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Thursday, September 16, 2021   WECA Political Update September 16, 2021

Newsom Survives Recall Governor Newsom rather convincingly beat back the recall attempt. I don’t have much to add to what has been in the media, but I would point out it is only 265 days until the June primary! Nearly 64 percent of voters have rejected the recall, based on results from 9.1 million ballots counted statewide so far. That's a slight drop from initial tallies that were closer to a 2-to-1 ratio, but still a massive gap. Of course, all the numbers will change as more ballots get counted.
 
The biggest shocker here was fourth-place finisher Brandon Ross, a Democrat listed as "Physician/Attorney" on the ballot. Ross had 5.6 percent, outpacing Republicans John Cox (4.4 percent) and Kevin Kiley (3.2 percent). And Ross didn't even have a live bear or $7 million in TV ads.
 
Mayor Dyer Vetoes 5-Year Union Labor Deal for Fresno City Construction Projects The San Joaquin Valley Sun reports, “In his second-ever veto, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer rejected a measure adopted by six members of the Fresno City Council to institute union-prioritization for the City’s seven-figure construction projects. In a statement on Monday afternoon, Dyer rejected the five-year citywide Project Labor Agreement (PLA), a pre-construction agreement mandating union labor for most public works projects exceeding $1 million, as being “not inclusive,” failing to boost local hiring or “broaden the City’s labor pool. As a dues-paying member of public sector unions for the past 41 years, I do recognize that a Project Labor Agreement, if done correctly, can be beneficial,” Mayor Dyer said. “I would support the PLA if it could be modified to prioritize local hiring and local businesses.” The Dyer administration pushed back heavily on the proposed citywide Project Labor Agreement during debate before the Fresno City Council recently. Dyer doubled down in a statement on Monday, noting that union membership in the construction sits at 13 percent nationally. “This two-tiered system is discriminatory toward a large majority of Fresno’s construction workers and does not fit Mayor Dyer’s One Fresno vision of inclusivity,” his administration said in a statement. While the agreement would allow non-union contractors to bid on city work, it would subject them to paying union-mandated benefits that its workers on the project may not realize. “[T]he result being non-union contractors paying double for health and retirement benefits,” the Dyer administration said. Dyer administration officials also disputed the benefits touted by union representatives regarding better wages and benefits. Fresno’s history has only undertaken two project-specific PLAs with unions: the current City Hall building, completed in 1992, and Fresno-Yosemite International Airport’s parking garage, currently under construction. The city banned PLAs from 2000 to 2014. “(This PLA) lacks any measurement tools to see if it has met its goals,” city administration noted. Six members of the Fresno City Council backed the five-year citywide PLA measure. Fresno City Council member Garry Bredefeld was the lone dissenting vote on the agreement. In his veto statement, Dyer said he wanted exemptions for local contractors who are headquartered in Fresno’s city limits, have all employees on City of Fresno jobs reside within Fresno, provide health care coverage and 401(k) or other retirement benefits to those on the project, and dedicate 20 percent of workers assigned to the project be trade apprentices living within the City of Fresno. Dyer’s veto was overridden by a 6-1 vote of the City Council members.

Legislative Session Ends The first year of the 2021-2022 legislative session has concluded. However, Governor Newsom has already approved several bills.

AB 137 (Budget) Authorizes the Department of General Services to use the progressive design-build procurement process for up to three public works projects (with the usual SBCTC language) CHAPTERED

AB 143 (Budget) Authorizes the Judicial Council to use a design-build procurement process in contracting and procuring public works projects and would authorize the Judicial Council to award contracts using either the best value or low bid selection method for all projects (with the usual SBCTC language) CHAPTERED

AB 246 (Quirk) Adds illegal dumping to the list of violations that constitute a cause for disciplinary action against a contractor by the CSLB. CHAPTERED

AB 271 (Rivas) Permits the Santa Clara Valley Water District to award contracts on a best value basis for any work of the Anderson Dam project. The bill would require the contractor to comply with the State's STWF mandates unless the district has a PLA. CHAPTERED

AB 569 (Grayson) Increases the maximum civil penalty amounts that can be assessed against licensed contractors for violations of the Contractors State License Law consistent with changes in the Consumer Price Index. Authorizes the Contractors State License Board to issue a Letter of Admonishment instead of a citation for multiple violations at a time. CHAPTERED

SB 7 (Atkins) Reenacts the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011 and expands the Act’s eligibility to include smaller housing projects until January 1, 2026. The bill would exempt PLA projects from skilled and trained workforce mandates, the requirement to submit certified payroll records and prohibit the State Labor Commissioner from enforcing the labor code. Requires prevailing wages and apprentices on private projects authorized by the bill. CHAPTERED

SB 51 (Durazo) Makes changes to the Roberti Act (the Act) to encourage the sale of homes owned by Caltrans, located within the State Route (SR) 710 corridor in the El Sereno neighborhood of the City of Los Angeles (Los Angeles), for low- and moderate-income rental housing. Exempts PLA projects from CPRs and STWF. Requires prevailing wages and apprentices on private projects authorized by the bill. CHAPTERED

SB 144 (Portantino) Makes changes to the Film and TV Tax Credit administered by the California Film Commission (CFC), housed within the Governor’s Office of Business and Development (GO-Biz). Requires that the operation and maintenance of the soundstage must be performed by a workforce paid at least the prevailing rate that is either directly or through a payroll company employed by the soundstage owner or lessee; or a skilled and trained workforce, as defined in the Public Contract Code Chapter 2.9 (beginning with section 2600), if a third-party vendor provides services. CHAPTERED

SB 657 (Ochoa Bogh) Allows employers, in any instance the employer is required to physically post information, to additionally distribute that information to employees by email with the document or documents attached. Further, this bill clarifies that email distribution or relevant documents under the proposed statute does not alter the employer’s physical obligation to display the required posting. CHAPTERED

Two Of Arizona’s Native Fish Are Being Considered for Downlisting from endangered to threatened under the Endangered Species Act. But here's why they may always need human help.

Reconciliation and the PROAct In addition to the tax increases in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, on Sept. 10, the House Education and Labor Committee marked up and approved its $761 billion portions of the bill on a party-line vote. It contains provisions like policies included in the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PROAct):

·        $5 million for the implementation of electronic voting in union elections.
·        Financial penalties on employers for unfair labor practices.
·        Personal liability for company directors and officers for unfair labor practices.
·        Prohibitions against employers from permanently replacing strikers, locking out workers, captive audience meetings, and arbitration agreements.

ABC has a website that allows contractors to contact their members of Congress here.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation has produced an analysis of the reconciliation process and the plan to pay for the “infrastructure” package.

Time for Reconciliation All House Dem committee chairs have successfully met Speaker Pelosi's deadline to finish their sections by Sept. 15, clearing the way for leadership-level negotiations on the most challenging aspects of the bill: Medicare expansion, Medicaid spending, SALT, and drug pricing.

Arbitration Agreements A federal appeals court Wednesday simultaneously revived and gutted a 2019 California law banning employers from requiring arbitration agreements in job contracts, ruling that its enforcement mechanisms run afoul of federal law. The court allowed the ban to take effect but limited the state's power to enforce it, rendering the law largely symbolic. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a split decision that federal law does not prevent California officials from banning forced arbitration under AB 51. But the panel struck down a provision of AB 51 that would have penalized employers that retaliate against workers who decline to sign such agreements. The court ruled that civil penalties subjecting employers to up to six months of jail time or a $1,000 fine, as outlined in the measure, are prohibited under federal law. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, and other business groups filed a lawsuit in 2019 arguing that the bill was in direct conflict with the Federal Arbitration Act, allowing employers and workers to settle disputes outside of court.

NLRB Chief Counsel Seeks New Penalties for Labor Law Violations With a newly minted Democratic majority on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the General Counsel of the NLRB, who directs the enforcement of federal labor law, has ordered her staff to seek broad remedies—many of which would be unprecedented—for workers subjected to unfair practices, including reimbursement for “consequential damages” such as health care expenses, credit card late fees, or loss of a home or car as a result of being unlawfully terminated. Story

The Popularity of our POTUS: President Joe Biden’s average approval rating (46 percent) is in Ford territory and could be headed into Trump territory if he doesn’t turn it around. Here’s where every modern president rated at this point, according to FiveThirtyEight.

G.W. Bush: 82.6%
Kennedy: 76.1%
Truman: 75%
Eisenhower: 74.4%
Johnson: 74%
G.H.W. Bush: 69.5%
Nixon: 62.3%
Reagan: 60.1%
Carter: 54.3%
Obama: 53.4%
Clinton: 48.3%
Biden: 46%
Ford: 46%
Trump: 38.8%

Air Resources Board Invites CSLB Licensees to Attend Workgroup on Proposed Amendment for Off-Road Diesel Vehicles The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will host a public workgroup to discuss possible amendments to the In-Use Off-Road Diesel-Fueled Fleets Regulation (Off-Road Regulation) to include additional requirements for contractors and public works projects that use, hire, or own off-road diesel vehicles that are subject to the Off-Road Regulation.

The purpose of these potential amendments is:

1) To achieve long-term vehicle emissions reductions needed to meet federal and State air quality goals and requirements, and
2) To promote more effective compliance with the existing Off-Road Regulation.
During CARB’s public workgroup, the concept will be discussed, and CSLB licensees who may be affected by the proposed amendments can provide input.

Virtual Public Workgroup

Tuesday, September 21, 2021
2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Register here.

More information about the workgroup is available here.

Accessible Parking the California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) wants to change accessible parking in California. They have developed a survey for contractors and construction managers to “help” access the changes.
 
It should only take 5-10 minutes to complete but is due COB 9/21/21.
 
On the topic of accessible parking in private works construction, buildings open to the public, the survey asks which areas of Chapter 11B of the CA Building Code (public accessibility) would be most helpful for CCDA to focus on in developing toolkits/resources for business owners/operators, ADA local government, and building industry professionals. The survey expects A-Gen Eng., B-Gen Building, C-8 Concrete, C-10 Electrical [EV charging in parking lots], C-12 Earth/Pave, C-23 Orn. Metal, C-27 Landscaping, C-32-Parking and Highway, C-45 Signs, or any other contractor license classification who may be able to weigh in.
 
Access the full link here.
Read more >>


Tuesday, September 14, 2021   Industry Partner Spotlight: Trade Hounds



The digital revolution continues apace within the electrical and construction industries. An excellent example of this is WECA’s newest industry partner—the aptly named Trade Hounds, a construction technology company founded in 2016—whose mission is to “Improve the lives of hardworking tradespeople who are building the world around us. Building a digital home for these workers allows us to help contractors source and hire the skilled tradespeople they struggle to find anywhere else,” says Peter Maglathlin, Trade Hounds’ co-founder and Chief Financial Officer.

According to Maglathlin, more than 225,000 skilled tradespeople use Trade Hounds to “Showcase their work, build professional profiles and find jobs. We launched our hiring platform one year ago, and today hundreds of electrical contractors across the country use Trade Hounds to source and hire the skilled electricians they need. We provide electrical contractors access to the deepest pool of trades-only talent out there.”

To put it simply—through Trade Hounds, WECA Member Contractors are able to recruit and hire from their user base of more than 225,000 tradespeople. But if that seems overwhelming, worry not—Maglathlin says that users can “Define what they seek. For example, licensed Journeyman electricians within 50 miles of Sacramento with a minimum of 5 years of experience.”

What’s more is that Trade Hounds promotes posted jobs via text and app notifications to tradespeople that meet the end user’s defined parameters. The advantage of this is that your job is front and center—right on a job seeker’s cell phone—which they tend to never part ways with (we all know that feeling, right?).

As the self-described “digital home for tradespeople”, Trade Hounds wanted to partner with WECA “Because WECA is an association of top-tier electrical contractors, and our track record of success with electrical contractors across the country gives us confidence that we can deliver value to the membership, and in return deliver value to Trade Hounds users. We’re thrilled to be part of the organization,” says Maglathlin.

Want to join the electrical industry’s digital revolution and utilize Trade Hounds’ services? Click here! Once you sign up, someone from Trade Hounds’ Customer Success team will reach out to you to better understand your needs and help you post a job. Alternatively, you can also reach out directly to Trade Hounds’ Director of Business Development, Jonathan Pasternack, via phone at (617) 549-2362 or via email at jpasternack@tradehounds.com.  
Read more >>


Thursday, September 09, 2021   CSLB Holds Online BESS Workshop and Answers Frequently Asked BESS Questions



Content courtesy of CSLB

ONLINE BESS WORKSHOP
 
CSLB will hold an online battery energy storage system (BESS) workshop on Friday,
September 17, 2021, from 3 to 4 p.m., to address application or scope of work/classification questions.
 
Please email your questions to classifications@cslb.ca.gov by Friday, September 10, 2021.

Meeting Link:
 
https://cslb.webex.com/cslb/j.php?MTID=m0fe62a957e0e941ed0a18f28d5edec53
 
Friday, Sep 17, 2021, 3:00 pm | 1 hour | (UTC-07:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
Event number: 2556 472 8621
Event password: BPxcxn3Pf77 (27929637 from phones)

Questions & Answers
 
1.    What do C-46 Solar contractors need to do if they want to install battery energy storage systems (BESS) after November 1, 2021?
 
To place, install, erect, or connect a BESS, the C-46 contractor will need to add the C-10 Electrical contractor classification on their license. To get the C-10 added, go to the CSLB website and complete this application. CSLB will expedite its review of applications received by November 1, 2021.
 
If you are a solar contractor that has been installing BESS in conjunction with photovoltaic (PV) systems for four or more years, you will meet the requirements to add the C-10 Electrical classification to your license. CSLB also encourages you to start studying early for the trade exam, please refer to CSLB’s study guide. Information regarding obtaining a wavier of the exam can be found here.
 
Without the C-10, B, or A classification on your license, a C-46 Solar contractor cannot take a contract on a project that includes BESS installation. Beginning November 1, 2021, this applies to all new contracts on projects entered into on and after November 1, 2021, and for work occurring on and after November 1, 2021. You may refer to Business and Professions Code section 7059.

2.    Who needs to have a certified electrician on their team?  
 
A C-10 Electrical contractor needs a certified electrician on staff to engage in the connection of electrical devices greater than 100-volt amperes. CSLB recommends contractors review California Labor Code sections 108-108.5 and California Department of Industrial Relations regulations and its Electrical Certification FAQ.
 
The only time a contractor needs a certified electrician on staff is when they hold a C-10 classification and are engaging in the connection of an electrical device pursuant to California Labor Code sections 108-108.5. This includes connecting a BESS or PV system to an existing electrical system or to a utility grid. This also includes placing, installing, erecting or connecting an electrical panel.
 
If you have questions about a specific project, please email CSLB’s classification at classifications@cslb.ca.gov.
 
If you have questions about electrician certification or how to obtain it, please visit the Department of Industrial Relations, Electrician Certification Program webpage.

3.    When can a contractor with a C-10 electrical classification use non-certified workers?
 
A C-10 contractor does not need to use a certified electrician to perform work on a BESS or PV when the work does not involve connecting an electrical device. Examples include installation, repair, or service of: 
 
·      Racks on a roof (including associated flashing and sealing roof penetrations from rack attachment).
·      Installation of poles and racks for ground mounted solar systems.
·      Installation of BESS racks.
·      Installation of required BESS or PV signage.
·      Seismic Restraints

4.    What about General Contractors (“A” General Engineering, “B” General
Building) and BESS?

Please see the August 12, 2021 CSLB Industry Bulletin about this question. A General Building contractor may take a prime contract that involves a PV or BESS installation if the multiple trade requirement of Business and Professions Code section 7057 is met. And a General Engineering contractor may take a prime contract that involves a PV or BESS installation if the project is in connection with fixed works requiring general engineering knowledge or skill, as required by Business and Professions Code 7056. The Labor Code sections 108 – 108.5 referenced above do not require general contractors who do not have a C-10 Electrical license to employ certified electricians.

A note to Solar Contractors from WECA--if you've recently become a C-10 in response to the new CSLB requirements and now need to quickly get your employees registered as Electrician Trainees before the November 1 deadline, WECA can help. Learn how to register your employees with our Electrician Trainee Program (and subsequently with the State of CA) here and don't hesitate to call our office with questions: 1-877-444-9322.
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Thursday, September 09, 2021   Congratulations to the WECA Northern California Class of 2021!

How we celebrated our graduates at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters





WECA extends a hearty congratulations to the WECA Northern California Class of 2021, who celebrated their graduation at WECA’s Rancho Cordova headquarters on Saturday, August 28th.

The graduation, held in a shaded and cooled tent outside, yielded an impressive turnout of 163 guests (including lots of cute babies!).

It was gratifying to see so many graduates bringing their families along, enjoying delicious food and drink on WECA’s grounds and also giving them tours of WECA’s training facilities! We were also pleased to treat graduates to swag duffle bags stuffed with goodies from Industry Partners like Milwaukee Tool, IDEAL Industries, and Klein Tools, and to the sharp wit of WECA Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager Jimmie Slemp, who served as emcee.

"Graduation was amazing. It was fun to see the staff and students all work together, under difficult circumstances, to celebrate and showcase all of the graduates' dedication and hard work over the past years!", says Galen Eckert, WECA's Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Program Online Education Manager.

Wendy Flanagan, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, also says that "Everyone was excited to be there and celebrating the graduates of 2020 and 2021. There were many babies and young children there; I love seeing the families that are started while they are in their Apprenticeship. And one of the graduates--who could not bring his baby--held up a poster board with a picture of his baby when his [the graduate's] name was called and everyone clapped."

Also in attendance was Glen Forman, the Deputy Chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. It was great to see Glen come out to support our graduates! All in all, the event was a success, and the steadfast support that our graduates receive from their loved ones, employers, instructors, sponsors and other electrical industry stakeholders was evident.

Eckert concurs, giving "A shout-out to all the supportive family members and friends of our graduates, who we all know are a huge help behind the scenes, keeping the family dynamic going as well as supporting our students. Congratulations to everyone involved!"

Congratulations, everyone! We are proud of your hard work and dedication!



Read more >>


Thursday, September 09, 2021   We couldn't have pulled it off without the support of our generous sponsors!

Thank you to the following sponsors for supporting the WECA Class of 2021 graduations:

Volts Level Sponsors





(Commercial Division)











Amps Level Sponsors









Watts Level Sponsors









Ohms Level Sponsors

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Thursday, September 09, 2021   Check out the WECA Northern California Class of 2021 graduation ceremony in our commemorative video

2021 WECA Northern California Graduation Event
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Thursday, September 09, 2021   Extra, extra: read our WECA Northern California Class of 2021 graduate spotlight!



