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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   Commercial Electrical Apprentice Michael Webb to represent WECA at 2021 IDEAL National Championships

Please join us in congratulating WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice Michael Webb on earning the fastest Apprentice time in California in the IDEAL National Championship Qualifiers!

And stay tuned as he competes in the IDEAL National Championship in Nashville from December 15 through 17



We’re excited to announce that one of WECA’s very own will be representing us on the national stage at the 2021 IDEAL National Championship in Nashville from December 15 through 17! Third-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice Michael Webb—employed by WECA Member Contractor Butterfield Electric—earned the fastest Apprentice time in California at a qualifying event held at WECA’s Rancho Cordova headquarters the week of October 25, clocking in at 2:03:25.

“I have always been competitive and love competition, and on the day of the time trial, I watched a lot of people go first just to see how they did it and think about what I would have done to be faster,” says Michael. “After two fifth-year Apprentices got their times, they came into class and said they owned the time now and that we wouldn’t be able to touch it. I took what they said as a challenge and went back to do it again, telling the IDEAL proctor that I’d get it under three minutes easily this time and actually ended up finishing it a little over two minutes.”

Since finding out that he qualified for the National Championship, Michael has been preparing for the final competition by watching videos of past competitions to try to get a better understanding of what things will be like—from the boards to the size of the wire, and even the crowd size. Michael also constructed a small practice board in his garage to try and be even faster than he was during the qualifiers.

Michael’s path to WECA has been nonlinear, but when he looks back on his journey toward becoming a Commercial Electrical Apprentice, he realizes that his love for all things electrical was there all along.

“I was in college and had switched my major a couple of times. I thought engineering was what I wanted to do, but after awhile I realized that I didn’t really enjoy sitting behind a desk all day. After hearing from a WECA graduate how the program is run and what I’d be able to do in the field, I instantly knew this was something I wanted to do. Looking back, now it seems like such a clear path that I should have taken from the start, because in high school I found joy in setting up friends’ and my own car systems and was given the opportunity to redo the entire electrical system on a very old Jeep that I now own,” says Michael.

Michael credits his Apprenticeship success to various factors—engaged instructors, a dedicated employer, intensive job sites, and his mom.

“I’ve had James Hall for most of my classes and he is very informative and knowledgeable and doesn’t hesitate to elaborate on information to make sure everyone understands what we go over,” says Michael. “After I saw that I was on the leaderboard, James was actually the first person I told. And later that day we had a lab and he pulled me aside and showed me different methods of bending pipe that was faster than how I had been doing it before. He wants everyone in his class to succeed and always makes class fun and interesting.”

As for his employer Butterfield Electric, Michael says he “Still feels very lucky to have had them sponsor me so I could actually get into the program. I’ve been able to work with a lot of high-caliber electricians with them, and my employer put me with a high-caliber foreman that had taken an interest in me. He brought me with him to different jobs and has had me do a lot of challenging work that I’ve enjoyed every minute of.”

One of those jobs was a project at a VA hospital working on catheterization labs and operating rooms.

“The last job site we were on helped a lot,” says Michael. “The job was pretty much done by a four-person crew, so I got to get my hands on a lot of the work that needed to be done wiring the medical booms and all the other medical equipment, which really helped me hone my craft.”

And last—but not least—Michael says that his mom “Has always been there for me and always supported me, even when I dropped out of college with no plan. She is the one who connected me with the WECA graduate, which led me to join the trade, which I plan on having a very long career with.”

Congratulations on qualifying for the 2021 IDEAL National Championships, Michael! We’re thrilled to have you represent WECA on the national stage and will be cheering you on every step of the way. We wish you the best of luck!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   In a leadership role, or trying to promote to one? Check out GetWired! 403 Jobsite Management Skills

Are you in a leadership role and wanting to enhance your skills--or looking to expand your skillset to be promoted to foreman?

New Class Session Just Posted:

GetWired! 403 Jobsite Management Skills
32 hours; Feb. 23 - Apr. 25, 2022



GET WIRED! 403 Jobsite Management Skills

Recommended Prerequisite for Electrician Trainees: GET WIRED! 100 & 200 Series, 301 & 302 Strongly Advised

Jobsite Management Skills (GET WIRED! 403) 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 foreman.
  • Total class hours available: 32
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $339
  • Late Tuition Fee: $389
Click here to enroll in GetWired! 403 Jobsite Management Skills today!
Read more >>


Tuesday, November 30, 2021   Recap: Our Veterans Day 2021 spotlights on two current WECA Apprentices who have served

Plus, thank you to our Apprentices, Students, Staff, and Member Contractors who have served.

Joseph Aragon, III
United States Army



This past Veteran’s Day, we were proud to spotlight Joseph Aragon II, a United States Army veteran and third-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA Member Contractor Reyff Electric Company.

Joseph—who served as a 63B-Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in Afghanistan and Fort Lewis, Washington during his Army career—says that the Army taught him the principles of strong leadership, excellent worth ethic and the want and need for hard work, and that he’s applied it both in the classroom and on the jobsite during his Apprenticeship.

“I absolutely recommend an electrical career for veterans, and also for those who are going into the military,” says Joseph.

When in the classroom at WECA, Joseph notes that he particularly appreciates the teaching style of Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship instructor James Hall, saying “I really appreciate how much detail he puts into his instruction and willingness to pause to further explain [concepts] to his students who have questions.”

Joseph also suggests to current and future Apprentices that when in doubt or grappling with a rough patch, they “remember the ultimate goal and why you decided to pursue being an electrician," and reminds them that electricians "light the way.”
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Thank you for your service, Joseph, and thank you for being part of the WECA family!

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Charles Burnette
United States Army



Another Veteran’s Day spotlight we were proud to share comes to us courtesy of Charles Burnette, a Commercial Electrical Apprentice working for WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric!

Charles—who served in the Army for two years as an 11 Bravo infantryman stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia—was inspired to enter the trades by his father-in-law.

“I chose electrical because it’s forever changing and growing,” says Charles. “And I like WECA because it’s hands-on learning in the class and in the field, and I get to accumulate hours in the field while getting paid to go to school. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Charles’ favorite thing that he’s learned during his Apprenticeship was “potential” and learning how and why birds are not affected by the current when landing on a power line.

Charles says that current and future Apprentices should “keep an open mind because there is more than one way to do things; who knows—you may learn something new” and says that joining the trades after serving in the Army has “changed my life and given me a new drive to grow and learn.”
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Thank you for your service, Charles! We’re thrilled to have you as part of the inaugural WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program! 
Read more >>


Tuesday, November 30, 2021   National Apprenticeship Week 2021 recap

National Apprenticeship Week 2021 recap: learn more about WECA's new Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, and meet current and former WECA Apprentices, including some "Where Are They Now" Spotlights of Apprenticeship Grads

Get to know the new WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program by watching the video below!

Get to Know the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program
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Jeremy Alessandro, 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees Trustee, and Operations Manager of Alessandro Electric, Inc.



Jeremy Alessandro—2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees Trustee, and Operations Manager of Alessandro Electric, Inc.—started running his first large project immediately after graduating from WECA.

“It was a $680,000 HVAC project and lighting retrofit for Rocklin High School,” recalls Jeremy. “It involved a 13-person crew and a 90-day completion time; it was crazy going immediately from taking direction to directing a larger crew. Upon completion of that project there ended up being an immediate need to fill a purchasing role within the organization. Although I was just supposed to fill in, I made the position more than just purchasing. I started to find opportunities to go above and beyond in the role and over time, made it into an operation manager role. I created and continue to create process improvement for the company. I started with prefabrication design/support and continued to create standardization of work, safety training, strategic vendor relationships, and logistic improvements. I am currently reengineering the way projects are built from initially getting the job all the way through completion. I am always looking at the company and looking for the lowest hanging fruit (what will help the organization most) to improve upon. Constant improvement is necessary in this industry, and everything is changing around you. You can either be the catalyst for change or be run over by it.”

Jeremy’s career trajectory and advice are certainly inspiring—but that’s not all!
Here are some more nuggets of wisdom from Jeremy:
  • Jeremy’s favorite thing about his career is the ability to constantly improve. He always strives to make tomorrow better than today.
  • Jeremy advises current and future Apprentices alike to “Treat the Apprenticeship as your dream and don’t procrastinate.”
  • To ensure success after graduation, Jeremy says to remember some key sayings to get through tough times, such as:
  • Embrace the credo “It all pays the same.” This means that nothing is below you, and to lead by example.
  • “Do whatever it takes.” Be willing to go above and beyond in any situation, and you will more than likely be kept busy during the slow times.
  • “Living the dream.” Even if your day is hard, find what’s good in it and fake it if you have to, because we work together way too long and hard to deal with each other’s negativity.
  • Find a company and become indispensable. Many companies—including merit companies—will take into consideration how long you have been with the organization. Find a place you love and feel like you want to be with for the long haul and do whatever it takes to stay there. I would often during slow times wait for the next project rather than company hop, and that loyalty kept me busy.
  • Find your motivation in life, and then use that motivation to propel you to be the best every day. Don’t let anything stop you from your happiness. Almost all hardships are temporary and adapt to those which are not.
And last, but not least, Jeremy recalls his WECA Apprenticeship days fondly, saying that his favorite memory of his WECA Apprenticeship was the feeling he’d get every time he went back to class.

“It was amazing to be with a group of guys that were all there to make each other better,” says Jeremy. And he also recalls one instructor in particular—Jimmie Slemp—and credited him with “making electrical fun and always pushing me to be better.”

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Jay Taylor, 1998 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Vice Chair of the WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees, and current Field Operations Manager for Vasko Electric, Inc.



“Graduation is only your first accomplishment,” says Jay Taylor—1998 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Vice Chair of the WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees, and current Field Operations Manager for WECA Member Contractor Vasko Electric, Inc. “Continue to educate yourself with the great courses offered to you [at WECA]. If you are required to complete 32 hours of continuing education, complete 64 hours. Don’t just meet the expectations of your employer—exceed the expectations. Don’t just set goals and forget about it; set goals and let your supervisor know what they are and ask them to help you reach those goals.”

Speaking of accomplishments, Jay has had some notable ones during his career—like becoming Vasko’s first WECA Apprentice upon his hiring in 1993!

While at WECA, Jay fondly remembers his experiences in the classroom and with classmates, saying that “A great way to develop a friendship is to sit in a classroom for five years discussing the NEC. I didn’t just learn from the lessons provided; we also learned from each other by sharing our challenges on the job.”

After graduation, Jay “Became a foreman. For the next seven years I worked my way up to running some of the largest and most complicated projects Vasko Electric had to offer. I then moved into the office as a small projects manager for two years, and in 2009 I took on the role of superintendent. Over nine years, I managed the company’s workforce and safety [programs] and promoted education. The position is also responsible for projecting the workflow and sharing the peaks and valleys of our workforce with our team of project managers and estimators,” says Jay.

Jay continues, saying that “There are many things to like about our trade. There’s always room to grow and improve, and you don’t get bored with the work. There are constant changes to the code, the product we install, and technology. With these constant changes, it gives me the drive to strive for continuing education.”

Although Jay’s enjoyed success in his various roles at Vasko Electric since graduating from WECA, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

“Over the years I’ve stayed involved with WECA,” says Jay. “In 2012 I sat on the Apprentice Quality Task Force, which was developed to help with the intake process for both WECA staff and the Apprentices. In 2017 I became a trustee for WECA and currently have the privilege to sit with the board members.”

Thank you, Jay, for being such an integral part of the WECA family! We appreciate you and your contributions. 

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Jock Millspaugh (pictured far right), 2017 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Director of Maintenance and Operations for the Kerman Unified School District

2017 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice Graduate Jock Millspaugh’s motto is “Take every opportunity to invest in yourself. Further your education. Get any certification that’s available. You never know what’s coming around the corner, so you might as well be ready for everything.”

And ready for everything he was. After graduating from WECA in 2017, Jock worked for Valley Unique Electric as a Journeyman electrician for two years. In 2019, he applied for and was hired as the Director of Maintenance and Operations for the Kerman Unified School District, where he directly oversees a crew of seven maintenance workers who work on seven school sites serving a total of 5,500 students.

Jock says that his favorite thing about his career is the relative freedom and varying nature of his work, stating that “I get to fix things! We replace flooring, upgrade electrical, renovate classrooms and multipurpose rooms, and so much more. I really love the freedom of improving our facilities. Being able to make a difference in the community is truly the most rewarding part of my new career.”

While at WECA, Jock’s favorite parts of the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program were his classmates and instructors.

“We had a lot of fun,” Jock says. “The labs were always a good time too. In class we learned who could talk the talk. In labs we learned who could walk the walk. Although, the [health] insurance wasn’t too bad either.”

As a WECA alumnus, Jock had the following advice to impart upon current and prospective Apprentices: “Take the time to network and get to know your fellow classmates. The relationships you build will last long after graduation. Your peers will be a great resource for job openings, troubleshooting, and friendship. Learn from their experiences. Get to know them on a professional and personal level. These relationships will prove to be extremely valuable in the future.”

Further, Jock says that “There’s nothing wrong with being a lifelong electrician. It can be very financially rewarding. But you should never stop learning. Stay current, as the electrical code changes and new regulations demand that we continually evolve with the ever-changing landscape of the industry. There is always room for growth. The more you invest in your career, the more you’ll get out of it. Try and absorb as much information as possible from other tradesmen with more experience. Also, get to know the sequencing of a construction project. Understanding the order of operations can help you avoid problems before they become problems. Lastly, if you’re in your 20s, save as much of your money as possible. Put away 15 percent of your check for retirement. You’ll thank me when you’re 55.”

Jock also acknowledges that he wouldn’t be where he is today without support from family and colleagues.

“Hogi Selling owns Valley Unique Electric. He took a shot on me and it changed my life. He didn’t give me a job—he gave me a career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me,” says Jock. “Also, a shout-out to my dad for encouraging me to become an electrician, and to my wife, who is an amazing mother! Lastly, thank you to the instructors at WECA—Keith, Jimmie, Mike and Ned—who really made class a lot of fun, and to WECA Insurance Administrator Cindy Cormier, for always being helpful.”

Thank you, Jock, for being part of the WECA family! We are gratified to see you excelling in your career. 

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George Cook-Cantu, fourth-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice with Rex Moore Group, Inc.



Fourth-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice George Cook-Cantu was one of the lucky few to get their start in the trades in high school. He had the opportunity to work for WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore Group, Inc., where he discovered how much he enjoyed building things and observed that when working around the electricians, he enjoyed the same bond and camaraderie that he experienced as a high school athlete. Though he didn’t pursue an electrical Apprenticeship immediately after high school, the experience stayed with him and eventually inspired him to become an electrician.

However, when he decided to pursue a career in the electrical industry, choosing Rex Moore and WECA was a no-brainer.

“One of the major goals of the WECA Apprenticeship is to create the next generation of leaders,” says George. “Because of this and the high level of education [WECA provides], I knew the WECA Apprenticeship route was the correct one for me.”

