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Thursday, October 22, 2020   Register Now For Industry Partner ABB's Construction Solutions Showcase Nov. 10 - Dec. 10

Download the flyer
WECA Industry Partner ABB has asked us to share with you an opportunity for our member contractors to learn about the latest and greatest in solutions for the industry by taking advantage of complimentary registration for their upcoming Construction Solutions Showcase.

They've shared with us that "ABB is showcasing the “Best of Both” for Contractors in a can’t-miss event and hosting a premier online studio tour event. On behalf of the ABB Customer Experience team, we are inviting all the WECA members to join us and take a look at our newest construction solutions. The integration of GE Industrial Solutions’ portfolio with ABB’s one line electrical offering is a game changer. During the studio environment, attendees will have the opportunity to get an up-close look at actual products. Nearly 25% of the products are new to the market this year and they all demonstrate the value of our “best of both” approach in combining the GE and ABB offerings.
 
When visiting our online showcase, guests will have access to videos, case studies, white papers and more. Just like our in-person events, you’ll find demos like an interactive landscape that explores applications from residential to commercial—everything contractors need to deliver projects on time and on budget. You can even test your industry knowledge in our online trivia game with real—not virtual—prizes. Registration is open and we look forward to having the WECA members join us!"  

They believe the showcase will be particularly relevant to WECA's membership of electrical and low voltage contractors alike. “The integration of GE Industrial Solutions’ portfolio with ABB’s one line electrical offering is a game changer,” says David Kendall, Director – Industry Affairs at ABB. Kate Johnston, Customer Experience Marketing Director at the company, adds that “We’re really proud of our next generation power distribution technology that offers lower install costs and delivers smarter, safer and more reliable solutions for our customers.”  

Register Now:  https://events.bizzabo.com/233688
 

Get to Know ABB:

ABB’s Electrification Business Area is a global leader in electrical products and solutions, operating in more than 100 countries, with over 200 manufacturing sites. Our 55,000+ employees are dedicated to delivering safe, smart and sustainable electrification. With ABB AbilityTM enabled digital solutions at its core, our portfolio protects, connects and optimizes the flow of electrical energy, including the integration of renewables and energy storage for smarter electricity distribution for utilities, industry, infrastructure and transportation. For more information visit https://go.abb/electrification
Read more >>


Thursday, October 22, 2020   Go Green (and Save Green!) with SMUD's Free Virtual Commercial Energy Assessment

Content Courtesy of: SMUD

SMUD has begun offering virtual energy assessments for our commercial customers. SMUD’s free virtual energy assessments are now online and contactless. To learn more and schedule your free energy assessment, click here.
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Thursday, October 22, 2020   WECA San Diego Moves to New Training Facility; Co-Located with AGC of San Diego

WECA has been successfully co-located with Associated General Contractors San Diego (AGCSD) at their Riverside Training Facility for the past decade, and the partnership has proven beneficial to our members, apprentices, and students alike. When AGC approached WECA’s Board of Directors with a proposal that WECA move to share their facility space in San Diego as well (their newly-built headquarters in San Diego opens this year), the win-win was evident.

Terry Seabury, CEO of WECA, explains “We’ve been outgrowing our previous San Diego training facility at 9320 Hazard Way, which we established back in 2002, due to the significantly increased number of Apprentices, Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson continuing education students taking classes from us in San Diego in the intervening years.  When AGC San Diego leadership invited us to consider sharing space in either their new location, or their existing Ferris Square location, we were excited to explore our options. We ultimately chose a large portion of the Ferris Square location as the best suited for our San Diego training facility expansion. Our Board of Directors and Apprenticeship and Training Trustees were happy to expand our co-location agreements with such a great organization—especially one like AGCSD which shares our commitment and passion for providing member services that help our contractor members to be successful in their businesses, as well as providing to them the most well-trained industry employees in the state.”

“Our partnership with WECA will enhance training for craft workers in each Apprenticeship program, and expand other benefits for members of either Association.  Working together, AGC and WECA have the unique opportunity to have 10 different craft trades train in close coordination— a scenario much closer to real-world job conditions than stand-alone training. WECAs track record in apprenticeship curriculum development and AGCs long history of continuing education complement one another to provide exceptional training at all stages of construction careers,” says Eddie Sprecco, CEO of AGC San Diego.

Bob Bartlett, WECA Director of Membership , adds that “WECA’s decision to co-locate with AGC San Diego is a strategic plus. With the new facility and lab space nearly doubling, WECA members can rest assured that the apprentices they enroll in the program will be excited to attend classes in a state-of-the-art training center. AGCSD has fun events and we are looking forward to co-sponsoring membership meetings which will give WECA’s electrical contractor members the opportunity to rub elbows with the Generals.  Quality space…Quality education…and Quality benefits…all coupled with a Quality Partnership can only lead to increased successes and opportunities for everyone involved.” 

From the training and curriculum perspective, the opportunities seem boundless. Don Black, Director of Apprenticeship Training, IT and Facilities, explains that “The move to Ferris Square really gives our instructors an opportunity to leverage the additional hands-on lab space in support of our curriculum and student success. The instructors are excited to have two large open lab spaces where they can spread out the lab activities to enhance the student experience. Additionally, the classroom spaces are comfortable and an excellent environment for learning.  Our new location will serve WECA and our students for many years to come.” Tom Thompson, WECA Curriculum Development Manager, adds that “Our Low Voltage program in San Diego will benefit quickly from the expanded space, as the curriculum team is excited to further develop the hands-on labs on our current low voltage systems competencies, and also build new competencies around the addition of “data rooms” (not only in San Diego, but also in Rancho Cordova) that will very closely simulate what students will be installing on a real job site!” WECA’s GetWired! Electrician Trainee Certificate Program is likewise excited over the expanded lab space. Michelle Gilkey, Director of Marketing, Learning and Product for WECA, explains that “We are continuously finding ways to accommodate the ever-growing number of trainees we serve with our GetWired! hybrid online program, and this additional space will allow us to run more concurrent Saturday labs than ever before in San Diego.”

You can now find WECA’s San Diego training facility at 6212 Ferris Square, San Diego, CA 92121. When in-person classes resume, apprentices, trainees, and journeyperson continuing education students will all be able to enjoy learning in these new and expanded facilities.

WECA is grateful for this opportunity to train alongside AGC in San Diego, and looks forward to many years of working side-by-side to train the future workforce. 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 22, 2020   Drumroll, Please: Introducing the 2020-21 WECEF Lab Donation Scoreboard!

Your Donations Help Make WECA's State-of-the-Art Labs and Comprehensive, Hands-On Electrical Industry Education (the Best in the West!) Possible
 
Every year, we're grateful for the generosity of our dedicated members, industry partners, and donors, as their donations contribute to making our state-of-the-art electrical and low voltage labs and comprehensive, hands-on industry education the best in the West.

We're excited to roll out our new and updated 2020-21 Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) Lab Donation Scoreboard--now with a handy donation thermometer to help keep you apprised of our real-time donation status!

Want to get your company's name up on our Lab Donation Scoreboard and help make a difference for the next generation of our workforce? Click the image above to visit the WECEF website to view our Lab Donation Scoreboard and our corresponding donation wishlists!

And from all of us at WECEF and WECA, we thank you in advance for donating and helping to advance electrical and low voltage educational opportunities and workforce development in California and Arizona!
Read more >>


Thursday, October 22, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

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

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


Tuesday, October 20, 2020   WECA San Diego Moves; Now Co-Located w/ Associated General Contractors of San Diego

WECA has been successfully co-located with Associated General Contractors San Diego (AGCSD) at their Riverside Training Facility for the past decade, and the partnership has proven beneficial to our members, apprentices, and students alike. When AGC approached WECA’s Board of Directors with a proposal that WECA move to share their facility space in San Diego as well (their newly-built headquarters in San Diego opens this year), the win-win was evident.

Terry Seabury, CEO of WECA, explains “We’ve been outgrowing our previous San Diego training facility at 9320 Hazard Way, which we established back in 2002, due to the significantly increased number of Apprentices, Electrician Trainees and Journeyperson continuing education students taking classes from us in San Diego in the intervening years.  When AGC San Diego leadership invited us to consider sharing space in either their new location, or their existing Ferris Square location, we were excited to explore our options. We ultimately chose a large portion of the Ferris Square location as the best suited for our San Diego training facility expansion. Our Board of Directors and Apprenticeship and Training Trustees were happy to expand our co-location agreements with such a great organization—especially one like AGCSD which shares our commitment and passion for providing member services that help our contractor members to be successful in their businesses, as well as providing to them the most well-trained industry employees in the state.”

“Our partnership with WECA will enhance training for craft workers in each Apprenticeship program, and expand other benefits for members of either Association.  Working together, AGC and WECA have the unique opportunity to have 10 different craft trades train in close coordination— a scenario much closer to real-world job conditions than stand-alone training. WECAs track record in apprenticeship curriculum development and AGCs long history of continuing education complement one another to provide exceptional training at all stages of construction careers,” says Eddie Sprecco, CEO of AGC San Diego.

Bob Bartlett, WECA Director of Membership , adds that “WECA’s decision to co-locate with AGC San Diego is a strategic plus. With the new facility and lab space nearly doubling, WECA members can rest assured that the apprentices they enroll in the program will be excited to attend classes in a state-of-the-art training center. AGCSD has fun events and we are looking forward to co-sponsoring membership meetings which will give WECA’s electrical contractor members the opportunity to rub elbows with the Generals.  Quality space…Quality education…and Quality benefits…all coupled with a Quality Partnership can only lead to increased successes and opportunities for everyone involved.” 