Northern California Double-Program Graduate Autumn DeChaine

It’s not everyday that WECA gets to graduate an Apprentice who has succeeded in not just one—but two!—Apprenticeship programs. That’s the case with 2021 Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Autumn DeChaine, who also graduated (as Valedictorian!) from WECA’s Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in 2014.

“I’m really glad that I chose to graduate from the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program before joining the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program,” says DeChaine. “It added value to my career as an electrician and gave me a good foundation before going into the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program.”

DeChaine says that the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program and the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program are similar in that they both follow the WECA structure of class time and homework, but obviously differ in terms of the curriculum.

“The main difference between working as a Low Voltage Apprentice and a Commercial Electrical Apprentice is that as a Low Voltage Apprentice, you are responsible for knowing one or two systems (fire life safety or voice data video). As an electrician, you are on the job from the very beginning and you are responsible for all the electrical systems,” says DeChaine.

DeChaine says that her favorite part of the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program was going back to work after time in the classroom and integrating what she learned.

“I also enjoyed the camaraderie of going to school with the same people year after year and supporting each other,” says DeChaine. “As far as the curriculum, I loved learning motor controls and relay logic.”

Now that DeChaine has completed both programs, she says that she still has a lot to learn and plans on running bigger projects in the future.

And, DeChaine adds that she has been with her company, Vanden Bos Electric, for nine years and still loves it there. DeChaine says she plans to incorporate all her education and work on both fire life safety and electrical systems.

“I just completed my first project as a foreman. There is a lot incorporated in running projects that you don’t think about as an Apprentice or Journeyman; I learned a lot and am optimistic about my future with Vanden Bos Electric,” says DeChaine.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 09, 2021   Low Voltage Apprenticeship graduates can seek college credits for program completion at WECA!



The Details

WECA has a big announcement! Our Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program has received college credit recommendations from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service).

This benefit provides WECA low voltage apprentices the ability to gain access to college credit for completion of this three-year apprenticeship program by using the credit recommendation(s) set forth by NCCRS. The Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program joins WECA's Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship programs, which each previously received college credit recommendations from NCCRS in 2018.

"We’re gratified to receive this college credit recommendation for our Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program, which now joins our Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship Programs in giving our apprenticeship graduates a route towards receiving substantial college credits for the programs they’ve already completed at WECA,” said Terry Seabury, WECA’s Executive Director and CEO. “We appreciate the external validation that our comprehensive, competency-based curriculum featuring skilled teaching by credentialed instructors and technicallyadvanced, hands-on labs is of equivalent rigor to courses held at a traditional four-year college or university.”

"NCCRS is pleased to recommend college credit for WECA’s Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program,” NCCRS Director Lisa Sax Mahoney said. "Through our professional evaluations, we support the recognition of high-quality workforce training programs delivered by qualified organizations across the country."

Founded in 1973 by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), located in Albany, New York, is an organization that evaluates and establishes college credit recommendations for courses offered by government, industry, and other noncollegiate sponsors.

NCCRS collaborates with more than 1,500 organizations and institutions of higher education across the United States and beyond. NCCRS member organizations include state government agencies, apprenticeship sponsors, corporations, and community and faith-based organizations. A few longstanding members include the City of New York Police Department (NYPD), the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), and Consolidated Edison. Since its inception, NCCRS has evaluated and recommended college credit for more than 5,200 courses, exams, and educational programs enabling individuals to gain access to college credit for successful completion of qualified learning.
 
Learn more about NCCRS and view their college credit recommendations for WECA here.

Using This Benefit: A Guide for our Apprentices and Graduates 

Q: Who is eligible?

A: Any graduates of WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in the Class of 2021, or beyond. (Any graduates of WECA's Commercial or Residential Electrical Apprenticeships since September of 2013 are eligible for those programs. (NCCRS granted eligibility for those programs going back five years, and evaluated WECA's Commercial and Residential programs in Autumn of 2018.)

Q: So WECA apprentice grads automatically have college credits?

A:  No. NCCRS makes college credit recommendations. (From NCCRS:
A college credit recommendation is an academic advisement about the comparability of a learning experience to college-level instruction, such as undergraduate or graduate course work, the amount of credit that may be awarded, and areas where credit could apply. The credit recommendations are intended to guide college officials as they consider awarding credit to persons who have successfully completed NCCRS evaluated learning experiences. College credit recommendations are not actual college credit because the New York State Board of Regents does not award college credit. Through the results of the NCCRS evaluations, however, the Board of Regents encourages colleges and universities to consider accepting the credit recommendations.)

Q: How Does Acceptance of College Credit Recommendations work?

A: It is up to the college or university to choose whether to grant college credits, how many, and in what subjects, for completion of a WECA program. NCCRS recommends specific credit amounts and subjects. College and university admissions departments should reference NCCRS' WECA listing at http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors for specific recommendations. NCCRS recommends up to 30 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Low Voltage Electrical program, up to 66 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Commerical Electrical program, up to 40 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Residential Electrical program. 

Q: How Do WECA Commercial, Residential, and Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship Graduates Use This Benefit?

A: Apprentices grads should:
1. Identify the college or university they wish to ask to accept a credit recommendation from NCCRS for work completed at WECA. (A list of colleges and universities who have previously participated with NCCRS is here: http://www.nationalccrs.org/colleges-universities. Seeing a college or university on this list is a promising sign that they will consider NCCRS' recommendation, but is not a guarantee. Further, just because a college or university is not yet shown on the list does not mean the apprentice grad shouldn't request that they consider the credit recommendation.)
2. Work with their admissions advisor at their college or university of choice to learn the process for seeking college credits for their WECA Commercial, Residential, or Low Voltage Electrical program completion. The college or university may refer to this as their PLA (prior learning assessment) process or policy. The applicant should share NCCRS' WECA credit recommendation 
http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors with the decision-makers at their college or university.
3. Request a transcript from WECA as requested by their college or university. Email apregistrar@goweca.com with transcript requests.
4. If the applicant encounters problems with their transfer credit request, they can contact NCCRS so that NCCRS can advocate on the applicant's behalf.

Q: What about the Electrician Trainee Program?

A: WECA is currently evaluating demand for college credit recommendations for its Electrician Trainee program.

Q: What if I still have questions?

?A: Please call us at 1-877-444-9322 and we'll do our best to help you out.
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Thursday, September 09, 2021   Join WECA in Fresno on Oct. 13 for an open house celebrating our new Fresno training facility!



You're cordially invited to WECA's open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony for our new Fresno training facility! All are welcome!
 
When: October 13, 2021 from 4 to 7 PM
 
Where: 7328 N. Remington Ave., Fresno, CA 93711
 
• Enjoy food and libations
 
• Tour the facility
 
• Meet WECA instructors, staff, members, students, board members, and members of the Fresno community
 
• Learn about WECA and how the merit shop philosophy benefits electrical contractors
 
• Learn about the latest in the electrical industry and its impacts on merit shop electrical contractors
 
• See how our apprentices learn--including the new technology and innovative training tools used in WECA's apprenticeship learning labs!
 
Please RSVP at the link below so we can look forward to seeing you there!
 
Register Here for our Fresno Open House
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Thursday, September 09, 2021   WECA Industry Partner Spotlight: OneSource Distributors

Electrical and industrial distribution for commercial, residential and solar electrical contractors in California, Arizona, Hawaii and Mexico



WECA’s Industry Partners strive to make our Member Contractors’ jobs easier.

And our newest Industry Partner, OneSource Distributors, is a valuable addition to our arsenal.

Founded in 1983, San Diego-based OneSource Distributors is an electrical and industrial distributor with 19 locations across California, Arizona, Hawaii and Baja California in Mexico. In 2011, OneSource Distributors joined the Sonepar group, which is an independent family-owned company that in turn owns 14 independently managed operating companies with over 700 locations in the United States.

“We provide innovative services and solutions that make it easy and efficient for customers work with us,” says Steve Reyno, GM and Director of Business Development at OneSource Distributors. Serving commercial, residential, utility, contractor and industrial markets, OneSource’s mission includes continuous focus on customer needs, quality and service. The company’s core values are focused on ongoing improvement and are embodied in their 10 Principles of Personal Leadership.

“We partnered with WECA because we are passionate about supporting WECA’s mission to train, educate and develop the current and future skilled trades workforce,” says Reyno. “We hope to be a resource for WECA Member Contractors, and to help its members become familiar with current and new products and solutions in the electrical space.”

OneSource Distributors offers a full line of electrical and automation products and services. Among these products are indoor, outdoor and industrial lighting and controls, Siemens distribution gear, all types of safety products, enclosures, wire and cable, wiring devices, solar, renewables and EV charging stations, and tools and testing products.

“We also include value-added services like digital solutions, project management, product packaging, safety assessment and training, vendor managed inventory, material handling cages, storage lockers, and more,” says Reyno. Learn more about all the products and services OneSource Distributors offers, or download their contractor line card.

OneSource Distributors makes it easy to for WECA Member Contractors to become customers. Visit the OneSource website at 1sourcedist.com and click “become a customer” to set up an account to easily get quotes, convert quotes to orders, track material and review previously purchased products. Or simply call (800) 266-9111 or contact your OneSource sales representative. You can also visit in person at one of the company’s sales centers.

But that’s not all OneSource Distributors has on offer. WECA Member Contractors can take advantage of ongoing programs and discounts. Find these is by contacting your sales representative, calling OneSource us at (800) 266-9111, or by emailing sales@1sourcedist.com.
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Thursday, September 09, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
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Thursday, September 02, 2021   WECA Political Update September 2, 2021



AFL-CIO Picks IBEW Lobbyist as President And no—it is not Scott Wetch. Politico reports “The AFL-CIO’s executive council voted to appoint Liz Shuler as the federation’s president following the unexpected death of Richard Trumka. Shuler is the organization’s first female president, a historic moment for organized labor in the U.S. She will serve as the nation’s top union official until summer 2022, when the AFL-CIO’s 50-plus affiliates can gather for their annual convention to vote on a permanent successor. Shuler’s first job in labor was as an organizer for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1993. She eventually worked her way up to become a lobbyist for IBEW and, later, executive assistant to its president, before Trumka named her his running mate in 2009.” Her top priorities: “I'm going to continue to carry the mantle on this sprint to the end on infrastructure and getting that across the finish line,” she said. “In particular I'm thinking of the investments in care,” as well as “making sure those are good jobs. We want labor standards attached to make all of these investments with our tax dollars work for working people. Of course the PRO Act continues to be a major focus. And you've seen all of the organizing efforts that have been happening on the ground, the strikes that are happening, workers are in motion right now. We need to capitalize on that momentum and get these important pieces of legislation passed but also continue to invest in organizing and mobilizing on the ground.”

Recall A couple readers asked if WECA had a recommended candidate or a position on the recall of Governor Gavin Newsom (we don’t). David Crane, who worked for Arnold Schwarzenegger and now runs Govern for California wrote an interesting analysis about the recall election. You can read it here. In related news: the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California in a recent poll found that 58 percent of likely voters surveyed in California oppose removing Newsom from office compared to 39 percent who support recalling the governor, a gap rooted in the sharp partisan divide between Democratic and Republican voters in the state.

Vice President Harris has cast eight tie-breaking votes so far in the Senate Vice President Kamala Harris (D) has so far cast eight tie-breaking votes in the Senate. Her two most recent tie-breaking votes were to invoke cloture and then confirm Jennifer Abruzzo on July 20 and 21 as general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board. In unrelated news, a new Rasmussen Reports survey found that 55 percent of likely voters in the U.S. say that Harris is not qualified to assume the duties of the presidency. Story

EEO-1 Reporting Deadline Extended Until October 25, 2021 The EEOC has announced on its EEO-1 Data Collection website that it has, again, extended the deadline for filing EEO-1 Reports this year—this time to October 25. Employers still rushing to finalize and upload their 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 reports by the prior August 23 deadline will certainly welcome this extra breathing room. More

Related to that… OFCCP Reverses Course, Will Use EEO-1 Pay Data for Investigation, Enforcement (You saw that coming, didn’t you?) On September 1, 2021, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the Department of Labor sub-agency charged with enforcing affirmative action and non-discrimination requirements imposed on federal contractors by way of Executive Order 11246, announced that it was reversing its prior position regarding the use of EEO-1 compensation data collected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for calendar years 2018 and 2019 (the so-called “Component 2”). Story

Headline Risk — Apparently, Republicans’ faith in Big Business has plummeted, a dramatic change in sentiment that coincides with the rise of corporate social responsibility and voter populism. Since 2019, the share of rank-and-file Republicans who say large corporations have a positive impact on the U.S. has fallen by almost half, to 30 percent from 54 percent, according to a Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults. The upshot: Republicans used to be the party of business. These days, there’s not much light between them and Democrats, Pew found. “It’s striking, there’s no question about it,” said Carroll Doherty, Pew’s director of political research. “For large corporations specifically, members of both parties are saying they have a negative impact on the country.” Businesses are feeling it. Lobbyists reportedly say that while they still have friends in Washington, it has become much harder to get even bipartisan legislation passed. GOP attitudes toward big banks and tech companies took a dive, too, Pew found, and regulation is a growing threat. “Republican leaders obviously listen to their voters,” Doherty said. “The ground is shifting.” We saw this under Trump, who famously went to war with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups over his trade policies. In the Biden era, companies that wade into policy debates over voting rights and diversity are drawing fire from conservative groups.

Corporate Shaming Consumers’ Research, a Washington-based nonprofit, has launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to agitate against Coca-Cola, American Airlines and other companies with political-style naming-and-shaming ads. Executive Director Will Hild said companies are using hot-button social issues to distract consumers from bad service, forced labor practices and other failings.

Long-Term Energy Storage The Newsom administration is proposing language in the state budget to promote new energy sources—including storage—wind and solar power and fuel cells. Budget trailer bill language that came from Newsom's office would steer roughly $800 million in spending over two years on new energy projects that Newsom and lawmakers agreed to in the June budget. At that time, however, they didn’t specify how the funding would be distributed. Besides setting investment guidelines for grants for hydrogen plants and other projects to reduce greenhouse gases at industrial facilities and food processors, the language would also streamline permitting for wind, solar or energy storage facilities above 50 megawatts. It would extend customer incentives to install fuel cells, which convert natural gas, biomethane or hydrogen into electricity. Environmental groups are worried about the storage language, which they say would benefit a controversial proposal in Southern California to tap an aquifer near Joshua Tree National Park. But they're also objecting to the hydrogen language, which they say is too vague, and the general idea of enacting a raft of policy changes in the last days of the legislative session with no public process. 

But as you can anticipate, the State Building and Construction Trades Council has included a requirement that the project developer (of the long-term energy storage) "use or require its contractors to use multicraft project labor agreements, as defined paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 2500 of the Public Contract Code, for the construction and the contracted out maintenance of the project. Those project labor agreements shall conform to the industry standard agreements recently used for private large thermal power plant projects, including separate agreements for high voltage transmission and related work.”

Delta Variant 'Significantly' Slowing Construction Recovery National nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.1 percent in July, a decrease of 4.2 percent from last year at this time, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data published Sept. 1 by the U.S. Census Bureau. While the data suggests that commercial construction spending was effectively flat in July, the numbers are "meaningfully worse than they appear," said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu in a press release. When adjusting for inflation, the volume of construction services delivered by the U.S. commercial contractors actually declined in July, he said. Story

COVID Shutdown Lawsuits Cost California More Than $4M For Settlements The San Francisco Chronicle reports "The state of California has settled at least 10 lawsuits this year related to public health orders during the coronavirus pandemic, agreeing to pay more than $4 million to cover the costs of lawyers who sued over restrictions on religious services, schools, strip clubs and tattoo parlors. The 10 settlements, which total nearly $4.36 million for attorneys’ fees and costs, all name Gov. Gavin Newsom as a defendant and were obtained through a public records request to his office by the First Amendment Coalition, a nonprofit organization that promotes free speech and government transparency. As the number of coronavirus cases began to rise in California last year, Newsom established the country’s first statewide shelter-in-place order in March 2020 that shut most activities but provided exceptions for some retailers and other essential services to keep operating. That order paved the way for months of legal battles over which businesses were forced to close, how to reopen schools and whether the governor had the authority to take these steps at all."

Mia Bonta Leads in Special Election East Bay Assembly Race The San Francisco Chronicle reports "Mia Bonta was leading in a special election Tuesday for an East Bay Assembly seat vacated by her husband, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, according to early returns. Bonta, president of the Alameda Unified School District board and CEO of the nonprofit Oakland Promise, received 55 percent of the early vote totals. Her opponent, social justice attorney Janani Ramachandran, received 45 percent and was trailing by roughly 4,500 votes. Every registered voter in the district received a mail-in ballot. Officials from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters said they will next update the vote totals Thursday afternoon. The two candidates were vying to represent the heavily Democratic district that includes San Leandro, Alameda and 80 percent of Oakland. Regardless of who wins, they will help set an all-time record in Sacramento this year: 32.5 percent of the members of the Legislature are women, according to Close the Gap California, which recruits and trains women to run for state office."
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Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Please join us in giving a hearty congratulations to the WECA Southern California Class of 2021!

Read all about our long-awaited in-person graduation ceremony here.





Congratulations, graduates!

WECA held its Southern California Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2021 on Saturday, August 21 at the Falkner Winery in Temecula, and the event was a lively success!

Attendees were treated to scenic vineyard views, a delicious spread, swag from WECA Industry Partners such as Milwaukee Tool, and a long-awaited celebration of their hard work and dedication, with WECA's Tom Thompson on emcee duty.

"We are thankful that we were able to celebrate our graduates' accomplishments this year," says Thompson. "Not only did we celebrate the 2021 graduates, but we were also joined by and had the opportunity to honor some of last year's graduates who missed out due to their graduation being cancelled by COVID-19. It was a wonderful evening with everyone in great spirits from beginning to end. At times, the excitement and joy in the room was palpable. There were also moments of reflection, focused on gratitude for those who have supported our graduates on their journey, and thoughts of the future and how to prepare for the next chapter in their career. Respects were paid to WECA family members who are no longer with us: Low Voltage instructor Steve Kappes and students Rodrigo Carrillo and Andrew Kohlmann, through a moment of silence. In addition, everyone working onsite and pre-event planning, gave their all to ensure that this graduation flowed seamlessly and was special for our 2020 and 2021 graduates. Graduates who have dealt with and adapted to very peculiar and difficult circumstances over the past year and a half. We are so proud of each and every one of you!"
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Neil Pesarillo, a Low Voltage instructor at WECA's San Diego training facility, concurred by saying "I noticed many attendees having fun and enjoying themselves; definitely a good vibe all around. The crowd really took to the messages of congratulations and gratitude shared by Tom on behalf of the whole WECA team."