Now that he’s in the midst of his Apprenticeship, George says that his favorite thing is learning about the willingness to adapt.

“On the jobsite there is constant change. There is constant change of personnel, which means many personalities need to be navigated for the job to be done efficiently. There is also the need to be flexible with planned work due to other trades [on the jobsite]. And more recently, the willingness to adapt has been amplified by COVID protocols and mandates. The ability to adapt is a skill I will continue to sharpen both at work and in my personal life,” says George.

While in the classroom at WECA’s Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters, though, George loves that all the instructors at WECA have something unique to offer. However, his favorite instructor is James Hall, due to James’ success at delivering foundational first-year electrical concepts with a balance of urgency and humor.

And although George is still building his electrical career, he says the keys to success he’s found so far are to “Divide the years of Apprenticeship through goals. Five years can seem overwhelming and long. There is no perfect way of dividing up the Apprenticeship. It will depend on your personal ambitions and execution. I personally set a career goal that I wanted to achieve by the end of year two. Then I set a goal that I want to be achieved by the end of year four. My final year will be about making a smooth transition out of the Apprenticeship and into a leadership role,” says George.

All told, though, George says that “The WECA Apprenticeship has had a significant impact on my life. I have found a great career in electrical and with the education, structure and guidance provided through the Apprenticeship, I will have the tools needed to thrive in construction.”

Thank you for choosing WECA for your Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship, George! We’re glad to have you here, and wish you every success as you continue to craft your career in the commercial electrical industry! 

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Adam Moreno, 2014 Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate and owner of Cal Valley Electric



Becoming a Commercial Electrician through WECA’s Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program can take you to myriad places. For 2014 Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Adam Moreno, it eventually led to him opening his own electrical contracting business—Cal Valley Electric—in 2019.

Prior to opening his own electrical contracting business, Adam worked with WECA Member Contractor Valley Unique Electric, working his way up to the Journeyman and Foreman roles.

“My favorite thing about my career is that I have learned a skill that will forever be needed,” Adam says. “I am always going to be part of something that benefits the community whether it be a school, hospital, community center or church.”

Looking back on his Apprenticeship, Adam says that his favorite memories are that of the people he met along the way, like the classmates that he learned the trade with. But he also implores current and future Apprentices to “Find a mentor, coworker, classmate, employer or anyone in the trade to try and learn from, and respect the trade. Ask questions—it’s okay not to know something but WECA’s instructors are there to guide you in the right direction.”

Adam continues, stating that Apprentices should “Continue learning because a few updates in the NEC and local codes could change when you didn’t realize it. And after you graduate, remember the instructors that helped you through those five years—they didn’t leave; they are still there for questions and gladly give advice when asked.”

Though Adam is now successful in his own electrical contracting career, he knows he owes some of his success to mentors, friends, and loved ones.

“Jason Jensen is the true definition of a mentor whether it be personal, religious, or work-related. Our conversations are always genuine with lots of laughter and are always appreciated. Mike Golden, my best friend, previous roommate, and previous Apprentice—who would’ve thought [we’d be here] on that day thirteen years ago when he asked me if I wanted to be an Apprentice. My wife, who has been there since my second semester in my first year—to understanding that long hours, late nights out of town at work, and more are just part of the business. And Valley Unique Electric, thank you for everything that lead me to where I am today; I appreciate it,” says Adam.

Congratulations on founding your own electrical contracting business, Adam! It is great to see you thriving in your chosen career, and we look forward to seeing what else you achieve. 
 
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   Introducing WECA's newest Apprenticeship instructor, Jaron Stroud!

Get to know Jaron--who's based at our new Fresno training facility--below!

Jaron Stroud, 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate and WECA Fresno's newest Apprenticeship instructor



Meet Jaron Stroud, WECA Fresno’s newest Apprenticeship instructor (and 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate)!

Looking back on his Apprenticeship, Stroud fondly remembers “growing up with my fellow students as we all became better and better electricians. Remembering what we were learning and struggling with in the beginning and then realizing how much we progressed semester after semester gave me pride in myself as well as my fellow classmates that went on that journey with me.”

Since graduating from WECA in 2015, Stroud’s immersed himself in myriad aspects of the electrical industry.

“I did what I could to see everything that the field has to offer,” says Stroud. “I tried my hand in my different areas of the electrical field, like solar, industrial, motor controls, traffic signals and street lights, and eventually got into teaching.”

Stroud says his favorite thing about being a teacher is that “I get the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment knowing that I am helping new electricians starting their career get the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their workplace. I had many people help me along my career path and am more than happy to pay it forward to those wanting to get into this career.”

And now Stroud is giving back and ensuring that current and future WECA Apprentices succeed similarly. His advice is to “Keep in mind that education is what separates good electricians from great electricians. Being in a field that changes so rapidly, becoming complacent in what you know now will only limit your chances of advancement in the long run. Become a lifetime student…as an Apprentice, you’ll be expected to learn many things very quickly but even after you’ve accumulated enough skills and knowhow to be successful at your current job, keep taking advantage of every opportunity to grow, because it will only help you become that much more valuable as your career progresses.”

Stroud also particularly attributes his success to a few past WECA instructors as well as his fiancée.

“I’d like to give a shout-out to all my past WECA instructors—Zach, Jimmie, Ned, and Mike. I would also like to thank my fiancée Jordyn for her love and constant support, for all the late nights and early mornings, and for keeping me sane over the past few years. Thank you for being my muse, chronicler, proofreader, and brain-stormer. But most of all, thank you for being my best friend. I owe you everything.”

Well said, Jaron! We’re thrilled to have another WECA alum on our team, and know you’ll do great things at our new Fresno training facility!
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Tuesday, November 30, 2021   WECA's Student Referral Service: connect with a great employer in Sonoma County today!


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

WECA Contractors urgently hiring Electrician Trainees in Sonoma County NOW!



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

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

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

Three ways to sign up for the Student Referral Service today! Electrician Trainees residing in Sonoma County are in extra-high demand now--don't miss out on your next great opportunity! Act 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 >>


Thursday, November 18, 2021   Motion granted to stay OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard

Content Courtesy of OSHA.GOV: On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) ("ETS"). The court ordered that OSHA "take no steps to implement or enforce" the ETS "until further court order." While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation.

OSHA page for COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS
Read more >>


Thursday, November 18, 2021   Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for a Webinar Series on Prevailing Wage; Skilled and Trained Workforce

Part 1 (Prevailing Wage) on Dec. 7

Part 2 (Skilled and Trained Workforce) on Dec. 14



Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman December 7 for Part 1 of a two-part webinar series on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce. Part 1 will cover Prevailing Wage, including:
  • Identifying and understanding the wage determination applicable to your project
  • Taking credit for employer-provided fringe benefits
  • Record-keeping
  • Apprenticeship compliance
  • Enforcement
Register today to join us online on December 7, from 8:30 to 10:30 AM, for Part 1 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is complimentary for WECA Member Contractors and their employees as a WECA member benefit! All others are $75/registration.

Register for the Dec. 7 webinar here!



Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for Part 2 of a two-part webinar series on December 14. Part 2 will focus on Skilled and Trained Workforce, where Carrie will discuss:
  • Recognizing to which types of projects Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements apply
  • Understanding apprentice graduation requirements
  • Compliance and enforcement
Register today to join us online on December 14, from 8:30 to 9:30 AM, for Part 2 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is complimentary for WECA Member Contractors and their employees as a WECA member benefit! All others are $75/registration.

Register for the Dec. 14 webinar here!
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Thursday, November 18, 2021   Looking to conduct Apprenticeship outreach and workforce development in your community?

Looking to conduct Apprenticeship outreach and workforce development in your community? WECA would be thrilled to have Member Contractors join us at these CIE Foundation Trades Day events:

January 27, 2022 in Chico

February 1, 2022 in Orange County



Register as a Sponsor for Trades Day on January 27, 2022 in Chico

Register as a Sponsor for Trades Day on February 1, 2022 in Orange County
Read more >>


Thursday, November 18, 2021   Missed our Veterans Day coverage? Here's two spotlights on WECA Apprentices who've served

Joseph Aragon, III
United States Army



This Veteran’s Day, we’re proud to spotlight Joseph Aragon II, a United States Army veteran and third-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA Member Contractor Reyff Electric Company.

Joseph—who served as a 63B-Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in Afghanistan and Fort Lewis, Washington during his Army career—says that the Army taught him the principles of strong leadership, excellent worth ethic and the want and need for hard work, and that he’s applied it both in the classroom and on the jobsite during his Apprenticeship.

“I absolutely recommend an electrical career for veterans, and also for those who are going into the military,” says Joseph.

When in the classroom at WECA, Joseph notes that he particularly appreciates the teaching style of Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship instructor James Hall, saying “I really appreciate how much detail he puts into his instruction and willingness to pause to further explain [concepts] to his students who have questions.”

Joseph also suggests to current and future Apprentices that when in doubt or grappling with a rough patch, they “remember the ultimate goal and why you decided to pursue being an electrician," and reminds them that electricians "light the way.”
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Thank you for your service, Joseph, and thank you for being part of the WECA family!

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Charles Burnette
United States Army



Another Veteran’s Day spotlight we're proud to share comes to us courtesy of Charles Burnette, a Commercial Electrical Apprentice working for WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric!

Charles—who served in the Army for two years as an 11 Bravo infantryman stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia—was inspired to enter the trades by his father-in-law.

“I chose electrical because it’s forever changing and growing,” says Charles. “And I like WECA because it’s hands-on learning in the class and in the field, and I get to accumulate hours in the field while getting paid to go to school. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Charles’ favorite thing that he’s learned during his Apprenticeship was “potential” and learning how and why birds are not affected by the current when landing on a power line.

Charles says that current and future Apprentices should “keep an open mind because there is more than one way to do things; who knows—you may learn something new” and says that joining the trades after serving in the Army has “changed my life and given me a new drive to grow and learn.”
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Thank you for your service, Charles! We’re thrilled to have you as part of the inaugural WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program! 
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Thursday, November 18, 2021   It's National Apprenticeship Week!

Join in on the fun with a video introducing our new Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, spotlights on current and former Apprentices and behind-the-scenes looks at our Commercial Electrical and Low Voltage open houses in Sacramento/Rancho Cordova and San Diego!

This National Apprenticeship Week, get to know the new WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program by watching the video below!

Get to Know the WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program

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Jaron Stroud, 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate and WECA Fresno's newest Apprenticeship instructor



Let’s kick off National Apprenticeship Week 2021 with a spotlight on Jaron Stroud, WECA Fresno’s newest Apprenticeship instructor (and 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate)!

Looking back on his Apprenticeship, Stroud fondly remembers “growing up with my fellow students as we all became better and better electricians. Remembering what we were learning and struggling with in the beginning and then realizing how much we progressed semester after semester gave me pride in myself as well as my fellow classmates that went on that journey with me.”

Since graduating from WECA in 2015, Stroud’s immersed himself in myriad aspects of the electrical industry.

“I did what I could to see everything that the field has to offer,” says Stroud. “I tried my hand in my different areas of the electrical field, like solar, industrial, motor controls, traffic signals and street lights, and eventually got into teaching.”

Stroud says his favorite thing about being a teacher is that “I get the feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment knowing that I am helping new electricians starting their career get the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their workplace. I had many people help me along my career path and am more than happy to pay it forward to those wanting to get into this career.”

And now Stroud is giving back and ensuring that current and future WECA Apprentices succeed similarly. His advice is to “Keep in mind that education is what separates good electricians from great electricians. Being in a field that changes so rapidly, becoming complacent in what you know now will only limit your chances of advancement in the long run. Become a lifetime student…as an Apprentice, you’ll be expected to learn many things very quickly but even after you’ve accumulated enough skills and knowhow to be successful at your current job, keep taking advantage of every opportunity to grow, because it will only help you become that much more valuable as your career progresses.”

Stroud also particularly attributes his success to a few past WECA instructors as well as his fiancée.

“I’d like to give a shout-out to all my past WECA instructors—Zach, Jimmie, Ned, and Mike. I would also like to thank my fiancée Jordyn for her love and constant support, for all the late nights and early mornings, and for keeping me sane over the past few years. Thank you for being my muse, chronicler, proofreader, and brain-stormer. But most of all, thank you for being my best friend. I owe you everything.”

Well said, Jaron! We’re thrilled to have another WECA alumnus on our team, and know you’ll do great things at our new Fresno training facility!

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Jeremy Alessandro, 2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees Trustee, and Operations Manager of Alessandro Electric, Inc.



Jeremy Alessandro—2015 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees Trustee, and Operations Manager of Alessandro Electric, Inc.—started running his first large project immediately after graduating from WECA.

“It was a $680,000 HVAC project and lighting retrofit for Rocklin High School,” recalls Jeremy. “It involved a 13-person crew and a 90-day completion time; it was crazy going immediately from taking direction to directing a larger crew. Upon completion of that project there ended up being an immediate need to fill a purchasing role within the organization. Although I was just supposed to fill in, I made the position more than just purchasing. I started to find opportunities to go above and beyond in the role and over time, made it into an operation manager role. I created and continue to create process improvement for the company. I started with prefabrication design/support and continued to create standardization of work, safety training, strategic vendor relationships, and logistic improvements. I am currently reengineering the way projects are built from initially getting the job all the way through completion. I am always looking at the company and looking for the lowest hanging fruit (what will help the organization most) to improve upon. Constant improvement is necessary in this industry, and everything is changing around you. You can either be the catalyst for change or be run over by it.”

Jeremy’s career trajectory and advice are certainly inspiring—but that’s not all!
Here are some more nuggets of wisdom from Jeremy:
  • Jeremy’s favorite thing about his career is the ability to constantly improve. He always strives to make tomorrow better than today.
  • Jeremy advises current and future Apprentices alike to “Treat the Apprenticeship as your dream and don’t procrastinate.”
  • To ensure success after graduation, Jeremy says to remember some key sayings to get through tough times, such as:
  • Embrace the credo “It all pays the same.” This means that nothing is below you, and to lead by example.
  • “Do whatever it takes.” Be willing to go above and beyond in any situation, and you will more than likely be kept busy during the slow times.
  • “Living the dream.” Even if your day is hard, find what’s good in it and fake it if you have to, because we work together way too long and hard to deal with each other’s negativity.
  • Find a company and become indispensable. Many companies—including merit companies—will take into consideration how long you have been with the organization. Find a place you love and feel like you want to be with for the long haul and do whatever it takes to stay there. I would often during slow times wait for the next project rather than company hop, and that loyalty kept me busy.
  • Find your motivation in life, and then use that motivation to propel you to be the best every day. Don’t let anything stop you from your happiness. Almost all hardships are temporary and adapt to those which are not.


And last, but not least, Jeremy recalls his WECA Apprenticeship days fondly, saying that his favorite memory of his WECA Apprenticeship was the feeling he’d get every time he went back to class.