From the training and curriculum perspective, the opportunities seem boundless. Don Black, Director of Apprenticeship Training, IT and Facilities, explains that “The move to Ferris Square really gives our instructors an opportunity to leverage the additional hands-on lab space in support of our curriculum and student success. The instructors are excited to have two large open lab spaces where they can spread out the lab activities to enhance the student experience. Additionally, the classroom spaces are comfortable and an excellent environment for learning.  Our new location will serve WECA and our students for many years to come.” Tom Thompson, WECA Curriculum Development Manager, adds that “Our Low Voltage program in San Diego will benefit quickly from the expanded space, as the curriculum team is excited to further develop the hands-on labs on our current low voltage systems competencies, and also build new competencies around the addition of “data rooms” (not only in San Diego, but also in Rancho Cordova) that will very closely simulate what students will be installing on a real job site!” WECA’s GetWired! Electrician Trainee Certificate Program is likewise excited over the expanded lab space. Michelle Gilkey, Director of Marketing, Learning and Product for WECA, explains that “We are continuously finding ways to accommodate the ever-growing number of trainees we serve with our GetWired! hybrid online program, and this additional space will allow us to run more concurrent Saturday labs than ever before in San Diego.”

You can now find WECA’s San Diego training facility at 6212 Ferris Square, San Diego, CA 92121. When in-person classes resume, apprentices, trainees, and journeyperson continuing education students will all be able to enjoy learning in these new and expanded facilities.

WECA is grateful for this opportunity to train alongside AGC in San Diego, and looks forward to many years of working side-by-side to train the future workforce. 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 15, 2020   WECA Political Update October 15, 2020

WECA is publishing this list of its endorsements for ballot measures on the November ballot in California. An employer may share this list with its employees (and its own endorsements for state, local and federal candidates) but should not do so as a paycheck insert.

To view the ballot measures, please click on the document image or link below to open the full document. To view specific ballot measures within the document, please click on the applicable links to be redirected.

We’ll be back in two weeks with a comprehensive political newsletter.
Download 2020 Ballot Measures
Ask Richard


Richard Markuson
WECA Government Affairs Advocate, Pacific Advocacy Group
Have questions or concerns?

Ask Richard!
Dear WECA supporter,

It is our pleasure to provide you with this bi-weekly political update from WECA. Please feel free to contact WECA at (877) 444-9322 or info@goweca.com for more details about any of the articles included in this political update.

Join the WECA conversation. Follow us on social media.
Facebook ‌ Twitter ‌ Instagram ‌ LinkedIn ‌
About WECA

WECA is the premier independent merit shop contractors' association in the Western United States. We provide innovative training and education programs, critical business services, and responsive customer support to surpass the needs of our members and students. We are federally and state-approved, and our top-quality electrical training has found a nationwide audience. For over 90 years, we have been training the next generation of electricians, and advocating for and protecting fair and open competition in the electrical industry.
Learn More

Association Membership
Apprenticeship
Classes for Electrician Trainees and Journeymen
Contact Us
Join our mailing list!
Read more >>


Thursday, October 01, 2020   WECA Political Update October 1, 2020

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
_____________________________________
Newsom Follows Guidance of his Bosses in Labor Governor Gavin Newsom “realigned” his agenda with the construction unions and signed several of their bills in the final hours of his review period that expired last night at midnight. He signed:

AB 841 (Ting) that requires all contractors who install most EV chargers to employ commercial electricians who have received training from EVITP – a unit of IBEW.

AB 2765 (O’Donnell) that requires all charter school construction is prevailing wage – even if built with 100% private funds – a bill he vetoed last year.

AB 2231 (Kalra) that replaces the case-by-case analysis of when public contributions trigger prevailing wage with a statutory floor of $600,000 on projects of any size. Newson and Gov Brown had both vetoed similar bills over the years – it must be the start of his 2022 election campaign.

AB 1947 (Kalra) Doubles, from 6 months to one year, the time in which a person who believes that they have been discharged or otherwise discriminated against to file a complaint with the DLSE. Also, AB 1947 overturns the existing balance by prohibiting an employer from recovering its attorney’s fees, which could create an incentive for more potentially frivolous litigation.

We’ll cover these and other measures in more detail next time.

Election forecasters say 75% of this year's federal races will not be competitive, A Ballotpedia review of election forecasts found that 137 of the federal elections taking place this year (26.3%) are predicted to be competitive, with the remaining 384 all but certain to be won by one of the two major parties. Story

New Requirements for Federal Contractors President Trump issued an executive order late Tuesday on "Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping." It extends to federal contractors restrictions on diversity and inclusiveness training that the president recently placed on the federal workforce. The EO specifies "divisive concepts" (see section 2) that are not to be included in training. It also will require contractors to include language in their contracts, and any subcontracts, indicating these "divisive concepts" will not be part of employee training. In addition, the OFCCP is directed to set up a hotline to receive complaints from employees who feel they were subjected to training that was inconsistent with the EO. OFCCP will be conducting a Request for Information to collect information and training materials provided to employees. The EO became effective as of September 22, except that the contract language will not apply until contracts entered into 60 days after September 22. An initial reading of the EO is that this will not prohibit contractors from conducting D&I training, but contractors should review their materials to make sure they align with the restrictions identified in the EO.

Governor Newsom Signs Executive Order in Response to COVID-19 Governor Newsom signed an executive order to extend authorization for local governments to halt evictions for commercial renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through March 31, 2021 and address a variety of issues in response to the pandemic. To protect local health officers and other public health officials on the front lines of the fight against the virus, the order permits these individuals to participate in the Secretary of State’s address-confidentiality program. The order also allows the Department of Managed Health Care to gather information to assess the impacts of the pandemic on health care providers and health care service plans. Additionally, the order extends provisions allowing certain posting, filing and notice requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to be fulfilled electronically. The text of the Governor’s executive order can be found here and a copy can be found here.

Your Bank will Protect Your Privacy – if you’re Big Enough Top global banks shuffled huge sums of allegedly illicit funds around the globe even after noticing irregularities, according to an investigation dropped yesterday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), BuzzFeed News, and more than 100 media partners in 88 countries. In a treasure trove of leaked government documents, the investigators found at least $2 trillion worth of transactions were flagged as “suspicious” by banks’ internal compliance departments from 1999–2017. Which banks? JPMorgan, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon were named in the report for shuffling dirty money around even after promising the government they’d keep a more careful eye on money laundering. “Because the free flow of illicit money causes incalculable harm,” writes the ICIJ, fueling drug cartels, enabling tax evasion, and helping oligarchs consolidate power. Story.

Daylight Saving Time Causes More Than Grogginess The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is calling for an end to the annual practice of springing forward with daylight saving time in favor of a permanent, year-round standard time. Story

Proposition 15: Poll Shows Split-Roll Measure Losing Popularity A new poll shows that Proposition 15, the property tax increase initiative on the November ballot, is losing popularity with likely voters. A Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll released September 17 showed that voter support for Proposition 15 is barely above 50 percent and has fallen in recent months. The PPIC poll found that even after being subjected to more than a year of misleading campaigning by public employee unions, only 51 percent of likely voters say they support Proposition 15, while 40 percent are opposed. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent. Support has fallen by two percentage points since the PPIC asked a split-roll question in April. The poll was taken from September 4 through September 13. The Yes on 15 campaign launched a television ad campaign two days before the PPIC began polling, while the No on 15 campaign launched its television ads on September 8, midway through the polling. [CalTax]
 
Cal/OSHA Standards Board Requests COVID-19 Draft Emergency Regulation with Limited Opportunity for Stakeholder Input Cal/OSHA’s Standards Board voted to create a COVID-19 emergency regulation for industries not already covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard. Specifically, on September 17th, the Board approved its staff’s proposed decision (https://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/documents/petition-583-propdecision.pdf), which provided for three things:

1) The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (the “Division”) must bring an emergency regulation to the Board for a vote at or before the Standards Board’s November meeting.
2) The Division must convene an advisory committee after the emergency regulation goes into effect.
3) The Division must convene an advisory committee after the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted to discuss the potential for a new, “airborne infectious diseases” standard, which would include “novel pathogens.”