Congratulations to all our Southern California Graduates, and we look forward to seeing all that you accomplish in the future!
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Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Congratulations to the WECA Northern California Class of 2021!

Read about how we celebrated our graduates at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters





WECA extends a hearty congratulations to the WECA Northern California Class of 2021, who celebrated their graduation at WECA’s Rancho Cordova headquarters on Saturday, August 28th.

The graduation, held in a shaded and cooled tent outside, yielded an impressive turnout of 163 guests (including lots of cute babies!).

It was gratifying to see so many graduates bringing their families along, enjoying delicious food and drink on WECA’s grounds and also giving them tours of WECA’s training facilities! We were also pleased to treat graduates to swag duffle bags stuffed with goodies from Industry Partners like Milwaukee Tool, IDEAL Industries, and Klein Tools, and to the sharp wit of WECA Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager Jimmie Slemp, who served as emcee.

"Graduation was amazing. It was fun to see the staff and students all work together, under difficult circumstances, to celebrate and showcase all of the graduates' dedication and hard work over the past years!", says Galen Eckert, WECA's Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Program Online Education Manager.

Wendy Flanagan, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, also says that "Everyone was excited to be there and celebrating the graduates of 2020 and 2021. There were many babies and young children there; I love seeing the families that are started while they are in their Apprenticeship. And one of the graduates--who could not bring his baby--held up a poster board with a picture of his baby when his [the graduate's] name was called and everyone clapped."

Also in attendance was Glen Forman, the Deputy Chief of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards. It was great to see Glen come out to support our graduates! All in all, the event was a success, and the steadfast support that our graduates receive from their loved ones, employers, instructors, sponsors and other electrical industry stakeholders was evident.

Eckert concurs, giving "A shout-out to all the supportive family members and friends of our graduates, who we all know are a huge help behind the scenes, keeping the family dynamic going as well as supporting our students. Congratulations to everyone involved!"

Congratulations, everyone! We are proud of your hard work and dedication!



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Tuesday, August 31, 2021   We couldn't have pulled it off without the support of our generous sponsors!

Thank you to the following sponsors for supporting the WECA Class of 2021 graduations:

Volts Level Sponsors





(Commercial Division)











Amps Level Sponsors



(Low Voltage Division)







Watts Level Sponsors









Ohms Level Sponsors

Read more >>


Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Experience the WECA Southern California Class of 2021 graduation ceremony through this video!

2021 WECA Southern California Graduation
Read more >>


Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Now check out the WECA Northern California Class of 2021 graduation ceremony video!

2021 WECA Northern California Graduation Event
Read more >>


Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Extra, extra: read our WECA Class of 2021 graduate spotlights!

Robert Castro, Sr. and Robert Castro, Jr.



At WECA, it’s not uncommon to have students going through programs with their siblings (like the Grissom brothers, all Commercial Apprentices) or following in the footsteps of relatives working as electricians or electrical contractors (like Carroll and Mark Mendenhall, the father-son duo behind WECA Member Contractor Mendenhall Electric). However, WECA has never had a father-son pair go through and graduate from their Apprenticeship program at the same time! But Robert Castro, Sr., and Robert Castro, Jr.—both 2021 WECA Southern California Commercial Electrical graduates hailing from our Riverside training facility—have made WECA history.  

Prior to entering the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program and apprenticing with WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric, both Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. worked for a small pest control company alongside their respective son and brother, Elijah, also a WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice! Once Elijah started with WECA, it wasn’t long before Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. followed.  

“Being a commercial electrician is a great-paying job with a future. I had different jobs before that didn’t really go anywhere,” says Robert Sr. 

Meanwhile, Robert Jr. says that “This apprenticeship has put me in a much better position than before I joined it. I have a much more stable job and make a much more comfortable wage as well. I also am in a trade that can take me almost anywhere in the country if I needed to move; I am very grateful to have had this experience. Plus, they [my father and brother] told me how great it was. I thought the program had great opportunities and I was excited to learn a new trade as well.”  

Though Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. went through their Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program through the WECA Riverside training facility, they unfortunately did not attend classes together due to Robert Sr. having started his apprenticeship program six months prior to Robert Jr. Both father and son, however, say that Keith Smart was their favorite instructor.  

“Keith is very thorough, clear and knowledgeable,” says Robert Sr. 
“He was very knowledgeable about the trade and always had an answer for any question. He was always in a great mood and was also relatable and fun to talk with. He taught us lots of useful things we used in the classroom and out in the field as well,” says Robert Jr. 

Though they weren’t able to partake in classroom instruction together, Robert Sr. and Jr. made up for it by having the opportunity to work together on the job for their employer, Helix Electric. 

“We’re a close family, so spending that extra time together at work and carpooling was nice,” says Robert Sr. 

And on the job, both Robert Sr. and Jr. reported having similar things they most enjoyed.  

“My favorite thing that I learned during my apprenticeship was working on a hospital generator system; it was a great learning experience,” says Robert Sr.  

Likewise, Robert Jr. says that “My most memorable job was at a hospital in Loma Linda. It was a 16-story children’s hospital and I did a majority of my work there on a floor that only had air handlers. There were 30-plus handlers the size of shipping containers on the floor, and I found it very fun to bring the power and see them turned on.” 

Robert Sr. says that after graduation, he plans to stay with Helix Electric to continue his education and move up in the company.  

Robert Jr., meanwhile, says he wants to learn more about the trade and become a better journeyman, and use his skills and knowledge when he moves out of state.  

Robert Jr. advises that current and future apprentices “Should stay focused in class and in the field and always have a positive attitude. It is worth all the work you put in. And, this is one of the best opportunities you can take advantage of. Stay determined and learn from the smartest and best students and workers you come into contact with, too.”

Southern California Commercial Electrical Valedictorian Donald Williams



Being a Commercial Electrician can take you to unexpected places. For 2021 Southern California Commercial Electrical Graduate and Valedictorian Donald Williams, it literally took him to SeaWorld, where he works as an electrician. 

“I am touching and doing things that I have never done. It is exciting and full of learning opportunities. I am also now able to use my knowledge to help animals and make sure they are taken care of,” says Williams. 

But before Williams got to spend his days in the presence of sea creatures, he was working warehouse and retail jobs until he became an Electrician Trainee and then a Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA. 

“I started with WECA as an Electrician Trainee in the GetWired 101 course,” says Williams. “Halfway through that, I became an indentured Apprentice, finished up the 101 course, and started my Apprenticeship.” 

Williams apprenticed with two member contractors during his time with WECA; first Bergelectric, and then he finished out his Apprenticeship with Northwest Edison. Both employers—coupled with his classroom learning at WECA—introduced him to many aspects of the trade.  

“Everything from underground to estimating and project engineering. My on-the-job training was very extensive. The on-the-job training taught me to overcome and work through the stressful situations that accompany construction. At WECA, I was introduced to motors and motor controls and having the hands-on training in that from WECA got me hired. WECA gave me a career and a way to support my wife and three kids,” says Williams.
 
Williams says that he was able to become the Commercial Electrical Valedictorian of the Southern California Class of 2021 by shooting for the top from day one.  

“I made sure to ask questions with things I didn’t understand,” says Williams. “I listened and took notes to refer to. I also helped others who didn’t understand and in return it solidified what I already knew.” 

Williams also says that “Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. The willingness to own up to and learn from those mistakes is what separates the average electrician from the best electricians. Listen to learn, not to respond. It’s also okay not to know something, but always ask questions and write it down if you need to.” 

Though Williams is tenacious and insightful, he also credits his success to his wife, to WECA’s San Diego instructional team, and to 2021 Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Salutatorian Justin Salter. 

Says Williams. “I want to give a shout-out to Justin Salter, the salutatorian, who provided friendly competition and was someone I was able to bounce ideas off of. He was always open to answering questions and had no problem telling me when I was wrong. And to my wife, for dealing with the sometimes long hours and long drives I had to take when I was working. She’s always been super supportive. I knew I always had a loving home to come to after a long day at work. There’s many others I could give shout-outs to like my foreman, project managers, and journeymen, but I’ve got to keep this short.” 

Now that Williams has graduated from WECA—as the Commercial Electrical Valedictorian for the Southern California Class of 2021 to boot—he says that one day he would love to teach and give his knowledge to others so they can be successful like he has been. 

Southern California Commercial Electrical Salutatorian Justin Salter



“WECA really puts your life on track to succeed,” says Justin Salter, 2021 Southern California Commercial Graduate and Salutatorian. “And I truly believe the WECA program is fantastic. When you first start out, five years seems like a very long time. However, with the combination of fantastic healthcare, regular raises and more—it’s not many fields in life where you can get paid a good wage while being formally trained in your chosen career. Coming out of it, making the kind of money electricians make while being debt-free—I know many of my friends who went to college instead regret going that route because of the massive hole they now have to climb out of. It’s a very good career option.”

Salter, who spent his Apprenticeship with Bergelectric, says that being with Bergelectric has been a life changing experience for him.

“I haven’t regretted it for a second. I went from a dead-end job to a sky’s the limit career. I’m now almost six years in and feel like I’m just getting started. I have more opportunities now than I had before, and a ladder to climb!”, says Salter.

Salter also says that WECA’s education prepared him for his career by making him take his education seriously and pushing for opportunities at Bergelectric.

“I found myself in a leadership role and making decisions on the job daily,” says Salter. “I was very pleasantly surprised at how prepared I was to make choices. Whether it was sizing wire for long pulls and doing voltage drop and derating calcs, sizing fuses for RTU’s, or determining ground and bonding throughout the building…I felt capable of either easily knowing the answer or knowing how to find the answer. It was a huge confidence boost to know that I was capable of making these determinations and it was a huge part of being prepared for my career of choice.”

While with WECA, Justin completed his in-classroom learning at our San Diego training facility. “I consider my classes with Tom Thompson and then Talon Pobuda to be invaluable…I always appreciated insights while using their real-world experience to what we were learning and how it would apply to us in the field. This added a depth of understanding we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and labs and hands-on work during class was invaluable to applying to what we were being taught,” says Salter.

Salter believes that one of the most important factors in doing well at WECA is truly taking your education seriously.

“Not just going through the motions to get through the class and gathering enough information to try to take your journeyworker test,” says Salter. “It’s important to really try and understand what we’re being taught and strive to understand it better with each class. To ask questions when you don’t understand and try to apply what you’re learning in the field. I think a good mechanical aptitude is helpful to jump-starting your career. While it is a skill that can be learned, it definitely helps to progress your career if you’re handy going into it.”

Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Graduate Drew Sisson



Bowling led 2021 Southern California Low Voltage Graduate Drew Sisson to WECA and a career as a Low Voltage Technician.

“It all started with a friend I knew from bowling who offered me a job,” says Sisson. “He started my path on the career I now have.”

Sisson, who attended the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program at WECA’s San Diego training facility and apprenticed with WECA Member Contractors Tri Signal Integration and Bergelectric, says that his WECA experience was enjoyable and allowed him to meet many good people that he continues to talk to today.

“Neil [Pesarillo], my instructor, was great and made it not seem like going to school. A WECA education prepared me in a way which challenged me to think critically. Most importantly, it prepared me to pass my certifications which are becoming more and more important in the industry, due to the fact that prevailing wage jobs are now requiring certified people.”

Sisson continues, saying that “WECA provided me with a career. I had worked many jobs and still could not say I had an actual career. It may not have been my original choice of what I wanted to be or do, but I have work every day and I make good money now.”

Meanwhile, Sisson says that his on-the-job training with employers Tri Signal Integration and Bergelectric were good experiences.

“It’s like with any new job, you have to learn what you are doing and it is up to you to absorb as much as information as you can,” says Sisson. “Doing this will only benefit you and give you recognition, allowing you to rise faster in the field. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and hustle. You won’t learn anything or be taught anything if you don’t show you are willing and eager to learn. Respect is a huge thing in this field, and you won’t be taught [on-the-job] if people don’t think you are worth it.”

Reflecting upon his time with WECA, Sisson says to “Pay attention to what the instructor is saying and relax. Don’t overthink it and simplify everything. It may seem like a lot with the code books, but don’t overcomplicate it. Work hard and enjoy your time at WECA. Think of it as a vacation and not school and you will enjoy it.”

Now that he’s graduated, Sisson says that he plans to continue to get more certifications to try and progress and grow in the field.

But there’s one person that he couldn’t have done all this without.

“I want to give a shout-out to my girlfriend Amanda, whom I love the most."

Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Graduate Garrett Wallace



2021 Southern California Low Voltage Apprentice graduate Garrett Wallace says that if people are interested in becoming Low Voltage Technicians, “WECA is the best way to help your career.”

“I went to WECA for three years [while apprenticing with Bergelectric] to do the Low Voltage classes,” says Wallace. “It was a great experience and flew by. WECA gave me an amazing career and helped over the last few years to be better at my job.”

Wallace says that the WECA program helped prepare him for his career by “Helping me understand how certain systems work and helped us understand how to go through the code book. Being able to navigate the code book really helps us out a lot in the field to make sure everything is up to code.”

Additionally, Wallace says that current and future Low Voltage Apprentices should work hard in class and make sure they learn in the best way possible to navigate the code books, and always make sure to study for tests and take lots of notes.

Wallace also gives his employer, Bergelectric, rave reviews.

“Working with Bergelectric has helped me out a lot because everyone I work with helped me be better,” says Wallace. “Bergelectric helped me do things the correct way and always answered any questions I had. My on-the-job training has helped out a lot with being better at my job. Over the last few years, I have learned so much by being on-the-job and learning more every day.”

In fact, Wallace plans to stay on with Bergelectric now that he has graduated.

“I plan to move up at Bergelectric and become a foreman and keep getting better at my job by learning new things and bettering myself. I plan on also getting a couple fire alarm certifications and continuing to learn more about the code book.”

Wallace also extends shout-outs to “Bergelectric for hiring me and helping me through my career.” He also thanks his instructor, Neil Pesarillo from WECA’s San Diego training facility, because “he helped all of us so much and was always willing to answer all our questions. And I would also like to thank my fiancée for being supportive and always pushing me to be better.

Northern California Double-Program Graduate Autumn DeChaine



It’s not everyday that WECA gets to graduate an Apprentice who has succeeded in not just one—but two!—Apprenticeship programs. That’s the case with 2021 Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Autumn DeChaine, who also graduated (as Valedictorian!) from WECA’s Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in 2014.

“I’m really glad that I chose to graduate from the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program before joining the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program,” says DeChaine. “It added value to my career as an electrician and gave me a good foundation before going into the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program.”

DeChaine says that the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program and the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program are similar in that they both follow the WECA structure of class time and homework, but obviously differ in terms of the curriculum.

“The main difference between working as a Low Voltage Apprentice and a Commercial Electrical Apprentice is that as a Low Voltage Apprentice, you are responsible for knowing one or two systems (fire life safety or voice data video). As an electrician, you are on the job from the very beginning and you are responsible for all the electrical systems,” says DeChaine.

DeChaine says that her favorite part of the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program was going back to work after time in the classroom and integrating what she learned.

“I also enjoyed the camaraderie of going to school with the same people year after year and supporting each other,” says DeChaine. “As far as the curriculum, I loved learning motor controls and relay logic.”

Now that DeChaine has completed both programs, she says that she still has a lot to learn and plans on running bigger projects in the future.

And, DeChaine adds that she has been with her company, Vanden Bos Electric, for nine years and still loves it there. DeChaine says she plans to incorporate all her education and work on both fire life safety and electrical systems.

“I just completed my first project as a foreman. There is a lot incorporated in running projects that you don’t think about as an Apprentice or Journeyman; I learned a lot and am optimistic about my future with Vanden Bos Electric,” says DeChaine.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Low Voltage Apprenticeship graduates can seek college credits for program completion at WECA!



The Details

WECA has a big announcement! Our Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program has received college credit recommendations from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service).

This benefit provides WECA low voltage apprentices the ability to gain access to college credit for completion of this three-year apprenticeship program by using the credit recommendation(s) set forth by NCCRS. The Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program joins WECA's Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship programs, which each previously received college credit recommendations from NCCRS in 2018.

"We’re gratified to receive this college credit recommendation for our Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program, which now joins our Commercial Electrical and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship Programs in giving our apprenticeship graduates a route towards receiving substantial college credits for the programs they’ve already completed at WECA,” said Terry Seabury, WECA’s Executive Director and CEO. “We appreciate the external validation that our comprehensive, competency-based curriculum featuring skilled teaching by credentialed instructors and technicallyadvanced, hands-on labs is of equivalent rigor to courses held at a traditional four-year college or university.”

"NCCRS is pleased to recommend college credit for WECA’s Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship program,” NCCRS Director Lisa Sax Mahoney said. "Through our professional evaluations, we support the recognition of high-quality workforce training programs delivered by qualified organizations across the country."

Founded in 1973 by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York, the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), located in Albany, New York, is an organization that evaluates and establishes college credit recommendations for courses offered by government, industry, and other noncollegiate sponsors.

NCCRS collaborates with more than 1,500 organizations and institutions of higher education across the United States and beyond. NCCRS member organizations include state government agencies, apprenticeship sponsors, corporations, and community and faith-based organizations. A few longstanding members include the City of New York Police Department (NYPD), the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), and Consolidated Edison. Since its inception, NCCRS has evaluated and recommended college credit for more than 5,200 courses, exams, and educational programs enabling individuals to gain access to college credit for successful completion of qualified learning.
 
Learn more about NCCRS and view their college credit recommendations for WECA here.

Using This Benefit: A Guide for our Apprentices and Graduates 

Q: Who is eligible?

A: Any graduates of WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in the Class of 2021, or beyond. (Any graduates of WECA's Commercial or Residential Electrical Apprenticeships since September of 2013 are eligible for those programs. (NCCRS granted eligibility for those programs going back five years, and evaluated WECA's Commercial and Residential programs in Autumn of 2018.)

Q: So WECA apprentice grads automatically have college credits?

