs with Employees


It's a new year and a new decade -- the perfect time for your current or potential employees to explore and pursue all the educational and career options available to them! 

Below, we've compiled a quick overview of each program for you to share with your employees and prospects -- complete with applicable resources.

Apprenticeship Programs

WECA has three state-and-federally approved Apprenticeship programs: Commercial Inside Wireman, Residential Wireman, and Low Voltage (Sound and Communication Installer: Voice Data Video and Fire Life Safety). Programs are three to five years in duration (dependent upon chosen program), and tuition costs are paid for by the Apprentice's Member Contractor.

Share more information about WECA's Apprenticeship programs today!

Electrician Trainee Program

WECA's state-approved Electrician Trainee (ET) program is available to students throughout the state of California. Courses are offered online and supplemented with hands-on training in person at WECA's training facilities in Northern and Southern California. The ET program is four years in duration, and the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) periodically awards scholarships to eligible Electrician Trainees to supplement tuition costs.

Share more information about WECA's Electrician Trainee program today! 

Journeyman Continuing Education Program

WECA offers a wide variety of continuing education courses for Journeyman electricians. Electricians taking their continuing education with WECA can choose from self-paced or instructor-led online classes, home study DVD-based courses, and classroom courses featuring hands-on labs at WECA training facilities in Northern and Southern California. 

Share more information about WECA's Journeyman Continuing Education program today! 
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Thursday, January 02, 2020   WECEF 2020 Scholarship Opportunity's Deadline is Approaching -- Encourage Employees to Apply Today!

wecef

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to announce it is offering a scholarship program for students enrolled as an Apprentice, Electrician Trainee, or Journeyman taking continuing education courses with WECA.

The WECEF Scholarship is intended to assist students whose career pursuits are in the electrical or low voltage fields and to help them in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful applicant and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition.

Awarded scholarships are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors and contingent upon the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements noted in the application form.

Apprentices and students can learn more and download the application form at the following link, or contact 877-444-9322 for more information.

Download scholarship application here

Application deadline:

Applications and all required documents must be received by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2020.

Email all materials to lsipes@goweca.com.

OR 

Mail to:

WECEF Scholarship Program
3695 Bleckely Street
Mather Commerce Center
Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
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Thursday, December 19, 2019   Streamline Electrician Trainee & Journeyman Enrollment w/ WECA's Web Enrollment Auto-Fill Options!

It's easy to get your member discounts on ET and Journeyman training at WECA when you enroll your employees through our website.

Do you pay for your employees' enrollment with a credit card? If so -- WECA's made the process just that much easier with our new Web Enrollment Auto-Fill option!

As you know, Member Contractors who enroll their Electrician Trainee or Journeyman employees in WECA courses online previously had to manually enter all student information for every employee and every course. 

But as of this week, Member Contractors now enjoy a streamlined enrollment process -- Members can now select and enroll an existing student and auto-fill their information. After Members log in to their portal and choose the desired class, they will see a list of their employees to choose from. After selecting the desired employee, the information will auto-populate as shown below. 
 

However, this option is only made available for students already in the system, and if a signed release form is on file for the applicable student. Members enrolling employees for the first time will still have to manually enter all pertinent employee information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Ana Lopez, ET/Journeyman Program Manager, via phone at (877) 444-9322 or by email at alopez@goweca.com
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Thursday, December 19, 2019   Share Today -- Important Information for Electrician Trainees Preparing for State Certification Exam


Please share this information with your Electrician Trainees:

If you prefer to take your certification exam while referencing the 2014 National Electrical Code book, the State will allow you to choose that option for the next six months.

OR

If you prefer to take your certification exam while referencing the 2017 National Electrical Code book, the State will allow you to choose that option starting January 1, 2020.

The 2017 NEC will be effective for certification testing in California on January 1, 2020, and the State has confirmed it will begin transitioning the General and Residential Electrician certification exams to test on 2017 Code starting on January 1, 2020. The State will also continue to make the 2014 Code book available at the testing site to those taking the exam for approximately the next six months.

