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Tuesday, September 27, 2022   Celebrating the WECA NorCal Class of 2022 Graduation Celebration Recap

Looking Back on This Year's Graduation Celebration

Enjoy this video recap and some pics from last weekend's 2022 Northern California WECA Graduation: 































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

WECA held its graduation ceremony for the Northern California Class of 2022 on Saturday, September 17th at WECA's California Headquarters in Rancho Cordova.

It was great to see our auditorium filled with our graduates and their families, as well as some of their employers.

"We had about 200 attendees," says Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship. "Everyone was in a fun and relaxed mood, and it was great to see so many familiar faces -- it's amazing how fast three to five years passes. (WECA's Residential and Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship programs are three years each; Commercial Electrical is five years; and our Electrician Trainee Certificate program is four years."

Adding to the joyous atmosphere was emcee Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager, who had everyone laughing with his "dad jokes," according to Wendy.

Congratulations, graduates! We were proud to share in your special day with you and your loved ones, and look forward to your accomplishments in the electrical and low voltage fields!

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WECA would like to thank our generous sponsors and graduation gift donors for making the WECA Class of 2022 Northern California graduation celebrations memorable! 

Please join us in thanking:

Volts Level Sponsors:

  • Rex Moore Group, Inc.
  • Helix Electric
  • Bergelectric (Southern California Commercial Division)
  • Bergelectric (Low Voltage Division)
  • Rock and Sons, Inc.

Amps Level Sponsors:

  • Royal Electric Company
  • Vasko Electric
  • Bergelectric (Northern California Commercial Division)

Watts Level Sponsors:

  • Whitehead Electrical Systems
  • Bosley Electric Company
  • Graybar

Ohms Level Sponsors: 

  • KS Telecom
  • Pacific Advocacy Group
  • Sueco Equipment Rental
  • Chief Transport

Graduation Gift Donors:

  • Klein Tools
  • Milwaukee Tool
  • Platt Electric Supply
  • Empire Electrical Sales, Inc.
  • IDEAL Electrical
Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   WECA Northern California Class of 2022 Graduate Spotlights

Michael Braaten, Employee of WECA Member Contractor

e1 Audiovisual Technologies


 

 

2022 Northern California Low Voltage Valedictorian Michael Braaten cites his WECA education as being “very wide-ranging and interesting” and says that “being in a cohort with people from many different subtrades really gave me a deeper understanding of how low voltage works and what it takes to be successful on a job site.” 

Michael, who works for WECA Member Contractor E1 Audiovisual Technologies, expounds on his sentiment by saying that “My WECA education gave me a lot of background knowledge about how low voltage works in general, and electrical code, project management, and tools to be successful on a job site. Beyond that, having classes with such a wide variety of people from various subtrades really gave me excellent insight into what it is like working in those other trades, as well as how to successfully collaborate with them on site to get the job done.” 

Michael also says that his on-the-job training with E1 was very diverse and challenging in many ways, but extremely rewarding. 

Read the rest of Michael's spotlight here!
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rhoderic Tayaba, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric Corp.

2022 Northern California Low Voltage Salutatorian Rhoderic Tayaba says that if you want to be the best in your field and have state-of-the-art training and education, WECA is where you want to be.

“The opportunity with WECA is there,” says Rhoderic. “I had a strong desire to be successful in my career. I wanted to be the best in my field and WECA encouraged me to do it by providing all the tools I needed to be successful, such as a positive class environment and encouraging instructors, classmates, and coworkers. The [Low Voltage Apprenticeship] program was an incredible program that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to go into my field because it provided classroom learning with real-life field experience.”

Rhoderic – who works for WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric – says that WECA prepared him for his career by enabling him to take his classroom learning out into the field.

Read the rest of Rhoderic's spotlight here!
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alondra Mora, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Sebastian Corp.

2022 Low Voltage Apprenticeship graduate Alondra Mora – who works for WECA Member Contractor Sebastian – got her start in the low voltage electrical industry when she met her boss, Frank Sierra, at a high school career fair.  