A:  No. NCCRS makes college credit recommendations. (From NCCRS:
A college credit recommendation is an academic advisement about the comparability of a learning experience to college-level instruction, such as undergraduate or graduate course work, the amount of credit that may be awarded, and areas where credit could apply. The credit recommendations are intended to guide college officials as they consider awarding credit to persons who have successfully completed NCCRS evaluated learning experiences. College credit recommendations are not actual college credit because the New York State Board of Regents does not award college credit. Through the results of the NCCRS evaluations, however, the Board of Regents encourages colleges and universities to consider accepting the credit recommendations.)

Q: How Does Acceptance of College Credit Recommendations work?

A: It is up to the college or university to choose whether to grant college credits, how many, and in what subjects, for completion of a WECA program. NCCRS recommends specific credit amounts and subjects. College and university admissions departments should reference NCCRS' WECA listing at http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors for specific recommendations. NCCRS recommends up to 30 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Low Voltage Electrical program, up to 66 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Commerical Electrical program, up to 40 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Residential Electrical program. 

Q: How Do WECA Commercial, Residential, and Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship Graduates Use This Benefit?

A: Apprentices grads should:
1. Identify the college or university they wish to ask to accept a credit recommendation from NCCRS for work completed at WECA. (A list of colleges and universities who have previously participated with NCCRS is here: http://www.nationalccrs.org/colleges-universities. Seeing a college or university on this list is a promising sign that they will consider NCCRS' recommendation, but is not a guarantee. Further, just because a college or university is not yet shown on the list does not mean the apprentice grad shouldn't request that they consider the credit recommendation.)
2. Work with their admissions advisor at their college or university of choice to learn the process for seeking college credits for their WECA Commercial, Residential, or Low Voltage Electrical program completion. The college or university may refer to this as their PLA (prior learning assessment) process or policy. The applicant should share NCCRS' WECA credit recommendation 
http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors with the decision-makers at their college or university.
3. Request a transcript from WECA as requested by their college or university. Email apregistrar@goweca.com with transcript requests.
4. If the applicant encounters problems with their transfer credit request, they can contact NCCRS so that NCCRS can advocate on the applicant's behalf.

Q: What about the Electrician Trainee Program?

A: WECA is currently evaluating demand for college credit recommendations for its Electrician Trainee program.

Q: What if I still have questions?

?A: Please call us at 1-877-444-9322 and we'll do our best to help you out.
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Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Electrician Trainee Advisory: ? Seats in Session 4 (Oct-Dec 2021) GetWired Courses Filling Fast



Attention Journeymen and Electrician Trainees: Our Fall 2021 (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31) course catalog is available on our website, and classes are filling fast with many already closed to further enrollments, so be sure to enroll ASAP to get your spot!

View the Electrician Trainee course catalog here.

Jump to the Journeyman continuing education course catalog here. 

You can also enroll over the phone at (877) 444-9322 , in person at our Rancho Cordova training facility, or by email at info@goweca.com.

Don't wait to secure your seat--classes going fast!

If you have any questions regarding a particular course, please call (877) 444-9322 or email us at info@goweca.com.
Read more >>


Tuesday, August 31, 2021   Commercial Apprentices: if you haven't completed your open enrollment form, please do so now!

Commercial Apprentices:

If you have not completed the United Healthcare (UHC) enrollment form please do so now and return to Cindy Cormier at ccormier@goweca.com. You must complete the UHC enrollment form even if you are not making any changes. Please log into www.goweca.com using your WECA ID and password, click on Commercial Apprentice Benefits, next page scroll down where you will see the UHC enrollment form. Complete sections A, B if enrolling a spouse and/or dependents, C, G and H. If you have any questions please call (916)453-0112 ext. 117 or email ccormier@goweca.com.
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Monday, August 30, 2021   WECA Industry Partner Spotlight: OneSource Distributors

Electrical and industrial distribution for commercial, residential and solar electrical contractors in California, Arizona, Hawaii and Mexico



WECA’s Industry Partners strive to make our Member Contractors’ jobs easier.

And our newest Industry Partner, OneSource Distributors, is a valuable addition to our arsenal.

Founded in 1983, San Diego-based OneSource Distributors is an electrical and industrial distributor with 19 locations across California, Arizona, Hawaii and Baja California in Mexico. In 2011, OneSource Distributors joined the Sonepar group, which is an independent family-owned company that in turn owns 14 independently managed operating companies with over 700 locations in the United States.

“We provide innovative services and solutions that make it easy and efficient for customers work with us,” says Steve Reyno, GM and Director of Business Development at OneSource Distributors. Serving commercial, residential, utility, contractor and industrial markets, OneSource’s mission includes continuous focus on customer needs, quality and service. The company’s core values are focused on ongoing improvement and are embodied in their 10 Principles of Personal Leadership.

“We partnered with WECA because we are passionate about supporting WECA’s mission to train, educate and develop the current and future skilled trades workforce,” says Reyno. “We hope to be a resource for WECA Member Contractors, and to help its members become familiar with current and new products and solutions in the electrical space.”

OneSource Distributors offers a full line of electrical and automation products and services. Among these products are indoor, outdoor and industrial lighting and controls, Siemens distribution gear, all types of safety products, enclosures, wire and cable, wiring devices, solar, renewables and EV charging stations, and tools and testing products.

“We also include value-added services like digital solutions, project management, product packaging, safety assessment and training, vendor managed inventory, material handling cages, storage lockers, and more,” says Reyno. Learn more about all the products and services OneSource Distributors offers, or download their contractor line card.

OneSource Distributors makes it easy to for WECA Member Contractors to become customers. Visit the OneSource website at 1sourcedist.com and click “become a customer” to set up an account to easily get quotes, convert quotes to orders, track material and review previously purchased products. Or simply call (800) 266-9111 or contact your OneSource sales representative. You can also visit in person at one of the company’s sales centers.

But that’s not all OneSource Distributors has on offer. WECA Member Contractors can take advantage of ongoing programs and discounts. Find these is by contacting your sales representative, calling OneSource us at (800) 266-9111, or by emailing sales@1sourcedist.com.
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Thursday, August 26, 2021   Please join us in giving a hearty congratulations to the WECA Southern California Class of 2021!

Read all about our long-awaited in-person graduation ceremony here.





Congratulations, graduates!

WECA held its Southern California Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2021 on Saturday, August 21 at the Falkner Winery in Temecula, and the event was a lively success!

Attendees were treated to scenic vineyard views, a delicious spread, swag from WECA Industry Partners such as Milwaukee Tool, and a long-awaited celebration of their hard work and dedication, with WECA's Tom Thompson on emcee duty.

"We are thankful that we were able to celebrate our graduates' accomplishments this year," says Thompson. "Not only did we celebrate the 2021 graduates, but we were also joined by and had the opportunity to honor some of last year's graduates who missed out due to their graduation being cancelled by COVID-19. It was a wonderful evening with everyone in great spirits from beginning to end. At times, the excitement and joy in the room was palpable. There were also moments of reflection, focused on gratitude for those who have supported our graduates on their journey, and thoughts of the future and how to prepare for the next chapter in their career. Respects were paid to WECA family members who are no longer with us: Low Voltage instructor Steve Kappes and students Rodrigo Carrillo and Andrew Kohlmann, through a moment of silence. In addition, everyone working onsite and pre-event planning, gave their all to ensure that this graduation flowed seamlessly and was special for our 2020 and 2021 graduates. Graduates who have dealt with and adapted to very peculiar and difficult circumstances over the past year and a half. We are so proud of each and every one of you!"

Neil Pesarillo, a Low Voltage instructor at WECA's San Diego training facility, concurred by saying "I noticed many attendees having fun and enjoying themselves; definitely a good vibe all around. The crowd really took to the messages of congratulations and gratitude shared by Tom on behalf of the whole WECA team."

Congratulations to all our Southern California Graduates, and we look forward to seeing all that you accomplish in the future!

Stay tuned for Northern California graduation--it's coming up this Saturday, August 28th!
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Thursday, August 26, 2021   Please join us in thanking the generous sponsors of our 2021 graduation ceremonies! ?

Thank you to the following sponsors for sponsoring the WECA Class of 2021 Graduations:

Volts Level Sponsors





(Commercial Division)













Amps Level Sponsors



(Low Voltage Division)







Watts Level Sponsors









Ohms Level Sponsors


 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   But that's not all! Experience the Southern California Class of 2021 graduation through this video!

2021 WECA Southern California Graduation
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Thursday, August 26, 2021   We're on a roll here! Check out this year's spotlights on our Southern California graduates!

Robert Castro, Sr. and Robert Castro, Jr.



At WECA, it’s not uncommon to have students going through programs with their siblings (like the Grissom brothers, all Commercial Apprentices) or following in the footsteps of relatives working as electricians or electrical contractors (like Carroll and Mark Mendenhall, the father-son duo behind WECA Member Contractor Mendenhall Electric). However, WECA has never had a father-son pair go through and graduate from their Apprenticeship program at the same time! But Robert Castro, Sr., and Robert Castro, Jr.—both 2021 WECA Southern California Commercial Electrical graduates hailing from our Riverside training facility—have made WECA history.  

Prior to entering the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program and apprenticing with WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric, both Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. worked for a small pest control company alongside their respective son and brother, Elijah, also a WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice! Once Elijah started with WECA, it wasn’t long before Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. followed.  

“Being a commercial electrician is a great-paying job with a future. I had different jobs before that didn’t really go anywhere,” says Robert Sr. 

Meanwhile, Robert Jr. says that “This apprenticeship has put me in a much better position than before I joined it. I have a much more stable job and make a much more comfortable wage as well. I also am in a trade that can take me almost anywhere in the country if I needed to move; I am very grateful to have had this experience. Plus, they [my father and brother] told me how great it was. I thought the program had great opportunities and I was excited to learn a new trade as well.”  

Though Robert Sr. and Robert Jr. went through their Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program through the WECA Riverside training facility, they unfortunately did not attend classes together due to Robert Sr. having started his apprenticeship program six months prior to Robert Jr. Both father and son, however, say that Keith Smart was their favorite instructor.  

“Keith is very thorough, clear and knowledgeable,” says Robert Sr. 
“He was very knowledgeable about the trade and always had an answer for any question. He was always in a great mood and was also relatable and fun to talk with. He taught us lots of useful things we used in the classroom and out in the field as well,” says Robert Jr. 

Though they weren’t able to partake in classroom instruction together, Robert Sr. and Jr. made up for it by having the opportunity to work together on the job for their employer, Helix Electric. 

“We’re a close family, so spending that extra time together at work and carpooling was nice,” says Robert Sr. 

And on the job, both Robert Sr. and Jr. reported having similar things they most enjoyed.  

“My favorite thing that I learned during my apprenticeship was working on a hospital generator system; it was a great learning experience,” says Robert Sr.  

Likewise, Robert Jr. says that “My most memorable job was at a hospital in Loma Linda. It was a 16-story children’s hospital and I did a majority of my work there on a floor that only had air handlers. There were 30-plus handlers the size of shipping containers on the floor, and I found it very fun to bring the power and see them turned on.” 

Robert Sr. says that after graduation, he plans to stay with Helix Electric to continue his education and move up in the company.  

Robert Jr., meanwhile, says he wants to learn more about the trade and become a better journeyman, and use his skills and knowledge when he moves out of state.  

Robert Jr. advises that current and future apprentices “Should stay focused in class and in the field and always have a positive attitude. It is worth all the work you put in. And, this is one of the best opportunities you can take advantage of. Stay determined and learn from the smartest and best students and workers you come into contact with, too.”
Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   Southern California Commercial Electrical Valedictorian Donald Williams



Being a Commercial Electrician can take you to unexpected places. For 2021 Southern California Commercial Electrical Graduate and Valedictorian Donald Williams, it literally took him to SeaWorld, where he works as an electrician. 

“I am touching and doing things that I have never done. It is exciting and full of learning opportunities. I am also now able to use my knowledge to help animals and make sure they are taken care of,” says Williams. 

But before Williams got to spend his days in the presence of sea creatures, he was working warehouse and retail jobs until he became an Electrician Trainee and then a Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA. 

“I started with WECA as an Electrician Trainee in the GetWired 101 course,” says Williams. “Halfway through that, I became an indentured Apprentice, finished up the 101 course, and started my Apprenticeship.” 

Williams apprenticed with two member contractors during his time with WECA; first Bergelectric, and then he finished out his Apprenticeship with Northwest Edison. Both employers—coupled with his classroom learning at WECA—introduced him to many aspects of the trade.  

“Everything from underground to estimating and project engineering. My on-the-job training was very extensive. The on-the-job training taught me to overcome and work through the stressful situations that accompany construction. At WECA, I was introduced to motors and motor controls and having the hands-on training in that from WECA got me hired. WECA gave me a career and a way to support my wife and three kids,” says Williams.

Williams says that he was able to become the Commercial Electrical Valedictorian of the Southern California Class of 2021 by shooting for the top from day one.  

“I made sure to ask questions with things I didn’t understand,” says Williams. “I listened and took notes to refer to. I also helped others who didn’t understand and in return it solidified what I already knew.” 

Williams also says that “Nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes. The willingness to own up to and learn from those mistakes is what separates the average electrician from the best electricians. Listen to learn, not to respond. It’s also okay not to know something, but always ask questions and write it down if you need to.” 

Though Williams is tenacious and insightful, he also credits his success to his wife, to WECA’s San Diego instructional team, and to 2021 Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Salutatorian Justin Salter. 

Says Williams. “I want to give a shout-out to Justin Salter, the salutatorian, who provided friendly competition and was someone I was able to bounce ideas off of. He was always open to answering questions and had no problem telling me when I was wrong. And to my wife, for dealing with the sometimes long hours and long drives I had to take when I was working. She’s always been super supportive. I knew I always had a loving home to come to after a long day at work. There’s many others I could give shout-outs to like my foreman, project managers, and journeymen, but I’ve got to keep this short.” 

Now that Williams has graduated from WECA—as the Commercial Electrical Valedictorian for the Southern California Class of 2021 to boot—he says that one day he would love to teach and give his knowledge to others so they can be successful like he has been.  
Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   Southern California Commercial Electrical Salutatorian Justin Salter



“WECA really puts your life on track to succeed,” says Justin Salter, 2021 Southern California Commercial Graduate and Salutatorian. “And I truly believe the WECA program is fantastic. When you first start out, five years seems like a very long time. However, with the combination of fantastic healthcare, regular raises and more—it’s not many fields in life where you can get paid a good wage while being formally trained in your chosen career. Coming out of it, making the kind of money electricians make while being debt-free—I know many of my friends who went to college instead regret going that route because of the massive hole they now have to climb out of. It’s a very good career option.”

Salter, who spent his Apprenticeship with Bergelectric, says that being with Bergelectric has been a life changing experience for him.

“I haven’t regretted it for a second. I went from a dead-end job to a sky’s the limit career. I’m now almost six years in and feel like I’m just getting started. I have more opportunities now than I had before, and a ladder to climb!”, says Salter.

Salter also says that WECA’s education prepared him for his career by making him take his education seriously and pushing for opportunities at Bergelectric.

“I found myself in a leadership role and making decisions on the job daily,” says Salter. “I was very pleasantly surprised at how prepared I was to make choices. Whether it was sizing wire for long pulls and doing voltage drop and derating calcs, sizing fuses for RTU’s, or determining ground and bonding throughout the building…I felt capable of either easily knowing the answer or knowing how to find the answer. It was a huge confidence boost to know that I was capable of making these determinations and it was a huge part of being prepared for my career of choice.”

While with WECA, Justin completed his in-classroom learning at our San Diego training facility. “I consider my classes with Tom Thompson and then Talon Pobuda to be invaluable…I always appreciated insights while using their real-world experience to what we were learning and how it would apply to us in the field. This added a depth of understanding we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and labs and hands-on work during class was invaluable to applying to what we were being taught,” says Salter.

Salter believes that one of the most important factors in doing well at WECA is truly taking your education seriously.

“Not just going through the motions to get through the class and gathering enough information to try to take your journeyworker test,” says Salter. “It’s important to really try and understand what we’re being taught and strive to understand it better with each class. To ask questions when you don’t understand and try to apply what you’re learning in the field. I think a good mechanical aptitude is helpful to jump-starting your career. While it is a skill that can be learned, it definitely helps to progress your career if you’re handy going into it.”
Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Graduate Drew Sisson



Bowling led 2021 Southern California Low Voltage Graduate Drew Sisson to WECA and a career as a Low Voltage Technician.

“It all started with a friend I knew from bowling who offered me a job,” says Sisson. “He started my path on the career I now have.”

Sisson, who attended the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program at WECA’s San Diego training facility and apprenticed with WECA Member Contractors Tri Signal Integration and Bergelectric, says that his WECA experience was enjoyable and allowed him to meet many good people that he continues to talk to today.

“Neil [Pesarillo], my instructor, was great and made it not seem like going to school. A WECA education prepared me in a way which challenged me to think critically. Most importantly, it prepared me to pass my certifications which are becoming more and more important in the industry, due to the fact that prevailing wage jobs are now requiring certified people.”

Sisson continues, saying that “WECA provided me with a career. I had worked many jobs and still could not say I had an actual career. It may not have been my original choice of what I wanted to be or do, but I have work every day and I make good money now.”

Meanwhile, Sisson says that his on-the-job training with employers Tri Signal Integration and Bergelectric were good experiences.

“It’s like with any new job, you have to learn what you are doing and it is up to you to absorb as much as information as you can,” says Sisson. “Doing this will only benefit you and give you recognition, allowing you to rise faster in the field. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and hustle. You won’t learn anything or be taught anything if you don’t show you are willing and eager to learn. Respect is a huge thing in this field, and you won’t be taught [on-the-job] if people don’t think you are worth it.”

Reflecting upon his time with WECA, Sisson says to “Pay attention to what the instructor is saying and relax. Don’t overthink it and simplify everything. It may seem like a lot with the code books, but don’t overcomplicate it. Work hard and enjoy your time at WECA. Think of it as a vacation and not school and you will enjoy it.”

Now that he’s graduated, Sisson says that he plans to continue to get more certifications to try and progress and grow in the field.

But there’s one person that he couldn’t have done all this without.

“I want to give a shout-out to my girlfriend Amanda, whom I love the most."
Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Graduate Garrett Wallace



2021 Southern California Low Voltage Apprentice graduate Garrett Wallace says that if people are interested in becoming Low Voltage Technicians, “WECA is the best way to help your career.”

“I went to WECA for three years [while apprenticing with Bergelectric] to do the Low Voltage classes,” says Wallace. “It was a great experience and flew by. WECA gave me an amazing career and helped over the last few years to be better at my job.”