Please note: this information is based on the latest we have available from the State of California and is subject to change by the State. If we receive notice of any changes, we will send a follow-up email.

If you are preparing to take a certification exam soon and have the educational hours and on-the-job experience to qualify, make a plan now. (Note: if you are a WECA Apprentice, you will receive exam preparation instruction on the appropriate Code year as per previously established schedules. These recommendations are intended for Electrician Trainees.) 

Your exam date will determine whether you reference a 2014 Code or 2017 Code book, and whether you have an option. Here's what we recommend:

1. Choose your exam date accordingly.
  • Before Jan. 1, 2020: only 2014 Code books will be made available for reference at the exam site.
  • For approximately 6 months from Jan. 1: you may reference either a 2014 or 201 Code book; your choice.
  • July 1 and later: the exam sites will likely offer 2017 Code books for reference only. 
  • Secure your exam date by registering with the State. 
2. To prepare yourself for the exam, enroll in an exam preparation class with WECA. See the list below for the three different types of exam preparation we offer, and enroll in the one that's right for you.
  • WECA is transitioning its exam preparation courses from 2014 Code to 2017 Code over the next few months. Pay close attention to the Code year offered when choosing your class. 
Here are upcoming exam preparation class options with WECA:

2 Day Exam Prep, a 16-hour, fast-paced code study course in the classroom, focused on learning to use the Code book in preparing for the State Certification exam.

Rancho Cordova, January 18 - 19 on 2014 Code

San Diego, January 18 - 19 on 2014 Code

Rancho Cordova, February 8 - 9 on 2017 Code

Riverside, February 8 - 9 on 2017 Code

Rancho Cordova, March 14 - 15 on 2017 Code

San Diego, March 14 - 15 on 2017 Code

Register here

Get Wired! 404: Test Prep, Online and Instructor-Led. This 42-hour, fast-paced, highly interactive course that focuses on using the NEC to answer exam questions and re-enforcement in electrical fundamentals.

Online live webcast, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, February 10 - March 30, on 2017 code

Register here

Exam Preparation Home Study. If you want to study at your own pace, choose this 56-hour Exam Preparation DVD Library from Mike Holt.

Home study, DVD-based, on your own schedule. Available on 2014 Code through December 31. Available on 2017 Code starting January 1, 2020.

Register here

Questions? Concerns? Need help choosing the right course? Call a WECA Client Services Specialist at 1-877-444-9322. 
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Thursday, December 19, 2019   Save Money with WECA's December Special: $150 for 32 Hours Journeyman Continuing Ed.


32 Hours of Continuing Education: Easily Fulfilled!

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


WECA is offering Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep., all 32-hour online classes, to WECA member contractors and their employees at the special price of $150 each until December 31, 2019! Members' journeymen can get their full 32 renewal hours for just $150Only employees of member contractors are eligible for this deal. 

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

Perfect Sizing:

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

 Learn more about Perfect Sizing here
But call in to get your discount!


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

Learn more about Faultless Solar
But call in to get your discount!


Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation:

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

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


Voice Data Video Exam Preparation

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

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

Note: if you or your journeymen have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 32-hour package.

What if you don't work for a WECA member contractor?

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


Thursday, December 19, 2019   WECEF's 2020 Scholarship Opportunity Deadline Approaching -- Encourage Your Employees to Apply Today

wecef

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to announce it is offering a scholarship program for students enrolled as an Apprentice, Electrician Trainee, or Journeyman taking continuing education courses with WECA.

The WECEF Scholarship is intended to assist students whose career pursuits are in the electrical or low voltage fields and to help them in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful applicant and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition.

Awarded scholarships are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors and contingent upon the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements noted in the application form.

Apprentices and students can learn more and download the application form at the following link, or contact 877-444-9322 for more information.

Download scholarship application here

Application deadline:

Applications and all required documents must be received by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2020.

Email all materials to lsipes@goweca.com.