“It was amazing to be with a group of guys that were all there to make each other better,” says Jeremy. And he also recalls one instructor in particular—Jimmie Slemp—and credited him with “making electrical fun and always pushing me to be better.”

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Jay Taylor, 1998 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Vice Chair of the WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees, and current Field Operations Manager for Vasko Electric, Inc.



“Graduation is only your first accomplishment,” says Jay Taylor—1998 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Vice Chair of the WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees, and current Field Operations Manager for WECA Member Contractor Vasko Electric, Inc. “Continue to educate yourself with the great courses offered to you [at WECA]. If you are required to complete 32 hours of continuing education, complete 64 hours. Don’t just meet the expectations of your employer—exceed the expectations. Don’t just set goals and forget about it; set goals and let your supervisor know what they are and ask them to help you reach those goals.”

Speaking of accomplishments, Jay has had some notable ones during his career—like becoming Vasko’s first WECA Apprentice upon his hiring in 1993!

While at WECA, Jay fondly remembers his experiences in the classroom and with classmates, saying that “A great way to develop a friendship is to sit in a classroom for five years discussing the NEC. I didn’t just learn from the lessons provided; we also learned from each other by sharing our challenges on the job.”

After graduation, Jay “Became a foreman. For the next seven years I worked my way up to running some of the largest and most complicated projects Vasko Electric had to offer. I then moved into the office as a small projects manager for two years, and in 2009 I took on the role of superintendent. Over nine years, I managed the company’s workforce and safety [programs] and promoted education. The position is also responsible for projecting the workflow and sharing the peaks and valleys of our workforce with our team of project managers and estimators,” says Jay.

Jay continues, saying that “There are many things to like about our trade. There’s always room to grow and improve, and you don’t get bored with the work. There are constant changes to the code, the product we install, and technology. With these constant changes, it gives me the drive to strive for continuing education.”
Although Jay’s enjoyed success in his various roles at Vasko Electric since graduating from WECA, he hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

“Over the years I’ve stayed involved with WECA,” says Jay. “In 2012 I sat on the Apprentice Quality Task Force, which was developed to help with the intake process for both WECA staff and the Apprentices. In 2017 I became a trustee for WECA and currently have the privilege to sit with the board members.”

Thank you, Jay, for being such an integral part of the WECA family! We appreciate you and your contributions. 

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Jock Millspaugh (pictured far right), 2017 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate, current Director of Maintenance and Operations for the Kerman Unified School District



2017 WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice Graduate Jock Millspaugh’s motto is “Take every opportunity to invest in yourself. Further your education. Get any certification that’s available. You never know what’s coming around the corner, so you might as well be ready for everything.”

And ready for everything he was. After graduating from WECA in 2017, Jock worked for Valley Unique Electric as a Journeyman electrician for two years. In 2019, he applied for and was hired as the Director of Maintenance and Operations for the Kerman Unified School District, where he directly oversees a crew of seven maintenance workers who work on seven school sites serving a total of 5,500 students.

Jock says that his favorite thing about his career is the relative freedom and varying nature of his work, stating that “I get to fix things! We replace flooring, upgrade electrical, renovate classrooms and multipurpose rooms, and so much more. I really love the freedom of improving our facilities. Being able to make a difference in the community is truly the most rewarding part of my new career.”

While at WECA, Jock’s favorite parts of the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program were his classmates and instructors.

“We had a lot of fun,” Jock says. “The labs were always a good time too. In class we learned who could talk the talk. In labs we learned who could walk the walk. Although, the [health] insurance wasn’t too bad either.”

As a WECA alumnus, Jock had the following advice to impart upon current and prospective Apprentices: “Take the time to network and get to know your fellow classmates. The relationships you build will last long after graduation. Your peers will be a great resource for job openings, troubleshooting, and friendship. Learn from their experiences. Get to know them on a professional and personal level. These relationships will prove to be extremely valuable in the future.”

Further, Jock says that “There’s nothing wrong with being a lifelong electrician. It can be very financially rewarding. But you should never stop learning. Stay current, as the electrical code changes and new regulations demand that we continually evolve with the ever-changing landscape of the industry. There is always room for growth. The more you invest in your career, the more you’ll get out of it. Try and absorb as much information as possible from other tradesmen with more experience. Also, get to know the sequencing of a construction project. Understanding the order of operations can help you avoid problems before they become problems. Lastly, if you’re in your 20s, save as much of your money as possible. Put away 15 percent of your check for retirement. You’ll thank me when you’re 55.”

Jock also acknowledges that he wouldn’t be where he is today without support from family and colleagues.

“Hogi Selling owns Valley Unique Electric. He took a shot on me and it changed my life. He didn’t give me a job—he gave me a career. I will always be grateful for the opportunity he gave me,” says Jock. “Also, a shout-out to my dad for encouraging me to become an electrician, and to my wife, who is an amazing mother! Lastly, thank you to the instructors at WECA—Keith, Jimmie, Mike and Ned—who really made class a lot of fun, and to WECA Insurance Administrator Cindy Cormier, for always being helpful.”

Thank you, Jock, for being part of the WECA family! We are gratified to see you excelling in your career. 

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George Cook-Cantu, fourth-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice with Rex Moore Group, Inc.



Fourth-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice George Cook-Cantu was one of the lucky few to get their start in the trades in high school. He had the opportunity to work for WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore Group, Inc., where he discovered how much he enjoyed building things and observed that when working around the electricians, he enjoyed the same bond and camaraderie that he experienced as a high school athlete. Though he didn’t pursue an electrical Apprenticeship immediately after high school, the experience stayed with him and eventually inspired him to become an electrician.

However, when he decided to pursue a career in the electrical industry, choosing Rex Moore and WECA was a no-brainer.

“One of the major goals of the WECA Apprenticeship is to create the next generation of leaders,” says George. “Because of this and the high level of education [WECA provides], I knew the WECA Apprenticeship route was the correct one for me.”

Now that he’s in the midst of his Apprenticeship, George says that his favorite thing is learning about the willingness to adapt.

“On the jobsite there is constant change. There is constant change of personnel, which means many personalities need to be navigated for the job to be done efficiently. There is also the need to be flexible with planned work due to other trades [on the jobsite]. And more recently, the willingness to adapt has been amplified by COVID protocols and mandates. The ability to adapt is a skill I will continue to sharpen both at work and in my personal life,” says George.

While in the classroom at WECA’s Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters, though, George loves that all the instructors at WECA have something unique to offer. However, his favorite instructor is James Hall, due to James’ success at delivering foundational first-year electrical concepts with a balance of urgency and humor.

And although George is still building his electrical career, he says the keys to success he’s found so far are to “Divide the years of Apprenticeship through goals. Five years can seem overwhelming and long. There is no perfect way of dividing up the Apprenticeship. It will depend on your personal ambitions and execution. I personally set a career goal that I wanted to achieve by the end of year two. Then I set a goal that I want to be achieved by the end of year four. My final year will be about making a smooth transition out of the Apprenticeship and into a leadership role,” says George.

All told, though, George says that “The WECA Apprenticeship has had a significant impact on my life. I have found a great career in electrical and with the education, structure and guidance provided through the Apprenticeship, I will have the tools needed to thrive in construction.”

Thank you for choosing WECA for your Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship, George! We’re glad to have you here, and wish you every success as you continue to craft your career in the commercial electrical industry! 

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Adam Moreno, 2014 Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate and owner of Cal Valley Electric



Becoming a Commercial Electrician through WECA’s Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program can take you to myriad places. For 2014 Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Adam Moreno, it eventually led to him opening his own electrical contracting business—Cal Valley Electric—in 2019.

Prior to opening his own electrical contracting business, Adam worked with WECA Member Contractor Valley Unique Electric, working his way up to the Journeyman and Foreman roles.

“My favorite thing about my career is that I have learned a skill that will forever be needed,” Adam says. “I am always going to be part of something that benefits the community whether it be a school, hospital, community center or church.”

Looking back on his Apprenticeship, Adam says that his favorite memories are that of the people he met along the way, like the classmates that he learned the trade with. But he also implores current and future Apprentices to “Find a mentor, coworker, classmate, employer or anyone in the trade to try and learn from, and respect the trade. Ask questions—it’s okay not to know something but WECA’s instructors are there to guide you in the right direction.”

Adam continues, stating that Apprentices should “Continue learning because a few updates in the NEC and local codes could change when you didn’t realize it. And after you graduate, remember the instructors that helped you through those five years—they didn’t leave; they are still there for questions and gladly give advice when asked.”

Though Adam is now successful in his own electrical contracting career, he knows he owes some of his success to mentors, friends, and loved ones.

“Jason Jensen is the true definition of a mentor whether it be personal, religious, or work-related. Our conversations are always genuine with lots of laughter and are always appreciated. Mike Golden, my best friend, previous roommate, and previous Apprentice—who would’ve thought [we’d be here] on that day thirteen years ago when he asked me if I wanted to be an Apprentice. My wife, who has been there since my second semester in my first year—to understanding that long hours, late nights out of town at work, and more are just part of the business. And Valley Unique Electric, thank you for everything that lead me to where I am today; I appreciate it,” says Adam.

Congratulations on founding your own electrical contracting business, Adam! It is great to see you thriving in your chosen career, and we look forward to seeing what else you achieve. 

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But that's not all! Check out some snaps from our Commercial Electrical and Low Voltage open houses in Sacramento/Rancho Cordova and San Diego!

Sacramento/Rancho Cordova open house



We treated attendees to Starbucks, snacks, and WECA swag!



Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager Jimmie Slemp (pictured far left) speaks while Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan and Apprenticeship Instructor John Arias (pictured far right) look on.



Apprenticeship Instructor John Arias gives attendees a brief overview of the Low Voltage Apprenticeship program.



Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager Jimmie Slemp explains the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program to attendees.



Attendees were able to do a hands-on demo with wiring!



Meanwhile, in the Commercial Electrical lab, Slemp guides an attendee through a hands-on demo.

San Diego open house



Workforce Development Supervisor Diane Trotter explains the merits of WECA's three Apprenticeship programs to attendees as Apprenticeship Curriculum Developer Talon Pobuda looks on.



Attendees listened with interest to a presentation on WECA's three Apprenticeship programs.



Pobuda shows attendees the Low Voltage Apprenticeship lab setup.



Then, Pobuda pivoted over to the Commercial Electrical lab, where he explained the basics of motor controls to attendees.


 
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Thursday, November 18, 2021   Article: California's power grab over batteries

Content courtesy of: Sammy Roth/Los Angeles Times

You may not have heard of the Contractors State License Board, or CSLB.

But the California agency sent shock waves through the solar industry this summer when it ruled that providers of rooftop solar equipment would no longer be allowed to install batteries — increasingly popular for keeping the lights on during blackouts — without getting a new license that might require them to overhaul their workforce.

Industry leaders were apoplectic, saying the requirement would be impossible to meet and would crash the rooftop solar market. They filed a lawsuit to block it.

The groups pushing the rule change frame it as a safety issue. By requiring solar companies to use certified electricians to handle battery installations, they have argued, state officials can limit the risk of lithium-ion battery fires, explosions and other hazards.

So, on the surface, this is a technical dispute over battery safety and workforce training requirements. But below the surface lurks a long-simmering conflict between the rooftop solar industry and organized labor.

If that sounds familiar, you may have read The Times’ coverage of net energy metering, the rooftop solar incentive program that utility companies are trying to persuade state officials to slash. Unions representing utility workers and electricians also want to see incentives reduced, in part because rooftop solar threatens the utility business model and in part because most rooftop solar jobs are nonunion. Construction jobs building large solar farms, by contrast, typically go to union members.

This has created tension in California, with politically powerful labor groups pushing lawmakers to support big solar farms and utility infrastructure at the expense of rooftop installations. The dispute over contracting standards is a revealing example of that tension.

The idea of barring most solar companies from installing batteries —unless they obtain an electrical contractor’s license, which requires employees performing such work to be certified electricians — was first proposed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Assn., whose member companies hire IBEW workers.

The proposal was adopted by CSLB, which regulates the construction industry and seeks to protect public health and safety. Most of its members are appointed by the governor. The board’s 11-3 vote reversed the agency’s earlier judgment that firms with C-46 solar contractor’s licenses could install batteries paired with solar panels.

Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar and Storage Assn., said the about-face is damaging because homes and businesses that want solar increasingly want energy storage, too, as protection against wildfire-driven power outages and the threat of rolling blackouts.

“We can’t comply with this. People will go out of business,” Del Chiaro said. “Prices will go up, and we’ll lose the ability to meet customer demand for clean energy.”

Groups on the other side of the debate offer a different interpretation.

Eddie Bernacchi, a lobbyist for the National Electrical Contractors Assn., said this is “a dispute between electrical contractors and solar contractors over jurisdiction,” not a union-versus-nonunion issue. Requiring solar-plus-storage projects to be installed by contractors with certified electricians, he said, would not only improve safety but also lead to higher wages in the solar industry.

“The electrical contractors offer a path to higher wages and a real career,” Bernacchi said.

Tom Enslow, an attorney representing the contractors association and IBEW, made a similar case. He said that while the new rule would allow union shops to better compete in the solar market, CSLB’s decision was “more about safety and precedent.”

“What’s happened is that the solar industry started pushing a theory that, hey, as long as we install an energy storage system at the same time, we should be allowed to do that work,” Enslow said. “It’s pretty clear they are separate systems.”

Those arguments seemingly convinced the state board.

Nancy Springer, the chief building official for Sacramento County, said she and her fellow board members “have to be aware of protecting the consumers and making sure that [the solar systems are] installed properly, and that people have the proper training.”

Johnny Simpson, who formerly led an IBEW local and was appointed to the state board by the Senate Rules Committee, responded to calls for more debate by saying, “It’s time to put this issue to bed.”

Carol Zabin, who leads the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s Green Economy Program, co-authored a report that helped prompt CSLB’s decision. She said she and her team — which included a chemical safety expert — found little difference between the cost of a solar system installed by a firm using certified electricians and the cost of one not using certified electricians.

“It’s about whether you want a certified workforce or not,” Zabin said. “They have no certifications in that industry.”

The solar industry pushed back against those claims. Barry Cinnamon, chief executive of Bay Area solar and battery installer Cinnamon Energy Systems, said the idea that companies like his don’t train workers to handle energy storage systems is absurd. The companies that manufacture lithium-ion batteries — such as Enphase, LG and Tesla —
also require workers who install their products to sit for several hours oft raining, Cinnamon said.

“You have to be trained, or they won’t sell you the battery,” he said.

You’re probably wondering if batteries really can be safety hazards. The answer: “Yes, but ...”

Yes, they can, but 60,000 residential batteries have been installed in California, and nobody can cite a single example of a serious safety incident.

There was an explosion that injured first responders in Arizona and, more recently, an overheating issue that resulted in the world’s largest battery facility, in Moss Landing, Calif., being shut down, at least temporarily. But those problems involved large battery banks operated by utilities or major energy companies, not home batteries installed by solar contractors.