“I was introduced to him at a high school career expo, and he always kept doors of opportunities open for me to go through and explore,” says Alondra. 

Though some of Alondra’s apprenticeship was completed during the pandemic stay-at-home directive in California, when WECA apprenticeship classes moved temporarily online, she always eagerly looked forward to doing hands-on labs at WECA’s Rancho Cordova training facility, stating that it was her “favorite part because it would allow us to experience what it would really be like working out in the field.” 

Read the rest of Alondra's spotlight here!
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shane Suddeth, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore Group

2022 WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Shane Suddeth says that the greatest aspect of WECA and his apprenticeship was “Going through the apprenticeship with the group of people that I went through it with. We’ve all grown and learned together.”

Shane also credits WECA and his apprenticeship with giving him “quite an arsenal of knowledge and a pretty heavy-hitting support group” but attributes his success to his motivation and eagerness to learn and be successful in the trade, as well as some key people in his personal circle.

“First of all, my employer, [Rex Moore Group] for seeing potential and investing in my future,” says Shane. “Secondly, everybody who plays a role in my education (instructors, partners in the trade, foremen) and my classmates, when at some points it was difficult, we all would pull together and build one another up.”

Read the rest of Shane's spotlight here!

 

 

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   WECEF Announces Its 2022 Scholarship Opportunity!

This Year's Awards Targeted at Electrician Trainees on the GetWired Path Toward an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate: Apply for Consideration Today!

wecef
 

For students enrolled in the GetWired Electrician Trainee program:

Application Deadline:

October 31, 2022

Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE:

  • Active WECA Electrician Trainee at time of application or as of 10/1/2022
  • COMPLETION of at least one WECA ET course within the GetWired 100-300 series, with a passing grade of at least 80%, during the six months prior to 10/1/22 (between April 1, 2022-Sept 30,2022).
  • Accurate completion of the online scholarship application and answers to questions, by the deadline of October 31, 2022. Incomplete applications, or late applications, will not be considered.
  • Not currently a registered Apprentice.
  • Not a General Student or a Journeyman Student. This is only for Active Electrician Trainees.
  • Within the past two years, may not have received a notification of any violation of any WECA student conduct standards as outlined in our ET student handbook.
  • Was not a recipient of a WECEF scholarship during 2021

AWARDS:

Depending on the quality and quantity of the applications, up to ten (10) recipients will be awarded. This year the WECEF Board of Directors has decided to award a monetary amount plus a credit towards future courses.

  • Each monetary award will be between $500-$1000, PLUS tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path, namely the GetWired series and Basic Motor Controls 1 and 2.
  • Tuition awards towards courses cannot be converted to cash or transferred to another person.
  • Tuition award cannot be used towards a class already purchased.
  • Tuition can be used for only two future WECA courses; and both courses must be started before July 31, 2023.
  • Award towards tuition expires after July 31, 2023 and cannot be renewed.

A 1099 will be issued for tax purposes for the monetary and the tuition credit award.

The WECEF Board of Directors will review applications from eligible candidates. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s final decision within one month from application deadline, by mail and/or email.

Submissions must be fully completed by the 10/31/2022 11:59 PM deadline for consideration.

Electrician Trainees can login to WECA eCampus to access and complete their scholarship application.

Sincerely,

The WECEF Board of Directors

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   Second Year, First Semester Low Voltage Apprentices Learn How to Solder Microphone Cables









Second year, first semester apprentices are pictured learning how to solder microphone cables together with Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructor John Arias. 

"This gives them practice at flowing the solder on to the conductor before attempting to solder onto the microphone XLR connector," says Arias. 

Great work, everyone!

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   Commercial Electrical Apprentice Applicants in High Demand in Imperial Valley and Yuma Areas

WECA Member Contractors Want YOU: APPLY TODAY!



Want to start a dynamic new career that PAYS YOU to learn? You're in luck -- WECA Member Contractors have a high need for Commercial Electrical Apprentice applicants in California's Imperial Valley, including El Centro and Calexico, and extending into the Yuma, Arizona area. Learn more about WECA's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program below! 