Wallace says that the WECA program helped prepare him for his career by “Helping me understand how certain systems work and helped us understand how to go through the code book. Being able to navigate the code book really helps us out a lot in the field to make sure everything is up to code.”

Additionally, Wallace says that current and future Low Voltage Apprentices should work hard in class and make sure they learn in the best way possible to navigate the code books, and always make sure to study for tests and take lots of notes.

Wallace also gives his employer, Bergelectric, rave reviews.

“Working with Bergelectric has helped me out a lot because everyone I work with helped me be better,” says Wallace. “Bergelectric helped me do things the correct way and always answered any questions I had. My on-the-job training has helped out a lot with being better at my job. Over the last few years, I have learned so much by being on-the-job and learning more every day.”

In fact, Wallace plans to stay on with Bergelectric now that he has graduated.

“I plan to move up at Bergelectric and become a foreman and keep getting better at my job by learning new things and bettering myself. I plan on also getting a couple fire alarm certifications and continuing to learn more about the code book.”

Wallace also extends shout-outs to “Bergelectric for hiring me and helping me through my career.” He also thanks his instructor, Neil Pesarillo from WECA’s San Diego training facility, because “he helped all of us so much and was always willing to answer all our questions. And I would also like to thank my fiancée for being supportive and always pushing me to be better.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   Learn More About Updated CDPH Guidance Recommending Face Coverings Indoors

Cal/OSHA Encourages Employers and Workers to Follow Updated CDPH Guidance Recommending Face Coverings Indoors

Content courtesy of: Cal/OSHA and California Department of Industrial Relations
?


Oakland—In addition to the requirements of the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) and as a best practice, Cal/OSHA encourages employers and workers to follow the recent update from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommending that all individuals wear face coverings while indoors regardless of vaccination status.

CDPH recently updated its Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings to include that recommendation due to the recent increase of COVID-19 infections in the workplace. For more specifics on the recent updates from CDPH, please refer to their fact sheet When Do You Need Your Mask in California? 

Employers should ensure that any employee who requests a face covering at work is provided one, as required by the ETS.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Employers who have questions or need assistance with workplace safety and health programs, including assistance with developing a COVID-19 prevention program at their worksite, can call Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch at 800-963-9424.

Workers who have questions about COVID-19 hazards at work can call 833-579-0927 to speak with a Cal/OSHA representative during normal business hours. Complaints about workplace safety and health hazards can be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.


Employers with Questions on Requirements May Contact: InfoCons@dir.ca.gov or call your local Cal/OSHA Consultation Office
Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   Save the date for WECA's Fresno Open House on Oct. 13!

Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   Learn More About Proposed New Building Trades Requirements for San Diego County Projects

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has proposed a new building trades requirement for San Diego County projects--Fair Employment Standards on County Construction Projects, and County-Owned Leased Property.

On July 13, 2021, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors discussed a new building trades encouraged requirement on County construction projects called the Fair Employment Standards on County Construction Projects, and County-Owned Leased Property. The Board directed the County’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to return to the Board in 90 days with a draft “Working Families Ordinance,” prequalification policy, proposed amendments to existing policies, and a report on the estimated impact of implementing the Working Families Ordinance on County construction projects and County-owned leased property.
 
If adopted by the Board, the proposed ordinance would impact prospective contractors and subcontractors on County public works contracts. Essential items of note in the proposed ordinance include:

Any contractor and its subcontractors (at any level) performing construction under a contract that is greater than $500,000 that the County awards following the Public Contract Code (“County Construction Contracts”) shall:
 
·        Pay employees the higher of any prevailing wage rates set by the California Department of Industrial Relations, minimum wage, living wage or similar wage rates set by the County by ordinance, and local, State, or federal minimum or similar wage rates if applicable to the work.

 Utilize a skilled and trained workforce to complete County Construction Contracts as outlined in Public Contract Code 2600.

·        Provide employees working on County Construction Contracts with paid sick leave, which will minimally accumulate up to 56 hours per year.

If adopted by the Board, the proposed ordinance will impact parties that lease, sublease, license, or conduct business on County-owned property. Essential items of note in the proposed ordinance include:
 
·        Employees and contractors working on or from County-owned property shall be paid the higher of any prevailing wage rates set by the California Department of Industrial Relations; minimum wage, a living wage, or similar wage rates that the County may establish by ordinance; and local, State, or federal minimum or similar wage rates if applicable to the work.

Lessee Parties (as defined in the draft of the proposed ordinance) will provide their employees working on or from County-owned property with paid sick leave, which will minimally accumulate up to 56 hours per year.
 
The Board also directed the CAO to return to the Board with a prequalification policy for prospective bidders and proposers on public works contracts in alignment with the model questionnaire developed by the State Department of Industrial Relations

The meeting date for the Board’s consideration and approval of the Working Families Ordinance is Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

To gauge how the proposed ordinance would impact business, county staff is seeking input before August 31, 2021, from parties that lease and conduct business on County-owned property. Contractor participation would assist in determining the estimated impact of implementing the Working Families Ordinance in the County staff response to the Board.

 
Attached is a copy of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Board Letter and draft ordinance that the Board is considering. Before the Board meeting on October 5, 2021, there are multiple ways that you can provide input regarding the proposed ordinance and how the ordinance might impact your business.
 
Virtual Roundtable

In advance of the October 5, 2021 meeting, the County has scheduled a virtual “Contractor Roundtable Discussion” on Friday, August 27, 2021, from 2 pm to 3 pm. WECA members are encouraged to attend this virtual roundtable, and the Zoom link is provided below. During this meeting, the County staff seek verbal comments from contractors regarding how the proposed ordinance might impact your business.
 
Please use this Zoom link or phone number to access the virtual meeting:
 
Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82167129827?pwd=ZmhwSVdpVWNDTDgyZEJ6QTB5NDlXQT09
Meeting ID: 821 6712 9827
Passcode: 503910
 
Phone:
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 821 6712 9827
Passcode: 503910

In September, we will be following up with additional steps contractors can take to engage the Board on this proposal.

WECA is currently hiring for both full-time and part-time instructor positions in California. Join the WECA Team and help build the next generation of the electrical industry by sharing your electrical expertise and passion. View our open job listings here!
Read more >>


Thursday, August 26, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

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


Thursday, August 19, 2021   WECA Political Update August 19, 2021

Santa Barbara County Moves to Adopt County-Wide PLA. On a 3-2 vote, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to negotiate a County-Wide PLA with the Tri-Counties Building Trades (Hartman, Hart, Williams – AYE). They will use the recently adopted City PLA as a basis (a $5 million threshold and separate core-workforce provisions for local contractors. For reasons known only to himself and his puppet masters, Supervisor Williams suggested the county should have a lower threshold, being “much larger” than the city. Board Chair Hartman explained the PLA was necessary for a “gig economy” but could not articulate how the gig economy was intersecting with public works construction in Santa Barbara (or anywhere). WECA member Blum Electric joined with a dynamic group of local contractors who opposed the effort. The Santa Barbara Independent noted, “Das Williams exemplifies the broken campaign finance system we have. Williams accepted over $30,000 in donations from cannabis growers while he was responsible for writing the regulations for cannabis cultivation. When the cannabis industry generated $6.7 million last year, $1.3 million more in tax revenue than the county supervisors had initially budgeted, Das Williams felt entitled to spend the surplus immediately.” They also observed supervisor Das Williams…was cited by the Grand Jury as the origin of our county’s cannabis troubles.” What he did to Santa Barbara residents with cannabis, he is now doing with county construction!

The San Joaquin Valley Sun reports that Assemblyman Rudy Salas will challenge Congressman David Valadao in 2022. “Following months of rumors, it appears Asm. Rudy Salas will plunge to oust Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) next year, Kern and Kings County Democratic sources confirmed to The Sun. The five-term Democratic legislator who succeeded Valadao in the Assembly has spent much of the year working to line up support among key backers. But it's not exactly going to be an easy ride. Why? Salas is already staring down a tug-of-war for party support with another Kern County moderate Democrat legislator: former Asm. Nicole Parra (D–Bakersfield). And he might have more competition, with the prospect of Valadao's predecessor – former Rep. TJ Cox (D–Fresno) – returning for a third-straight bid to win the south Valley seat. Story

Recall Ballots have been mailed, and voters may want to watch the Inside California Politics gubernatorial debate at 7 p.m. tonight, featuring former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, and businessman John Cox. (Talk show host Larry Elder and reality star Caitlyn Jenner say they’re not participating in any debates.) The hourlong forum will air on KRON4 in San Francisco, KTLA in Los Angeles, KSWB FOX5 in San Diego, KTXL FOX 40 in Sacramento, KSEE in Fresno, and KGET in Bakersfield. It will also stream online on each station’s website.

In related recall news, an initial hearing in a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of the upcoming recall has been scheduled for the end of the month. The suit, which seeks to either stop the September 14 recall from going forward or add Gov. Gavin Newsom's name to the list of replacement candidates, will have its first hearing in the Central District of California on August 30, according to a filing Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald. Plaintiffs filed the suit last week, days after prominent legal experts raised the possibility of challenging the recall on the same constitutional grounds. Attorney General Rob Bonta's office will represent Secretary of State Shirley Weber; the suit named the defendant. Bonta's response is due August 24, and the plaintiffs' reply is due August 26.

And finally, PPIC is holding a virtual discussion on the recall on Thursday, September 2, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT. “Californians are already casting mail-in ballots in a special election on the recall and replacement of Governor Gavin Newsom. How did we get here, and what is at stake for California? A panel of top political journalists will talk about the recall process and explore the implications of the election and its outcome.” Register here.

Valley Political Dynasty? Politico reports, “With State Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg termed out, son Daniel— a progressive activist and businessman —today launches his plans to run for his father’s 18th Senate District seat. The younger Hertzberg already has the backing of two powerhouse SoCal endorsers in his bid for the San Fernando Valley seat: Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) and former Assembly Speaker John Pérez. The younger Hertzberg, in an email to supporters, said, “Public service has been deeply ingrained in my DNA since I was a kid ... I know I’ve got big shoes to fill, but I know that together, we can continue the Hertzberg tradition of fighting for the Valley’s fair share—and we can also fight for change in Sacramento.” Yikes!

New Vaccine Requirements for Federal Contractors The Biden administration recently announced that “every federal government employee and onsite contractor will be asked to attest to their vaccination status” and that anyone who “does not attest to being fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on the job no matter their geographic location, physically distance from all other employees and visitors, comply with a weekly or twice-weekly screening testing requirement, and be subject to restrictions on official travel.” To help carry out this new policy, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force recently published Agency Model Safety Principles for executive departments and agencies for their COVID-19 safety plans. Story

NLRB’s New General Counsel Outlines Ambitious Pro-Union Agenda the NLRB is set to have a pro-union majority beginning on August 28, 2021. After that date, employers should expect the NLRB to start aiming a panoply of employer-friendly rulings and standards. On August 12, newly appointed General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo took the first step in advancing that pro-union shift by outlining her ambitious agenda in a 10-page memo to NLRB staff across the country. As the NLRB’s top prosecutor with the ability to control which cases and issues are investigated and pursued, Abruzzo wields significant power. Story

California Energy Commission mandates solar for new buildings from 2023 The California Energy Commission’s five-member panel voted unanimously recently to require solar panels and battery storage in new commercial buildings and specific multifamily residences beginning January 1, 2023. Existing law requires California to reach 40 percent below 1990 greenhouse gas levels by 2030. Still, the state has a series of less-binding targets: Former Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order in 2018 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, and Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an order last year to make all new passenger vehicle sales zero-emission by 2035. Newsom also sent a letter to CARB last month directing it to include a 2030 carbon neutrality goal in its scoping plan. Story

Study Finds High Levels of Perceived Discrimination In The Building Industry New research has quantified the level of discrimination that people of color and women workers experience in the commercial and residential building industries. Seventy-two percent of Black or African-American respondents and 66 percent of women respondents to a National Institute of Building Sciences survey said they had experienced discrimination or prejudice while at work. People from other non-White groups also indicated encountering similar attitudes. Story

BLS: 87.3% of U.S. Construction Industry Does Not Belong to A Union According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual union members summary report published January 22, 2021, union membership in the construction industry declined in 2020. Story

Fresno Lawmakers Post Surprising Fundraising Figures As 2022 Looms Even with the recall around the corner, it appears that more than 18 months out isn't too early to start raising money for the next election. That seems to be the case for a sizable chunk of Fresno's City Council, who reported their fundraising totals for the first half of 2021. They were overshadowed, however, by the marquee battle to replace Esmeralda Soria. She terms out of her post in 2022. The race is between PR whiz Cary Catalano and State Center Community College Trustee Annalisa Perea. Story

Why Are Key California Affordable Housing Bills Bottled Up? CalMatters notes: “Encouraging housing to be built in place of abandoned big box stores and strip malls and making it easier to build student housing near community colleges; establishing authority in Los Angeles to finance affordable housing. These proposals all promise to ease California’s ever-worsening housing crisis by adding or preserving the already-scarce supply. But these bills also appear to be dead in the water. As often happens in the Legislature, it’s impossible to say for certain, and key players remain tight-lipped. But several observers of the housing debate noted a significant similarity among the bills: they all require that a portion of the workforce that builds the housing be graduates of mostly union-run apprenticeship programs.” Story

Maine Governor Vetoes PAGA Bill California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) has done far more harm than good since its inception. Maine’s Governor, Janet Mills, clearly recognized this when she vetoed L.D. 17111 earlier this month. L.D. 1711 would have enacted a law nearly identical in practice to California’s own PAGA statute and made Maine the only other state in the nation to have such a law on the books. Story
Read more >>


Thursday, August 12, 2021   WECA Industry Partner simPRO: case study featuring WECA Member Contractor Southwest Industrial Ele.

Find out how they helped Southwest Industrial Electric trade double work for double-digit growth!

simPRO Case Study: Southwest Industrial Electric

WECA Industry Partner simPRO Software specializes in providing software that streamlines end-to-end operations management systems for contractors.

Find out how they helped WECA Member Contractor Southwest Industrial Electric trade double work for double-digit growth!
 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 12, 2021   Check out these shots from our Rancho Cordova HQ as the GetWired! program returns to in-person labs



We're excited to welcome our students back to in-person GetWired! labs! The COVID pandemic took our GetWired program labs into the online interactive realm for a while, but we're excited to announce the return of in-person labs.

These pictures show last Saturday's session of a GetWired! 104 lab at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters and training facility, as Electrician Trainees undertook lab exercises in which they learned how to effectively bend conduit.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 12, 2021   WECA is experiencing an influx of new enrollments!

Prioritize your Electrician Trainees' enrollments NOW to ensure their placement in Session 4 GetWired! classes!

Due to an influx of new members and their trainees, WECA's GetWired! Program is experiencing record levels of enrollment. If your electrician trainees plan to enroll in Session 4 (October-December) GetWired! courses with WECA, and have not yet enrolled, they should do so now to secure their seats.

Make sure your Electrician Trainees don't miss out on making progress in WECA's GetWired program this Fall. Encourage them to enroll in desired courses--ASAP.

WECA is continually working to expand capacity in our courses to meet demand, but time is of the essence for Session 4 enrollments. Your trainees can self-enroll through our catalog of available courses here.

Review the Path to a WECA Electrician Trainee Program Certificate to help your trainee select their next class.

And remember--if you sponsor your trainees, you can take advantage of substantial member discounts in doing so. Call us at 1-877-444-9322 to get started with sponsoring your trainees, if you haven't already.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 12, 2021   It's almost here! Don't miss out on our informative webinar on prevailing wage bidding; compliance

It's almost here! Don't miss out on this informative Webinar: Essential Knowledge for Bidding and Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs

August 18 | 10 a.m. PDT | Zoom

Free for WECA Members and their employees.

All others $70/registration.



Join WECA and the Contractors' Plan for the Webinar: "Essential Knowledge for Bidding & Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs" on August 18 at 10 a.m. PDT on Zoom.

This Webinar discusses how to navigate prevailing wage while ensuring compliance with numerous rules and regulations, and profitability.

Competition for prevailing wage jobs is fierce, and some of the greatest challenges for open shop government contractors is ensuring compliance with numerous rules and regulations while ensuring profitability. Whether competing on projects subject to the Davis-Bacon Act or local prevailing wage ordinances, it’s critical for contractors to be well informed and educated to ensure adherence to the complex and rigorous rules.

Learn from industry expert Nathaniel Peniston as he shares best practices for:

• ESSER and coronavirus funding
• Where to find prevailing wage rates & how to understand them
• Understanding how base wage and fringe obligations are best met
• Fringe Benefits & Annualization
• Best practices in demonstrating compliance

If you’re a contractor performing prevailing wage work, you don’t want to miss this webinar.

SPEAKER INFO

Nathaniel Peniston, Vice President, The Contractors Plan

Nathaniel Peniston works with external partners such as WECA to identify areas of collaboration and drive customer success. An expert in the administration and compliance challenges of hourly employees with prevailing wage and fringe benefit obligations, Peniston has published a number of articles, including “Why ‘Prevailing Wages’ Exist & How to Take Advantage of Them,” and a book, “The Contractor’s Guide to the Davis-Bacon Act: Essential Knowledge for Bidding and Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs.”

If you're a WECA member, take advantage of free registration and reserve your spot now. All others $70/registration.

Time's running out, so register for the Webinar today to make sure you get a spot!
Read more >>


Thursday, August 12, 2021   Have you ever had issues with transporting construction materials to and from your jobsites?

Learn how WECA Industry Partner Curri can help you!



One of WECA's newest Industry Partners, Curri, is the self-proclaimed "Uber for construction materials". The delivery platform and driver app handles the delivery of construction materials from any and all suppliers to jobsites, between branches, or wherever you need them. Learn about using outsourced vs. in-house delivery drivers here.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 12, 2021   Have a passion for teaching? Full and part-time Electrical and Low Voltage Positions open across CA



WECA is currently hiring for both full-time and part-time instructor positions in California. Join the WECA Team and help build the next generation of the electrical industry by sharing your electrical expertise and passion. View our open job listings here!
Read more >>


Thursday, August 12, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

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


Thursday, July 29, 2021   Remembering Steve Kappes, WECA Low Voltage Apprenticeship Instructor



It is with great sadness that WECA shares the news of the passing of Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructor Steve Kappes.