What should concern everyone watching is that the first two elements – a two-month deadline and a post-facto advisory committee – effectively prevent any stakeholder input before the emergency regulation goes into effect. Though the emergency regulation’s text will presumably be released two weeks before the November vote, by that point any real changes will be impossible. Story

Phoenix rises as US construction starts plummet
The Arizona city has seen starts leap by 82% over the first half of 2020. What makes this state capital special? While commercial and multifamily construction activity plummeted in the first half of 2020, one major metro area was spared – Phoenix Arizona. Story
 
Labor Department Proposes Revision Of Independent Contractor Test While President Trump has not had time to repeal 13502, the U.S. Department of Labor has proposed a federal independent contractor rule revising its interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act's classification to "bring clarity and consistency" on how employers decide who is an independent contractor and who is an employee. Story

Gig Worker Bill: A Lousy Way to Make Law Dan Walters writes “California’s political conflict over gig workers [AB 5] exemplifies irrational, opaque lawmaking.” He observes “It’s a lousy way to make law — pass a sweeping decree and then exempt a few favored interests. It resembles the time-dishonored practices of granting specific exemptions from the California Environmental Quality Act’s laborious processes…” but that’s “the way we roll.” Story
 
Phoenix firms partner for 400-home deal Mandalay Homes and Mosaic Building Group have embarked on a $100 million agreement to build 400 homes in northern Arizona. The two Phoenix companies are focusing on an area of the state where housing supply is decreasing while prices are rapidly increasing, said Salman Ahmad, founder and CEO of Mosaic, a construction technology company he formed in 2015 to make the homebuilding process more efficient, scalable and adaptable. Story (May require subscription)
 
Guidance on Payroll Tax Deferral On August 8, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order directing the Secretary of the Treasury to permit employers to defer the withholding and deposit of certain payroll tax obligations. In response, the Treasury Department released Notice 2020-65 (the Notice) furnishing guidance to employers. The Notice permits employers to defer withholding the employee portion of Social Security tax payments on wages or compensation paid between September 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 but applies only to compensation that is less than $4,000, as determined on a biweekly basis. Story

New California Leave Law Impacts All Companies with 5 or More Employees; And New COVID-19 Law for Large Employers On September 17, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation greatly expanding family and medical leave of absence requirements for all employers with at least 5 employees in California. More specifically, SB1383 expands the California Family Rights Act ("CFRA") and requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide certain unpaid, protected family/medical/military leave to eligible employees. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2021; thus employers must take steps to comply immediately. Story

Tom Steyer Meets with Biden Officials, Interested in A Role in Administration Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist and former Democratic presidential candidate, is interested in serving in Joe Biden's administration and has discussed the possibility with Biden's advisers.

Steyer met over the weekend in Washington, D.C. with Jeff Zients, a co-chair of the transition team, and longtime Biden advisers Jared Bernstein and Ron Klain, according to a source with knowledge of the trip. Steyer, a former hedge fund manager from California, is co-chair of Biden’s Climate Engagement Advisory Council. Conversations with Biden's advisers touched on his interest in working in the administration on climate policy and the economy, but also on the role of climate, labor and economic issues in the campaign, the source said. [Politico]

Newsom signs mental health parity bill to expand coverage requirements Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that makes California a national leader on mental health coverage by greatly expanding the treatments that commercial health insurers must cover. CA SB855 (19R), authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), requires insurers to cover all non-emergency mental services, including those for substance use disorder and addiction. This greatly expands what is considered “medically necessary." Since Californian’s pay the highest gasoline and diesel prices, what will this do to health insurance costs?
 
California to launch its own consumer financial protection agency Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a consumer financial protection law that will bring a sharper watchdog focus to state regulators — a proposal he presented in January as a rebuke to the Trump administration's weakening of a similar, Obama-era bureau. The California Consumer Financial Protection Law, CA AB1864 by Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), takes effect Jan. 1. It expands the existing Department of Business Oversight and renames it the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. The law gives the expanded department clear authority to target unfair and deceptive practices under the federal Dodd-Frank Act. It will be led by DBO Commissioner Manuel Alvarez. Newsom acknowledged that passing the bill — which did not go through the normal policy committee process, but through the Legislature as a budget bill — was not easy. He said his administration learned from Senate Budget Chair Holly Mitchell "how to use the budget to leverage good ideas" and attach funding to them. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) later made a quip about that strategy. “I don’t know if I would use the term 'leverage,' governor, but we certainly used the platform of the budget bill and the trailer bill process to effect a solid policy," Mitchell said, to laughter. "That’s what we did, Governor Newsom.” [Politico]
And finally, because we need something good ...

A herd of retired circus elephants that represents the largest group of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere is heading to northeast Florida. White Oak Conservation is creating a 2,900-acre preserve for the elephants north of Jacksonville, with Haskell serving as general contractor. The project is being funded by White Oak owners Mark and Kimbra Walter; the organization did not disclose the cost of the endeavor.

The 35 elephants currently are at the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation south of Orlando, where they were put after the circus removed them from shows in 2016. They’ll be moved to White Oak, a 17,000-acre conservation space, as soon as this year, coming two by two (aww) in specially modified trucks. Michelle Gadd, White Oak chief of conservation, told the Jacksonville Business Journal: “We feel for these animals both as individuals and [as] a species. We can make it so these animals can behave like animals.” [The National Observer]
Ask Richard
Richard Markuson
WECA Government Affairs Advocate, Pacific Advocacy Group
Have questions or concerns?

Ask Richard!
Dear WECA supporter,

It is our pleasure to provide you with this bi-weekly political update from WECA. Please feel free to contact WECA at (877) 444-9322 or info@goweca.com for more details about any of the articles included in this political update.

Join the WECA conversation. Follow us on social media.
Facebook ‌ Twitter ‌ Instagram ‌ LinkedIn ‌
About WECA

WECA is the premier independent merit shop contractors' association in the Western United States. We provide innovative training and education programs, critical business services, and responsive customer support to surpass the needs of our members and students. We are federally and state-approved, and our top-quality electrical training has found a nationwide audience. For over 90 years, we have been training the next generation of electricians, and advocating for and protecting fair and open competition in the electrical industry.
Learn More

Association Membership
Apprenticeship
Classes for Electrician Trainees and Journeymen
Contact Us
Join our mailing list!
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 30, 2020   Congratulations to the WECA Graduating Class of 2020!

Grad Week Spotlights: Meet Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Valedictorian Adam Weiper, Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Valedictorian Michael Finner, and Southern California Electrician Trainee Graduate Nathan Price
 

 

 
 
WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship
Valedictorian Adam Weiper (left) and WECA Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Valedictorian Michael Finner (right)
At WECA, we’re proud of being a pivotal part of graduates’ lives. It’s an honor to work with our Member Contractors to provide students with exemplary in-the-classroom education and on-the-job training to succeed and forge careers.
That’s why when we hear stories like Adam Weiper’s (2020 Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Valedictorian), Michael Finner’s (2020 Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Valedictorian) and Nathan Price’s (2020 Southern California Electrician Trainee program graduate), we are humbled to have helped change students’ lives and provide them with an education and life experience that’ll stay with them long after they have walked our halls.

We are always proud of our graduates, but especially so in an unprecedented year like 2020. You did not let this year define nor mar the end of your educational experience, and you did not let this year define or radically alter your chosen industry. Instead, you rose to the occasion and met any challenge head-on, as always. You are the backbone of your communities, and power California with your hard work, determination, and tenacity. Graduates like you make the construction and electrical industries especially resilient. We salute you and look forward to your collective future endeavors. Congratulations!

But before you go, take a moment to read inspiring sentiments and musings from some of your fellow graduates—2020 Northern California Apprenticeship graduate and Valedictorian Adam Weiper, 2020 Southern California Apprenticeship graduate and Valedictorian Michael Finner, and 2020 Southern California Electrician Trainee graduate Nathan Price.
Adam Weiper

Adam Weiper, 2020 Northern California Commercial Apprenticeship graduate and Valedictorian, started out as an Electrician Trainee with Reyff Electric, Inc. in 2013. But owner Ray Reyff quickly realized Weiper’s potential and began sponsoring Weiper’s Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship. And the rest is history—Weiper has been with Reyff ever since—an experience he says “has allowed me to grow exponentially and gain more knowledge.”

And with WECA, Weiper says that although the experience was “sometimes difficult and overwhelming,” instructors always helped Weiper and his fellow students grasp and understand concepts no matter what—even if it meant staying after hours to help—something that Weiper doesn’t take for granted.

“WECA gave me the tools and knowledge to be able to succeed on the jobsite. I was truly blessed to be around not only great instructors, but also great mentors, which set me up for success and set me on a path to train future generations with the same enthusiasm. We watched you all [instructors] grow with us…Zack, you always showed respect to each student and truly cared that we succeeded. Jimmie, you are a wealth of knowledge and you always allow yourself to be open to questions and phone calls—to this day, you still answer questions from former students, because you love sharing that knowledge and helping everyone succeed. And LaKeal, you excelled at keeping the class engaged even through some less than exciting but necessary things—a commendable feat,” says Weiper.

Looking back, Weiper wants current and future students alike to know that “your path may be close to being finished, or perhaps it is just beginning. You have all made the decision to dedicate years to gaining as much knowledge as you can. Use this time to ask questions, and for help if a problem arises. You control your success in the program, which will set you up for success in your career as you continue to learn.”

Now that he has graduated, Weiper says his future is “open to so many possibilities.” He plans to continue working for Reyff Electric “because it has been nothing but positive growth over the years, and Ray’s commitment and investment into me was not a waste by any stretch of the imagination.”
Michael Finner

After leaving the military in 2013 with “no exit plan and no college education”, Finner decided to use some of his GI Bill to attend an Electrician Trainee program and get his foot in the door. Finner initially attended Wyotech in Fremont, CA and got a year of job experience under his belt, which enabled him to be hired by Bergelectric—whom he still works for today—and indentured into his Commercial Apprenticeship with WECA in 2015.

“Everything began to fall into place then,” says Finner. “Wyotech used the same books as WECA, but WECA was superior in explaining the material we covered in class, and the labs were more organized and challenging.” Finner continues, stating that “completing my education through WECA has opened up a lot of doors for me. I’m not just an electrician…I am also a certified journeyman that has completed a state-approved apprenticeship program”.

“The last five years gave me the opportunity to work with many different types of materials and tools, and with lots of different people,” says Finner. “Knowing how to work with difficult people is sometimes as important as knowing your trade”.

Finner says that “my wife and children [contributed to my success at WECA and in my career]…I struggled a lot during my Apprenticeship with whether or not I wanted to continue with the program. Every time I prayed about it or discussed it with my family and friends, the answer remained the same, so I was on the right path.”