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High Demand = Little to No Wait Time for Qualified Applicants

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

Each apprentice enrolled in the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program works and learns under the supervision of a journeyperson electrician, gaining expertise in such skills as the installation of electrical distribution centers, panel boards, sub panels, conduit systems, motor controls, lighting, fire alarms, green and smart technologies, and temporary wiring in commercial buildings.

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

WECA is actively seeking apprentices for our Member Contractors in these areas and there is little-to-no wait time for qualified applicants. Learn more and apply today!

Not for you? Please forward this email to someone in this region who might be interested!

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   GetWired 102 and 103 Spotlights -- Late Enrollment Fees for Early Oct. Classes Waived!

Spotlight on GetWired 102 and GetWired 103, the second and third courses in the path to the WECA Electrician Trainee Program Certificate

LATE ENROLLMENT FEES FOR EARLY OCTOBER CLASSES WAIVED -- APPLY TODAY!

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

?This 42-hour course expands on the theories and applications taught in our 101 courses. Core competencies include: GFCI and AFCI; series circuits; parallel circuits; luminaries, fixtures, ballasts and lamps; NEC subject indexing; lighting branch circuits; combination circuits; measuring instruments; using wire tables and determining conductor sizes; and combined lighting circuits.

This instructor-led version of GetWired 102 is loaded with hands-on practice activities during an onsite lab day to ensure that skills covered in class can be applied on-the-job.

  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309

Next instructor-led class, which includes an onsite Saturday lab, starts October 3! 

Enroll in the next Instructor-Led GetWired 102 today!

Prefer to take it on your own time, at your own pace, including an online, self-guided lab?

Enroll in the Online, Self-Paced GetWired 102 any time.

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

?This 42-hour course expands on the theories and applications taught in our 101 and 102 courses. Course competencies include: conduction in liquid and gases, batteries and other sources of electricity, inrush current, voltage drop and use of Ohm’s Law in calculating basic measurements, sizing junction boxes, box fill and conduit layout, water heater, water pump circuit calculations, calculate overcurrent protection, special purpose outlets, NEMA receptacle plug configuration, and selection of wiring devices.

This course expands your electrical skills and knowledge in the areas listed above through a series of lab and practice activities.

  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309

Next instructor-led class starts October 4! 

Enroll in the next Instructor-Led GetWired 103 today!

Prefer to take it on your own time, at your own pace?

Enroll in the Online, Self-Paced GetWired 103 any time.

Read more >>


Thursday, September 22, 2022   Celebrating the WECA Northern California Class of 2022

Looking Back on This Year's Graduation Celebration

Enjoy this video recap and some pics from last weekend's 2022 Northern California WECA Graduation: 
































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

WECA held its graduation ceremony for the Northern California Class of 2022 on Saturday, September 17th at WECA's California Headquarters in Rancho Cordova.

It was great to see our auditorium filled with our graduates and their families, as well as some of their employers.

"We had about 200 attendees," says Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship. "Everyone was in a fun and relaxed mood, and it was great to see so many familiar faces -- it's amazing how fast three to five years passes. (WECA's Residential and Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship programs are three years each; Commercial Electrical is five years; and our Electrician Trainee Certificate program is four years."

Adding to the joyous atmosphere was emcee Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager, who had everyone laughing with his "dad jokes," according to Wendy.

Congratulations, graduates! We were proud to share in your special day with you and your loved ones, and look forward to your accomplishments in the electrical and low voltage fields!

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



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

WECA would like to thank our generous sponsors and graduation gift donors for making the WECA Class of 2022 Northern California graduation celebrations memorable! 

Please join us in thanking:

Volts Level Sponsors:

  • Rex Moore Group, Inc.
  • Helix Electric
  • Bergelectric (Southern California Commercial Division)
  • Bergelectric (Low Voltage Division)
  • Rock and Sons, Inc.