OR 

Mail to:

WECEF Scholarship Program
3695 Bleckely Street
Mather Commerce Center
Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
Read more >>


Thursday, December 19, 2019   Get Crackin' for a Good Cause: Save the Date for WECEF's Claws for a Cause Crab Feed


Save the Date!

Claws for a Cause

WECEF Crab Feed & Fundraiser

Come out for a good cause this March! Join the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) for our annual fundraiser and crab feed to support education and careers in the electrical and low voltage trades.

Enjoy a delicious dinner of fresh Dungeness crab, shrimp, and salad; congratulate recent WECEF scholarship winners, and mingle with your peers and industry professionals. 

When

Save the Date!

Friday, March 20, 2020
Time: 5 PM to 8 PM

Where

WECA Headquarters and Training Facility
3695 Bleckely St.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95655

Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming ticket and sponsorship options -- so you can take the first crack at them! 
wecef
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 18, 2019   Apprentice Spotlight: Steven Strawn


Second-year WECA Commercial Apprentice Steven Strawn always respected electricians because "it almost seemed like they were magicians-they could bring life to a building that was otherwise 'dead' with lights and power for appliances and equipment, and I wanted to be able to do what they did."

So when Strawn's previous career didn't pan out the way he wanted it to, he decided to instead follow his dreams and finally become one of the electricians he had always admired.

And "after some research, I decided that WECA's Electrician Trainee (ET) program was right for me, and that led to my current Apprenticeship," said Strawn. Pursuing the Electrician Trainee program in 2016-and then an Apprenticeship program in 2017-with WECA quickly proved to be the right decision for Strawn.

"The ET program allowed me to legally work as an electrician and learn on the job," said Strawn. "Once my company saw that I had potential as an electrician, they decided to sponsor my apprenticeship and I made the transition from ET to Commercial Apprentice."

Strawn continued, stating that "I started working as an electrician [with Reyff Electric] and went from a small apartment to owning my own house with several motorcycles and cars. I make great money and I love what I do for work," said Strawn.

What's more-Strawn enthused that "I love working as an electrician because it takes both mental and physical skill to be competent, the guys I work with are first-rate electricians, and I have always been treated well, paid well, and taught well [by employer Reyff Electric]".

And Strawn believes that the merit shop philosophy works well for him because "if your company sees you as valuable, they're going to keep you around and pay you what you're worth."

During his time at WECA, Strawn has found that Instructor Zach Wallace is his favorite teacher, stating that "Zach is very passionate about teaching and has an amazing skill in making complicated subjects easy to understand. I've learned a lot from him and he seems like a genuinely nice person.

Strawn also learned that he loves to operate machinery on the job, like boom lifts.

"Going straight up in the air was quite an adrenaline rush. I was able to use this skill - among others - in the field to complete a few jobs," said Strawn.

And although Strawn is in his second year of Apprenticeship, he had plenty of wisdom to impart to his fellow students.

"Make sure you have the right books for your class, study your code book, and give 110 percent in everything you do," said Strawn. "This is the time to prove yourself."
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 18, 2019   Apprentice Spotlight: Michael Crossman


Second-year WECA Commercial Apprentice Michael Crossman's passion for the electrical trades started when he was just 15 years old.

"I really enjoyed wiring up stereo systems and knew that there was something more to that," said Crossman.

But getting into the electrical trades took some time for him because he took opportunities in other trades first. However, Crossman stated that "the other trades were just a job and a paycheck, and I knew that; I always looked to see if there was an opportunity in the electrical trade but never got the chance until I found [employer] Hy-Lang Electric. Once I worked my way up in the company to an apprentice, the electrical trade quickly turned into a passion and that's when I realized that I finally found my trade."

After Crossman was hired on with Hy-Lang Electric, he started his WECA Apprenticeship and found that it was a great opportunity to learn a lot.

"I enjoy taking what I learn in class and in labs and applying those concepts on the job site," said Crossman. "I'm able to understand what and why I'm doing something because I'm learning electrical systems more in-depth, which lets me then install [systems] quickly and accurately."