And Finner says to current and future students: “If you chose this Apprenticeship over a college education, you made a wise decision. You will seriously doubt it at times, but if you can grind it out and finish the Apprenticeship, you’ll have an education and a skillset you can take anywhere in the world. If they [do end up] wanting a college education, they will be able to afford it after completing the Apprenticeship without going into massive amounts of student loan debt.”

Finner continued, thanking Maria (his wife) “for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself”, “Mr. Ranger Rick, thanks for everything you taught us…and for the donuts”, and “Dom, Jon, Devon, and Sean for making me work harder. Without you guys, I don’t know that I’d be in this spotlight”.
Nathan Price

Nathan Price began WECA’s Electrician Trainee program in 2014—but his path was slightly different than that of other Electrician Trainees in that he has not ever worked for a WECA Member Contractor, since there are are't many close to where he lives, in Orange County.

But Price—like most other Electrician Trainees—financed a significant portion of his education by convincing his non-WECA Member Contractor employer to pay for some of his program! After achieving this, Price’s progress in the Electrician Trainee program accelerated, and he also took self-paced courses online during this time to increase his knowledge of electronics and the burgeoning solar energy industry.

“WECA has changed my life,” says Price. “It’s allowed me to become self-sufficient, have a skill that is and will always be in high demand, purchase my first home, and aspire to a bright future”. 

Price continued, saying that “WECA prepared me for my career by giving me a thorough understanding of electrical fundamentals, trade practices, electrical code, troubleshooting, and general skills. And [I give a shout-out to instructors] Jimmie Slemp, Andre Lewis, Tom Thompson and Talon Pobuda for really going out of their way to encourage students and make sure that students understand the principles that are being taught”.

And what a career he’s enjoyed so far. Throughout Price’s career so far—one year in residential electrical, three and a half years in commercial electrical, and one and a half years in the industrial and research side of the electrical industry, he’s participated in the development of a neutron therapy machine for cancer, a large-scale fusion reactor, and some small-scale electric vehicle research—all of which require extensive knowledge of controls, instrumentation, and voltages. Currently, Price is working on an installation in China where he supervises and inspects the work of local electricians to ensure the quality, reliability, safety, and troubleshooting of the electrical systems on the first neutron therapy machine to be installed in a hospital.

Price says that he wouldn’t have gotten to where he is without his on-the-job training—which taught him how to be a good electrician, run a business, and other invaluable life lessons—nor without his dedication to consistent quality and hard work, which also helped him to succeed at WECA.

“Being dedicated to my studies and wanting to learn anything I can while at work, and asking questions and not shying away from extra work [helped me excel],” says Price.

Price implores future and current students to take their education seriously, study, and be devoted to their work.

“Do the best work you can, and pay attention to the details,” says Price.

And even though Price has graduated from WECA and secured work on interesting and innovative projects both stateside and abroad, he’s still committed to continuing his education and continuing to further expand his knowledge. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 30, 2020   But That's Not All--Check Out Grad Video, Program, & Messages from Contractors & Industry Partners!

Congratulations to the WECA Class of 2020! It's been quite the ride to get here, but well worth it, so let's celebrate the culmination of your hard work and dedication!

WECA has put together a celebratory video showcasing our Class of 2020 graduates and their accomplishments over the course of their Apprenticeships and Electrician Trainee programs. Click below to watch the graduation video, and keep your eyes peeled for your favorite grad, plus some shout-outs and words of appreciation from our Member Contractors and Industry Partners. We hope you have as much fun walking down memory lane as we did making this video!
WECA Class of 2020 Virtual Graduation
WECA Class of 2020 Graduation Video
And of course, we have this year's graduation program for the Class of 2020! Click below to get a digital preview, and grads, watch for your printed keepsake copy in your graduation gift boxes, arriving soon on your doorsteps!

WECA Class of 2020 Graduation Program
What's more--we've also got some goodies for everyone on WECA's social media channels this week, too! Read below to see what to stay tuned for, and be sure to share our handles with your family and friends so they can also celebrate our graduates' accomplishments virtually.

Watch WECA's Social Media Channels all week for special features such as shout-outs from our Member Contractors to their graduates; video features; spotlight articles on WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Valedictorian Adam Weiper, Southern California Commercial Electrical Valedictorian Michael Finner, and Southern California Electrician Trainee Graduate Nathan Price; and a sneak peek at the graduate gift boxes our team is packing in our offices this week to ship off to each and every one of our graduates!

Follow along with the fun on any or all of our social media channels:
See what's happening on our social media:
Facebook ‌ Twitter ‌ Instagram ‌ LinkedIn ‌
Watch for H & D Electric's Video Message of Congratulations later this week!
And last--but not least--WECA thanks our Industry Partners and generous donors who have long helped to build WECA's world-class learning labs in which our graduates hone their hands-on skills, and who go out of their way to make things extra special for our graduates every year. (That's a little hint at what's coming our grads' way in their gift boxes.)
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 30, 2020   Important Notice for Commercial Apprentices Regarding Open Enrollment and Anthem Blue Cross ID Cards

Attention WECA Commercial Apprentices: the open enrollment period has closed, and the Anthem Blue Cross ID cards have been mailed.

If you do not receive the ID card for your added dependents by October 9, 2020, please contact Cindy Cormier, WECA Insurance Administrator, at (916) 453-0112 ext. 117 or by email at ccormier@goweca.com
Read more >>


Wednesday, September 30, 2020   Thank You to the Generous Donors to the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation

Especially 2019-20 Lab Donation Scoreboard Winner Rex Moore Group--for Making Our Comprehensive, State-of-the-Art Education Possible

Plus--Kicking Off the 2020-21 WECEF Lab Donation Scoreboard!
 
Rex Moore Group takes first place on our 2019-20 Lab Donation Scoreboard with donations totaling $14,675! Thank you, Rex Moore Group!
We could not do what we do here at WECA without the help of our dedicated members, industry partners, and donors. Thank you to the individuals and companies that help make WECA's state-of-the-art labs and comprehensive, hands-on education the best in the State of California. 

WECA extends a huge thank you in particular to:
  • Rex Moore Group, Inc. (2019-20 WECEF Lab Donation Scoreboard Winner!)
  • Western Tube and Conduit
  • Milwaukee Tools
"We are truly appreciative of the companies who have donated supplies and equipment to WECEF this year. It's been a trying time for everyone, so every contribution makes a world of difference," said Jimmie Slemp, WECA's lead instructor and lab facilities manager. "We look forward to using these donations once it is safe for us to get back in the classrooms and labs, and continue to educate the next generation of California's premier electricians."
Stay tuned for the launch of our 2020-21 scoreboard--we're as eager as you are to see who will take an early lead!
Read more >>


Thursday, September 24, 2020   Mental Health in the Construction Industry is More Important than Ever

Content Courtesy of Construction Dive

Suicide prevention in construction more important than ever

The COVID-19 crisis has the potential to exacerbate anxiety, depression and other mental health issues among construction workers, according to an industry expert.

In any industry, suicide prevention and education requires a variety of resources, as well as strong leadership from management, safety professionals and human resources. Yet, according to Greg Sizemore, the first thing construction employers should do to alleviate stress on workers —  especially right now — is to be compassionate.  

Sizemore is Associated Builders and Contractors' vice president of workforce development safety health and environmental and chairperson of the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Here, he talks with Construction Dive about Suicide Prevention Month and how the coronavirus has made suicide prevention tactics even more important for construction firms.

How has the added stress of the COVID-19 crisis added to contractors' already high risk of suicide?

COVID-19 has increased stressors for everyone, but this has been especially detrimental for people already at risk, which includes many people who work in construction. And while we know an underlying mental illness is the No. 1 risk for suicide, COVID-19 has the potential to exacerbate existing anxiety, depression or other mental health issues.

Statistically, construction employees are at a higher risk because men, who make up 91% of the construction workforce, are more likely to die by suicide. The construction industry also employs a large population of veterans who are at a 1.5 times greater risk for suicide compared to nonveterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The average age of our workforce also trends older, which adds to a combination of factors, including complications related to COVID-19 exposure.

That said, there is no doubt that COVID-19 has been extremely stressful for everyone. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. workforce had a routine and then in a moment, everything stopped, resulting in health fears and economic havoc. For months now, families have been dealing with a health crisis with many unknowns, employment instability, financial concerns, gaps in childcare and insolation, just to name a few.

In addition, a new group of the U.S. workforce was suddenly considered front line, which in many cases included construction workers. All of those factors have the potential to compound and increase the risk of suicide.  

What can firms do to help alleviate this added stress?

We know it’s our responsibility to make sure our employees go home in the same — or better — condition than when they arrived on the jobsite and safely return the next morning. And while how we deliver on that commitment may change, especially as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and health of our workers is always our first priority. Read the rest of the article here.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 24, 2020   CSLB Asks Licensees to Take Five-Minute Survey on Required Surety Bond

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is asking licensed contractors to take a few minutes to provide feedback on an important topic. Senate Bill 610 (Chapter 378, Statutes of 2019) requires CSLB to study whether the $15,000 surety bond all licensed contractors are required to have is sufficient to reimburse consumers harmed by a contractor’s actions. Your participation in this survey by September 29 will help them answer this question. The survey is here.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 24, 2020   WECA's Updated, Relaunched "Health & Safety Leadership" Course w/ Partner ClickSafety Available

NFPA 70E, OSHA Competent Person Skills Development, and more
 
Do you have employees who could become more valuable to your business by updating their health and safety leadership skills?