A native of Sacramento, Steve became a WECA Low Voltage Apprenticeship (Voice Data Video/Fire Life Safety) instructor with WECA in 2016 after serving in the United States Navy for 14 years and subsequently working for various fire alarm and CCTV companies in the Bay Area.

Steve studied at American River College in Sacramento before joining the Navy, where he specialized in the maintenance of submarine communications equipment. During his time in the Navy, Steve also took advantage of fire alarm systems training, which provided him with a wealth of technical knowledge to take into his next career.

Prior to landing at WECA, Steve served as a service manager for SimplexGrinnell in San Jose and worked on various low voltage systems for the Napa Unified School District. 



Steve also held a C-10 Electrical Contractors license and was certified as a California Fire/Life Safety Technician; a NICET Level III, Senior Electronics Technician, and was factory-certified for multiple manufacturer’s fire alarm, security, telephone, and CCTV systems over the course of his accomplished career.



WECA Apprenticeship Training and Facilities Director Don Black says “Steve’s humor, kind heart, and passion for learning will be greatly missed.  Steve and our Fire Life Safety/VDV programs go hand in hand as he played a critical role in making the great programs they are today.”
  
Steve was pre-deceased by his wife, Lisa, and is survived by his two sons, Jason (and his wife Jenn) and Chris, and his daughter, Abbie; and two grandchildren.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 29, 2021   Don't miss out on Webinar: Essential Knowledge for Bidding and Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs

August 18 | 10 a.m. PDT | Zoom
?
Free for WECA Members and their employees.
All others $70/registration.



Join WECA and the Contractors' Plan for the Webinar: "Essential Knowledge for Bidding & Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs" on August 18 at 10 a.m. PDT on Zoom.

This Webinar discusses how to navigate prevailing wage while ensuring compliance with numerous rules and regulations, and profitability.

Competition for prevailing wage jobs is fierce, and some of the greatest challenges for open shop government contractors is ensuring compliance with numerous rules and regulations while ensuring profitability. Whether competing on projects subject to the Davis-Bacon Act or local prevailing wage ordinances, it’s critical for contractors to be well informed and educated to ensure adherence to the complex and rigorous rules.

Learn from industry expert Nathaniel Peniston as he shares best practices for:

• ESSER and coronavirus funding
• Where to find prevailing wage rates & how to understand them
• Understanding how base wage and fringe obligations are best met
• Fringe Benefits & Annualization
• Best practices in demonstrating compliance

If you’re a contractor performing prevailing wage work, you don’t want to miss this webinar.

SPEAKER INFO

Nathaniel Peniston, Vice President, The Contractors Plan

Nathaniel Peniston works with external partners such as WECA to identify areas of collaboration and drive customer success. An expert in the administration and compliance challenges of hourly employees with prevailing wage and fringe benefit obligations, Peniston has published a number of articles, including “Why ‘Prevailing Wages’ Exist & How to Take Advantage of Them,” and a book, “The Contractor’s Guide to the Davis-Bacon Act: Essential Knowledge for Bidding and Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs.”

If you're a WECA member, take advantage of free registration and reserve your spot now. All others $70/registration.

Register for the Webinar today!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 29, 2021   Automate and schedule your employees' required training at your fingertips with ThinkHR



WECA Member Contractors: would it be helpful to schedule and automate your employees' required training?

With ThinkHR, WECA Members get access to human resources forms, documents, tools, trainings, and more--all online at your fingertips. 

Here's a tip:

With ThinkHR--complimentary access to which is a WECA member benefit--you can maintain training compliance through their online platform. You enter in employee information and choose which courses they need to take. ThinkHR sends an email to the employee with the link to log in and their credentials and course(s) they are required to take, as well as when they are due. Once course(s) have been completed you can print a certification of completion for their employee file.

Not yet enrolled in ThinkHR? It's easy to do--just login to your WECA member dashboard and click "Register for HR Comply from ThinkHR."
Read more >>


Thursday, July 29, 2021   Seeking Qualified Electrician Instructors for Online Weeknight and Saturday Classes

It's the Perfect Side Gig That Doesn't Interfere with Your Primary Job!

We're Experiencing Record Enrollment in Our GetWired! Program and Our Need for Additional Part-Time Instructors Just Keeps Growing





If you're a certified electrician or C-10 contractor (or a retired one, on either front), we've got a great opportunity for you: become a part-time, online WECA instructor on weeknights and Saturdays! It's the perfect side gig to complement your day job (or keep your skills sharp in your retirement), and you can bring in some extra cash sharing your expertise with the next generation of electricians in California.

Teach for WECA's GetWired! electrician training program from the comfort of home (with the option to also teach in-person Saturday labs).

Review the job listing and apply here.

Not yet qualified, but interested in completing your education and becoming a certified electrician in California--and maybe teaching for us some day in the future? Find out why the GetWired! Program, culminating in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, is training thousands of students across California, with more enrolling every day.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 29, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

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


Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Remembering Steve Kappes, Low Voltage Apprenticeship Instructor



It is with great sadness that WECA shares the news of the passing of Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructor Steve Kappes.

A native of Sacramento, Steve became a WECA Low Voltage Apprenticeship (Voice Data Video/Fire Life Safety) instructor with WECA in 2016 after serving in the United States Navy for 14 years and subsequently working for various fire alarm and CCTV companies in the Bay Area.

Steve studied at American River College in Sacramento before joining the Navy, where he specialized in the maintenance of submarine communications equipment. During his time in the Navy, Steve also took advantage of fire alarm systems training, which provided him with a wealth of technical knowledge to take into his next career.

Prior to landing at WECA, Steve served as a service manager for SimplexGrinnell in San Jose and worked on various low voltage systems for the Napa Unified School District. 



Steve also held a C-10 Electrical Contractors license and was certified as a California Fire/Life Safety Technician; a NICET Level III, Senior Electronics Technician, and was factory-certified for multiple manufacturer’s fire alarm, security, telephone, and CCTV systems over the course of his accomplished career.



WECA Apprenticeship Training and Facilities Director Don Black says “Steve’s humor, kind heart, and passion for learning will be greatly missed.  Steve and our Fire Life Safety/VDV programs go hand in hand as he played a critical role in making the great programs they are today.”
  
Steve was pre-deceased by his wife, Lisa, and is survived by his two sons, Jason (and his wife Jenn) and Chris, and his daughter, Abbie; and two grandchildren.
Read more >>


Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Looking for the next course to take in the GetWired! intermediate electrical series?

Check out GetWired! 203: Raceway Systems, Switchboards and Panelboards, DC Motors, Three-Phase Alternators and Motors! Next session Aug. 2 to Sept. 15, plus the late fee is waived!

Also great for Journeyperson Continuing Education!
?

Recommended Prerequisite for Electrician Trainees: GET WIRED! 100 Series, 201 & 202

GET WIRED! 203 expands on skills built in the 202 course. Topics covered include:
  • Wiring materials
  • Raceway systems and cable assemblies
  • Switchboards and panelboards
  • DC motors
  • Sizing branch circuits – Part 2 – hands-on-lab
  • Three-phase alternators and motors
  • Equipment for general use


GET WIRED! 203 includes an independent study project that you must complete to earn course credit. The project is designed to help you develop on-the-job skills you need to be an expert electrician.
  • Total class hours available: 39
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $379
  • Late Tuition Fee: Waived!


Want to get a spot in this course? Act fast--it starts August 8th!
Read more >>


Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Open enrollment is coming up--prepare with this information!

And be sure to keep an eye on your inboxes for further info!



Open Enrollment Period: August 16 - 27, 2021

Insurer: United Health Care (UHC)
 
Coverage effective date: October 1, 2021
 
Coverage effective date: October 1, 2021

Dear WECA California Commercial Electrical Apprentices: 

WECA views health insurance as an important benefit to our Apprentices. Each year we carefully review multiple plan options, taking into consideration benefits, service, and cost, to ensure that our Apprentices have comprehensive and affordable insurance plans. This year we have elected to partner with UNITED HEALTH CARE for Medical/Vision, Dental, Life/ADD and Disability insurance.

During Open Enrollment, you are required to complete a new UHC enrollment form for yourself and any dependents that are covered on your plan now, or if you plan on enrolling a dependent who is currently not covered by the plans. 

Further information with instructions will be forthcoming in August. 

If you have any questions, please call Cindy Cormier, Insurance Administrator at (916) 453-0112 ext. 117 or toll free (877)444-9322 ext. 117 or you can email ccormier@goweca.com.
Read more >>


Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Heads up, graduates: don't forget to RSVP for WECA's Northern or Southern California graduations!



Dear WECA Graduating Class of 2021,

WECA is excited to invite you and your family to come and celebrate your achievement of successfully completing your program--in person! Our Northern California graduation event will be held outdoors this year to accommodate as many guests as possible.

The WECA Class of 2020, for whom we were not able to hold a traditional graduation ceremony last year due to the pandemic, will also be honored at this event.

Graduates of WECA's Commercial Electrical, Residential Electrical, and Low Voltage Apprenticeship Programs, as well as Electrician Trainee Program graduates, will be honored at this event. Meet with your classmates, instructors, contractors, and WECA staff in honor of your graduation, and celebrate together after a trying year.

Be sure to check your email for ticketing details!

On behalf of WECA's instructors, Board of Directors, and all the WECA staff, we wish you a heartfelt congratulations!

Congratulations,

The WECA Team

 
Read more >>


Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Seeking Qualified Electrician Instructors for Online Weeknight and Saturday Classes

It's the Perfect Side Gig That Doesn't Interfere with Your Primary Job!

We're Experiencing Record Enrollment in Our GetWired! Program and Our Need for Additional Part-Time Instructors Just Keeps Growing





If you're a certified electrician or C-10 contractor (or a retired one, on either front), we've got a great opportunity for you: become a part-time, online WECA instructor on weeknights and Saturdays! It's the perfect side gig to complement your day job (or keep your skills sharp in your retirement), and you can bring in some extra cash sharing your expertise with the next generation of electricians in California.

Teach for WECA's GetWired! electrician training program from the comfort of home (with the option to also teach in-person Saturday labs).

Review the job listing and apply here.

Not yet qualified, but interested in completing your education and becoming a certified electrician in California--and maybe teaching for us some day in the future? Find out why the GetWired! Program, culminating in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, is training thousands of students across California, with more enrolling every day.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2021   WECA GetWired! labs scheduling and venue update

Dear WECA Electrician Trainees, Journeyman Continuing Education and General Students, and their Contractors,

Please review the information below for updates to upcoming onsite lab scheduling for our GetWired! program. Information in red reflects recent updates.

For those students enrolled in a GetWired class with a lab date from July 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021:
  • Your lab will initially be scheduled to be conducted entirely online. 
  • WECA will send you confirmation of your login instructions for your online lab.
  • However, WECA is closely monitoring developments and California state restrictions as the COVID situation progresses. If the situation improves such that we are able to serve some or all of these labs in our traditional hands-on format during Session 3 (July-September 2021), we will transition those lab events back to in-person experiences at our training facilities.
  • If the lab in which you are enrolled in Session 3 becomes possible to deliver in-person, you will be given at least four weeks of notice of your change in lab venue to a WECA training facility.
  • Your lab date will remain identical. Your lab time may shift from afternoon to morning, or vice versa. Please watch your email for further details.
  • Update: Saturday labs scheduled to start August 7th – September 18th have been transitioned from online to in-person labs for GetWired 102, 103, 104, 201, 202, 203, 204, and 302.
  • Emails with this update were sent last week to enrolled students. If you are enrolled in one of the GetWired classes shown above with a Saturday lab date between August 7th – September 18th, please make sure you review your recent communications from WECA for your specific lab details and attend your onsite class day. Labs will be delivered onsite only for these classes.
  • To view your onsite lab day details, you may also log into https://www.goweca.com/login.aspx and look for “Upcoming Classes and Required Items.”
  • GetWired 101 and 301 labs remain online.
For those students enrolled in a GetWired class with a lab date after October 1, 2021:
  • If your class includes a hands-on lab, it will automatically be scheduled as an onsite, in-person learning experience.
Any questions? Please don't hesitate to call us! 1-877-444-9322. We can't wait to see you back in the labs!
 
Read more >>


Tuesday, July 27, 2021   Electrician Trainee and Journeyman Continuing Education Student Advisory

Session 4 Courses for Fall 2021 now available for enrollment in our online web catalog!



Attention Journeymen and Electrician Trainees, and the Contractors facilitating their employees' educations: Our Fall 2021 (Oct. 1 - Dec. 31) course catalog is available on our website.

View the Electrician Trainee course catalog here.

Jump to the Journeyman continuing education course catalog here. 

Fall courses are open for online enrollment, and of course you can also enroll over the phone at (877) 444-9322 , in person at any of our training facilities, or by email at info@goweca.com.

Courses fill fast, so don't wait to secure your seat.

If you have any questions regarding a particular course, please call (877) 444-9322 or email us at info@goweca.com.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 22, 2021   WECA Political Update July 22, 2021

Landscape Professionals Volunteer to Improve Arlington National Cemetery and National Mall Since I usually focus on the darker side of life and politics, I thought I would start with this story of service. “Hundreds of landscape volunteers will lend their time and expertise on a project that honors America on two of its most iconic and patriotic open green spaces. ‘We must cultivate our garden,’ Voltaire famously advised. That happened on a large scale July 19 when hundreds of landscape industry professionals convened at Arlington National Cemetery and the National Mall, volunteering during one of their busiest times of the year, to protect the historic cherry trees, enhance the turf, and improve irrigation systems. Story

California Businesses Hiring Homeless Workers Can Get A $30,000 Tax Credit California businesses hiring homeless workers can get up to $30,000 a year in tax credit starting 2022 under a budget bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday. Companies must pay at least 120% of the state’s minimum wage to be eligible Story

A Union Pot Calls a Union Kettle Black Dan Walters writes, “A squabble between two blocs of politically influential California unions is an example of the pot calling the kettle black.” Story

Phoenix Improves in Latest Rankings The Phoenix metro jumped 13 spots in the prestigious 2021-2022 U.S. News Best Places to Live rankings. The latest report cited the Valley’s job market, its relatively low cost of living, its “ample opportunities to play,” as well as, of course, its abundant sunshine. Story

Recall Gov. Gavin Newsom will not list his party affiliation on the recall ballot, a Sacramento County judge ruled recently. The blank space on the ballot is thanks to a filing error by Newsom’s lawyer (ex-lawyer?) who admitted that he forgot to check the party designation box — failing to take advantage of a law signed by his Governor just a few months earlier, that would have allowed him to do so. The case arose because Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber refused to let the Newsom campaign amend its report. Hoping to mend fences with Newsom— who appointed Weber to fill the vacancy at Secretary of State when Newsom appointed Alex Padilla to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat—Weber subsequently refused to put conservative talk-show host Larry Elder on the “replacement” ballot. Elder sued, and a Sacramento Judge concluded that the Secretary of State errored in applying a 2019 bill that requires candidates for Governor to supply five years of tax returns to be placed on the ballot. Over 40 candidates will be on the ballot when California voters decide Newsom’s fate on Sept. 14 and via mail ballots in the preceding month. Among the top Republican contenders are former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman and Newsom’s 2018 opponent John Cox, former Rep. Doug Ose, former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, and Assemblymember Kevin Kiley.

Legislature Adopts Broadband Funding But forgets about Skilled and Trained Workforce (SWF). As part of their spending free-for-all, the Legislature sent Governor Newsom SB 156 that … but unlike an earlier version (AB 34) that would have issued general obligation bonds for up to $10 billion, SB 156 did not include any of the State Building and Construction Trades Council’s usual SWF mandates—or the waiver of SWF if a PLA covers the project! Also—SB 156 authorizes job order contracting for broadband construction…

Arizona Ends Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Program Arizona ended its participation in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs on July 10, and courts in two states—Indiana and Maryland—ruled those states must continue to participate in the program. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) had announced that Arizona would end its involvement in the program on May 13.

ABC Calls for Changes to Biden PLA Rule ABC called for changes to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s interim final rule encouraging project labor agreements and other anti-competitive and costly labor policies on particular state and local projects funded by the American Recovery Plan Act of 2021. I am sure Secretary Yellen will seriously consider their position. Story

In related news—ABC Announces New Campaign to Fight PLA Legislation Associated Builders and Contractors has amassed a six-figure war chest to fight the use of mandated project labor agreements on federally funded infrastructure jobs. Through Build America Local, a coalition of construction industry and business organizations led by ABC, the trade group has produced a 30-second commercial as part of an advocacy campaign aimed at the public and members of the U.S. Senate on PLAs. Story

Newsom Appoints Labor Secretary Governor Newsom announced Natalie Palugyai as Secretary of California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA). Newsom also announced Stewart Knox as LWDA Undersecretary. In addition, former LWDA Secretary Julie Su was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Deputy Secretary of Labor at the U.S. Department of Labor. Palugyai’s appointment pleased former Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Senator María Elena Durazo. “As Chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus, I look forward to working with her to solve issues of wage theft, expand health and safety provisions in the workplace, and create access to new good-paying jobs through High Road Partnerships.” Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer and Chief Officer of the California Labor Federation said, “I know she will fight for all of California’s workers and treat them with respect.” Since the early 2000s, Palugyai has served in many advisory and managerial roles in private and public sectors. A graduate of both the University of Miami and Harvard University, Palugyai started as a compliance officer for the U.S. Department of Labor in Miami from 2000 to 2003. Following a subsequent two-year stint working at the World Bank, she next served as a Recovery Analysis, Reports and Technology Solutions branch chief at FEMA from 2007 to 2010 and as a Senior Management Advisor at the Department of Labor until 2015. After a few advisory positions at the General Services Administration and John Hopkins University, Palugyai became the Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at Johns Hopkins University in 2018, a position she has held ever since.