Crossman continued, stating that "by far, my favorite things that I have learned [during my Apprenticeship] are completing the labs and working in the codebook. I enjoy applying the concepts I learned in class to the labs, and I benefit from familiarizing myself with the codebook every single day on the job site. And Rick [Mortensen] is my favorite and primary instructor - he's always there for questions and is very by-the-book, which helps me learn a great deal. I feel comfortable asking him for help and he's very reassuring."

As for what advice he'd give to his fellow apprentices - or future apprentices - Crossman had this to say: "Ask the questions that you're thinking, and study hard. If you put in the effort, then it will pay off!"

And last - but not least - Crossman offered high praise for WECA and its Apprenticeship programs, stating that "WECA's Apprenticeship has made me feel like I am ahead in this trade. I thoroughly understand what I am doing on the job site and know why I am doing it, which is very beneficial. There aren't a lot of electricians that understand the why's [of what they are doing] and WECA really helped teach that. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity that Hy-Lang Electric and WECA have given me!"

Thank you, Michael, for being part of the WECA family, and we are glad to hear that we have played an integral part in your incredible success!
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 18, 2019   Behind-the-Scenes at the 2019 IDEAL National Championships with Instructor LaKeal Morris


The third time's the charm for WECA Commercial Apprenticeship instructor LaKeal Morris - he presided as a judge at WECA Industry Partner IDEAL Industries' 2019 National Championships for the third year in a row, and as always, had a blast doing it.

"I have always had a wonderful time at the Ideal Nationals," Morris said. "When I'm not in meetings or judging, you can find me in the competitor's lounge at the pool table or playing table tennis."  

But it's not strictly all fun and games at the IDEAL National Championships.

"The events were as follows: two-person teams for the service equipment and feeder raceways under the residential slab, and individual events included things like conduit bending, Luminaire retrofits, and others," said Morris. "And the finals had five competitors this year instead of three. Two-time reigning champ Greg Anliker again took home the grand prize of $75,000 and moved on to the first-ever International Competition representing the United States."

Morris continued, stating that the International Competition "included competitors from Australia, China, Canada and of course the United States. In this
event, competitors installed systems from the four respective countries and Australian competitor Tom Matic took home a brand-new Dodge Ram truck and the title of 'World's Best Electrician."

What's more is that Morris was not
 alone in representing WECA on the national stage at the Championships. He was also joined by WECA alumna, Bergelectric electrician, and competitor David S. Moore and former WECA Commercial Apprenticeship instructor and current IDEAL Western Region Area Training Manager Ned Johns, who briefed the competitors before events.

"All in all, the weekend was a success and I believe that all involved had fun," said Morris.
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 18, 2019   Electrician Trainees -- Preparing to Take the State Certification Exam? Read This!



If you prefer to take your certification exam while referencing the 2014 National Electrical Code book, the State will allow you to choose that option for the next six months.

OR

If you prefer to take your certification exam while referencing the 2017 National Electrical Code book, the State will allow you to choose that option starting January 1, 2020. 

The 2017 NEC will be effective for certification testing in California on January 1, 2020, and the State has confirmed it will begin transitioning the General and Residential Electrician certification exams to test on 2017 Code starting on January 1, 2020. The State will also continue to make the 2014 Code book available at the testing site to those taking the exam for approximately the next six months. 

Please note: this information is based on the latest we have available from the State of California and is subject to change by the State. If we receive notice of any changes, we will send a follow-up email. 


If you are preparing to take a certification exam soon and have the educational hours and on-the-job experience to qualify, make a plan now. (Note: if you are a WECA Apprentice, you will receive exam preparation instruction on the appropriate Code year as per previously established schedules. These recommendations are intended for Electrician Trainees.)