WECA's "Health and Safety Leadership" course, in partnership with Click Safety, has just relaunched after an update, and is available for enrollment. Your employees can gain 16 hours of California electrician Continuing Education for successful completion.

In this course, students focus on development of selected “competent person” skills, as well as expanded knowledge of NFPA 70E requirements. The term "Competent Person" is used in many OSHA standards and documents, and is defined as "one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them." This course provides students with competent person training in the areas of excavations and fall prevention.

The course also covers:
  • Demonstrating leadership basic skills
  • Motivating others through effective communication
  • Creating a positive safety culture
  • Conducting safety meetings
  • Understanding liabilities related to supervisory responsibilities
  • Identifying potential hazards
  • Mitigating potential hazards
  • Investigating accidents
  • Investigating accidents
  • Heat illness prevention
And more!

Enrollment link--remember that you and your employees can use your WECA Member Discounts!

(If you need a refresher on how to use your WECA Member Discounts or how your employees can use them directly, please give us a call at 1-877-444-9322, or log in to your WECA member dashboard to download your discount rate sheets.)
Read more >>


Thursday, September 24, 2020   Demand for WECA's Get Wired! 101 Course is Off the Charts, So We've Added Even More Sessions!

Encourage Your New-to-the-Trade Electrician Trainees to Enroll Today, or Use Your Member Discount to Enroll them Yourself
 
Here's a sneak peek of the kinds of concepts your employees will learn about in Get Wired! 101: the picture above illustrates a three-way switch, which controls luminaires in two locations. Luminaires can be found in rooms such as hallways, stairways, large rooms, and areas with multiple entrances. Students will learn how 3-way switches work, and how to successfully wire them up. (Illustration courtesy of WECA Curriculum Development Lead/Senior Education Adviser Rick Labon)

Do you have Electrician Trainees new to the electrical field, and ready to start their journey to certification? The first class in WECA's GetWIred series, GetWIred 101, is their starting point.

WECA's GetWired! 101 course: Fundamentals of Electrical Theory and Introduction to the National Electrical Code is currently all online. Your trainees will study from the comfort and safety of their own homes!

They'll get an introduction to electrical theory, learn about how the NEC governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment, and so much more! But you--or your employees--will have to act fast, because although WECA has just expanded capacity in its October classes to serve even more students across California, demand is off the charts!

Here's an enrollment link. Your member discounts will automatically apply if you log in with your WECA account and enroll your trainees. Or, if they're paying their own way, they can still get a discount--be sure to give them one of your member discount cards.

(If you need a refresher on how to use your WECA Member Discounts or how your employees can use them directly, please give us a call at 1-877-444-9322, or log in to your WECA member dashboard to download your discount rate sheets.)
Read more >>


Thursday, September 24, 2020   WECA's Get Wired Program is Growing and in Need of More Instructors

Nights and Weekends

A Perfect Side Gig: Does Not Interfere With Your Main Job!
 
Thanks to the continued growth and increasing popularity this year of our GetWired electrician trainee certificate program, WECA is hiring more part-time instructors for our night and weekend classes again! Most of the instruction takes place online and can be done from the comfort of home. Please review our job posting and share it with your qualified employees. WECA Member Contractor employees make some of the most skilled instructors for our program!
Read more >>


Thursday, September 24, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
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 >>


Monday, September 21, 2020   WECA Government Affairs Special Update September 21, 2020

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
Note to Readers: We are sending out the GA bulletin a little early because of several new bills signed by Governor Gavin Newsom – when he wasn’t fighting California’s raging wildfires.

AB 1867 – Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for COVID – It provides 80 hours of sick leave for Covid-19 reasons. It applies to those employers with 500 or more employees.  It went into effect Friday. An updated alert from Fisher & Phillips LLP is here.

SB 1159 – Workers’ compensation presumption for COVID – creates a presumption that an employee who contracted COVID-19 did so at work. The employee does not have to provide any further proof. Importantly, this is an urgency statute and goes into effect immediately. It has a reporting requirement and mandates that employers go back in time and report previous COVID cases back to July 6th within the next 30 days. So, it’s essential to pay close attention to this one because it requires some immediate action. (Fisher & Phillips summary is here)

AB 685 – COVID-19 Employer Reporting Requirement imposes an employer reporting requirement for COVID-19 cases (Fisher & Phillips summary is here). It goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

SB 1383 - CFRA Expansion Bill – This bill dramatically expands CFRA leave to apply to employers with five or more employees and expands the scope of “family members” for whom employees can take leave to include many additional categories. It will go into effect on January 1, 2021. It will also impact larger employers already covered by the CFRA and result in “stacking” of leave under the FMLA. In other words, an employee can now take 12 weeks of leave to care for a sibling under the new CFRA, and then take 12 more weeks under the FMLA for their health condition (Fisher & Phillips summary is here).
 
Note to Readers: We’ll report again when he signs more bills of importance...
 
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87 United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday, September 18, at 87. Ginsburg was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton and confirmed to the court in 1993. She was the second woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court. The average vacancy length on the Supreme Court since 1962—when defined as the length of time elapsed between a Justice’s departure date and the swearing-in of their successor—is 88 days. Four of these vacancies lasted for only a few hours each; the successor was sworn in the same day the retiring Justice officially left office. The longest vacancy under this definition was 422 days, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In related news - The U.S. Senate confirmed eight nominees to U.S. District Court judgeships. The 94 U.S. District Courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal courts. The U.S. Senate has confirmed 216 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—two Supreme Court justices, 53 appellate court judges, 159 district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges—since January 2017.

Trump, Pence criticize U.S. Chamber CEO President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence condemned the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during a phone call Thursday, venting their frustrations over its recent endorsement of nearly two dozen vulnerable House Democratic freshmen, two sources familiar with the call told Axios. WECA, who has a seat on the Government Advocacy Committee that approved the endorsements, voted no on the three California candidates (CA 10 Harder, CA 21 Cox, and CA 48 Rouda) Story

Blanca Rubio takes over as moderate Democrat leader Assemblymember Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) will take over as Sacramento’s informal moderate Democrat caucus chair. The group is less an official caucus than a grouping of business-friendly Democrats, many of whom drew campaign support from industry groups or defeated more liberal, labor-backed Democrats. The elevation adds to Rubio’s clout and gives a road map to interest groups seeking to influence or derail the legislation. The caucus’ leadership has turned over frequently in recent years. Rubio takes over from Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), who cast the deciding vote to pass business-opposed family leave legislation this year. Rubio announced her appointment on Thursday — the same day Gov. Gavin Newsom signed that measure, SB 1383 (Jackson D-Santa Barbara). Democrats wield massive majorities in both houses of the Legislature, making moderate Democrats more influential than Republicans. Rubio consistently rates as one of the most business-aligned, least liberal Democrats. [Politico]

California’s Unemployment Dept Stands Down for Two Weeks California's embattled unemployment agency will not accept new unemployment claims for the next two weeks, taking a recommendation from a governor-appointed Strike Team dispatched less than two months ago, its director announced late Saturday night. The Newsom administration Saturday released a report with recommendations on improving California's embattled unemployment agency, from adopting a commercially available identity verification tool to taking a two-week "reset" period before accepting applications from first-time applicants. Meanwhile, Employment Development Department head Sharon Hilliard wrote that it would take until the end of January to get through the current backlog. She said the agency "is proactively looking at ways to reduce that timeline. Alternatively, if no changes were made, the EDD would still be working through the current backlog well into July 2021.” [Politico]

Robots, Veterans, Apprenticeships: What’s Next for California’s Job Market CalMatters reports, “It’s just one facet of California’s economic recovery, but the state’s unemployment rate is starting to drop after an unprecedented spike during coronavirus lockdowns. The state’s jobless rate fell to 11.4% in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, down from a record 16.4% unemployment this spring. The unemployment rate has dipped below the rate of the Great Recession a decade ago. Still, it remains more than twice the 3.9% rate in February.” They quote Abby Snay, Deputy Secretary for the Future of Work at California Labor & Workforce Development Agency, who said her agency is among those focused on forging other kinds of career “bridges” and “on-ramps,” including apprenticeships in fields like cybersecurity, health care, and food safety. Perhaps Snay should attend one of the CAC meetings where the building trades unions insist upon approving every new apprenticeship program submitted to DAS and supervised by the newish IACAStory

Supreme Court Makes Local Tax Hikes Easier Dan Walters writes, “The California Supreme Court last week handed a big victory to the advocates of higher taxes. Without comment, the justices declined to take up a state appellate court decision that would allow specialized local government taxes to be increased by a simple majority of voters if placed on the ballot by initiative petitions rather than by the governments themselves. Story

State Government Trifectas Ballotpedia describes a state government trifecta as a “single-party government when one political party holds three positions in a state's government.” Here is what the USA looks like. It could be helpful when making business expansion plans. Story
Racial quotas have an ugly pedigree. California shouldn’t try to bring them back. “In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the University of California’s racial quotas for college admissions were unconstitutional because they treated applicants not as individuals, but simply as members of a racial or ethnic group. Quotas soon became a thing of the past. Or so we thought. Shockingly, in 2020, the California Legislature has reverted once again to racial balancing. If the governor signs AB 979 into law, every publicly traded corporation headquartered or incorporated in California will be subject to an “underrepresented community” quota. All corporations must have at least one member who belongs to a certain racial group or the LBGT+ community; the exact number depends on the board’s size. Corporations between 4 and 9 members must fill two seats. Corporations with more than nine members must fill three.” Story
Ask Richard


Richard Markuson
WECA Government Affairs Advocate, Pacific Advocacy Group
Have questions or concerns?