Not everyone agrees she is the right choice. In the California Globe, Oakland-based labor union advisor and analyst Dylan Murphy said, “She’s only 40, not exactly a long career to really look back upon for such a high-level position. But what is even more concerning is her unfamiliarity with California. She has only ever held positions in Florida, Washington, and Baltimore. There’s nothing West there of the Appalachians, let alone the Mississippi. Some of the jobs in Washington were for national-level things, but nothing that really focused on California. And labor in California is a different animal than all other states. Unions remain very strong out here in many sectors, with migrant workers also playing a huge part out here. And that’s not even getting into all the issues surrounding AB 5, the ongoing EDD fraud issues from last year, and lingering post-COVID labor and workplace issues unique to California. On top of that, the Governor is going to face an election in September, and if he wins that, again in November next year. He could be out as Governor either time, meaning Palugyai may only be in office a brief time. So it’s quite possible by the time she figures out what the labor situation is in California, she could be out of a job.” Story

The California Supreme Court Cooks up More Problems for Employers In yet another blow to employers, the California Supreme Court decided, in Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC,1 that the one hour of premium pay owed to employees who do not receive a legally compliant meal or rest breaks must be paid at the employee’s “regular rate” (as used in the calculation of overtime), not simply the employee’s hourly rate. This decision impacts employers who pay nonexempt employees additional compensation, such as non-discretionary bonuses, shift premiums, or commissions. More

Secret California Budget Item Gives $280M Handout for Oakland Stadium Project As evidence that California Legislators had millions burning holes in their pockets, Politico reported that “A state budget bill Newsom signed late last month directs $279.5 million in general fund money to the Port of Oakland for a broad range of infrastructure projects. The port says it doesn't have a specific plan for the money, which the budget dedicates to ‘improvements that facilitate enhanced freight and passenger access and to promote the efficient and safe movement of goods and people.’ But the infusion of state dollars came just weeks before Tuesday's vote on developing the port's Howard Terminal into a baseball stadium and mixed-use development in one of the smallest markets in Major League Baseball, and as the Oakland A's hold out for more government funding.”
Read more >>


Thursday, July 15, 2021   Industry Partner Spotlight: Eric Anderton of Construction Genius




Even the top dogs in the construction industry need additional help and insight from time to time. Luckily for them, they’ve got Eric Anderton—the construction industry executive, leadership advisor, strategic facilitator, keynote speaker, and podcast host behind Construction Genius, one of WECA’s newest Industry Partners—in their corner.

Anderton boasts an impressive background, with 25 years of public speaking, small group facilitation, and one-on-one mentoring under his toolbelt. He began working with construction companies in 2004 and founded his own company—Construction Genius—in 2013. And in recent years, he’s even delved into a newer but wildly popular medium—podcasts! Anderton hosts the Construction Genius podcast, which sees over 6,000 construction leaders tuning in per month to listen to his interviews with construction company executives and industry influencers and glean from Eric’s insights into how to be a better leader.

Prior to that, Eric received a Bachelor’s in History at Humboldt State University and subsequently worked in sales and marketing for various office-oriented companies, selling software, copiers, and the like. During this time, Anderton also honed his mentorship, small group facilitation, and public speaking experience out of the office by mentoring and advising a bible study group at Sacramento State, serving as a chaplain for Sacramento State’s football team, and coaching Little League baseball and youth soccer.

If you’re thinking to yourself “Well, Eric sounds great, but what can he do for me and my company?,” wonder no more! As an executive coach, Eric provides leaders with a knowledgeable sounding board and helps them to develop the next generation of leaders so that they (the current leaders) can maximize their wealth and happiness and secure a legacy.

Far from being a vague new-age guru, Eric helps construction company CEOs, construction industry firms, and smaller business owners tackle what he says are the biggest hurdles facing today’s leaders: clarifying their business purpose and values, building strategic plans, developing their best people over the long-term, systematically innovating through obstacles, and executing their most important priorities.

“The most important skills and traits for effective leaders to have are the ability to communicate with a diverse workforce, build teams, manage conflict, delegate people and hold them accountable for their performance, utilize time effectively, think strategically, overcome their blind spots, and leverage their strengths. If that sounds like a lot, not to worry—that’s why I’m here to help guide them and hone their leadership approach,” says Anderton.

But it’s not all just about a company’s or individual’s bottom line.

“I love that I get to help people face and conquer challenges they previously thought insurmountable,” says Anderton. “What I do helps people secure their retirements and the livelihoods of their employees and helps them to become more confident and capable leaders, but most of all—maximizes their happiness!”

When not working, Anderton enjoys spending time with his family (he’s a father of five!), contributing to the community in various ways, and studying ancient and modern history as well as leadership and strategic principles.

WECA Member Contractors interested in working with Anderton can get in touch with him via:

·        Contact him at constructiongenius.com/contact/ to fill out a contact form.
·        Schedule a free 10-minute chat with him at https://10minutes.youcanbook.me/

?You can get further insight via his podcast at https://www.constructiongenius.com/podcast or his blog at https://www.constructiongenius.com/blog/
Read more >>


Thursday, July 15, 2021   Webinar: Essential Knowledge for Bidding and Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs

August 18 | 10 a.m. PDT | Zoom

Free for WECA Members and their employees.
All others $70/registration.



Join WECA and the Contractors' Plan for the Webinar: "Essential Knowledge for Bidding & Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs" on August 18 at 10 a.m. PDT on Zoom.

This Webinar discusses how to navigate prevailing wage while ensuring compliance with numerous rules and regulations, and profitability.

Competition for prevailing wage jobs is fierce, and some of the greatest challenges for open shop government contractors is ensuring compliance with numerous rules and regulations while ensuring profitability. Whether competing on projects subject to the Davis-Bacon Act or local prevailing wage ordinances, it’s critical for contractors to be well informed and educated to ensure adherence to the complex and rigorous rules.

Learn from industry expert Nathaniel Peniston as he shares best practices for:

• ESSER and coronavirus funding
• Where to find prevailing wage rates & how to understand them
• Understanding how base wage and fringe obligations are best met
• Fringe Benefits & Annualization
• Best practices in demonstrating compliance

If you’re a contractor performing prevailing wage work, you don’t want to miss this webinar.

SPEAKER INFO

Nathaniel Peniston, Vice President, The Contractors Plan

Nathaniel Peniston works with external partners such as WECA to identify areas of collaboration and drive customer success. An expert in the administration and compliance challenges of hourly employees with prevailing wage and fringe benefit obligations, Peniston has published a number of articles, including “Why ‘Prevailing Wages’ Exist & How to Take Advantage of Them,” and a book, “The Contractor’s Guide to the Davis-Bacon Act: Essential Knowledge for Bidding and Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs.”

If you're a WECA member, take advantage of free registration and reserve your spot now. All others $70/registration.

Register for the Webinar today!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 15, 2021   It's time to come together to celebrate the WECA Graduating Classes of 2021!

Support WECA graduates by sponsoring their graduation events.

graduation

Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Graduating Classes of 2021!

Our Commercial Electrical, Residential Electrical, and Low Voltage Apprentices as well as Electrician Trainees in our GET WIRED! program in the Class of 2021 have successfully completed their education with WECA!

Help us honor their achievement with your sponsorship of their graduation events on:
  • Saturday, August 28, 2021 at WECA Headquarters (3695 Bleckely St., Rancho Cordova, CA 95655) from 4 PM - 7:30 PM for Northern California graduates.
  • Saturday, August 21, 2021 at the Falkner Winery (40620 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591) from 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM for Southern California graduates.


The Class of 2020, whose graduation events last year were precluded by the pandemic, will additionally be honored at these events.

Help us make their graduation memorable--your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend either 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 one or both graduations, 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 and low voltage education!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team

Reserve your sponsorship package
Read more >>


Thursday, July 15, 2021   Help your Spanish-speaking employees get proper OSHA training with WECA and ClickSafety



Put safety first on the work site by ensuring that all of your employees get proper training on important safety and health matters. WECA makes that easy with our catalog of safety courses, including one in Spanish (OSHA 10 Construction Spanish).


OSHA implemented an Outreach Training Program that has proven to be highly successful in reducing the number of on-the-job accidents. According to OSHA, the Outreach Program is their “primary way to train workers in the basics of occupational safety and health”. This 10-Hour course from WECA partner ClickSafety is an online version of OSHA’s successful program covers fewer topics than OSHA 30. Online OSHA training is an excellent way to ensure that you have been properly trained on important safety and health matters at your work sites.

The course covers:
  • Introduction to OSHA
  • Focus Four Hazards and Preventative Measures Topics: Fall Hazards, Electrocution Hazards, Caught-In or -Between, Struck-By
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Health Hazards in Construction
  • Materials Handling, Storage, and Use
  • Stairways and Ladders
  • Tools-Hand & Power
  • Leading Cultural Change
OSHA implementó un Programa de Capacitación de Difusión que ha dado muy buenos resultados para disminuir la cantidad de accidentes en el trabajo. De acuerdo con OSHA, su Programa de Difusión es "su forma fundamental de capacitar a los trabajadores en cuanto a los conocimientos básicos de salud y seguridad ocupacional". Este curso de 10 horas del socio de WECA, ClickSafety, es una versión en línea del exitoso programa de OSHA, cubriendo menos temas que el OSHA 30. La capacitación de OSHA en línea es una excelente forma de garantizar que ha recibido la formación adecuada en temas importantes de salud y seguridad en sus sitios de trabajo.

El curso cubre:
  • Introducción a OSHA
  • Los cuatro riesgos principales y medidas de prevención Temas: riesgo de caídas, riesgo de electrocución, riesgo de atrapamiento, riesgo de golpes
  • Equipo de protección personal (EPP)
  • Riesgos para la salud en la construcción
  • Uso, manipulación y almacenamiento de materiales
  • Gradas y escaleras
  • Herramientas manuales y eléctricas
  • Líderes del cambio cultural
OSHA 10 Construction Spanish
And of course, we offer it in English, too: OSHA 10 Construction

 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 15, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

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


Thursday, July 08, 2021   

Pay Yourself First According to CalMatters, Newsom “gave away millions of dollars and other prizes to encourage Californians to get the COVID-19 vaccine. It’s also the latest piece of information to cast doubt on whether the program’s results justify the cost: Recent data shows the lottery didn’t significantly increase the number of Californians getting their first shot. Although the vaccine incentives were well publicized, the fact that the state would be required to pay the California State Lottery — which helped Newsom run the program — was not. In a Thursday letter to the California Department of Public Health, the lottery commission explained it must be reimbursed for spending money that doesn’t relate to its purpose, which is to fund public education. H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance, said California would repay the lottery commission with $500,000 from a General Fund account used for disaster response and emergency operations. However, the state will eventually reimburse itself with relief funds from the federal stimulus package President Joe Biden signed into law in March, Palmer said. Most of the money related to the vaccine lottery will likely never come to light. California will pay out at least $116.5 million in prizes — including $1.5 million each to 10 individuals — but the state won’t share their names unless the winners give consent. Erin Mellon, a governor’s office spokeswoman, said the confidentiality of vaccination records also precludes winners’ names from being disclosed in public records requests.

SU, Nomination: Politico reports “The U.S. Senate could soon vote on the nomination of Julie Su to be deputy Labor secretary, closing the book on a nearly five-month wait for the California official tapped for the job in early February. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer filed cloture on Su’s nomination recently, but the vote is still likely to be weeks away as the Senate is off for its two-week July 4th recess. Su, who has served as California’s labor secretary since January 2019, has faced stiff opposition from Senate Republicans who have criticized the state's handling of unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Republicans in Washington have argued that California's labor department should not be a model for the rest of the country and raised concerns that Su would be a negative influence on Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.” (What? Su will make Walsh worse?) The Washington Examiner said “The LA Times editorial board, no friend to small businesses, calls her work an "epic failure." California auditors found Su and others responded to the spike in unemployment claims associated with the pandemic by allowing the staff to bypass unemployment insurance verification controls.” Story

Eagle Mountain Lives! Governor Newsom is trying to insert support for two energy sources into the state budget, a legislative source says, a push that could set up a conflict with the Legislature, environmentalists and agricultural interests, reports POLITICO. Under draft language that the source says came from Newsom's office, the state — rather than utilities — would buy electricity from long-duration energy storage projects, a cost that would then be passed along to all ratepayers. One such storage technology is pumped-storage hydropower, which would be used at the Eagle Mountain project near Joshua Tree National Park and at least two other locations in California. The language does not specify a technology or project, but environmentalists suspect it was written with the Eagle Mountain project in mind. A coalition of green groups joined forces with the powerful Agricultural Energy Consumers Association, Independent Energy Producers Association and other organizations to oppose what they characterize as a "bailout" for the Eagle Mountain project. There have been several failed bills in recent years to boost energy storage. Newsom spokesperson Amelia Matier declined to elaborate on the energy proposals when asked if the governor was behind them, saying that the governor's office "is currently engaged in productive discussions with the Legislature to address the work that remains on some policy areas of the budget. As these are ongoing deliberations, we have no comment at this time." IBEW has been an ardent supporter of Eagle Mountain.

C-SPAN released its fourth historians survey of presidential leadership and found that former President Donald J. Trump tied third to last in terms of best national leaders. He tied for third with FRANKLIN PIERCE, and just ahead of JAMES BUCHANAN and ANDREW JOHNSON, who was also impeached. Topping the list is ABRAHAM LINCOLN. BARACK OBAMA gets 10th place (behind Ronald Regan and ahead of LBJ – an interesting juxtaposition of Presidents) and GEORGE W. BUSH gets 29th. In the survey, which was first conducted in 2000, participants rate each president based on 10 qualities of presidential leadership: Public Persuasion, Crisis Leadership, Economic Management, Moral Authority, International Relations, Administrative Skills, Relations with Congress, Vision/Setting an Agenda, Pursued Equal Justice for All and Performance Within the Context of the Times. This year's survey polled 142 respondents — including historians, professors and other professionals with knowledge of the field.

An Update on Statewide Ballot Measures There have been some interesting statewide ballot measures that were recently certified. Here’s a brief overview.

Arizona: At the 2022 general election, voters will decide a constitutional amendment to require that citizen-initiated ballot measures embrace a single subject. The ballot measure would also require the initiative's subject to be expressed in the ballot title, or else the missing subject would be considered void. Also in 2022, voters will decide a ballot measure to allow the state legislature to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives in cases where the Arizona Supreme Court or U.S. Supreme Court declare that a portion of the ballot initiative is unconstitutional or illegal. In Arizona, the legislature must propose a ballot measure to amend or repeal voter-approved ballot initiatives. Initiatives often include severability clauses, meaning that if the courts declare a provision to be unconstitutional, other provisions can remain valid.

Senate Bill Would Create Apprenticeship College Consortium A bill introduced (S 1886) in the U.S. Senate would create an "apprenticeship college consortium" and oblige the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Education to enter an interagency agreement to promote apprenticeship. The proposal arrived just months after a Trump administration overhaul to the nation's apprenticeship system was rescinded by President Joe Biden in a February executive order. Under the now-rescinded final rule, DOL would have been able to recognize entities that could work with employers and other parties to create, recognize and monitor apprenticeship programs. Story

Fuel Cell NEM. Politico reports “Four of California's largest environmental groups urged legislative leaders to not extend the life of the state's fuel cell incentives policy.” Apparently, “Newsom's office is pushing for the budget to include language that would stop the fuel cell net metering program from expiring at the end of the year. Similar to net metering for rooftop solar, fuel cell owners like supermarkets, hospitals and data centers have lower energy bills thanks to the excess electricity that the technology feeds into the larger grid. While fuel cells produce little to no air pollution — an advantage over diesel generators and natural gas power plants — they still emit some greenhouses gases, which has prompted environmentalists to criticize the technology. Extending the net metering program through the end of 2026 would also benefit fuel cell manufacturers like Bloom Energy, a Newsom donor that won a no-bid contract from the administration to refurbish ventilators as the pandemic intensified last spring.”

State Building Trades to the Rescue. An article in Calmatters highlights a union effort to delay construction at UC campuses. “Education, infrastructure and economic stimulus are near the top of our nation’s agenda now. But here in California, the Legislature is considering a bill that would discourage progress on all three fronts. Senate Bill 132 would stop the University of California from moving ahead with badly needed capital improvement projects unless the university submits to a costly and cumbersome annual certification process sought by one public employee union. No wonder California’s building trade unions have joined UC and the California Coalition for Public Higher Education in opposing SB 132.” Story

More California Movement Kate Gordon is now senior adviser to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. She most recently was director of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Planning and Research.

Biden Signs Three Congressional Review Act Bills Repealing Trump-Era Rules President Biden signed three Congressional Review Act (CRA) bills on June 30, reversing three administrative rules implemented near the end of the Donald Trump administration. Signing these bills brings the total number of rules repealed under the CRA to 20. These CRA bills are the first Congress has used to reverse regulatory actions taken by a Republican president.
  •  The first bill, S.J.Res.13, reversed a Trump-era Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rule that changed what information the agency would share with companies accused of discrimination.
  • The second bill, S.J.Res.14, reversed a Trump-era Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) methane rule and restored methane emissions standards set during the Barack Obama (D) administration.
  • The third bill, S.J.Res.15, reversed a Trump-era U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) rule that changed regulations governing banks that give money to third parties to lend to borrowers.
The Congressional Review Act is a federal law passed in 1996 that creates a 60-day review period during which Congress, by passing a joint resolution of disapproval later signed by the president, can overturn a new federal agency rule. The law defines days under the CRA as days where Congress is in continuous session, so the estimated window to block any end-of-term regulatory activity from the Trump administration was between Feb. 3 and April 4. Congress had until then to introduce CRA resolutions to block regulatory activity that occurred between Aug. 20, 2020, and Jan. 3, 2021. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to successfully repeal 20 rules published in the Federal Register. Before 2017, Congress had used the CRA successfully one time, to overturn a rule on ergonomics in the workplace in 2001. In the first four months of his administration, President Trump signed 14 CRA resolutions from Congress undoing a variety of rules issued near the end of Barack Obama's (D) presidency. Congress ultimately repealed 16 rules in total using the CRA during the Trump administration. You can learn more about the Congressional Review Act here.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 01, 2021   WECA Apprentices in California have returned to in-person instruction at our training facilities!

Pics from our first classes back, below. Also featuring our newly-opened Fresno Training Facility and upgraded San Diego Facility!

WECA Member Contractors: we've missed having your Apprentices walk our halls, and our instructors have missed seeing them in person! While no one missed a beat in their educations thanks to WECA's online apprenticeship delivery during the worst of the COVID pandemic, being back in person in California feels great.

We're also celebrating our very first apprenticeship classes at our brand-new Fresno Training Facility, now serving the Central Valley, and our upgraded San Diego Training Facility at its new location.

Go behind-the-scenes with us as we check out the action in our California classrooms and labs from the past two weeks!

SACRAMENTO/RANCHO CORDOVA HQ











FRESNO





SAN DIEGO







RIVERSIDE








 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 01, 2021   WECA's Student Referral Service Has Qualified Electrician Trainees Ready to Work In Your Area

Electrician Trainees available in Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sutter and Ventura counties



Are you looking to hire Electrician Trainees? We have qualified individuals in the Alameda, Butte, El Dorado, Fresno, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Marin, Monterey, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Clara,
Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sutter and Ventura county areas looking to get referred to a WECA Member Contractor through our Student Referral Service. Don't see your county listed? Let us know of your interest anyhow; new participants sign up every week.