The UC Berkeley Labor Center’s report acknowledged that “there have been no significant incidents with injury or death that we could identify.” Still, the authors wrote, there are “significant data gaps that preclude definitive statements that risks are low.”

To Del Chiaro, fires ignited by power lines are a much bigger safety threat — and rooftop solar can limit the need for those lines. She pointed out that the utilities that own those lines — Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric — all submitted letters supporting the idea of barring solar contractors from installing batteries.

“Who is burning down the state and killing people? It’s PG&E and the other utilities,” Del Chiaro said. “We are the solution to that. We are keeping people’s homes lit. We’re keeping them safe when they need it and solving climate change.”

CSLB agreed to delay enforcement of the rule after the California Solar and Storage Assn. filed suit, claiming that the board had failed to conduct a formal rule-making process. CSLB is now gearing up for that, with an agenda item scheduled for Nov. 29.

To say this debate has gotten bitter is an understatement. Groups on both sides are furious with their opponents and can’t agree even on basic facts.

There are many points of disagreement. How easy would it be for rooftop solar installers to get new licenses and hire certified electricians, and would doing so really cause prices to rise? How many companies would be affected by the rule? What are the true wage differences between union and nonunion solar jobs?

The labor movement can be a positive force for change in the clean energy transition, at least when climate advocates meet unions halfway. But there are many examples of unions protecting the fossil-fuel status quo when they feel their members’ livelihoods depend on it.

The feud between electrical workers and solar installers is more nuanced.

But it offers a blunt reminder that the labor movement can make or break California’s climate policies. How exactly the state reduces emissions, and who benefits — that’s up for grabs. Whether it happens fast enough to stave off the worst wildfires and heat waves is uncertain.

View article at source
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Thursday, November 18, 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, November 11, 2021   WECA Political Update November 11, 2021

Reapportionment Blues Preliminary visualizations for California’s new congressional districts would put Central Valley Reps. Devin Nunes and Josh Harder in more challenging elections in 2022 for their seats in the United States House of Representatives, experts say. The visualizations, released last Wednesday, are the first time viewers could see the puzzle pieces of various legislative districts put together. Drafts will change multiple times over the next couple of months before the nonpartisan commission charged with making them sends a final one to California’s secretary of state for certification. Redistricting, the process by which legislative boundaries are redrawn following population shifts revealed by the Census, can alter the makeup of voter preferences in an area. California lost one seat in the U.S. House because of sluggish population growth, dropping its legislative delegation to 52. Story

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act The House passed the President’s Infrastructure proposal. Here is what it may mean for California.

·        Highways and Bridges Based on formula funding alone, California would expect to receive $25.3 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $4.2 billion for bridge replacement and repairs over five years.
·        Transit Based on formula funding alone, California would expect to receive $9.45 billion over five years under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to improve public transportation options across the state. 
·        Electric Charging Stations California would expect to receive $384 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state. California also could apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to electric vehicle charging.
·        Broadband California should receive a minimum allocation of $100 million to help provide broadband coverage across the state, including providing access to the at least 545,000 Californians who currently lack it.
·        Wildfires and Cyberattacks Based on historical formula funding levels, California will expect to receive $84 million over five years to protect against wildfires and $40 million to protect against cyberattacks.
·        Drinking Water Based on the traditional state revolving fund formula, California will expect to receive $3.5 billion over five years to improve water infrastructure across the state and ensure that clean, safe drinking water is available in all communities. 
·        Airports in California could receive approximately $1.5 billion for infrastructure development for airports over five years. 
 
Court Blocks Vaccine Rule: A federal court in Louisiana has blocked the Biden administration’s newly issued emergency mandate that private-sector workers at businesses with more than 100 employees get vaccinated against Covid-19 or be tested weekly according to POLITICO. More than two dozen states have filed multiple legal challenges in federal court against the Biden administration’s vaccinate-or-test mandate for private businesses, arguing that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t have the authority to issue the requirements. The four lawsuits were filed by groups of 26 states in the 8th Circuit, 11th Circuit, 6th Circuit and 5th Circuit over the past few days. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Sunday defended the regulation post-ruling. Citing historical precedents dating back to George Washington during the American Revolution, Murthy said Biden had faith in both the legality of the mandate and the effectiveness of such requirements. The small business group Job Creators Network, as well as the Republican National Committee, have also said they plan to file lawsuits.

The Biden administration yesterday urged the court not to block the coronavirus vaccine mandate for large employers. The administration argued that blocking the mandate now was “premature,” given that its major deadlines are still at least a month away. But it also said that a delay in imposing the new rule “would likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day.” The plaintiffs’ case: OSHA overstepped its bounds as a regulatory agency, the challengers argued. The vaccine mandate is “a quintessential legislative act — and one wholly unrelated to the purpose of OSHA itself, which is protecting workplace safety,” according to the suit. “Nowhere in OSHA’s enabling legislation does Congress confer upon it the power to end pandemics.”

The administration’s response: The federal government has the authority to pass an “emergency temporary standard” under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, provided it can show that workers are exposed to a “grave danger” and that the rule is necessary. In its submission to the court, the administration argued that the coronavirus is a “workplace hazard,” since “employees gather in one place and interact, thus risking workplace transmission of a highly contagious virus.”

The historical precedent: The last time OSHA issued an emergency standard was in 1983, to lower the permissible legal level of asbestos exposure. The Fifth Circuit knocked it down as unnecessary, but, importantly, held that judges should not question OSHA’s authority to label asbestos a “grave danger.” In doing so, “the court intimated that hazards much less dangerous than Covid-19 could be deemed a grave danger,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

What happens next? If the Fifth Circuit grants a permanent stay, the Justice Department could appeal to the Supreme Court, which has so far acted in favor of vaccine mandates. Trade groups like the National Retail Federation have argued that the administration is moving too quickly — they are asking to push the mandate deadlines further beyond the holiday shopping season. Drawn-out legal challenges, even if unsuccessful, could achieve this. The White House, for its part, is urging companies to adopt mandates now, as they have proven effective at convincing the hesitant to get vaccinated. Both sides agree, then, that timing is crucial.

But Construction Dive urges caution here Should employers wait out OSHA's vaccine mandate? 'If you're a gambler.'
 
EEOC Updates Rules Regarding The Religious Exemption From Mandatory COVID Vaccination On October 25 and 28, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its technical assistance manual to address how the federal anti-discrimination law applies when an applicant or employee requests an exception from an employer’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement because of their sincerely held religious beliefs, practices, or observances. Key updates to the EEOC’s technical assistance include that employees and applicants must inform their employers if they seek an exception to an employer’s mandatory vaccine requirement, employers must consider requests for religious accommodations, but need not consider the requestor’s social, political, economic views, or personal preferences, and employers that demonstrate “undue hardship” are not required to accommodate a request for a religious accommodation. Story 

We’re taking a break – please watch for our Political Update Bulletin to resume on December 9. Happy Thanksgiving!
Read more >>


Thursday, November 11, 2021   Happy Veterans Day, WECA! Spotlight on two current WECA Apprentices who have served:

Happy Veterans Day, WECA!

Thank you to our Apprentices, Students, Staff, and Member Contractors who have served.

Spotlight on two current WECA Apprentices who have served:

Joseph Aragon, III
United States Army




This Veteran’s Day, we’re proud to spotlight Joseph Aragon II, a United States Army veteran and third-year Commercial Electrical Apprentice with WECA Member Contractor Reyff Electric Company.

Joseph—who served as a 63B-Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in Afghanistan and Fort Lewis, Washington during his Army career—says that the Army taught him the principles of strong leadership, excellent worth ethic and the want and need for hard work, and that he’s applied it both in the classroom and on the jobsite during his Apprenticeship.

“I absolutely recommend an electrical career for veterans, and also for those who are going into the military,” says Joseph.

When in the classroom at WECA, Joseph notes that he particularly appreciates the teaching style of Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship instructor James Hall, saying “I really appreciate how much detail he puts into his instruction and willingness to pause to further explain [concepts] to his students who have questions.”

Joseph also suggests to current and future Apprentices that when in doubt or grappling with a rough patch, they “remember the ultimate goal and why you decided to pursue being an electrician," and reminds them that electricians "light the way.”

Thank you for your service, Joseph, and thank you for being part of the WECA family!

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

Charles Burnette
United States Army




Another Veteran’s Day spotlight we're proud to share comes to us courtesy of Charles Burnette, a Commercial Electrical Apprentice working for WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric!

Charles—who served in the Army for two years as an 11 Bravo infantryman stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia—was inspired to enter the trades by his father-in-law.

“I chose electrical because it’s forever changing and growing,” says Charles. “And I like WECA because it’s hands-on learning in the class and in the field, and I get to accumulate hours in the field while getting paid to go to school. It’s the best of both worlds.”

Charles’ favorite thing that he’s learned during his Apprenticeship was “potential” and learning how and why birds are not affected by the current when landing on a power line.

Charles says that current and future Apprentices should “keep an open mind because there is more than one way to do things; who knows—you may learn something new” and says that joining the trades after serving in the Army has “changed my life and given me a new drive to grow and learn.”

Thank you for your service, Charles! We’re thrilled to have you as part of the inaugural WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program! 
Read more >>


Thursday, November 04, 2021   WECA's in the news! The Business Journal (Fresno) highlights WECA in recent article.

WECA's in the news!

The Business Journal (Fresno) highlights WECA in recent article "Local electrical apprentice program gets boost with new facility."



Photo credit: Frank Lopez/The Business Journal (Fresno)

Written by: Frank Lopez

The Western Electrical Contractors Association (WECA) held a ribbon cutting Oct. 13 to celebrate the grand opening of its new training facility in north Fresno.

WECA instructors, staff, students, members, board members and leaders of the Fresno community were present to celebrate the grand opening and give guests tours of the facility, network with electrical contractors and see how apprentices in the industry learn the trade.

WECA is a statewide, non-profit organization serving independent and merit shop electrical contractors, their employees and the industry suppliers that support them.

The Commercial Electrician Apprenticeship program lasts for five years and involves both classroom and lab instruction the will be administered in the new facility, as well as on-the-job training.

Students are in the classroom for two weeks twice a year and work on the jobsite under a contractor or journeyperson for a 20-week segment. Site work is alternated with classroom instruction time.

The program consists of nearly 8,000 hours of training, a requirement set by the state of California.

“The expectation isn’t only that the contractor is building upon the curriculum that they are receiving in the classroom, but they’re giving students a broad range of work experience to compliment what we do here in the classroom so that when they complete the five year program, they have a well-rounded experience that could combine what they learn in class and on the job site,” said Richard Markuson, government affairs expert at WECA.

About 46% of the apprentices live in Fresno, with demographics measuring about 29% Hispanic, 16% Asian Pacific Islander, 9% African-American and 6% women.

Markuson said that local high schools have either cut or curtailed their career technical education programs, so there isn’t a pipeline from the high schools to construction apprenticeship programs. They are trying to mitigate that, he said.

Fresno County Supervisor for District 2 Steven Brandau and Fresno City Manager Thomas Esqueda were present to congratulate WECA on the new training facility.

“There is so much stuff going on in our Valley—private, government, everything,” said Brandau. “There is a lot of construction going on and it’s fantastic to have this facility so people could get their training here, go to work and stay here. We have to get a work force developed so that we don’t have to call in people from across the country to help us get things done.”

Mark Cooper, president and CEO of H & D Electric in Sacramento and who is also on the Board of Directors of WECA, drove down from the state capitol for the grand opening of the new facility.

Cooper joined WECA in the early 1990s, and even then he noticed the organization was missing an apprenticeship program.

Since then, Cooper has seen the apprenticeship program grow and is proud of how far it has come.

“The pride I feel in coming down here and seeing this facility and the building that we opened in Fresno, and seeing what this has all turned into with WECA staff members and leaders, and contractors that pushed this forward,” Cooper said. “The success is contagious and you want to be a part of WECA.”

One apprentice that realized the success that Cooper was talking about is Windell Pascascio Jr, founder and president of Imperial Electric Service in Fresno.

Pascascio has owned his own business now for five years, and went through the program from 2008 to 2013. During and after his apprenticeship he worked for the same company for about eight years and started Imperial Electric Service in 2016.

Today, Imperial Electric has 35 employees, and four of them are currently in the WECA apprenticeship program.

Pascascio said the apprenticeship program is a good opportunity for people in the Fresno area. Before, the program took place in either Sacramento or Riverside.

“Not a lot of people are fortunate enough to go to college, and now a lot of people in the Fresno area, and throughout the Valley will now know that there is a program that is here,” Pascascio said. “Not a lot of people can afford to go to Sacramento or Redding or Riverside every few weeks. Having it here is beneficial for the community and the economy.”
 
Read more >>


Thursday, November 04, 2021   Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) releases COVID-19 vaccine requirements

?Cal/OSHA now has approximately 30 days to adopt Federal standards or adopt more stringent ones

AGC Update on Mandatory Vaccines
Content courtesy of: Associated General Contractors

 
Today the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its COVID-19 vaccine requirements for employers that have a total of at least 100 employees firm or corporate-wide at any time. The release of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) comes approximately two months after President Joe Biden announced a sweeping set of COVID-19 vaccine mandates and requirements for both Federal employees and private employers.

It's important to note that while the Federal ETS technically goes into immediate effect, California is governed by its own regulatory board: the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) that must now formally adopt the Federal ETS. As a result, with the release of the Federal ETS, Cal/OSHA now has approximately 30 days to formally adopt the Federal ETS in its current released form or adopt more stringent vaccine standards in addition to the Federal ETS. Only upon formal adoption by the Cal/OSHA Board does the Federal ETS go into effect in California. 

Who is covered?
  • Employers that have a total of at least 100 employees firm or corporate-wide at any time.
Exclusions
  • Federal OSHA ETS does not apply to workplaces covered under the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors.
  • The ETS does not apply to employees who do not report to a workplace where other individuals such as coworkers or customers are present, employees while they are working from home, or employees who work exclusively outdoors.
Effective Dates
  • The ETS is effective immediately upon publication in Federal Register. To comply, employers must ensure provisions are addressed in the workplace by the following dates:
  • 30 days after publication: All requirements other than testing for employees who have not completed their entire primary vaccination dose(s)
  • 60 days after publication: Testing for employees who have not received all doses required for a primary vaccination
Testing provisions for employees who are not vaccinated
  • The ETS requires employers to ensure that each employee, who is not fully vaccinated, is tested for COVID-19 at least weekly (if in the workplace at least once a week) or within 7 days before returning to work (if away from the workplace for a week or longer). The ETS does not require employers to pay for any costs associated with testing. However, employer payment for testing may be required by other laws, regulations, or collective bargaining agreements or other collectively negotiated agreements. In addition, nothing prohibits employers from voluntarily assuming the costs associated with testing.
Employer support for employee vaccination
  • ETS requires employers to support vaccination by providing employees reasonable time, including up to four hours of paid time, to receive each vaccination dose, and reasonable time and paid sick leave to recover from side effects experienced following each dose.
Streamlining Implementation and Setting One Compliance Deadline Across Different Vaccination Requirements: January 4, 2022 
  • The rules released today ensure employers know which requirements apply to which workplaces. Federal contractors may have some workplaces subject to requirements for federal contractors and other workplaces subject to the newly-released COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS. To make it easy for all employers to comply with the requirements, the deadline for the federal contractor vaccination requirement will be aligned with those for the CMS rule and the ETS. Employees falling under the ETS, CMS, or federal contractor rules will need to have their final vaccination dose – either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. This will make it easier for employers to ensure their workforce is vaccinated, safe, and healthy, and ensure that federal contractors implement their requirements on the same timeline as other employers in their industries. And, the newly-released ETS will not be applied to workplaces subject to the federal contractor requirement or CMS rule, so employers will not have to track multiple vaccination requirements for the same employees.