Ask Richard!
Dear WECA supporter,

It is our pleasure to provide you with this bi-weekly political update from WECA. Please feel free to contact WECA at (877) 444-9322 or info@goweca.com for more details about any of the articles included in this political update.

Join the WECA conversation. Follow us on social media.
Facebook ‌ Twitter ‌ Instagram ‌ LinkedIn ‌
About WECA

WECA is the premier independent merit shop contractors' association in the Western United States. We provide innovative training and education programs, critical business services, and responsive customer support to surpass the needs of our members and students. We are federally and state-approved, and our top-quality electrical training has found a nationwide audience. For over 90 years, we have been training the next generation of electricians, and advocating for and protecting fair and open competition in the electrical industry.
Learn More

Association Membership
Apprenticeship
Classes for Electrician Trainees and Journeymen
Contact Us
Join our mailing list!
Read more >>


Thursday, September 17, 2020   WECA Political Update September 17, 2020

Government Affairs and Merit Shop Advocacy
L.A. controller’s report says homeless housing costs $531,000 a unit The Los Angeles City Controller performed an audit  that found that the average cost of building a single unit of housing for the homeless in Los Angeles is now $531,000, but also found that prices for these units have reached as high as $746,000 per unit--far more than the cost of building some luxury high rise condos in downtown. The audit also found that nearly four years after voters approved $1.2 billion in bonds to build homeless housing, only three projects have opened, construction hasn’t begun on 75% of planned units, and many projects may “never come to fruition.” The news came the same day the city council refused to give the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority the majority of funds from a $97 million federal grant to rapidly rehouse homeless people until the agency can show it’s made progress with an initial $30 million payment. Story

California Court Allows Subcontractor to Pursue Project Owner for Tortious Interference A California appellate court recently held that an owner on a construction project could be liable to a subcontractor for the tort of intentional interference with the subcontractor’s contract with the general contractor. The decision further eroded an apparent exception under California law that immunized parties from tortious interference claims who were technically strangers to a contract but had an “economic interest.” While the decision is not limited to the construction context, it could have broad implications for owners and contractors on California construction projects. Story

The State of Trump/Union Relations In spite of the urging of several construction groups since his election in 2016, President Donald Trump has refused to repeal Obama-era EO 13502 that encourages federal agencies to use union-only project labor agreements (“PLAs”) on construction projects, the cost of which exceeds $25 million. Trump recently invited construction union leaders to the White House, “but he utterly failed on delivering what they wanted most: his promised $1 trillion infrastructure plan that would have created hundreds of thousands of construction jobs. Infuriating union leaders and many workers, the Trump administration has refused to adopt any regulations requiring employers to take specific steps to protect workers against Covid-19. Many labor experts say the Trump National Labor Relations Board has taken myriad steps to make it harder to unionize. Mr. Trump has tweeted out attacks against the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s president and several union presidents.” Story

Projects Expedited by Trump EO Waiving Environmental Regulations Newly released documents provide details into some of the projects that have been expedited by President Donald Trump's executive order directing federal government agencies to waive environmental regulations and streamline infrastructure projects in order to hasten the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the June 4 executive order the Interior Department is considering exemptions to key provisions of the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act for more than 60 major projects, newly released documents show. The projects under consideration include highway construction, fossil fuel extraction facilities and pipelines, energy storage, mining, water delivery and wildfire mitigation projects. Story

U.S. Chamber's Vote for Jobs Toolkit. The Vote for Jobs site is a resource to check voter registration status, register to vote, request an absentee ballot, vote early, find polling locations, important dates, candidate information and other key data for all 50 states. You can find the tool here. A helpful resource is the Chamber’s How They Voted.
Ask Richard


Richard Markuson
WECA Government Affairs Advocate, Pacific Advocacy Group
Have questions or concerns?

Ask Richard!
Dear WECA supporter,

It is our pleasure to provide you with this bi-weekly political update from WECA. Please feel free to contact WECA at (877) 444-9322 or info@goweca.com for more details about any of the articles included in this political update.

Join the WECA conversation. Follow us on social media.
Facebook ‌ Twitter ‌ Instagram ‌ LinkedIn ‌
About WECA

WECA is the premier independent merit shop contractors' association in the Western United States. We provide innovative training and education programs, critical business services, and responsive customer support to surpass the needs of our members and students. We are federally and state-approved, and our top-quality electrical training has found a nationwide audience. For over 90 years, we have been training the next generation of electricians, and advocating for and protecting fair and open competition in the electrical industry.
Learn More

Association Membership
Apprenticeship
Classes for Electrician Trainees and Journeymen
Contact Us
Join our mailing list!
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   WECA Member Contractor; Graduate Windell Pascascio Jr. Serves as "Fresno Voices" Forum Panelist


WECA graduate and member contractor Windell Pascascio Jr., owner of Imperial Electric Service, was a panelist yesterday on an online forum called "Fresno Voices — How the city failed its Black residents, and the path forward." This forum, sponsored by FresnoLand, a team of reporters based at The Fresno Bee, “brings together people with diverse experiences and involvement — including representatives of government, neighborhood coalitions, health experts, educators and business leaders — to address the inequities and discuss home-grown solutions to racial disparity.”
 
Windell spoke about his experience running the only black-owned electrical contracting business in Fresno, and shared his thoughts on the importance of creation of opportunity for minority entrepreneurs in the construction industry. He reinforced that there are many educational opportunities out there for individuals to get an education in a trade, and mentioned the quality of education he received at WECA, his alma mater. He let viewers know that they could achieve “a good life, a good education,” by following his example.

We’re proud to have Windell as a WECA alumnus and as an example of the qualities that exemplify our contractor membership base, and look forward to continuing to stand by him in workforce development initiatives in the Fresno area. 

You can watch the panel event here.

Windell's portion of the panel begins at approximately 35.25 minutes in, and the majority of his remarks begin at about 40.55 in.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   The Excitement Builds: Fresno Training Facility Build-out Is Proceeding On Schedule

As we recently announced, to better serve Central California and surrounding areas, WECA IS EXPANDING INTO FRESNO! 

Our T.I. build-out is proceeding on schedule and we're looking forward to sharing pictures of our Fresno labs and classrooms with you in the near future.

After we complete the T.I. build-out on our new facility later this year, we will begin offering our Commercial and Residential Electrical apprenticeship programs at a location more convenient for members and their apprentices who call Fresno and greater Central California home.

Watch this space for further updates and an announcement of our Grand Opening!
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   WECA Member Contractors Named to EC&M Magazine's 2020 Top Electrical Contractors List

Please join us in congratulating WECA Member Contractors Bergelectric, Helix Electric, and Power Design, Inc. on being named to EC&M Magazine's 2020 Top Electrical Contractors list. We're proud to have your companies among WECA's membership of premier California electrical contractors, and appreciate the cumulative effort that goes into powering California.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   WECA Members: Download Your 2020-2 Prevailing Wage Determinations Through Your Member Portal Today!

WECA Member Contractors: The Commercial and Voice-Data-Video 2020-2 Prevailing Wage Determinations are now available for download from our website. To view Apprentice Prevailing Wage sheets, please login to your member portal here and navigate to the section pictured to the right. If you do not have your login information or are having trouble logging in, please contact WECA's Client Services Team at (877) 444-9322.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   Get Wired! 404 Exam Prep December Session Capacity Doubled -- Get Spots for Your Employees Today!

WECA has just doubled the capacity of our December GetWired 404! class session due to high demand. If you have employees preparing to take the State certification exam, secure their seat(s) while you can.

Get Wired! 404 Test Prep (42 hours) is a fast-paced, highly interactive course that focuses on using the NEC to answer exam questions and reinforcement in electrical fundamentals. This online, instructor-led, course is a popular option for in-depth test preparation.

Click here to learn more about and enroll in Get Wired! 404.

For other exam prep experiences, consider these alternatives. And remember--you and your employees get substantial discounts as part of your membership. Contact us for help getting the maximum discount available to you.
WECA's new Self-Paced 24-Hour Exam Prep Course is for students who want to study for the California General or Residential Electrician certification exam online, at their own pace. Informative, interactive presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the course is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about and enroll in Self-Paced 24-Hour Exam Prep here!
WECA's Live Online Two Day Exam Preparation Course: General and Residential is an online, instructor-led, fast-paced code study course focused on using the Code book in preparation for the State Certification exam. It is meant to be a refresher course for individuals otherwise ready to take the General or Residential Certification Exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about and enroll in the Live Online Two Day Exam Preparation Course: General and Residential here!
(September class has filled but there are still a few seats available in October.)
WECA's Voice Data Video Exam Preparation Course is a self-paced online course for students who want to study for the California Voice Data Video Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through developing proficiency in the preparation for and execution of the VDV certification exam. It is meant for individuals who are almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about and enroll in the Voice Data Video Exam Preparation Course here!
WECA's Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation Course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. It is also suitable as journeyman electrician continuing education for those looking to further their knowledge in the area of Fire/Life Safety. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about and enroll in the Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation Course here!

Don't forget to utilize WECA's member discounts for you and your employees! To view your exclusive member discount rates, login to your member portal here to download the discount charts.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   Worker Safety and Health in Wildfire Regions Content Courtesy of Cal/OSHA

Cal/OSHA encourages employers and workers to review their website, which includes information and resources on protecting workers exposed to smoke from wildfires.