Your exam date will determine whether you reference a 2014 Code or 2017 Code book, and whether you have an option. Here's what we recommend: 

1. Choose your exam date accordingly.
  • Before Jan. 1, 2020: only 2014 Code books will be made available for reference at the exam site.
  • For approximately 6 months from Jan. 1: you may reference either a 2014 or 2017 Code book; your choice.
  • July 1 and later: the exam sites will likely offer 2017 Code books for reference only.
  • Secure your exam date by registering with the State. 
2. To prepare yourself for the exam, enroll in an exam preparation class with WECA. See the list below for the three different types of exam preparation we offer, and enroll in the one that's right for you. 
  • WECA is transitioning its exam preparation courses from 2014 Code to 2017 Code over the next few months. Pay close attention to the Code year offered when choosing your class. 
Here are upcoming exam preparation class options with WECA:

2 Day Exam Prep, a 16-hour, fast-paced code study course in the classroom, focused on learning to use the Code book in preparing for the State Certification exam.

Rancho Cordova, January 18 - 19 on 2014 Code

San Diego, January 18 - 19 on 2014 Code

Rancho Cordova, February 8 - 9 on 2017 Code

Riverside, February 8 - 9 on 2017 Code

Rancho Cordova, March 14 - 15 on 2017 Code

San Diego, March 14 - 15 on 2017 Code

Register here

Get Wired! 404: Test Prep, Online and Instructor-Led. This 42-hour, fast-paced, highly interactive course that focuses on using the NEC to answer exam questions and re-enforcement in electrical fundamentals.

Online live webcast, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, February 10 - March 30, on 2017 Code

Register here

Exam Preparation Home Study. If you want to study at your own pace, choose this 56-hour Exam Preparation DVD Library from Mike Holt.

Home study, DVD-based, on your own schedule. Available on 2014 Code through December 31. Available on 2017 Code starting January 1, 2020.

Register here

Questions? Concerns? Need help choosing the right course? Call a WECA Client Services Specialist at 1-877-444-9322. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 18, 2019   You and Your Employer Can Save Money with WECA's December Special


32 Hours of Continuing Education: Easily Fulfilled!

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


WECA is offering Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep., all 32-hour online classes, to WECA member contractors and their employees at the special price of $150 each until December 31, 2019! Members' journeymen can get their full 32 renewal hours for just $150.  Only employees of member contractors are eligible for this deal. 

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

Perfect Sizing:

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

 Learn more about Perfect Sizing here
But call in to get your discount!


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

Learn more about Faultless Solar
But call in to get your discount!


Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation:

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

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


Voice Data Video Exam Preparation

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

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

Note: if you or your journeymen have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 32-hour package.

What if you don't work for a WECA member contractor?

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


Wednesday, December 18, 2019   WECEF's 2020 Scholarship Opportunities Deadline Approaching -- Apply Today!

wecef

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to again offer a scholarship program for students enrolled as an Apprentice, Electrician Trainee, or a Journeyman taking continuing education courses with WECA.

The WECEF Scholarship is intended to assist students whose career pursuits are in the electrical or low voltage fields and to help them in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful applicant and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition.

Awarded scholarships are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors and contingent upon the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements noted in the application form.

Apprentices and students can learn more and download the application form at the following link, or contact 877-444-9322 for more information.

Download scholarship application here

Application Deadline: 

Applications and all required documents must be received by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2020. 

Email all materials to lsipes@goweca.com
OR
 
Mail to: 
WECEF Scholarship Program
3695 Bleckeley Street
Mather Commerce Center

Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
Read more >>


Wednesday, December 18, 2019   Health Insurance Notice: WECA's Open Enrollment Period Has Closed

WECA's 2019 Open Enrollment period has closed effective December 1, 2019.

All forms have been processed, and coverage became effective December 1. For those who added a new dependent or dependents, you should you have received your dependents' ID cards from Anthem Blue Cross. If you have not received your dependents' ID cards, immediately contact Cindy Cormier, Insurance Administrator, via phone at (877) 444-9322 ext. 117 or by email at ccormier@goweca.com.