 
Read more >>


Thursday, November 04, 2021   Behind the scenes at WECA's Apprenticeship outreach initiatives



WECA loves performing outreach in the community, and we were pleased to be able to be in attendance at the Greater Sacramento Urban League's 2021 Get Back to Work Sacramento Diversity Job Fair on Oct. 27! 

While there, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan, Workforce Development Supervisor Diane Trotter, and Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructor John Arias talked to job hunters about WECA's Apprenticeship programs, did cool demos,
and were thrilled to join forces for workforce development with some of our WECA Member Contractors, like Rex Moore Group Inc., Royal Electric Company, Johnson Controls, Teichert, and Mark III Construction. 

It's gratifying to be able to ramp up our outreach opportunities again, and we look forward to a busy 2022 ahead. See you at the next event!
Read more >>


Thursday, November 04, 2021   Concerned with Cybersecurity at Your Company? US DOL Resource Within

Dealing with an Uptick in Phishing Emails? Otherwise Concerned with Cybersecurity at Your Company? Here's a Resource: The United States Department of Labor's Cybersecurity Program Best Practices (downloadable PDF for your convenience)


Download the United States Department of Labor's Cybersecurity Program Best Practices here.
Read more >>


Thursday, November 04, 2021   Don't let your employees miss out--encourage them to visit WECA for an open house during NAW 2021!

Don't let your employees miss out--encourage your prospective apprentices to visit WECA for an open house during National Apprenticeship Week!

They'll get to learn about our Apprenticeship programs, tour our facilities, see cool lab demos, meet instructors and staff, and more!

This National Apprenticeship Week, WECA's pulling out all the stops and showing off our cutting-edge Apprenticeship programs and state-of-the-art facilities to prospective Apprentices! There are three opportunities for them to learn more about WECA apprenticeship at one of these special events:
 
  • November 16 at 10 a.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ
  • November 17 at 12 p.m. at our San Diego training facility
  • November 17 at 10 a.m. at our Phoenix training facility
Regardless of which open house your employees attend, they'll get the chance to learn about our Apprenticeship programs (all of which pay THEM to learn a skilled trade without having to take on any college debt!), tour our facilities, view lab demos, meet instructors and staff (with the opportunity to ask individual questions), and more!

There's only one week left until these events, so make sure they don't miss out! Encourage them to register today--by sharing the link to their nearest open house. (Note: pre-registration is not necessary, but encouraged.)



Register for the WECA Arizona Open House here!



Register for the WECA Northern California Open House here!



Register for the WECA Southern California Open House here!
 
Read more >>


Thursday, November 04, 2021   The CA Energy Commission wants your feedback to support compliance with the CA Energy Code!

The California Energy Commission wants your feedback to support compliance with the California Energy Code!

Link to survey within.




October 28, 2021

The California Energy Commission (CEC) seeks your valuable feedback on documents, tools, and resources intended to support compliance with the California Energy Code. Your feedback is important to our ongoing efforts to provide better service and support. Please respond by December 3, 2021. This survey is being administered by the CEC in partnership with the California Statewide Utility Codes & Standards Program. You can respond to the survey here.
Read more >>


Thursday, November 04, 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 >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Join us for our Electrical and Low Voltage Apprenticeship Programs Open Houses in CA and AZ!

?National Apprenticeship Week is November 15-21, 2021!

Join us for our Electrical and Low Voltage Apprenticeship Programs Open Houses in Northern and Southern California, and our Electrical Apprenticeship Program Open House in Arizona!

Learn about our Apprenticeship programs, tour our facilities, see cool lab demos, meet instructors and staff, and more.

Already an Apprentice? Share this opportunity with a friend or family member.

This National Apprenticeship Week, WECA's pulling out all the stops and showing off our cutting-edge Apprenticeship programs at three of our state-of-the-art facilities! There are three opportunities to see what we're all about:
  • ARIZONA: November 17 at 10 a.m. at our Phoenix training facility
  • NORCAL: November 16 at 10 a.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ
  • SOCAL: November 17 at 12 p.m. at our San Diego training facility
Regardless of which open house you attend, you'll get the chance to learn about our Apprenticeship programs (all of which pay YOU to learn a skilled profession without having to take on any college debt!), tour our facilities, view lab demos, meet instructors and staff (with the opportunity to ask individual questions), and more!

Don't miss out! Be sure to register for the open house nearest you (links below each respective image). (Note: pre-registration is not necessary, but encouraged.)

We look forward to seeing and meeting you!



Register for the WECA Arizona Open House here!



Register for the WECA Northern California Open House here!



Register for the WECA Southern California Open House here!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Could you become the next IDEAL National Champion?

Participate in qualifiers held on October 27, 28 and 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ!

Psst: Those who register (even if they don't plan on competing) will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win $500 or one of 300 IDEAL tool sets!



Are you near WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters? You're in luck--you could become the next IDEAL National Champion! Empire Electric Sales is holding qualifiers for the 2021 IDEAL National Championship on October 27, 28, and 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters!

Register for the qualifiers here.

And even if you don't plan on competing, just registering for the qualifier enters you into a drawing for the chance at $500 or one of 300 IDEAL tool sets!

Good luck, everyone!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Introducing a SELF-PACED ONLINE OPTION for our most popular course: GetWired! 101

Introducing a SELF-PACED ONLINE OPTION for our most popular course:
GetWired! 101 : Fundamentals of Electrical Theory and Introduction to the National Electrical Code (NEC)

No matter your schedule, location, or what life is throwing at you right now, you can start your journey to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!
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WECA is excited to announce a new way students can take GetWired! 101, the first class in WECA's Path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!

We've long offered GetWired! 101--an introduction to the theory of electricity covering the fundamentals electrical laws and explaining how the National Electrical Code (NEC) governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment--as an online-led instructor course which runs two scheduled weeknight evenings a week. And we still do!

But for students who would prefer to take this introductory course at their own pace, on their own time, we're now offering a fully self-paced online option! Students who might prefer this format include:
  • Students with job, childcare, or other obligations preventing them from taking the instructor-led scheduled course in the evenings
 
  • Students who would benefit from being able to review the material at a slower pace, such as students for whom English is a second language
 
  • Students who just prefer to work on the coursework at times when it best works for them
WECA's new GET WIRED! 101 Self-Paced Option is an entirely online, self-paced alternative version of our Get Wired! 101 course which introduces fundamental electrical laws and theory and explains how the National Electrical Code (NEC) governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment. Core competencies include:
  • Refresher on basic math skills applied to electrical calculations
  • General information on electrical installations
  • Introduction to hand and power tools used in the field
  • Electrical symbols and receptacle outlets
  • Atomic structure
  • Electrical quantities and Ohm’s Law
  • Static electricity and magnetism
  • Resistors
  • Conductors
  • Voltage drop and neutral sizing for services
  • Wiring methods
  • Switch control of lighting circuits, receptacle installation, bonding, and induction heating
Safety best practices are covered along with tips on study skills. In this course, math equations are applied to the safe and sound wiring and load choices for electrical installations, troubleshooting and maintenance. Theories are discussed and applied to on-the-job situations and tasks. An online, interactive, lab activity reinforces practical applications of key concepts.
  • Total class hours available: 40
 
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309

If all of this sounds like it would work for you,
Enroll in GetWired 101 Self-Paced today!

Think you'd prefer being able to ask an instructor questions and learn with other students?
Enroll in an upcoming instance of the original, online evening instructor-led GetWired! 101 here!
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Course Spotlight: OSHA 30 Construction Spanish/Curso Destacado: OSHA 30 Construcción Español



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 30-Hour course from WECA partner ClickSafety is an online version of OSHA’s successful program. 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
  • Managing Safety and Health
  • Focus Four Hazards and Preventative Measures Topics: Fall Hazards, Electrocution Hazards, Caught-In or -Between, Struck-By
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Life Saving Equipment
  • Health Hazards in Construction
  • Stairways and Ladders
  • Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Elevators and Conveyors
  • Excavations
  • Material Handling, Storage, Use and Disposal
  • Scaffolds
  • Concrete and Masonry Construction
  • Tools-Hand and Power
  • Fire Protection and Prevention
  • Steel Erection
  • Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment and Marine Operations; Rollover
  • Protective Structures and Overhead Protection; and Signs, Signals and Barricades
  • Welding and Cutting
  • Confined Space Entry
  • Ergonomics in Construction
  • Safety and Health Programs
  • Supervisor’s Safety and Health Responsibilities
  • Observing and Correcting Unsafe Behaviors
  • Hazard Recognition and Mitigation
  • Preventing Accidents/Incidents
  • Intro to NFPA 70E
  • Leading Cultural Change
 
  • Total class hours available: 30
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $269


El curso sobre construcción de 30 horas de OSHA proporciona preparación autorizada para recibir una tarjeta de culminación de estudiante OSHA del Programa de Entrenamiento en Divulgación de Administración de Salud y Seguridad Ocupacional (OSHA) y el Departamento de Trabajo (DOL). Con un curso en línea conveniente, los trabajadores de la construcción, gerentes, empleadores y personal relacionado reciben el entrenamiento sobre peligros en el lugar de trabajo, protección y cultura de seguridad necesarios para evitar accidentes, lesiones y muertes en el lugar de trabajo.

El curso de Construcción de 30 horas de OSHA prepara a los trabajadores, gerentes y empleadores para reconocer, evitar, reducir y prevenir peligros de seguridad y salud que comúnmente se encuentran en los lugares de trabajo de construcción. Los temas del curso incluyen:
  • Pasos específicos y requisitos necesarios para completar el Programa de Entrenamiento en Divulgación de 30 horas de OSHA
  • Introducción a OSHA
  • Derechos de los trabajadores y responsabilidades del empleador
  • Requisitos del Programa de Salud y Seguridad
  • Informe sobre cumplimiento y llevar registros
  • Cómo presentar un informe
  • El papel de una persona competente
  • Centrarse en cuatro peligros (riesgos de caídas, riesgos de electrocución, riesgos de quedar atrapado o en medio, riesgos de recibir portazos)
  • Seguridad en la manipulación de materiales, incluyendo actividades que causan lesiones y enfermedades debido a SME y EMR
  • Grúas y aparejos
  • Vehículos de motor, equipos mecanizados y riesgos marinos
  • Plataformas móviles de motor
  • Excavaciones
  • Control de tráfico en la zona de trabajo
  • Riesgos con los montacargas
  • Identificación de los principales riesgos para la salud en la construcción
  • Riesgos de herramientas eléctricas y manuales
  • Riesgos del hormigón/concreto y la albañilería
  • Riesgos principales de las construcciones de acero
  • Riesgos al soldar y cortar
  • Riesgos de los espacio confinados
  • Riesgos del arco eléctrico
  • Reducción de riesgos
  • Procedimientos de cierre y etiquetado (LOTO)
  • Cómo seleccionar y usar los equipos de protección personal (PPE)
  • Las funciones de la gerencia y la fuerza de trabajo en promover una cultura de seguridad positiva.
 
  • Total de horas de clase disponible: 30
  • Tarifa de matrícula estándar: $269
Learn more and enroll here! / ¡Obtenga más información e inscríbase aquí!
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   Are you a veteran? Make sure you're taking advantage of all the federal benefits available to you.

Are you a veteran? Make sure you're taking advantage of all of the federal benefits available to you and your dependents. Access the 2021 Federal Benefits Handbook for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors below.
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Access the 2021 Federal Benefits Handbook for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors here.

Haven't yet taken advantage of the federal benefits available to you and your dependents? Click here to get started today!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   The guide to getting and staying registered with the State of California as an Electrician Trainee

Plus, download a handy PDF for reference as needed!



Want to keep this handy guide to getting and staying registered with the State of California as an Electrician Trainee for future reference? Click here!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   WECA's Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board: Get Connected with a Great Employer Today!



Are you currently out of work? Post a resume to our Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board, or view open positions posted by WECA Member Contractors, to find your next great job today! 

Our Job Board is designed to help connect individuals seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry with the WECA Member Contractors who want to hire them. 

Our Job Board exists for...

- talented electricians
- low voltage technicians
- electrician trainees
- industry employees (including office personnel)
- and the Member Contractors who want to hire them.

This is a free, no-obligation service open to all workers seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need.

Post a resume or search open positions today!
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 27, 2021   WECA's Hiring!



Want to develop the next generation of electricians and low voltage technicians across the West? Opportunity knocks. Take your career in a new direction with WECA.

Check out open positions here!
Read more >>


Thursday, October 21, 2021   Thank you to everyone who attended the open house for our new Fresno training facility!



WECA Fresno facility-based Apprenticeship instructor Jaron Stroud (right) demonstrates a lab for guests.

WECA thanks everyone who attended the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of our new Fresno training facility on October 13!



Nicole Goehring, Vice President of ABC Northern California; Thomas "Tommy" Esqueda, Fresno City Manager; and Amy Fuentes, Fresno Chamber of Commerce Chief Operating Officer are all smiles for the camera!

The event was a success, and we were thrilled to greet so many members of the Fresno and greater Central Valley community! After witnessing the ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees enjoyed food and libations, were treated to tours of the facility, met instructors, staff, students, and board members, learned about WECA and the merit shop philosophy, and got to see first-hand how WECA Apprentices learn via demonstrations of the new technology and innovative training tools used in WECA's Apprenticeship learning labs.



The ribbon was cut by Fresno County Supervisor (and Chairman) Steve Brandau. WECA community members pictured include Nathan Gosink of WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore (far left; who emceed the event), WECA Member Contractor and alumni Windell Pascascio, Jr. (clad in gray, to the left of Steve Brandau), and WECA Apprenticeship Training and Facilities Director Don Black (far right).

Thank you again, everyone! We enjoyed spending time with you all and sharing our new Fresno training facility with you. We are honored to be part of the Fresno community!



From left to right: former Fresno City Council Member and current BizFed Central Valley CEO Clint Olivier; WECA Executive Director and CEO Terry Seabury; Fresno County Supervisor (and Chairman) Steve Brandau; and Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs take a brief respite from the festivities to take a snap.

 
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Thursday, October 21, 2021   WECA is offering three Apprenticeship open houses Nov. 15-21 in recognition of NAW 2021

National Apprenticeship Week is November 15-21
And WECA is offering three apprenticeship program open houses for prospective applicants in Sacramento/Rancho Cordova, San Diego, and Phoenix!