Guidance from Cal/OSHA on Worker Health and Safety in Wildfire Regions
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   Important Notice for Member Contractors w/ Employees Affected by CA Wildfires and/or Power Shutoffs

If you have WECA Apprentices or employ WECA Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson continuing education students, or general students who have been affected by the California wildfires or power shutdowns, and you have any questions or concerns about their progress, please contact WECA for clarification about accommodations for your employees' situations at 877-444-9322.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   WECA's Student Referral Service Has Qualified Electrician Trainees Ready to Work In Your Area

Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Marin, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Stanislaus Counties
 
 

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

What is this Service?

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

Who does this benefit?

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

How does this differ from the WECA Job Board?

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

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

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

To receive referrals from WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Trisha Hughes, WECA Junior Client Services Specialist, at thughes@goweca.com or at (877) 444-9322.
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for Two Webinars on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce

Part 1 (Prevailing Wage) on Oct. 7
Part 2 (Skilled and Trained Workforce) on Oct. 14
 
There's still time to sign up! Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for a two-part webinar series in October where she'll discuss:

Part One (Prevailing Wage)

• Identifying and understanding the wage determination applicable to your project
• Taking credit for employer-provided fringe benefits
• Record-keeping
• Apprenticeship compliance
Part Two (Skilled and Trained Workforce)

• Recognizing to which types of projects Skilled & Trained Workforce requirements apply
• Understanding apprentice graduation requirements
• Compliance and enforcement

Register today to join us online on...
  • Oct. 7th, from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
  • Oct. 14th, from 8:30 to 10 a.m.


...for these informative webinars.

This webinar is free for WECA member contractors, industry partners, and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Register today for the Oct. 7th webinar (part 1)

Register today for the Oct. 14th webinar (part 2)
Read more >>


Thursday, September 10, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
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 03, 2020   WECA Political Update, 9-3-20

EV Charger Installation Update AB 841 (Ting D-San Francisco) was approved by the Legislature this Monday and is now waiting for action by Governor Newsom. The most notable provision requires EV charging equipment funded by the CPUC, CEC, or CARB to be installed by at least one electrician who has passed the EV Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP). EVITP is an IBEW creation. IBEW is establishing a statutory monopoly for NECA contractors.

Ting (Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee) and IBEW used their influence to bypass Assembly Rule 63 that would have required a policy hearing in the Assembly (because the IBEW language replaced the original content of AB 841 when it left the Assembly). Thus the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee never heard the content of AB 841.

The vote in the Senate was 25-10-5 with Republicans Bates, Borgeas, Chang, Dahle, Grove, Melendez, Moorlach, Morrell, Nielsen voting NO. Democrat Jerry Hill broke and voted NO, and Democrats Caballero, Galgiani, Glazer, Jones, and Umberg abstained. Taking a page from directly from Quisling, Senator Scott Wilk (R- Santa Clarita) voted AYE.

In the Assembly, the vote was 55-7-17 with Republicans Bigelow, Fong, Gallagher, Kiley, Mathis, Obernolte, and Patterson voting NO; Aguiar-Curry (D- Winters), Arambula (D-Fresno), Brough (R-Dana Point), Chen (R-Yorba Linda), Choi (-Irvine), Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Megan Dahle (R-Bieber), Daly (D-Anaheim), Eggman (D-Stockton), Flora (R-Ripon), Frazier (D-Fairfield), Grayson (D-Concord), Holden (D-Pasadena), Lackey (R-Palmdale), Maienschein (D-San Diego), Mayes (I-Yucca Valley), and Voepel (R-Santee) abstained (Voepel and Frazier were absent because of COVID-19). Republicans Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), Tyler Diep (R-Huntington Beach), and Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) made points with IBEW by voting YES.

The link between union membership and job satisfaction switched from negative to positive in the 2000s. Using data from the United States and Europe on nearly two million respondents, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests a partial correlation between union membership and employee job satisfaction is positive and statistically significant. This runs counter to findings in the work of Freeman (1978) and Borjas (1979) in the 1970s and most empirical studies since. With data for the United States, the study suggests the association between union membership and job satisfaction switched from negative to positive in the 2000s. Cohorts with positive union effects over time come to dominate those with adverse effects. The negative association between membership and job satisfaction is apparent in cohorts born in the 1940s and 1950s but turns positive for those born between the 1960s and 1990s. Analyses for Europe since the 2000s confirm the positive association between union membership and worker wellbeing is apparent elsewhere. The study suggests union members are also less likely to be stressed, worried, depressed, sad, lonely or self-actualizing. Study

Electrical sub to pay $1.25M to settle discrimination claims at Apple Jobsite Air Systems, Inc. (ASI), has agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit alleging that eight African-American employees were subjected to race discrimination while working on a construction project at Apple Park, Apple’s corporate campus in Cupertino, California. Story

San Francisco Proposes Doubling Transfer Tax for Certain Real Estate Transactions This November, the residents of the City of San Francisco will either approve or disapprove a ballot measure that will double city transfer taxes on residential and commercial sales over $10 million. Real estate investors need to be mindful of this potential tax increase in drafting their purchase and sale agreements, leases, and other real estate documents. If it passes, the amended transfer tax ordinance will become operative on January 1, 2021. Story

Labor-backed rehiring bill for displaced workers heads to Newsom California workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic would be prioritized for rehiring under a bill the Legislature sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom. AB3216 sets up a familiar business-versus-labor clash with a Covid-19 focus. It would require employers of hotel workers, janitors, and airport staff to offer newly opened positions first to employees who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing shutdown. The measure passed the Assembly with the minimum 41 votes. The California Labor Federation pushed for this bill, arguing that employers would use coronavirus-spurred layoffs as an excuse not to bring back older and more costly workers. On the other side stood the California Chamber of Commerce, which put the measure on its “job killers” list. The Chamber and other business groups warned that a new mandate would hamstring an incipient economic recovery. This bill will verify Governor Newsom’s obsequious response to political pressures from labor — a perpetual source of tension that’s been intensified by the pandemic recession. 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 27, 2020   Help Inform Standards and Regulation Development for Trenchless Excavation Practices w/ Brief Survey

The Dig Safe Board is requesting your participation in a survey on trenchless excavation practices around buried infrastructure. Your answers will inform standard and regulation development as required per Government Code § 4216.18
 
The survey is available here and on the Board’s homepage. It should take 5 to 10 minutes to complete and will be open for submissions until September 3rd.
 
The results of the survey will complement the Dig Safe Board's reasonable care workshop on Thursday, August 27. We look forward to your participation at the workshop; however, if you are unable to make it or you have more you’d like to contribute, this is another way to provide your comments. 
 
The workshop will focus broadly on these questions. Keep these questions in mind as you participate in the survey.
  1. What hazards or risks do you pay attention to when using trenchless excavation methods?
  2. What communication or other information sharing between project owners, engineers, operators, excavators and other parties takes place when planning and conducting trenchless excavation projects?
  3. How do you prepare a trenchless excavation jobsite around existing underground facilities?
  4. How do you take care to avoid nearby subsurface installations while performing trenchless excavation?
 
You are also welcome to submit your written comments to these questions or provide any other input by writing to jeff.mcclenahan@fire.ca.gov at any time.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 27, 2020   WECA's Student Referral Service Has Qualified Electrician Trainees Ready to Work In Your Area

Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Marin, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Stanislaus Counties
 
Are you looking to hire Electrician Trainees? We have qualified individuals in the Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Marin, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Stanislaus county areas looking to get referred to a WECA Member Contractor through our Student Referral Service. Don't see your county listed? Let us know of your interest anyhow; new participants sign up every week.

What is this Service?

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

Who does this benefit?

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

How does this differ from the WECA Job Board?

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

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

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

To receive referrals from WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Trisha Hughes, WECA Junior Client Services Specialist, at thughes@goweca.com or at (877) 444-9322.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 27, 2020   Have Employees Affected by Wildfire Evacuations and/or Power Shutoffs? Here's What You Need to Know

If you have WECA Apprentices or employ WECA Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson continuing education students, or general students who have been affected by the California wildfires or power shutdowns, and you have any questions or concerns about their progress, please contact WECA for clarification about accommodations for your employees' situations at 877-444-9322.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 27, 2020   Join WECA & Cook Brown, LLP for Two Webinars on Prevailing Wage & Skilled & Trained Workforce

Part 1 (Prevailing Wage) on Oct. 7
Part 2 (Skilled and Trained Workforce) on Oct. 14
 
Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for a two-part webinar series where she'll discuss:

Part One (Prevailing Wage)

• Identifying and understanding the wage determination applicable to your project
• Taking credit for employer-provided fringe benefits
• Record-keeping
• Apprenticeship compliance
Part Two (Skilled and Trained Workforce)

• Recognizing to which types of projects Skilled & Trained Workforce requirements apply
• Understanding apprentice graduation requirements
• Compliance and enforcement

Register today to join us online on...
  • Oct. 7th, from 8:30 to 10 a.m.
  • Oct. 14th, from 8:30 to 10 a.m.


...for these informative webinars.

This webinar is free for WECA member contractors, industry partners, and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Register today for the Oct. 7th webinar (part 1)

Register today for the Oct. 14th webinar (part 2)
Read more >>


Thursday, August 27, 2020   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan
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, August 26, 2020   Announcing NEW Self-Paced 24-Hr. General/Residential Electrician Certification Exam Prep Course

Study for the exam online, at your own pace, on your own time.



Are you gearing up to the take California General/Residential Certification exam? If so, consider WECA's new Self-Paced Online 24-Hour Exam Preparation Course as part of your preparation arsenal!