Amps Level Sponsors:

  • Royal Electric Company
  • Vasko Electric
  • Bergelectric (Northern California Commercial Division)

Watts Level Sponsors:

  • Whitehead Electrical Systems
  • Bosley Electric Company
  • Graybar

Ohms Level Sponsors: 

  • KS Telecom
  • Pacific Advocacy Group
  • Sueco Equipment Rental
  • Chief Transport

Graduation Gift Donors:

  • Klein Tools
  • Milwaukee Tool
  • Platt Electric Supply
  • Empire Electrical Sales, Inc.
  • IDEAL Electrical
Read more >>


Thursday, September 22, 2022   Celebrating the WECA Northern California Class of 2022: Graduate Spotlights

Spotlights on Some of This Year's Graduates

Michael Braaten, Employee of WECA Member Contractor

e1 Audiovisual Technologies


 

2022 Northern California Low Voltage Valedictorian Michael Braaten cites his WECA education as being “very wide-ranging and interesting” and says that “being in a cohort with people from many different subtrades really gave me a deeper understanding of how low voltage works and what it takes to be successful on a job site.” 

Michael, who works for WECA Member Contractor E1 Audiovisual Technologies, expounds on his sentiment by saying that “My WECA education gave me a lot of background knowledge about how low voltage works in general, and electrical code, project management, and tools to be successful on a job site. Beyond that, having classes with such a wide variety of people from various subtrades really gave me excellent insight into what it is like working in those other trades, as well as how to successfully collaborate with them on site to get the job done.” 

Michael also says that his on-the-job training with E1 was very diverse and challenging in many ways, but extremely rewarding. 

Read the rest of Michael's spotlight here!

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

Rhoderic Tayaba, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric Corp.


 

2022 Northern California Low Voltage Salutatorian Rhoderic Tayaba says that if you want to be the best in your field and have state-of-the-art training and education, WECA is where you want to be.

“The opportunity with WECA is there,” says Rhoderic. “I had a strong desire to be successful in my career. I wanted to be the best in my field and WECA encouraged me to do it by providing all the tools I needed to be successful, such as a positive class environment and encouraging instructors, classmates, and coworkers. The [Low Voltage Apprenticeship] program was an incredible program that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to go into my field because it provided classroom learning with real-life field experience.”

Rhoderic – who works for WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric – says that WECA prepared him for his career by enabling him to take his classroom learning out into the field.

Read the rest of Rhoderic's spotlight here!

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

 

Alondra Mora, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Sebastian Corp.


 

2022 Low Voltage Apprenticeship graduate Alondra Mora – who works for WECA Member Contractor Sebastian – got her start in the low voltage electrical industry when she met her boss, Frank Sierra, at a high school career fair.  

“I was introduced to him at a high school career expo, and he always kept doors of opportunities open for me to go through and explore,” says Alondra. 

Though some of Alondra’s apprenticeship was completed during the pandemic stay-at-home directive in California, when WECA apprenticeship classes moved temporarily online, she always eagerly looked forward to doing hands-on labs at WECA’s Rancho Cordova training facility, stating that it was her “favorite part because it would allow us to experience what it would really be like working out in the field.” 

Read the rest of Alondra's spotlight here!

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

 

Shane Suddeth, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore Group


 

2022 WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Shane Suddeth says that the greatest aspect of WECA and his apprenticeship was “Going through the apprenticeship with the group of people that I went through it with. We’ve all grown and learned together.”

Shane also credits WECA and his apprenticeship with giving him “quite an arsenal of knowledge and a pretty heavy-hitting support group” but attributes his success to his motivation and eagerness to learn and be successful in the trade, as well as some key people in his personal circle.

“First of all, my employer, [Rex Moore Group] for seeing potential and investing in my future,” says Shane. “Secondly, everybody who plays a role in my education (instructors, partners in the trade, foremen) and my classmates, when at some points it was difficult, we all would pull together and build one another up.”

Read the rest of Shane's spotlight here!

Read more >>


Thursday, September 22, 2022   WECEF Announces Its 2022 Scholarship Opportunity!