If you have further questions or concerns, you may also contact Cindy using the above contact information. 
Read more >>


Thursday, December 12, 2019   Opinions

  
 
Richard Markuson

Will Bloomberg be the Democrats' Salvation?
 
Since entering the presidential race just a few weeks ago, Michael Bloomberg has spent $100 million on campaign ads. That's more than the top-polling Democrats have spent all year combined. But so far, this gush of money has resulted in only a modest change in the polls. According to a recent poll, Bloomberg is at 6 percent nationally - behind the top four Democratic candidates - but ahead of the rest of the field.
 
Bloomberg - whose net worth is estimated to be roughly $55 billion - is also building ground operations in the states, offering prospective field organizers salaries well above the going rate, according to The Washington Post. He is trying something that typically hasn't worked in the modern campaign era - bypassing the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada - and banking on a strong showing in the delegate-rich states that vote on Super Tuesday and beyond.
 
Previous candidates who've tried to skip or downplay the early contests - such as another former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani - quickly found themselves marginalized and unable to generate momentum.
 
But none of those candidates had Mr. Bloomberg's resources.
 
Some analysts are speculating that the fragmented nature of today's Democratic electorate could give Bloomberg an opening. The same four candidates - Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg - have been at the top of the polls all year, though they have traded places at various times. Each is strong with different factions of voters - whether it's seniors, young people, college-educated white voters, African Americans or Hispanics. No one has been able to grow their support beyond 20-25%.
 
"Typically, the Democratic winner in Iowa parlays that victory into dominant status. That was the winning playbook for Barack Obama in 2008 and John Kerry in 2004," National Journal's Josh Kraushaar recently wrote. "It's not looking likely that dynamic will repeat itself in 2020."
 
If no clear frontrunner emerges out of the four early states, it would create a wide-open contest going into Super Tuesday. Bloomberg appears to be positioning himself for just such a scenario. Just don't look for much coverage in BusinessWeek!
 
Here is what the start of 2020 looks like:
 
February 3: Iowa caucuses
February 3: California ballots mailed to requested voters by mail (VBMs) and all voters in Voters Choice Act counties (Los Angeles is modified [VCA] and ballots don't go to all voters)
February 11: New Hampshire primary
February 22: Nevada caucuses
February 29: South Carolina caucuses
March 3: Super Tuesday: Primary elections in fourteen states including California, plus American Samoa and Democrats abroad
 
Incidentally, Bloomberg is in California this week to promote his candidacy. He is expected to be endorsed by Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, who may also be named a national co-chair. Tubbs brings an important African-American voice to Bloomberg, who has apologized for his "stop and frisk" policing policy while he was NYC mayor. The policy has been criticized for targeting black and Latino residents without probable cause.
Read more >>


Thursday, December 12, 2019   What We're Reading

Contech leaders meet with Trump to talk tariffs, labor and mandatory tech
Construction and manufacturing leaders had their say in Washington, D.C., in recent weeks, both at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Topics ranged from the importance of apprenticeships, the need for deregulation, the effects of President Donald Trump's steel tariffs and technology's role in infrastructure projects. [Construction Dive] Story
 
Trump Pushed Contract Giving CBP Union More Power: "President Trump urged his top border security official to finalize a new labor contract with the Border Patrol union just weeks before the deal was signed in September, an agreement that significantly increased the number of union officials allowed to collect a government salary without performing patrol duties," according to The Washington Post. The contract "expands the number of border agents whose roles as union officers allow them to engage in partisan political activity," they write. Current and former officials were unhappy with the contract, "saying it gives the union dramatically more power while providing Trump a large new corps of surrogates to amplify his immigration message." President Trump's advocacy on behalf of any federal union is surprising, considering he issued three executive orders to limit the activities of federal unions. Current and former officials told the Post they "considered it a reward to [union chief Brandon] Judd, who endorsed Trump in 2016 and has since emerged as a fierce and dependable advocate for the president's border policies." [Politico]
 