This course is for students who want to study for the California General or Residential Electrician certification exam online, at their own pace. Informative, interactive presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the course is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

If you prefer to take an instructor-led online class instead, check out Live Online Two Day Exam Prep, running on subsequent Saturdays over Zoom every month.

If you are looking for a more extensive exam preparation course, consider GetWired 404, consisting of 42 instructor-led hours, all online.

But if you're saying "Yep, Online Self-Paced Exam Prep that I can take on my own time sounds like just the right course for me," read on!

Self-Paced Online 24-Hour General/Residential Exam Prep

Recommended Prerequisite for Electrician Trainees: Substantial completion of GET WIRED! Program.

Other Prerequisites: 8,000+ General OJT hours and substantial knowledge of electrical theory and the National Electric Code (NEC) or 4,800+ Residential OJT hours and substantial knowledge of electrical theory and the National Electric Code (NEC).

Topics:
  • Subject indexing
  • Circuit calculations/ conductor sizing and Protection
  • Motor calculations
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Raceway and Box fill calculations
  • Theory
  • Wiring methods and special equipment
  • Service sizing and clearances
  • General equipment and panelboards
  • Safety maintenance and repair.
  • Low Volt Communications and Fire systems
  • Test taking skills
Maximize your California General/Residential exam preparation today -- learn more and enroll in the course here.
Read more >>


Wednesday, August 26, 2020   Online Delivery Plans for Session 4 (October-December 2020) In Response to COVID-19

GetWired labs to remain online through at least December 31, 2020

Please review the information below for changes to upcoming onsite lab scheduling and in-person classroom courses for WECA's Session 4 2020 (October-December), in response to the continued spread of COVID-19 in California. View Session 4 course catalog here.

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

The WECA Electrician Trainee and Journeyperson Continuing Education programs have cancelled all in-person classroom courses (such as Two Day Exam Prep and Basic Motor Controls) scheduled for the remainder of 2020.

For those students currently enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a GetWired class with a lab date through December 31, 2020:
  • Your lab will be conducted entirely online.
  • Your lab date will remain identical. Your lab time may shift from afternoon to morning, or vice versa. Please watch your email for further details.
  • WECA will send you confirmation of your login instructions for your online lab.
For those students interested in Classroom-based Two Day Exam Prep, these classes have been cancelled until further notice. However, our Live Online Two Day Exam Prep class is available for enrollment. It's the same curriculum; just delivered in an online classroom instead.
  • WECA has cancelled all classroom-based Two Day Exam Prep class instances until further notice.
  • WECA's Live Online Two Day Exam Prep is now available on a monthly basis. Scheduled over two subsequent Saturdays, a live instructor leads students through our popular Two Day Exam Prep course experience over Zoom in this 16 hour class.
  • You may prefer to take an upcoming GetWired 404 Test Prep instance. GetWired 404 is also entirely online and instructor-led, but delves even more deeply into preparation for the State certification exam over 42 hours.
  • WECA's new 24-Hour Self-Paced Online Exam Prep for the General or Residential Certification exams is an option, too, for students who want to study on their ow schedule.
For those students interested in Basic Motor Controls, these classes have been cancelled until further notice.
  • WECA has cancelled all classroom-based Basic Motor Controls classes through the end of 2020. 
  • You may take an alternate online course to fulfill this requirement towards your ET Program Certificate. Call WECA to discuss your options.
  • You can wait until WECA can resume offering the classroom Basic Motor Controls class and take it on a future date, but as of now, no dates are scheduled.
WECA has suspended sales of its DVD/Textbook-based home study courses. All online home study courses will remain available.

Certification Testing:
  • As of May 1, 2020, PSI has reopened several of its testing sites across California for limited testing. WECA has personally checked with PSI testing centers in both Sacramento and San Diego and each reports that they are currently open, practicing social distancing, and only allowing a certain amount of people in the building at a time. Keep in mind as you schedule your exam appointment that available windows may be limited, so if you're ready to take the exam, don't delay in securing your appointment. In addition, the State of California confirms that it is actively processing certification applications.
The situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve and WECA's delivery plans are subject to further modifications based upon subsequent guidance from authorities. We're glad to be able to deliver our regularly-scheduled online classes without interruption. Please follow WECA's communications closely and watch our website COVID-19 Advisory Page for further updates, as we will do our best to rapidly communicate any further changes to you. Thank you for your patience and solidarity as we all work together to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our community.
Read more >>


Wednesday, August 26, 2020   Commercial Apprentices--Your Anthem Health Plan Includes Free COVID-19 Testing through December 31

Content Courtesy of Anthem

Peace of mind is an important part of your health and well-being. We want you to feel secure knowing your Anthem health plan has you covered.

If you or anyone on your health plan needs testing for COVID-19, your benefits will cover the test and the care visit where the test takes place with no out-of-pocket costs. There is no end date for this extension of benefits right now.

If treatment for COVID-19 is necessary, your benefits will cover the care with no copays or cost sharing through December 31, 2020, from doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals in your plan's network.

Your health is your most valuable asset. If you have questions about your benefits, please visit our website at anthem.com/ca or call us at the Member Services number on your ID card.

Find a COVID-19 Testing Center
Read more >>


Wednesday, August 26, 2020   What Do Electricians Work On and Study?

Electricians do--and learn--many cool things on the job.

As illustrated by Rick Labon, WECA Curriculum Development Lead and Senior Education Adviser:
This graphic shows the locations in a dwelling that require GFCI (Ground-fault Circuit Interrupter) and AFCI (Arc-fault Circuit Interrupter) protection based on the 2017 NEC.
This graphic shows the most common receptacle spacing requirements for kitchen SABC (Small Appliance Branch Circuits) and habitable areas in a dwelling based on the 2017 NEC.

Does this interest you? Have you been thinking of studying to become an electrician? It's an excellent career with a lot of projected growth. Read on to the next article to learn how to get started.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2020   Are You--or Someone You Know--Looking for an Lucrative, Rewarding, and Stable Career?

Become an Electrician Today with WECA's Apprenticeship or Electrician Trainee Programs
 

Are you--or someone you know--interested in becoming an electrician, but unsure of where or how to start? Well, you're in the right place. WECA offers two paths to becoming an electrician--our Apprenticeship program and our Electrician Trainee program. 

Both are stellar ways to kick off your career as an electrician, but differ slightly.

With WECA's Commercial, Residential, or Low Voltage Apprenticeship programs,
prospective Apprentices must first apply for--and be accepted into--the Apprenticeship program of their choice before beginning their education in the classroom with WECA's instructors and on-the-job with a WECA Member Contractor. Learn more about WECA's three Apprenticeship programs here.

However, with WECA's Electrician Trainee program, prospective Electrician Trainees can immediately start their journey toward becoming an electrician by enrolling in the program. Once enrolled, all Electrician Trainees have to do is begin their coursework online and go forward from there. Learn more about WECA's Electrician Trainee program here.

Apply for a WECA Apprenticeship today!

Apply for WECA's Electrician Trainee program today!
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Wednesday, August 26, 2020   WECA's Student Referral Service: Connect with a Great Employer Today!

Are you a current WECA student or WECA grad that is currently out of work? Try our Student Referral Service today! 

This service is a conduit to introduce our current Electrician Trainees, Journeyman Continuing Education students, and WECA Grads to our Member Contractors. 

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. 

To sign up for the Student Referral Service, contact Trisha Hughes, Junior Client Services Specialist, at thughes@goweca.com or fill out the form on our website.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2020   Accommodations for WECA Students & Apprentices Affected by Wildfire Evacuations &/or Power Shutoffs

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the wildfires in California. Please note the following accommodations for those affected by wildfire evacuations, as well as those who miss a scheduled online class due to a public utility power shutoff. 

For Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, and General Students affected by wildfires and evacuation orders:
 
WECA will accommodate course make-up requests for currently-enrolled Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson continuing education students, and general students; or course transfers with associated course transfer fees waived; for those affected by wildfire evacuations. Please contact WECA at 877-444-9322 to get started.

For Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, and General Students affected by utility power shutoffs:

WECA will still be running all scheduled GetWired! webcasts, GetWired! online labs, Live Online 2-Day Exam Prep Classes, and all other instructor-led online class instances at this time. Students should plan to attend class as normal. 
 
Students who are unable to attend a scheduled webcast due to a power shutoff, and who cannot attend the class instance from an alternate remote location (which is encouraged), can contact WECA to arrange a class make-up or submit a make-up request through their eCampus class home page. WECA will cross-check the student's address with outage maps or otherwise request proof of the outage before accommodating the make-up.
 
Please watch your email closely for further updates from WECA; if the power shutdown maps are expanded, classes may be further affected.

For Apprentices affected by wildfires and evacuation orders or public utility power shutoffs:

If you are affected by a wildfire evacuation, or a public utility power shutoff causes you to miss part of an online apprenticeship class, please contact WECA at 877-444-9322 and we'll work with you to determine a resolution for your situation.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2020   2020 Graduates--Don't Miss Out on Graduation Gifts from WECA!

Take a Moment to Make Sure You Have Your Current Mailing Address on File with Us

Graduation is just around the corner...and WECA is excited to commemorate your important milestone with a gift!

But to ensure that all of our graduates receive their gifts, we need to make sure that we have everyone's current mailing address on file. So when you have a moment, please login to your WECA account to see if the mailing address on file is up-to-date.

If your mailing address is not up-to-date, please update it in your account information, or email your current mailing address to Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, at wflanagan@goweca.com.

Thank you for your help, and we can't wait to celebrate your graduation with you soon!
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