Encourage your Electrician Trainees to Apply for Consideration

wecef
 


For students enrolled in the GetWired Electrician Trainee program:

Application Deadline:

October 31, 2022

Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE:

  • Active WECA Electrician Trainee at time of application or as of 10/1/2022
  • COMPLETION of at least one WECA ET course within the GetWired 100-300 series, with a passing grade of at least 80%, during the six months prior to 10/1/22 (between April 1, 2022-Sept 30,2022).
  • Accurate completion of the online scholarship application and answers to questions, by the deadline of October 31, 2022. Incomplete applications, or late applications, will not be considered.
  • Not currently a registered Apprentice.
  • Not a General Student or a Journeyman Student. This is only for Active Electrician Trainees.
  • Within the past two years, may not have received a notification of any violation of any WECA student conduct standards as outlined in our ET student handbook.
  • Was not a recipient of a WECEF scholarship during 2021

AWARDS:

Depending on the quality and quantity of the applications, up to ten (10) recipients will be awarded. This year the WECEF Board of Directors has decided to award a monetary amount plus a credit towards future courses.

  • Each monetary award will be between $500-$1000, PLUS tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path, namely the GetWired series and Basic Motor Controls 1 and 2.
  • Tuition awards towards courses cannot be converted to cash or transferred to another person.
  • Tuition award cannot be used towards a class already purchased.
  • Tuition can be used for only two future WECA courses; and both courses must be started before July 31, 2023.
  • Award towards tuition expires after July 31, 2023 and cannot be renewed.

A 1099 will be issued for tax purposes for the monetary and the tuition credit award.

The WECEF Board of Directors will review applications from eligible candidates. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s final decision within one month from application deadline, by mail and/or email.

Submissions must be fully completed by the 10/31/2022 11:59 PM deadline for consideration.

Please encourage your Electrician Trainees to login to WECA eCampus to access and complete your scholarship application.

Sincerely,

The WECEF Board of Directors

Read more >>


Thursday, September 15, 2022   WECA Political Update September 15, 2022

California Legislative Session Ends Without Extending CCPA Employee-Data Exemptions: Next Steps for Businesses On August 31, 2022, the California legislature adjourned without extending the temporary exemptions under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for workforce and business-to-business data. As a result, companies must take steps to comply with the CCPA regarding such data by January 1, 2023, when the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) amendments take effect. Story

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San Diego City Attorney Tells Council President She ‘Won’t Be Silenced’ City Attorney Mara Elliott accused Council President Sean Elo-Rivera of trying to silence her Monday and said the expectations he and other council members expressed for her office had never been applied to her predecessors, who were all men. Story

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CA Legislature Expands Pay Transparency and Data Reporting Requirements; Extends COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave California employers should take note of two significant bills recently passed by the state Legislature awaiting likely approval by Governor Newsom. The first, Senate Bill 1162 (SB 1162), would further expand California's already progressive requirements for employers regarding pay transparency and data reporting. The second, Assembly Bill 152 (AB 152), is expected to extend the state's current Covid-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave expiration date from September 30 to December 31, 2022. Story

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California Court of Appeal Upholds Construction Industry CBA Exemption from PAGA The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upheld the construction industry collective bargaining agreement exemption to the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) in Oswald v. Murray Plumbing and Heating Corporation. Story and Story

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PROAct Pressure A coalition of unions, green groups, and other progressive organizations pushing to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act will launch a new campaign focused on Senate battleground states ahead of the midterm elections this week. They hope to put lawmakers on the record as having voted for or against the bill by forcing it to the Senate floor for a vote. That way, union members — and those who back them — will know “who the real pro-worker members of the U.S. Senate are” as they cast their ballots, IUPAT President Jimmy Williams Jr. told Politico. But this week’s campaign will act as a reignition of grassroots efforts in key states — Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida — to pressure Senate Democrats to get behind the bill and lambast Senate Republicans who oppose it after a recent poll found that 71 percent of Americans approve of unions. Organizers plan to hold protests, visit offices, coordinate call campaigns, host town halls, and more.