The Never Ending Calderons "When Assemblyman Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) announced last week he was giving up his seat to spend time with family, it presaged the end of an era: Calderons have represented southeastern Los Angeles County for years in the Legislature. Ian Calderon followed his father Charles and his uncles Tom and Ron (the latter two pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges). But it turns out voters will have a chance to keep the 57th Assembly district in the family: Lisa Calderon, Ian's step-mother, has filed to run for the seat. Whoever wins is likely to be a Democrat given the party's overwhelming registration advantage, so the election is unlikely to affect the balance of power in Sacramento [Politico]
 
PLA Ban Repeal Approved for Vote The Chula Vista City Council placed a repeal of Prop G, the WECA supported 2010 measure banning PLAs for city projects, on the March ballot [Union-Tribune] Story.

Business Groups Bring Legal Challenge to California's Prohibition on Mandatory Arbitration Agreements A coalition of business groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce just filed a lawsuit against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and other state officials seeking to block AB 51, a recently passed statute which will make it unlawful for California employers to require employees to sign arbitration agreements beginning January 1, 2020. Story
Read more >>


Thursday, December 05, 2019   Behind the Scenes at the 2019 IDEAL National Championships with Instructor LaKeal Morris


The third time's the charm for WECA Commercial Apprenticeship instructor LaKeal Morris - he presided as a judge at WECA Industry Partner IDEAL Industries' 2019 National Championships for the third year in a row, and as always, had a blast doing it.

"I have always had a wonderful time at the Ideal Nationals," Morris said. "When I'm not in meetings or judging, you can find me in the competitor's lounge at the pool table or playing table tennis."  

But it's not strictly all fun and games at the IDEAL National Championships.

"The events were as follows: two-person teams for the service equipment and feeder raceways under the residential slab, and individual events included things like conduit bending, Luminaire retrofits, and others," said Morris. "And the finals had five competitors this year instead of three. Two-time reigning champ Greg Anliker again took home the grand prize of $75,000 and moved on to the first-ever International Competition representing the United States."

Morris continued, stating that the International Competition "included competitors from Australia, China, Canada and of course the United States. In this event, competitors installed systems from the four respective countries and Australian competitor Tom Matic took home a brand-new Dodge Ram truck and the title of 'World's Best Electrician."


What's more is that Morris was not alone in representing WECA on the national stage at the Championships. He was also joined by WECA alumna, Bergelectric electrician, and competitor David S. Moore and former WECA Commercial Apprenticeship instructor and current IDEAL Western Region Area Training Manager Ned Johns, who briefed the competitors before events.

"All in all, the weekend was a success and I believe that all involved had fun," said Morris.

Want to continue showing your support for WECA and IDEAL Industries? Be sure to tune in to watch IDEAL Industries' 2019 National Championship on December 15th at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Read more >>


Thursday, December 05, 2019   Apprentice Spotlight: Steven Strawn



Second-year WECA Commercial Apprentice Steven Strawn always respected electricians because "it almost seemed like they were magicians-they could bring life to a building that was otherwise 'dead' with lights and power for appliances and equipment, and I wanted to be able to do what they did."

So when Strawn's previous career didn't pan out the way he wanted it to, he decided to instead follow his dreams and finally become one of the electricians he had always admired.

And "after some research, I decided that WECA's Electrician Trainee (ET) program was right for me, and that led to my current Apprenticeship," said Strawn. Pursuing the Electrician Trainee program in 2016-and then an Apprenticeship program in 2017-with WECA quickly proved to be the right decision for Strawn.

"The ET program allowed me to legally work as an electrician and learn on the job," said Strawn. "Once my company saw that I had potential as an electrician, they decided to sponsor my apprenticeship and I made the transition from ET to Commercial Apprentice."

Strawn continued, stating that "I started working as an electrician [with Reyff Electric] and went from a small apartment to owning my own house with several motorcycles and cars. I make great money and I love what I do for work," said Strawn.