If you have employees considering Apprenticeship--please encourage them to attend!

This National Apprenticeship Week, WECA's pulling out all the stops and showing off our cutting-edge Apprenticeship programs and state-of-the-art facilities to prospective Apprentices! There are three opportunities for them to celebrate with us:
 
  • November 16 at 10 a.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ
  • November 17 at 12 p.m. at our San Diego training facility
  • November 17 at 10 a.m. at our Phoenix training facility
Regardless of which open house your employees attend, they'll get the chance to learn about our Apprenticeship programs (all of which pay THEM to learn a skilled trade without having to take on any college debt!), tour our facilities, view lab demos, meet instructors and staff (with the opportunity to ask individual questions), and more!

Make sure they don't miss out! Encourage them to register today--by sharing the link to their nearest open house. (Note: pre-registration is not necessary, but encouraged.)



Register for the WECA Arizona Open House here!



Register for the WECA Northern California Open House here!



Register for the WECA Southern California Open House here!
 
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Thursday, October 21, 2021   Register today for WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP's Nov. 4 Webinar!

WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP will offer their 20th Annual Labor and Law Legal Update Webinar (covering legal developments impacting California employers in 2022) on November 4



Date: Thursday, November 4, 2021
Time: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Place: Live via Zoom
Cost: There is no charge for this event

20th Annual Labor and Law Legal Update

During this virtual session, Cook Brown Partners will provide an overview of key legislative and regulatory changes, as well as court opinions impacting California employers on a variety of topics, including developments in:
  • Wage-and-hour law, including time rounding, calculation of the regular rate of pay, and paystub reporting
  • Enforceability of arbitration agreements
  • COVID-19 requirements
  • Independent contractor status
  • Prevailing wage law coverage
Cook Brown Partners will also share their knowledge of the latest trends affecting businesses in California, including legal developments and trends in Private Attorneys General Act and class action litigation, and the best practices to keep your workplaces working.

Save your spot, space is limited.

Register here.
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Thursday, October 21, 2021   Have Apprentices at WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ that could be the next IDEAL Champion?

Encourage them to participate in qualifiers held on October 27, 28 and 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova HQ!

Psst: Apprentices who register (even if they don't plan on competing) will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win $500 or one of 300 IDEAL tool sets!
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Do you have Apprentices attending classes at WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters that have the potential to become the next IDEAL National Champion? They're in luck--Empire Electric Sales is holding qualifiers for the 2021 IDEAL National Championship on October 27, 28, and 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters!

Encourage them to register for the qualifiers here.

And even if Apprentices don't plan on competing, just registering for the qualifier enters them into a drawing for the chance at $500 or one of 300 IDEAL tool sets!

Good luck, everyone!
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Thursday, October 21, 2021   WECA's Hiring!

Review Open Positions in Full-time and Part-time Instruction, plus Full-time Curriculum Development



Join the WECA Team and develop the next generation of electrical and low voltage professionals in the American West!

Click here to review career opportunities with WECA
Read more >>


Thursday, October 14, 2021   WECA Political Update October 14, 2021

BESS Update Effective October 1, 2021, the Contractors State License Board will not enforce or implement its July 27, 2021, decision to limit BESS installations to A, B, or C-10 contractors. The Board stipulated to not implement its July 27, 2021, decision until any appeals brought by the California Solar Energy Industries Association, Inc. are resolved.

Chamber takes Aim at BBB The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a significant, six-figure paid advertising campaign in opposition to the multi-trillion reconciliation bill (BBB) that poses a significant threat to the American economy. The ads, which can be viewed here, target key Congressional districts and future rounds may include more districts. The first round of ads targeted districts represented by several democrats including Josh Harder (D-CA-10).They can be viewed here.

Last Call for 2021 Governor Newsom took final action on the bills from 2021:

In 2021, the Legislature sent 836 bills to Governor Newsom for consideration, nearly twice as many as last year during the state’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic but still fewer than have come across the governor’s desk in other past years covered in this report. As the pandemic continued into 2021, the Senate and Assembly both limited the number of bills that legislators could move to the other house, reducing the number of bills considered by the Legislature this year.

Of the 836 bills Governor Newsom considered this year, 313 were Senate bills and 523 were Assembly bills. In total, he signed 770 into law and vetoed 66 bills. This is a veto rate of 7.89% for his third year in office.

The number of vetoes for 2021 is the ninth lowest of all the years reviewed in this report, beginning with 1967. The three years with the lowest number of vetoed bills were under Governor Jerry Brown (1982, 1981, 1978). In 1982, he vetoed just 30 of the 1,674 bills he considered, representing a veto rate of 1.79%.

Five of the six years with the highest percentage of vetoed bills (2008, 2010, 2009, 2004, 1998) were with Republican governors and Democratic majorities in both legislative houses (the exception was Governor Davis in 2000).

Governor Schwarzenegger holds the record for the highest percentage of bills vetoed in a year, 35.17% in 2008.

The Governor signed 13 bills which included PLA references. The worst was AB 680 (Burke) which requires recipients of GHGRF grants to adopt a PLA for any construction that exceeds $1.0 million. You can see a list of all WECA bills below.

Raquel Terán Assumes Office as Arizona State Senator, Creates Vacancy in State House Raquel Terán (D) assumed office as the senator for District 30 in the Arizona state Senate on Sept. 28. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors appointed Terán (D) to the district on Sept. 15. The seat became vacant in August when former state Sen. Tony Navarrete (D) resigned after being arrested on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor. Terán will serve the remainder of Navarrete’s term, which was set to expire in January 2023. At the time she was appointed, Terán was serving her second term in the Arizona House of Representatives. Terán ran for the District 30 seat in the state Senate in 2012 and was defeated 51% to 49% by incumbent Robert Meza in the Democratic primary. Terán’s appointment to the state Senate creates a vacancy in the state House. When a vacancy occurs in the Arizona legislature, the board of county supervisors must select a replacement. Arizona is one of seven states that fill state legislative vacancies through board of county commissioners appointment.

Guide to Federal Contractor Obligations under Recent COVID-19 Executive Orders The federal government’s complicated multi-pronged approach to implementing COVID-19 safeguards related to federal contractors has left many confused. Littler offers this brief guide to help contractors understand their obligations and the timelines for implementation. Here
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If California was made up of just these 35 counties, Gavin Newsom would have been recalled: “Without the Bay Area counties — some of which have the highest shares of ‘no recall’ votes — Newsom would no longer be in office” Story



Harris's poll numbers rise as Biden's fall, “Harris got off to a rocky start at the beginning of the administration, including a botched response on why she hadn’t traveled to the Mexican border, when she said she hadn’t been to Europe either. But her allies say Harris, whose difficult start provoked questions about her ability to be a future presidential candidate for the party, ‘has found her place’ in the White House.”

Harris Casts Ninth Tie-Breaking Vote as Vice President Vice President Kamala Harris (D) cast her ninth tie-breaking vote as the president of the Senate on Sept. 30. She voted to support a motion invoking cloture on the nomination of Rohit Chopra for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after a 50-50 tie. Chopra was ultimately confirmed by a 50-48 vote. Six of Harris’ tie-breaking votes have been related to advancing or confirming presidential nominees. In the past 40 years, only Vice President Mike Pence (R) has cast more tie-breaking votes: 13. John Adams cast the first tie-breaking vote on July 18, 1789. In total, there have been 277 tie-breaking votes from 37 vice presidents. Twelve vice presidents, including Joe Biden (D) and Dan Quayle (R), never cast a tie-breaking vote during their time in office. [Ballotpedia]



California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Expires - Now What? California’s latest supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) law, SB 95, which requires certain employers to provide paid leave to employees for qualifying COVID-19-related reasons, expires on September 30, 2021. No legislation has been passed to extend it and there are no bills on the horizon to replace it. This has left employers wondering what, if any, obligations they have if employees are absent for reasons related to COVID-19. Story

Project Labor Agreements

AB 137 (Committee on Budget-) Provides for the implementation and administration of a new statewide program to incentivize the construction of new multifamily and single-family market-rate residential buildings as all-electric buildings or with energy storage systems. Provides for the implementation of a Solar Restitution Program, to be administered by the Contractor State License Board and using one-time resources appropriated by the Legislature. The program would provide restitution to homeowners who were defrauded by licensed or unlicensed solar installers after January 1, 2016. It would cap awards to individuals at $40,000 and would require the board to deduct the amount the consumer recovered from other sources from the amount payable upon the consumer’s claim. 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). WECA position: Oppose

AB 143 (Committee on 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) WECA position: Oppose

AB 271 (Rivas, Robert -D) AB 271 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. WECA position: OUA

AB 680 (Burke-D) Enacts the California Jobs Plan Act of 2021 which requires the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to update, by July 1, 2025, the funding guidelines for administering agencies to ensure that all applicants to grant programs funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) meet fair and responsible employer standards and provide inclusive procurement policies. Construction projects over one million dollars ($1,000,000) must be built with a project labor agreement (PLA). WECA position: Oppose

AB 846 (Low-D) Authorizes job order contracting (JOC) for community college districts in a manner similar to that authorized for school districts. Committee staff notes that language in AB 846 requiring the use of a skilled and trained workforce is redundant, given the requirement that a PLA is required on all work before a community college or school districts can use JOC. WECA position: OUA

AB 1174 (Grayson-D) Makes changes to the streamlined, ministerial process created by SB 35 (Wiener, Chapter 366, Statutes of 2017). WECA position: SIA

SB 7 (Atkins-D) This bill reenacts the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2011 (Act), 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. WECA position: Oppose

SB 44 (Allen-D) Establishes expedited administrative and judicial review of environmental review and approvals granted for “environmental leadership transit projects” that meet specified requirements. 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. WECA position: Oppose

SB 51 (Durazo-D) 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. WECA position: Oppose

SB 144 (Portantino-D) 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 services are provided by a third-party vendor. WECA position: Oppose

SB 162 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review-) Establishes the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) Program, to be administered by the Workforce Services Branch at the Employment Development Department. The program shall be overseen by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Office of Planning and Research and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, referred to as the Inter-Agency Leadership Team. Requires the program to provide financial support to establish highroad transition collaboratives to design region and industry specific economic recovery and transition strategies. The Inter-Agency Leadership Team shall award planning grants on a competitive basis to each region. The plans must address economic diversification, industry planning, workforce development and safety net programs. The plans must prioritize high-quality jobs and equitable access to them and emphasize the development of sustainable industries. Provides that the Inter-Agency Leadership Team shall award competitive grants to implement the plans. Grant recipients must align with regional workforce needs by linking with high road training partnerships or high road construction career training programs. The implementation grants shall meet all of the following requirements:

(A) Support work prioritized through the high road transition collaborative planning process with the high road intent of this program.

(B) Demonstrate support of the regional intermediary and alignment with the high road transition collaborative plan.

(C) Support labor standards where applicable, such as prevailing wage, project labor agreements, or community workforce agreements.

SB 381 (Portantino-D) This bill makes changes to the Roberti Act to encourage the sale of homes owned by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for low- and moderate-income housing in the State Route 710 corridor in South Pasadena. Provides that, as a condition of sale of the property to a housing-related entity, the entity shall provide a commitment that if the entirety of the project is not a public work for which prevailing wages must be paid, all construction workers, except apprentices, employed on the project will be paid at least the general prevailing rate of per diem wages for the type of work and geographic area. For those portions of a project that are not a public work, the housing-related entity shall ensure that the prevailing wage requirement is included in all contracts for the performance of all construction work. Bars the DLSE from labor code enforcement on PLA jobs and relieves contractors from CPRs. WECA position: Oppose

SB 626 (Dodd-D) This bill would authorize DWR to use the design-build and CM/GC processes for project delivery for facilities of the State Water Project, excluding through Delta conveyance. The bill would exempt PLA projects from skilled and trained workforce mandates. WECA position: Oppose

APM/DB/CMaR

AB 36 (Gallagher-R) Authorizes the Paradise Irrigation District and the Town of Paradise to use the design-build contracting process. WECA position: Watch

Apprenticeship

AB 340 (Ward-D) This measure conforms state law to federal law; thereby allowing taxpayers the ability to benefit for expenses related to eligible apprenticeship programs and payments on principal or interest of a qualified education loan.

AB 565 (Lackey-R) This bill would add the director of the State Department of Social Services as a member of IACA. It would require IACA to create a subcommittee to study and report on issues related to the participation of homeless youth and foster youth, as defined, in apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships.

AB 643 (Ramos-D) This bill would require a school district or school to notify each apprenticeship program in the same county as the school district or school of a career or college fair it is planning to hold. WECA position: Watch

SB 779 (Becker-D) SB 779 amends the definition of “earn and learn” programs, and specifically, the definition of “transitional and subsidized jobs” under the California Workforce and Innovation Opportunity Act. This bill further adds to the California Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act a definition of “employment social enterprise” and clarifies that for purposes of the Act the definition of “worker cooperative” has the same meaning as it does in Section 12253.5 of the Corporations Code. WECA position: Watch

Business Issues

SB 255 (Portantino-D) Would authorize a specific association of employers to offer a large group health care service plan contract or large group health insurance policy consistent with ERISA if certain requirements are met WECA position: Watch

SB 718 (Bates-R) Would authorize a specific association of employers to offer a large group health care service plan contract or large group health insurance policy consistent with ERISA if certain requirements are met WECA position: Watch

SB 727 (Leyva-D) Extends the joint liability of a direct contractor on a private construction project to include civil penalties and liquidated damages associated with unpaid wages, fringe benefits, or contributions to labor trust funds. Under existing law, that joint liability is limited to unpaid amounts only. The bill also establishes a mechanism for direct contractors to avoid liability for penalties and liquidated damages by showing that the underlying violation has been fully abated. Requires any lower-tier subcontractors to provide the direct contractor award information that includes the project name, name, and address of the subcontractor, the contractor with whom the subcontractor is under contract, anticipated start date, duration, and estimated journeymen and apprentice hours.

SB 791 (Cortese-D) This bill creates the Surplus Land Unit within the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), to facilitate the development of housing on local surplus property. WECA position: Watch

Construction Practices

AB 930 (Levine-D) Awards reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to an excavator that is found not liable for damaging a subsurface installation because of errors or omissions by the operator of the installation.

SB 297 (Durazo-D) enacts the Wade Kilpatrick Gas Safety and Workforce Adequacy Act of 2021. The bill would prescribe a civil penalty of up to $100,000 to be imposed on an operator or excavator, as specified, who knowingly and willfully violates provisions relating to excavations and subsurface installations and damages a gas or hazardous liquid pipeline subsurface installation in a way that results in the escape of any flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas or liquid. WECA position: Watch

EVC

AB 970 (McCarty-D) Establishes specific time frames in which local agencies must approve permits for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

SB 68 (Becker-D) require the Energy Commission to gather or develop, and publish on its internet website, guidance and best practices to help building owners, the construction industry, and local governments overcome barriers to electrification of buildings and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment.