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War Chest Waiting: Governor Gavin Newsom had $5.6 million in his ballot initiative account at the end of June (some of which is left over from the tens of millions he raised to beat the 2021 recall). Will he spend some of that on 2022 ballot initiatives? (No on San Diego’s Measure D, perhaps?) One interesting nugget from Politico: The California State Association of Electrical Workers has sent six-figure contributions to Newsom’s ballot committee and the Yes on 30 campaigns. The yes campaign also got $1 million from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Prop 30 is the new tax measure to subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles by Lyft drivers to help Lyft comply with State mandates to deploy ZGHG vehicles. CALMatters described it like this, “The opponents of Proposition 30, a proposal to tax millionaires to fund electric car incentives and infrastructure, want California voters to keep one thing in mind when they decide how to vote on the measure: Gavin Newsom’s face. So a new “No on 30” ad features the governor — and only the governor — speaking out against the proposal in no uncertain terms.”

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It Turns Out Kamala Harris is Less Popular Than Mike Pence The Washington Examiner examined (sorry) lobbying records and found that VP Kamala Harris’ office isn’t a top-rated destination in the influence industry. “About half as many companies and outside groups have hired lobbyists to influence Harris’s office during her first two years compared with her predecessor, Mike Pence. Among those lobbying Harris and her aides were representatives of drug companies, technology firms, and energy businesses, according to the records.”

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NLRB Reverses Precedent on Employer Dress Codes and Joint Employer Standard Consistent with its pro-union agenda, the National Labor Relations Board recently reversed the precedent established under the prior administration concerning employer dress codes and the joint employer standard. Specifically, on August 29, 2022, the Board held that an employer’s dress code policies preventing employees from wearing pro-union apparel were unlawful. Furthering its agenda, on September 6, 2022, the Board released a new proposed joint employer standard, which would roll back the standard established under the prior administration, making it much easier for companies to be deemed joint employers. Story

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Arizona Minimum Wage Set to Increase Again In 2023 For the sixth year in a row, Arizona’s minimum wage will go up at the beginning of 2023. Following the release of the latest Consumer Price Index report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers in Arizona will have to pay workers at least $13.90 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2023. Currently, the minimum wage is $12.80 an hour. Story

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Can Solar Investment Help Farmers Survive the Central Valley Water Crises? Agricultural businesses are under growing economic pressure as drought conditions worsen and inflation continues to climb. Rising energy costs have been a particularly damaging repercussion of the drought, with farmers spending more on electricity to keep wells and irrigation systems pumping water to their crops. Story

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Phoenix Inflation at Record 13% Shows Divergence Among Cities Inflation soared to 13% in Phoenix last month, a record for any US city in data going back 20 years and more than twice as high as San Francisco. Other cities across the South and Southwest saw double-digit increases in consumer prices, with the Atlanta metropolitan area posting annual inflation of 11.7% and Miami reaching 10.7%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Overall inflation was resurgent in August, dashing hopes of a nascent slowdown even as gasoline prices declined. But the national average of 8.3% masks growing disparities among cities, making the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation more complicated. Story

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CSLB Reminds Contractors of Requirements for Mechanical Systems Acceptance Tests The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) issued an Industry Bulletin for contractors performing mechanical systems acceptance tests. Any person performing these tests in a nonresidential building must be certified as an acceptance test technician (ATT) by an acceptance test technician certification provider (ATTCP). The mechanical systems ATT requirement is part of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code) Section 10-103.2. If you are performing acceptance tests, or plan to in the future, be sure to look at this bulletin.

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Changes to Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2021 Since the inception of the 2008 Act, regulators have become increasingly concerned the collection of thermostats has been lackluster. Furthermore, they believe outreach by the thermostat industry has failed to properly inform appropriate entities that collection is available, and many consumers and retailers alike are unaware of the program. In addition, there has never been any dedicated funding for DTSC’s oversight and enforcement of the 2008 Act, which has led to lax oversight of the thermostat industry’s performance. So, Assemblymember Bill Quirk carried AB 707 in 2021, which made several changes to the 2008 Act. Stakeholders discovered several technical issues that needed to be addressed. AB 732 makes changes, collectively requested by stakeholders, to the Act to address these technical issues. Significantly, AB 732 requires each manufacturer, or group of manufacturers, to provide collection bins for out-of-service mercury-added thermostats to a thermostat wholesaler in the state by eliminating the requirement that the wholesaler request a collection bin. AB 732 is waiting for action by Governor Newsom, who has until September 30 to sign or veto bills sent to him last month.