What's more-Strawn enthused that "I love working as an electrician because it takes both mental and physical skill to be competent, the guys I work with are first-rate electricians, and I have always been treated well, paid well, and taught well [by employer Reyff Electric]".

And Strawn believes that the merit shop philosophy works well for him because "if your company sees you as valuable, they're going to keep you around and pay you what you're worth."

During his time at WECA, Strawn has found that Instructor Zach Wallace is his favorite teacher, stating that "Zach is very passionate about teaching and has an amazing skill in making complicated subjects easy to understand. I've learned a lot from him and he seems like a genuinely nice person.

Strawn also learned that he loves to operate machinery on the job, like boom lifts.

"Going straight up in the air was quite an adrenaline rush. I was able to use this skill - among others - in the field to complete a few jobs," said Strawn.

And although Strawn is in his second year of Apprenticeship, he had plenty of wisdom to impart to his fellow students.

"Make sure you have the right books for your class, study your code book, and give 110 percent in everything you do," said Strawn. "This is the time to prove yourself."
Read more >>


Thursday, December 05, 2019   Take Advantage of Your ThinkHR Member Benefits Today!


As a WECA Member Contractor, you enjoy myriad benefits, such as complimentary enrollment in and unlimited access to ThinkHR -- a comprehensive human resources management tool for businesses like yours that integrates live, online-based advisors with technology, instructional content, and tools to help you manage the risks of running a business.

As you well know, one of the biggest challenges that HR professionals -- and business owners -- face is finding the right information and resources quickly. Do you have someone to turn to with questions about managing an employee's behavior or performance? Do you know exactly where to go to learn more when state or federal updates come forward? What about educating staff about subjects like customer service or harassment? 

Utilizing your complimentary ThinkHR membership benefit can help with these common dilemmas -- and more! 

What are you waiting for? Start taking advantage of this value-added benefit that saves you time and money today by logging in to your secure dashboard on the WECA website and clicking "ThinkHR" enrollment to register for this benefit. 

Not yet a member of WECA? Explore this and other member benefits.
Read more >>


Thursday, December 05, 2019   The (Dogs, Cat, and Pig) Are Out of the Bag! Check Out the Winners of 2019 Pet Bandana Contest


As 2019 comes to an end, WECA is proud to announce that we've crowned WECA's cutest pets -- the adorable winners of our 2019 Pet Bandana Social Media Contest!

However, this contest is a bit different than others. We couldn't pick *just* one winner -- every submission was aww-worthy. So we chose a "best of" or a tie for each category (best dogs, best cat, and best pig!). The winners in each respective category are:

Best Dogs: Captain Dougie (left) and Huell, Gerbil, and Ella (right)

Best Cat: Iva

Best Pig: Nickle

It made us smile to see all these pets proudly sporting their WECA bandanas, and we couldn't have done it without their dedicated owners and faithful WECA family members! 

Please join us in thanking everyone who participated -- especially the pets, because sitting still and wearing bandanas is not fun or easy! 

Think your pet should be featured in this gallery? Try your luck next year and submit a picture of your pet wearing a WECA bandana for your chance to win your choice of WECA swag. 
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Thursday, December 05, 2019   Save Money with WECA's December Special: $150 for 32 Hours Journeyman Continuing Ed.


32 Hours of Continuing Education: Easily Fulfilled!

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


WECA is offering Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep., all 32-hour online classes, to WECA member contractors and their employees at the special price of $150 each until December 31, 2019! Members' journeymen can get their full 32 renewal hours for just $150Only employees of member contractors are eligible for this deal. 

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

Perfect Sizing:

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

 Learn more about Perfect Sizing here
 But call in to get your discount!

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

Learn more about Faultless Solar
 But call in to get your discount!

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation:

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

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

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation

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

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

Note: if you or your journeymen have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 32-hour package.

What if you don't work for a WECA member contractor?
You can still enroll in these classes at our usual competitive pricing. Or, tell your contractor about WECA! Ask them to read all about our member benefits and services, including our training discounts for their employees.
 
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