What is this Service?

A free job referral service that introduces our current Electrician Trainee, Journeyman, and WECA-grad job seekers to Member Contractors in order to help you meet your staffing needs. It's included with your membership! (Please note: We do not currently have any journeyperson students looking for referrals.)

Who does this benefit?

Everyone! WECA Member Contractors are referred qualified, WECA-trained applicants to help meet their staffing needs. And in turn, WECA student and grad participants get valuable job referrals.

How does this differ from the WECA Job Board?

WECA's current Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board is a self-service portal where members and electrical and low voltage employment job seekers submit and review resumes and job postings online.

This service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff supply you with hands-on referrals. In other words--we take some of the hard work off your plate!

The Student Referral Service refers employees to you, and you hire them directly.

Begin using WECA's Student Referral Service by:
  1. Contacting Trisha Hughes, Client Services Specialist I, by email at thughes@goweca.com
  2. Or call our office to speak with her at 1-877-444-9322
Read more >>


Thursday, July 01, 2021   Have an employee you're eyeing for promotion to a leadership role?

Have an employee you're eyeing for promotion to a leadership role? Check out WECA's newly updated GetWired! 403: Jobsite Management Skills

Now with an increased focus on project-based learning; featuring digital construction management platform Procore and estimating platform Esticom

The newly-updated GetWired! 403 is designed around giving our students exposure to digital construction management platforms as they hone essential jobsite management skills. They'll learn to use Procore’s Construction Management Software for project management and communications and Esticom Software for basic digital estimating.

This project-based course immerses students in real-world scenarios.

This class is designed for both Journeyperson Continuing Education Students and advanced Electrician Trainee Program Certificate students who have completed the appropriate prerequisites.

Either way, it's an excellent training option for new or soon-to-be-promoted foreperson employees.

Jobsite Management Skills focuses on:
 
  • Providing an introduction to concepts, technology, and best practices for project management, electrical estimating in a software environment, jobsite leadership, and communications
  • Exposure to digital construction management platforms: Learn to use Procore’s Construction Management Software for project management and communications and Esticom Software for basic estimating using in-class instruction and self-paced video training.
  • Interpersonal skills and communications with internal and external stakeholders on the job, as well as those under your supervision
  • Using typical construction documentation and resources on construction management software to plan, manage, and record the electrical work processes of a typical residential/commercial construction project
  • The general leadership and foremanship skills required for profitable and successful project completion
This course is suitable for those already in a leadership role on a commercial or residential electrical jobsite who wish to enhance their skills, as well as suitable for those who want to develop the skills they need to be promoted to a leadership role.
 
  • Total class hours available: 32
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $339
  • Late Tuition Fee: $389
Our September instance of this upgraded course filled so fast it surprised even us, but there are still seats available in the next class, starting November 8th.

Encourage your employees to enroll--or enroll them yourselves and use WECA's member training discounts--today!

Some snapshots from the course:



Here we're looking at the basic functions of Procore, a leading construction management software solution for the industry that fully integrates with Esticom estimating software. Students will have full hands-on access to both applications.



Here we're learning the basics of estimating using the Esticom app. Students then apply their new digital estimating skills to a material take-off and estimate for an electrical lighting circuit.



This slide opens a section on Invitations to Bid, as students broaden their knowledge on what goes into submitting a bid.



In the Contracts section of the course, students learn about how to negotiate contract terms by applying negotiation techniques discussed in this lesson.



 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 01, 2021   Capture CA's growing electric vehicle & electrification market...

Capture California's growing electric vehicle and electrification market--learn how at WECA and Qmerit's July 15 Webinar "The California EV and Electrification Tsunami".



Join WECA and one of our newest Industry Partners, Qmerit!

When: July 15, 2021 from 8:30 to 9:30 am PDT.
Where: Zoom

The California EV and Electrification Tsunami: How to become a player in the electrification movement.

Featured topics:
  • The future of electrification wave coming to California
  • Technology innovation
  • Growing your electrification business
  • Capturing this market
  • And more!


Free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees; $35 for all other attendees.

Register today!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 01, 2021   Save the date for WECA's 2021 NorCal and SoCal graduations!

Save the date for WECA's 2021 NorCal and SoCal graduations!

Invitations and sponsorship information coming soon



WECA's 2021 Commencement Ceremonies for our Northern and Southern California Graduating Apprenticeship and Electrician Trainee Program Classes of 2021, as well as special honors for attending 2020 Graduates, will be held on the dates shown above. Please save the date(s) and watch your WECA communications for more details as these events draw closer!
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 30, 2021   Drumroll, please! WECA's new Fresno training facility is open. Check it out below!

We're excited to announce the long-anticipated in-person opening of WECA's newest California training facility--Fresno!

7328 N. Remington Ave.
Fresno, CA 93711

Expanding opportunity in the Central Valley



Above: Commercial Electrical lab in Fresno, ready for Apprentices





Above: And they're here! Apprentices hard at work at the new lab in Fresno during our launch week!



Above: Fresno Lead Instructor George Leach leading an apprenticeship class discussion

Learn more about WECA apprenticeship programs and expanding training facilities across the West.
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 30, 2021   Check Out WECA's Newly Updated GetWired! 403: Jobsite Management Skills

Our September Course is Already Full, But You Can Get a Seat in the November Course if You Move Quickly

The newly-updated GetWired! 403 is designed around giving our students exposure to digital construction management platforms. Learn to use Procore’s Construction Management Software for project management and communications and Esticom Software for basic estimating.

This project-based course immerses students in real-world scenarios.

It's partially instructor-led, online on weeknight evenings, and partially self-paced, allowing students to progress on project scenarios at their own pace.

This class is designed for both Journeyperson Continuing Education Students and advanced Electrician Trainee Program Certificate students who have completed the appropriate prerequisites.

Some snapshots from the course:



Here we're looking at the basic functions of Procore, a leading construction management software solution for the industry that fully integrates with Esticom estimating software. Students will have full hands-on access to both applications.



Here we're learning the basics of estimating using the Esticom app. Students then apply their new digital estimating skills to a material take-off and estimate for an electrical lighting circuit.



This slide opens a section on Invitations to Bid, as students broaden their knowledge on what goes into submitting a bid.



In the Contracts section of the course, students learn about how to negotiate contract terms by applying negotiation techniques discussed in this lesson.

Jobsite Management Skills is a hybrid, partially instructor-led and partially self-paced online course which focuses on:
 
  • Providing an introduction to concepts, technology, and best practices for project management, electrical estimating in a software environment, jobsite leadership, and communications
  • Exposure to digital construction management platforms: Learn to use Procore’s Construction Management Software for project management and communications and Esticom Software for basic estimating using in-class instruction and self-paced video training.
  • Interpersonal skills and communications with internal and external stakeholders on the job, as well as those under your supervision
  • Using typical construction documentation and resources on construction management software to plan, manage, and record the electrical work processes of a typical residential/commercial construction project
  • The general leadership and foremanship skills required for profitable and successful project completion
This course is suitable for those already in a leadership role on a commercial or residential electrical jobsite who wish to enhance their skills, as well as suitable for those who want to develop the skills they need to be promoted to a leadership role.
 
  • Total class hours available: 32
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $339
  • Late Tuition Fee: $389
Our September instance of this upgraded course filled so fast it surprised even us, but there are still seats available in the next class, starting November 8th. Enroll today!

 
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 30, 2021   WECA Taking Applications for Low Voltage Apprentices in CA & Commercial Electrical Apprentices in AZ

Are you interested in becoming a Low Voltage Technician?

If yes, WECA wants YOU in California!

Or perhaps you've got your sights set on becoming a Commercial Electrician? Then WECA wants YOU in Arizona!

Taking apprenticeship applicants NOW!

Low Voltage Apprenticeship in California



Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship in Arizona



There's never been a better time to become a Low Voltage Apprentice or a Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA. We're actively accepting applicants now for our Low Voltage Apprenticeship program in California, and our Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program in Phoenix, Arizona!

Wondering why you should apply to become a Low Voltage Apprentice or Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA?

• You get PAID to learn during your Low Voltage Apprenticeship or Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program.

• You get REAL-WORLD work experience during your Apprenticeship. You'll learn the tools of the trade in the classroom, lab, and on the job, gain confidence in your knowledge and skills, and graduate into a high-demand career.

• You get to enjoy an EXCITING AND DYNAMIC career out in the field. Your work environment is always changing as you get to move from project to project and all sorts of different builds.

• We saved the best for last--you get to graduate with NO STUDENT DEBT! That's right--the WECA Member Contractor who employs you also pays your apprenticeship program tuition!

In short--the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program and the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program are not opportunities not to be missed--so what are you waiting for??

Click here to apply for our Low Voltage Apprenticeship program today!

Click here to apply for our Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program in Arizona today!
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 30, 2021   WECA Apprenticeship vs. the WECA GetWired! Electrician Trainee Program



P.S. When we have high demand for apprenticeship applicants, as we currently do for Commercial Electrical in Arizona and Low Voltage in California, wait times for the apprenticeship program can be much shorter than shown in the infographic.

Want to see this infographic in its full glory--or print it out for your reference? Click on the graphic!
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 30, 2021   Learn About Essential Training for Project Engineers & Non-Electrician Construction Professionals

Project Engineers and Other Non-Electrician Construction Professionals:

Get Essential Training with WECA's Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Path

Our member contractors asked, and WECA delivered.

Essential training for non-electrician construction professionals:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager
(PE to PM) Program

Get acquainted with a quick video:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program is here.

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program

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

Are you or a non-electrician construction professional in your life interested in enrolling? Click here.
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 30, 2021   Are you out of work? Check out WECA's Student Referral Service to Connect with a Great Employer!

Are you a current WECA student or graduate that's out of work?

Check out WECA's Student Referral Service: connect with a great employer today!

There's high demand all over California!



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. 

Three ways to sign up for the Student Referral Service today!
  1. Contact Trisha Hughes, Client Services Specialist I, 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, June 30, 2021   Seeking Qualified Electrician Instructors for Online Weeknight and Saturday Classes!

It's the Perfect Side Gig That Doesn't Interfere with Your Primary Job!

We're Experiencing Record Enrollment in Our GetWired! Program and Our Need for Additional Part-Time Instructors Just Keeps Growing





If you're a certified electrician or C-10 contractor (or a retired one, on either front), we've got a great opportunity for you: become a part-time, online WECA instructor on weeknights and Saturdays! It's the perfect side gig to complement your day job (or keep your skills sharp in your retirement), and you can bring in some extra cash sharing your expertise with the next generation of electricians in California.

Teach for WECA's GetWired! electrician training program from the comfort of home (with the option to also teach in-person Saturday labs).

Review the job listing and apply here.

Not yet qualified, but interested in completing your education and becoming a certified electrician in California--and maybe teaching for us some day in the future? Find out why the GetWired! Program, culminating in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, is training thousands of students across California, with more enrolling every day.
Read more >>


Thursday, June 24, 2021   WECA Political Update June 24, 2021

Victory For Property Rights in Supreme Court Union Trespassing Case. In a victory for property owners, the Supreme Court of the United States today affirmed that the government could not force people to allow third parties to trespass on their property. In Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid, two California agriculture businesses challenged a state law that allowed unions to access private property three hours per day, 120 days per year, to recruit new members. Pacific Legal Foundation represented the businesses at the Supreme Court, arguing that when the government allows a third party onto someone else’s private property without compensating the property owners, it violates their property rights. Story

Is Union Labor Requirement in The Way of Easing California’s Affordable Housing Crisis? CalMatters author Manuela Tobias poses this intriguing question in her analysis of Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates in State law. “California lawmakers introduced several bills this year that would rezone empty strip malls and big-box stores across the state to allow for new housing development without undergoing lengthy and costly local approvals. Two are sailing through the Legislature. The other died early on. A key difference? The successful bills had the support of arguably the most powerful entity in the Capitol on housing issues, the State Building and Construction Trades Council. The other faced its vehement opposition.” Story

Deadline Passes for Secretary of State to Verify Remaining Signatures in Newsom Recall June 22 was the deadline for the California Secretary of State to verify that enough valid signatures remain in the recall campaign targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to move the effort forward. Voters who signed petitions had until June 8 to request that county election offices remove their names from the petition. If at least 1,495,709 signatures remain, the recall process will proceed to a budgeting phase where the California Department of Finance will estimate the recall election's cost. Recall organizers originally submitted 1,719,943 valid signatures. Based on the remaining procedural steps required by state law for the recall campaign, an election is likely to occur in October or November 2021. The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials wrote on June 14 to Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) requesting that a recall election not occur before Sept. 14 due to supply chain issues to printing ballots and procuring envelopes. More

As Businesses Re-Open in California, COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Continues While the past week brought many changes around California for COVID-19 requirements, both the state statute and several local supplemental paid sick leave ordinances persist. The statewide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”) law remains in effect until September 30, 2021. Story

CA Employers Finally Have Guidance from Cal-OSHA on Updated Workplace COVID-19 Prevention Protocols The state of California, after a series of recommendations made and then withdrawn, has finally settled on new workplace safety guidelines. The Cal-OSHA Advisory Board approved the updated workplace COVID-19 prevention protocols on June 17, 2021, and Governor Gavin Newsom immediately issued an executive order implementing them. The guidelines help align workplace safety standards with the state public health guidance. Story

Biden Nominates SEIU General Counsel and Labor Law Attorney to NLRB On June 23, President Biden nominated David Prouty, the General Counsel of SEIU Local 32BJ, to serve as a member of the NLRB. Prouty has also served as a general counsel to the Major League Baseball Players Association and UNITE HERE and a member of the NLRB’s union advisory panel in the late 90s. Additionally, on May 26, Pres. Biden nominated labor law attorney Gwynne Wilcox to the Board. Wilcox is a senior partner at Levy Ratner PC, a union-side labor and employment firm, and serves as associate general counsel for the largest local SEIU. If confirmed, she would be the first African-American woman ever appointed to the NLRB. Three Republicans and one Democrat currently make up the Board, but Republican William Emmanuel’s term expires in August. If both Prouty and Wilcox are confirmed, the Board would have a 3-2 Democratic majority, opening the door to significant and radical policy changes.

A Family Affair: Children and Other Relatives of Biden Aides Get Administration Jobs Barely a week into office, President Biden made a promise that signaled a sharp break from his predecessor: No member of his family would be involved in government. But that vow did not extend to his senior staff and their relatives. In the first few months of Biden’s presidency, at least five children of his top aides have secured coveted jobs in the new administration. They include two sons and a daughter of the White House counselor, the daughter of a deputy White House chief of staff, and the daughter of the director of presidential personnel. Story

Union Organizing Trends: Use of Technology and Social Issues Union organizers effectively use technology and capitalize on prominent social issues to dramatically increase union organizing in the technology industry and elsewhere. No longer do union organizers have to meet employees face-to-face in their homes, their employer’s parking lot, or in a public gathering location such as in a restaurant or bar. The widespread use of smartphones, email, and social media has enabled union organizers to recruit virtually. These much less time-intensive organizing techniques have allowed union organizers to be more efficient and organize more employees in far less time. Story

Why Did IBEW create EVITP? California released an estimate of the number of EV chargers it will need by 2030, assuming it succeeds in its ambitious vehicle electrification goals. 1.2 million is the number of publicly accessible chargers needed to serve the 7.5 million EVs expected to be on the road by 2030, according to the Energy Commission's new analysis. For comparison, there's currently 73,000 public and shared chargers, and the state is on track to reach 123,000 by 2025. Newsom has proposed spending $500 million to boost that target to 250,000 stations. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who ordered the analysis as part of AB 2127, said it shows the state needs to increase its ambitions. "The assessment shows we must now scale up our installation efforts, building out our charging network for electric vehicle adoption to be as seamless as possible." Jimmy O'Dea, a senior vehicles analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists said the estimate would help signal funding needs. "Investors, banks, construction companies need to know the scale of investments needed to realize California's electric vehicle goals." Report

Utah’s Economy (and California’s) Weathering Pandemic Far Better than Hawaii’s Utah currently has the best-performing economy, and Hawaii has the worst-performing economy in the nation, according to an analysis by WalletHub. WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 29 key indicators, including GDP growth and employment rate. Utah ranked first in both of those categories, while Hawaii ranked last in both. While California ranked 3rd overall, it ranked near the bottom (42) in economic health due to high unemployment and the lowest change in non-farm payroll. Story



Workers First in Biden/Harris Trade Policy Recent news that consumer prices have risen more than expected in the past year added fuel to a debate over the threat of inflation as the economy rebounds. It also mostly drowned out another announcement on trade policy, one the Biden administration had hoped would send a significant signal that it was breaking from the past. Katherine Tai, the U.S. trade representative, told the A.F.L.-C.I.O. during a speech today that the White House was working to put workers first in its negotiations with its trading partners, shifting from the usual focus on macroeconomics and business interests. In her speech, Tai said the previous approach had “created a trust gap with the public about free trade.” Story

Price for Recall? California finance officials said that the gubernatorial recall election would cost counties an estimated $215.2 million based on projections that local officials recently provided. The Department of Finance sent its estimate to legislative leaders for use in the upcoming state budget, which is expected to reimburse counties for costs related to the special election. Having that tally in hand also could allow the department and Joint Legislative Budget Committee to collapse their allotted 30-day windows for reviewing election costs in the coming weeks, accelerating the recall calendar. On a separate but related issue, counties had until June 22 to tell the Secretary of State's office how many recall supporters withdrew their signatures from petitions. That number is expected to have no bearing on the recall situation, however, and the secretary of state soon after will tell the Department of Finance that its 30-day clock will begin. Finance could quickly respond with its report on recall costs or take additional time at its discretion. POLITICO

Mid-Year Recall Report (2021) In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall effort for this point since the first half of 2016 when they followed 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, they followed between 72 and 155 steps by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. Story

I4AW Study on PRO Act’s Impact On May 6, the Institute for the American Worker released a study analyzing the potential consequences of the PRO Act. Specifically, I4AW focused on how the resulting increases in unionization rates would affect union income and political contributions. Key findings include:
  • If unionization levels reached 1983 (16.8%), dues received could exceed $20 billion per year.
  • That means unions would have an additional $660 million to contribute to political campaigns each year.
Read more >>