Housing

SB 10 (Wiener-D) Authorizes a city or county to pass an ordinance that is not subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to zone any parcel for up to ten units of residential density if the parcel is located in a transit-rich area or an urban infill site.

SB 330 (Durazo-D) requires the governing board of the Los Angeles Community College District to develop and implement a pilot program to provide affordable housing to students or employees of the Los Angeles Community College District.

Labor Law

AB 1003 (Gonzalez, Lorena-D) Makes the intentional theft of wages, gratuities, or other compensation in an amount greater than $950 from any one employee or independent contractor, or $2,350, in aggregate, from more than two or more employees or independent contractors, in any 12 consecutive month period, punishable as grand theft, an alternate felony/misdemeanor.

AB 1023 (Flora-R) Makes a contractor or subcontractor who fails to furnish payroll records relating to its employees in the manner specified liable for a penalty of $100 per day, as specified, not to exceed $5,000 per project, to be deposited into the State Public Works Enforcement Fund. Prohibits the Labor Commissioner from levying penalties until 14 days after the deadline for furnishing records and requires that these penalties accrue to the actual contractor or subcontractor that failed to furnish those records. WECA position: Oppose

SB 331 (Leyva-D) prohibits the use of non-disclosure agreements to settle employment and housing-related legal claims involving unlawful harassment, discrimination, or related retaliation of any kind, with limited exceptions when requested by the complainant. The bill also prohibits the inclusion, in an employment severance agreement, of terms that restrict the separated employee’s ability to discuss unlawful conduct at their former workplace, unless the separated employee agrees to those terms under specified conditions designed to safeguard the separated employee’s rights.

SB 606 (Gonzalez-D) This bill expands the authority of Cal/OSHA to issue citations, require abatement, and seek court orders to address violations of workplace safety laws. The bill also establishes a presumption of unlawful retaliation if an employer takes adverse action against an employee within 90 days of when that employee tries to address unsafe working conditions. WECA position: Oppose

SB 657 (Ochoa Bogh-R) This bill 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. Additionally, this bill clarifies that email distribution or relevant documents pursuant to the proposed statute does not alter the employer’s obligation to physically display the required posting. WECA position: Support

Licensure

AB 246 (Quirk-D) This bill would add illegal dumping to the list of violations that constitute a cause for disciplinary action against a contractor by the CSLB. WECA position: Support

AB 569 (Grayson-D) 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 in lieu of a citation for multiple violations at a time. WECA position: Watch

AB 830 (Flora-R) Makes minor changes to CSLB law related to qualifyer WECA position: Watch

SB 607 (Min-D) Increases, beginning January 1, 2023, the amount required for a contractor’s bond for licensure from $15,000 to $25,000

PAGA

SB 646 (Hertzberg-D) Prohibits janitorial employees working under a collective bargaining agreement, containing specified provisions, from the right to bring an action under the labor code’s private attorneys general act (PAGA). WECA position: Watch

SES

AB 1124 (Friedman-D) Revises the definition of "solar energy system" to clarify that it must be designed to serve one utility retail customer on the same property, more than one utility retail customer on the same property, one utility retail customer on the same, adjacent, or contiguous properties, or more than one utility retail customer on the same, adjacent or contiguous properties, and not be designed for procurement of electricity by an electric utility.

Clarifies that:

a structural design feature of a solar energy system includes elevated solar support structures, including the aboveground superstructure and associated foundation elements that support the solar collectors or other solar energy devices, as specified.

that a residential permit fee applies to an application for a solar energy system that is installed on the property of a single- or two-family dwelling.

that a commercial permit fee applies to an application for a commercial solar energy system that includes, but is not limited to, a solar energy system that is installed on the property of multifamily housing that has more than two family dwellings.

that nothing in this bill or existing law governing permit fees for solar energy systems precludes a city, county, city and county, or charter city from conducting a plan check to confirm the safety of a solar energy system pursuant to specified existing law and the California Building Standards Code

WECA position: Watch

STWF

AB 525 (Chiu-D) Requires the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop a strategic plan by December 31, 2022, for offshore wind development off the California Coast. The development of the strategic plan regarding workforce development shall include consultation with representatives of key labor organizations and apprenticeship programs that would be involved in dispatching and training the construction workforce. The plan must include an analysis of the workforce development needs of the California offshore wind energy industry, including occupational safety requirements, and the need to require the use of a skilled and trained workforce to perform all work. The assessment shall also analyze work, and the need for the Division of Apprenticeship Standards to develop a curriculum for in-person classroom and laboratory advanced safety training for workers. It will include recommendations for workforce standards for offshore wind energy facilities and associated infrastructure, including, but not limited to, prevailing wage, skilled and trained workforce, apprenticeship, local hiring, and targeted hiring standards, that ensure sustained and equitable economic development benefits. WECA position: Watch

AB 692 (Waldron-R) Extends the deadline to liquidate grant funds by five years for the Lake Wohlford Dam project from June 30, 2023, to June 30, 2028. Conditions the extension for liquidation of funds on the City of Escondido using a skilled and trained workforce for the Lake Wohlford Dam project. 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 30, 2021   WECA Political Update September 30, 2021

Vaccine Mandate--What We Know:

On September 9th, President Biden announced a 6-prong plan to fight COVID-19 (available here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/covidplan/). Most important to California’s contractor community is the plan’s first prong (“Vaccinating the Unvaccinated”), which pushes COVID-19 vaccines via two mechanisms:

1.     Federal Emergency Regulation: The Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) will publish an emergency regulation compelling a “soft” vaccination mandate for all employers with over 100 employees. Experts expect the rule to require employees to get vaccinated or produce a negative test before working every week.

Procedurally, California employers can expect a slight delay before this one becomes applicable. After OSHA passes the federal emergency regulation (the draft text isn’t even public yet), federal law compels Cal/OSHA to enact an equivalent or more stringent standard within 30 days. And even after Cal/OSHA passes that standard, it will likely allow employers 60 days or so to get their workforce into compliance.

2.     Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors: All we know at this point is that the federal government will begin adding language to contracts signed or extended after October 15th to compel vaccination (without a testing option) for federal contractors. The specific language to be added is supposed to be drafted by October 8th and is not yet public. The language, when released, is expected to allow federal contractors until December 8th to come into compliance – but, again, that draft contract provision is not yet public.

For both of these mechanisms, employers should keep a few caveats in mind. First – medical and religious exemptions will need to be made for individual employees, meaning that legal and HR will need to be ready to process those issues as the mandates go into effect. Second – legal challenges may delay their effect – particularly for the federal emergency regulation, which one state (Arizona) has already filed suit to challenge. Though some legal experts believe that the vaccine mandate is within OSHA’s authority, that doesn’t mean that a legal challenge may not delay its application considerably – depending on if a district court judge grants an injunction.
 
California’s COVID-19 Workplace Regulation?

Experts expect California’s present COVID-19 emergency regulation to be re-adopted in December for the final time (in roughly its current form – available here: https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/Jun172021-COVID-19-Prevention-Emergency-txtbrdconsider-Readoption.pdf). Then, in spring of 2022, it will either expire or be turned into a permanent regulation.
 
On September 23rd, 2021, Cal/OSHA hosted an advisory committee comprised of business leaders, including CalChamber, labor leaders, public health officials, and other stakeholders, to discuss what a permanent regulation might look like. Notably, this discussion was intended only to help shape a draft of what the Cal/OSHA Standards Board might vote to approve next year and did not represent a commitment from the participants to support a permanent regulation. The draft text for discussion is available here (https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/DoshReg/covid-19-emergency-standards/), but this is was only a draft and both labor and business leaders expressed disagreement with various provisions, so we can expect some changes from Cal/OSHA in whatever eventually goes to the Standards Board next year.

But where will the vaccine mandate fit in California’s regulation? Though we don’t have the text yet, it appears likely that Cal/OSHA will adopt a second emergency regulation re: COVID-19 (focused on vaccines) to comply with the federal requirement to adopt an equivalent standard to President Biden’s vaccine mandate within 30 days.

What About Boosters? How Will They Fit into the Federal Regulation or California’s Next Regulatory Text?

At this point, it isn’t clear. President Biden announced booster shots as part of his six-prong plan, but uncertainty about who should get them and when appears to be prevalent. Notably, an advisory body to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended boosters only for limited population segments (elderly or vulnerable). Still, the CDC director recently overruled the panel and supported boosters for workers in high-risk workplaces as well. That means boosters will be available soon – but it isn’t clear exactly when the federal regulation will mandate they be taken to qualify as fully vaccinated.
 
In short – California employers have a lot to watch in the coming months. Keep one eye on federal OSHA and Cal/OSHA to ensure you stay ahead of workplace changes.
 
 
5 Tips to Choose the Right PLA Ha, made you look! The National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee, Inc. (NMAPC) negotiates and administers a series of collective bargaining agreements known as the National Maintenance Agreements (NMAs). 1,800+ contractor companies that employ members of 14 building trades international unions use NMAs. They believe “implementing a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) … can make big strides in safety and efficiency, leading to successful project completion and increased owner satisfaction.” You can read their explanation here. (I’m sending you the PowerPoint).

Some Takeaways from September

·   Biden’s Approval Rating Takes a Big Dip: The President’s overall approval rating dipped below the 50% mark this month. The latest leaves him at 43% approval and 53% disapproval in a recent Gallup poll.

·   Retirement Watch: Two-term Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) announced he would not seek reelection. Rep. Gonzalez was one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump and is the first of the 10 to announce his retirement.

·   Endorsement Corner: Former President Trump made a series of noteworthy endorsements this month, including:
o   Republican Candidate Harriet Hageman, the primary challenger to incumbent Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY-AL)

o   Joe Kent, the primary challenger to incumbent Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03)

o   Georgia Senate Candidate Herschel Walker (R)

o   Sean Parnell, Republican candidate for the open Pennsylvania Senate seat

o   Michigan state Rep. Steve Carra (R), who is challenging incumbent Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-06)

o   Anna Paulina Luna, Republican candidate for the open FL-13 seat and the Republican nominee for the same seat in 2020

·   Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) announced he is running for reelection. This effectively moves Iowa into a safer position.

·   California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) survived a recall election earlier this month. 

·   Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37) is leaving Congress to run for mayor of Los Angeles.

·   California made universal mail-in voting permanent. As a result, all registered, active voters will receive a mailed ballot for elections going forward.

·   Gail Huff Brown (R), the wife of former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), filed to run against incumbent Democrat Chris Pappas in NH-01.

·   Former Sen. Dean Heller (D-NV) launched a bid for the state’s governorship. 

·   Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) plans to enter the Texas governor’s race. Pundits expect him to announce later this year formally.

Musical Chairs – San Francisco The media has reported that San Francisco Mayor London Breed nominated Assemblymember David Chiu to be San Francisco’s new city attorney, setting off a scramble for Chiu’s seat. Politico reports, “the long-anticipated announcement opens one of San Francisco’s two Assembly seats. Candidates had begun positioning for the post in the months since Breed nominated former City Attorney Dennis Herrera to lead the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. In profoundly liberal San Francisco, a Democrat will claim Chiu’s seat; the only question is which one. Former San Francisco Supervisor David Campos declared he would run should Chiu step aside, as did Supervisor Matt Haney.

One factor to consider: if Haney wins, Breed will appoint his supervisor replacement, which could mean the relatively centrist mayor picking a moderate rather than a farther-left supervisor. Chiu’s departure also means the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, which Chiu currently leads, will get a new chair — an influential position with housing affordability sitting atop Sacramento’s agenda.”

Homelessness Solution? You Decide Governor Newsom signed a package of bills to address homelessness and housing affordability, issues the governor described as “the two biggest pre-existing conditions” the state was experiencing before the Covid-19 pandemic, Politico reports.
“Nothing like the homelessness crisis exists anywhere in the United States like it exists and persists here in the state of California,” Newsom said at a board-and-care facility run by Los Angeles County on the Wednesday bill-signing event.

     AB 1220 by Assemblymember Luz Rivas (D-North Hollywood) creates the new California Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is charged with reviewing and approving homelessness plans submitted by cities and counties to take advantage of state funding.

·        AB 27, also by Rivas, would help identify K-12 students experiencing homelessness and connect them to services.

·        AB 977 by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) requires entities that receive funding from state homeless programs to report specified data to the state, allowing policymakers to track better and evaluate the effectiveness of the spending.

·        AB 362 by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) requires cities and counties to establish a homeless shelter inspection program

·        AB 816 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) directs National Housing Trust Fund monies to specified homeless uses

·        AB 1443 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) permits counties to develop training and procedures for taking people into custody for involuntary mental health detention;

·        SB 400 by Sen. Brian Jones (R-Santee) requires local educational agencies to identify youths experiencing homelessness.

I can sense the collective sigh of relief already from the homeless.

New Faces at CSLB The Governor has made the following appointments to the Contractors’ State License Board:
 
·        Cynthia Rich, of Gold River – Public Seat. Rich has been Sole Proprietor of Cynthia L. Rich, Psy.D. since 2015. Rich was Assistant Dean for the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, from 1989 to 1998. She was Vice President of Marketing at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce from 1986 to 1989. Rich was Advertising Manager at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District from 1977 to 1986. She earned a Master of Arts degree in English from California State University, Sacramento, a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Alliant International University, and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology degree from Alliant International University. She is a member of the California Psychological Association and the Redwood Psychological Association. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Rich is a Democrat.

·        Steve Panelli, of San Mateo – Building Official. Panelli has been a Chief Plumbing Inspector at the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection since 2009. He was Senior Plumbing Inspector at the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection from 2005 to 2009, where he was District Plumbing Inspector from 2000 to 2005. Panelli is a member of the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Board of Directors and Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 38. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Panelli is registered without party preference.
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 29, 2021   Announcing the Winner of our 20-21 Lab Donation Scoreboard: Milwaukee Tool!

Thank you to Milwaukee Tool and all the generous donors on the scoreboard, who all help make WECA's comprehensive, state-of-the-art education possible!





Congratulations to Milwaukee Tool for topping our 20-21 Lab Donation Scoreboard with their generous contribution of $24,740 over the course of our last fiscal year!

We thank all of the generous donors who made it onto our 20-21 Lab Donation Scoreboard! We could not do what we do here at WECA without the help of our dedicated Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and donors. They help make our state-of-the-art labs and comprehensive, hands-on education the best in the American West!

The contribution goal for 2020-21 was $20,000, and our donors handily exceeded that (topping out at $35,940)! Thank you, all--we're humbled by your generosity!

"We thank you for your continued annual support. Every dollar and item donated directly contributes to the next generation of premier electricians in California and Arizona and low voltage technicians in California," says Jimmie Slemp, WECA's lead instructor and lab facilities manager. "Now that we're safely back in the classrooms and labs, we're utilizing these donations. It really adds that element of 'hands-on learning' to the collective educational experience!"

Thank you again, everyone! And if you'd like to be the first to get on the 21-22 Lab Donation Scoreboard and contribute to WECA's delivery of premier industry education, watch this space for the launch of our 21-22 Scoreboard and future updates!
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 29, 2021   Instructor Spotlight: Bill Garr

New to the Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Lead Instructor position, but not to WECA!



At WECA, we pride ourselves on providing a comprehensive electrical industry education—thanks in no small part to our talented, knowledgeable, and passionate instructors and staff. And we think that Bill Garr—third-generation electrician, Santa Rosa native, and one of our many talented GetWired! Electrician Trainee program online and lab instructors before recently coming on board full-time as Lead Instructor for that program—perfectly embodies these sentiments.

“I was highly interested in teaching for a long time due to the fact that WECA has the facilities and resources to reach out to the industry and instruct with great teachers, coupled with how awe-inspiring working with raw energy and construction truly is,” says Garr.

Garr states that as a teacher, he loves that he “gets to interact with and show my passion and excitement for electrical theory, construction and science; reach multiple people at any given time online and in the labs, and that having the classes taught online coupled with the availability of the hands-on labs makes our curriculum available for everyone on a personal basis.”

That, and Garr simply just loves “teaching electrical theory and code, which leads to helping people be better at what they do. My goal is to educate and inspire electricians, so that we leave and build a better place for all.”

It is, after all, in his blood.

“My grandfather and father were both electricians,” says Garr. “I first attended community college for general education credits toward an AA, and then I was a caretaker to my grandparents along with my father for a few years. After that, I joined WECA, took all the required Electrician Trainee (ET) courses, and received my Electrician Trainee program certificate with WECA.”

All this—and more!—made Garr a natural fit for the Lead Instructor position for our GetWired! Program, which serves Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson electricians pursuing continuing education. Garr lists two crucial traits for electricians—curious and always learning—in his personal philosophy. But he also espouses the importance of being humble, respectful, honest, adventurous, and thankful for all opportunities.

“I am very happy to have Bill continue with the WECA team,” says Galen Eckert, WECA’s Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Online Education Manager (and a WECA alumni himself!). “Bill’s experience and success made him an instant fit to step into the Lead Instructor position. He has a very upbeat teaching style that both me and the students enjoy. I often refer to Bill as a ‘fan favorite’ regarding the consistent positive feedback I receive from his current and former students. I look forward to seeing Bill work with the GetWired! team in a full-time capacity! His positive energy and dedication to teaching will help greatly as our program expands and adapts to the future!”

What’s more—Garr’s promotion is ushering in a new chapter of his life, with his relocation to Rancho Cordova meaning that he’s leaving his childhood home and moving up in his career.

“With this new position, I am honored to be taking a leadership position so I can leave the electrical education world better than I found it. I enjoy teaching and inspiring people to become more than what they are. I hope to bring a new sense of teaching and learning to this environment and open more opportunities for individuals in their electrical careers,” says Garr.

We’re thrilled to have you as the new Lead Instructor for our GetWired! Electrician Trainee and Continuing Ed. programs, Bill! And we’re also honored you’ve chosen WECA throughout your life—from getting your education here to helping develop the next generation of electricians by teaching here. We look forward to seeing all that you accomplish in your new role, and the lives you’ll positively impact through it!
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 29, 2021   Course Spotlight: Job Costs and Estimating Basics

Perfect for project engineers and other non-electrician construction professionals!

The final course in the Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) program. Don't miss out--enroll in the upcoming November class!



Job Costs and Estimating Basics is a hybrid online instructor-led, self-paced introduction to estimating job costs, materials and lab labor for electrical installations. After your initial class meeting with an instructor, you’ll work on your own and complete self-paced assignments for small jobs, Low Voltage tenant improvements, and a job takeover estimate. This course is the 4th of 5 in the Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Path for non-electrician construction professionals. It's also great for journeyperson electrician continuing education!

Total class hours available: 16

Standard Tuition Fee: $199

If you're ready to take this course, click here to learn more and enroll! Otherwise, keep reading to learn more about the PE to PM Path and the order in which WECA recommends you complete the program.

Our contractors asked, and WECA delivered.

Introducing our new program of 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.

And now learn a whole lot more:



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 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. 

The PE to PM Training Path is made up of five online courses which should be taken in the following order:

1. Practical Electrical Theory is an online, self-paced introduction to electrical theory, laws, and circuits. Course topics include:
  • Atomic Theory
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Series Circuits
  • Parallel Circuits
Available now! Learn more and enroll here

2. Subject Indexing and Code is an online, self-paced course in which students will learn how to effectively navigate and answer code-related questions in the National Electrical Code (NEC 2017) book and complete the calculations needed for electrical installations. Course topics include:
  • NEC Subject Indexing
  • Conductor Sizing and Protection
  • Raceway, Box Fill, and Conduit Fill Calculations
  • Service Sizing, Clearances, and Terminations
  • Wiring Methods, Special Equipment and Occupancies
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Motors
  • General Equipment, Lighting and Panelboards
.
Available now! Learn more and enroll here

3. Electrical Wiring Methods and Installations is an online, self-paced introduction to the most used wiring methods with emphasis on proper installation and correctly applying electrical code. Course topics include:
  • Installation basics
  • National electrical code
  • Workmanship standards
  • Identification of methods


Available now! Learn more and enroll here

4. Job Costs and Estimating Basics is an online hybrid (a scheduled instructor-led introduction and otherwise self-paced) course which introduces estimating job costs, material and labor for electrical installations. Course topics include:
  • Material estimations
  • Labor estimations
  • Voltage drop as applied to installation
  • Total job cost analysis
Available now! Learn more and enroll here
?
5. Commercial Electrical Blueprint Reading is an online, scheduled, instructor-led course in which students learn how to coordinate cut sheets, submittals, the NEC and more with digital blueprints to plan electrical installation for commercial construction from the ground up.

Available now! Learn more and enroll here

 
FAQs

Q: Is the PE to PM Program for Project Engineers only?
A: Nope! Any construction industry professional (for instance, General Contractors, Construction Managers, etc.) who requires a grounding in electrical concepts, the National Electric Code, and best practices on the electrical job site can benefit from this program. 

Q: Is the PE to PM Program appropriate for Electrician Trainees?
A: No--Electrician Trainees should take the WECA Path to the Electrician Trainee Program Certificate, including the whole GetWired! series, in order to make sure they are getting the thorough electrical education and amount of education hours needed to qualify for the State of CA electrician certification exam.

Q: Does the WECA discount structure for Member Contractors and their employees apply to the PE to PM program?
A: Yes, discounts on these classes are available to WECA Member Contractors and their employees as a WECA membership benefit. Members: Please log in to your secured member dashboard to download the PE to PM program discount rate sheet, or call our office for more information. Member employees: Please speak to your contractor about accessing a discount.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
A: The program is modularized and was designed to accommodate individual choice in the intensity and speed of completion. Motivated students might complete it in as little as 6 months. A student who would like to integrate the concepts more slowly, or who is combining this program with other on-the-job training, might prefer to enroll in only one course per quarter, taking approximately 18 months to complete the program.

Q: Will the timing of the classes interfere with job duties?
A: The program has been designed for busy working professionals and should not interfere with full-time job duties. All of the courses are fully online. Three of the courses are entirely self-paced. One of the courses has an instructor-led introduction, which is held online in the evening, and then the remainder is self-paced. The final course is scheduled, online, instructor-led, but classes occur on weeknight evenings and one Saturday.

Q: I'm a construction professional who has had some electrical training already. Can I skip a class? 
A: WECA recommends the full program, taken in the order outlined above. However, if you've had previous electrical training (for instance, by taking some WECA GetWired! classes), we recommend you review the course outlines closely, and then enroll in whatever is most appropriate for you. Call WECA and talk to one of our client services specialists if you're not sure what to take.

Q: Does WECA provide a certificate of completion at the end of this program?
A: Yes, a student who successfully completes all five courses in the PE to PM Program Path with be granted a certificate of completion from WECA. (Credit towards the certificate for alternative courses previously taken at WECA will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

Q: I'm ready to get started (or to get my employees started) in this program! What do I do next?
A: Enroll online through our PE to PM Course Catalog, or call our office at 1-877-444-9322 for enrollment guidance.

 
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 29, 2021   Did you know that women make up 9% of the Commercial Electrical Apprentices in our AZ Program?

Will you--or someone you know--join them?



Want to read a gratifying statistic? Women make up 9 percent of the Commercial Electrical Apprentices enrolled in our Arizona program at WECA's Phoenix training facility--more than the national average!

There are myriad reasons why pursuing a Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship through WECA Arizona is a good idea, but we think Laura Varela (pictured above) sums it up best!

Per her spotlight, Varela says that "The major perks of an Apprenticeship with WECA, rather than a traditional college education, would be the cost. Apprenticeship tuition is paid for by the employing contractor; the phrase 'earn while you learn is a big part of the Apprenticeship program."

Indeed--having tuition paid for by your employing contractor is the biggest perk of a WECA Apprenticeship program. That allows you to build your career and earn while you learn, while graduating with no debt!

Want to learn more? Click here! Or save our flyer below, which outlines more details for women interested in our Commercial Electrical Program in Arizona. (P.S. Lots of opportunities in our California programs, too!)

Read more >>


Wednesday, September 29, 2021   Important open enrollment update for Commercial Electrical Apprentices

Dear WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentices:

The enrollment processing for United Healthcare (UHC) is complete. Your UHC ID cards will be mailed directly from UHC. Please review your UHC ID card when you receive it.

Should you want to change your Primary Care Physician, please call for HMO assistance at (800) 624-8822 and for PPO assistance at (866) 633-2446.

You may change your Primary Care Physician during the month of October and the charge will be retroactive to October 1. Any Primary Care Physician(s) change between November 1-15 will be effective on December 1, and if you make a Primary Care Physician(s) change between November 16-30, this change becomes effective on January 1, 2022.

WECA would like to encourage you to download the United Healthcare app. This app is available for iPhone and Android mobile devices. You may find a link to the app by logging into your dashboard at www.goweca.com and clicking on "Commercial Apprentices Benefits", which will then take you to the benefit page.

Once enrolled in the United Healthcare app, you may download a digital dental ID card as well. In addition, you can register on myuhc.com to print a vision ID card.

Please contact Cindy Cormier, WECA's Insurance Administrator, at (916) 453-0112 ext. 117 or via email at ccormier@goweca.com if you have any questions.
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 29, 2021   Join WECA in Fresno on Oct. 13 for an open house celebrating our new Fresno training facility!

If you haven't yet RSVP'd, we'd love to see you there!



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
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 29, 2021   WECA's experiencing exceptional growth!

We're hiring a full-time Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructor.

And we're also hiring part-time GetWired! instructors to teach online courses on weeknight evenings with the option to teach Saturday labs at training facilities across the state, too! (Psst--this is the perfect side gig that doesn't interfere with your day job or your retirement if you're a retired electrician!).



Are you a certified (or retired) low voltage technician with a passion for sharing your knowledge? WECA's looking for a Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructor to educate the next generation of California's low voltage technicians in a fast-paced educational setting (including a state-of-the-art fire life safety and voice data video lab!) at our Rancho Cordova headquarters!

Click here to learn more and apply!



Thanks to the exceptional growth and surging demand that WECA's GetWired! Electrician Trainee program is experiencing, WECA is hiring part-time instructors for online, evening weeknight classes, with the option to also teach hands-on labs on Saturdays at our training facilities across the State.

It's the perfect side gig to complement your day job (or your retirement!), and lets you bring in some extra cash doing something you love (and educating the next generation while you're at it!).

Weeknight instruction takes place online and can be done from the comfort of home. If you're interested in teaching Saturday labs onsite, we have opportunities at training facilities across California.

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


Thursday, September 23, 2021   WECA's outreach efforts are back in high gear!

Go behind the scenes at North State Building Industry Foundation's 2021 Construction Job Fair with WECA's Diane and Zack!





Left: WECA's booth setup, complete with WECA swag! Right: Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship instructor Zack demonstrates how to bend conduit to a prospective WECA Apprentice!

WECA's Workforce Development Supervisor Diane and Commercial Apprenticeship instructor Zack attended North State Building Industry Foundation's 2021 Construction Job Fair on Wednesday, September 22 and had nothing but great things to say about it!

"We were so excited to be back in person sharing information about WECA's Apprenticeship programs and careers as an electrician at the job fair," says Diane. "The attendees had lots of questions about what it takes to be an electrician and were excited to learn about WECA's training programs to get them on the path to a successful career!"

Thank you, Diane and Zack! We love you seeing you out in the community inspiring the next generation of California's premier electricians and low voltage technicians!
 
Read more >>


Thursday, September 23, 2021   WECA will be performing outreach at upcoming job fairs and career events in October

But that's not all! WECA will be performing outreach at upcoming Greater Sacramento Urban League and Construction Industry Education Foundation events in October!

Would Like Member Contractors to Join Us







MARK YOUR CALENDAR and get the Sacramento region back to work during the Greater Sacramento Urban League’s twenty-ninth annual Diversity Job Fair happening on Wednesday, October 27th at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento from 9:00am – 1:00pm.

JOIN US and our partner sponsors SMUD, Dignity Health, ESPN and KSFM radio as we get our region’s jobseekers back to work. The COVID pandemic has taken a devastating toll on Sacramento’s workforce. This year’s event is specially designed with COVID safety protocols for both employer-exhibitors and jobseekers. The 2021 Diversity Job Fair will feature a vaccine and testing clinic, Computer Caf?or immediate online upload of employment applications, free LinkedIn headshots booth courtesy of Audacy Radio, as well as the wealth of Sacramento talent looking to go to work.  
 
FOR 53 YEARS, the Greater Sacramento Urban League has served a mission to educate, empower and employ our region's most talented jobseekers and most vulnerable communities. We are a stakeholder and advocate of the Sacramento Regional Prosperity Plan realizing the capital benefits a diverse workplace culture can bring.

RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY by completing the attached Exhibitor Registration form. Take advantage of our AJCC employer hire services and benefits. Support our region. Get Sacramento Back To Work on October 27, 2021.
 
2021 GSUL Diversity Job Fair will be held at:
Hyatt Regency Sacramento
1209 L Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Why should WECA Member Contractors participate? WECA wants to help our Member Contractors build their workforces by participating in events and sharing information about our programs. Our Member Contractors are ultimately the employer, so there's a lot of value in attending these events together as partners. Having you, our Member Contractors, present provides a tangible connection to jobs in the industry for prospective apprentices, trainees, or even journeyperson job seekers.

Please contact Diane Trotter, WECA Workforce Development Supervisor, to discuss coordinating efforts at these upcoming events. 877-444-9322 ext.151
Read more >>


Thursday, September 23, 2021   Behind the scenes at WECA Rancho Cordova HQ: 4th-year Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the labs







Read more >>


Thursday, September 23, 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 23, 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
Read more >>


Thursday, September 23, 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, 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.
Read more >>


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

Read more >>


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
Read more >>


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.
Read more >>


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
Read more >>


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.
Read more >>


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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