It’s that Time CFEC will hold their annual Sacramento soiree on October 18 from 4:30 – 6:00 at the Elks Tower. 

And on September 22nd, at Bergelectric's office in Tustin, they will be holding an event to raise funds to help fight PLAs and union CEQA extortion.

RSVP for either event to Eric Christen at (858)431-6337 or ericdchristen@gmail.com.

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Taking a break… I’m traveling for the next three weeks – so this is the last edition until I return on October 13. So be well, dear readers.

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And finally, Bedbugs Have Returned to The Office with Our Employees. What Should You Do? I know WECA members have been working both in the field and in the office for the duration of COVID-19, but I had to chuckle when I saw this article and wanted to share this article about the “tiny vampires” who “feed on human and animal blood.” Story

Read more >>


Thursday, September 8, 2022   Celebrating the WECA SoCal Class of 2022; Looking Back on This Year's Graduation Celebration

Go behind-the-scenes of the 2022 WECA Southern California graduation ceremony with our video (below):

WECA held a graduation ceremony for the Southern California Class of 2022 on Saturday, August 27th at the Falkner Winery in Temecula. 

We enjoyed celebrating our graduates and were thrilled to be joined by so many of their family and friends, as well as Member Contractors Helix Electric and Bergelectric, Industry Partner Milwaukee ToolWECA Board Member Rob McMillian, and Rick Guantone from the San Joaquin County Office of of Education LEA. 

The atmosphere of the event -- emceed by Don Black, WECA Apprentice Training, IT, and Facilities Director -- was "electric", according to WECA Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan.

"Everyone was excited and had a fun time celebrating," says Wendy. "I met parents, wives, and several graduates brought their new little WECAns. I also spoke with several graduates that shared their appreciation for WECA and their future career goals now that they have graduated." 

Congratulations, graduates! It was wonderful to see your big smiles, celebrate your accomplishments, and share the excitement of your growing success in the electrical and low voltage fields! 

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WECA would like to thank our generous sponsors and graduation gift donors for making the WECA Class of 2022 Southern California graduation celebrations memorable! 

Please join us in thanking:

Volts Level Sponsors:

  • Rex Moore Group, Inc.
  • Helix Electric
  • Bergelectric (Southern California Commercial Division)
  • Bergelectric (Low Voltage Division)
  • Rock and Sons, Inc.

Amps Level Sponsors:

  • Royal Electric Company
  • Vasko Electric
  • Bergelectric (Northern California Commercial Division)

Watts Level Sponsors:

  • Whitehead Electrical Systems
  • Bosley Electric Company
  • Graybar

Ohms Level Sponsors: 

  • KS Telecom
  • Pacific Advocacy Group
  • Sueco Equipment Rental
  • Chief Transport

Graduation Gift Donors:

  • Klein Tools
  • Milwaukee Tool
  • Platt Electric Supply
Read more >>


Thursday, September 8, 2022   Celebrating the WECA Southern California Class of 2022; Spotlights on Some of This Year's Graduates

Cosimo D'Alessio, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Enovity

2022 Southern California Commercial Electrical Valedictorian Cosimo D’Alessio credits WECA with giving him a better understanding of the electrical field and a concrete base from which to build upon, while preparing him to exceed, thrive, and advance in his career.

“The impact this program has had on me both personally and professionally might be impossible to quantify,” says Cosimo, who works for WECA Member Contractor Enovity. “The time I’ve spent learning and absorbing the material within this program’s classroom environment over the last five years has been an invaluable asset; giving me the tools in which to develop and succeed.”

Read the rest of Cosimo's spotlight here.
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Austin Schroeder, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric

2022 WECA Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Valedictorian Austin Schroeder says that WECA provided a fully hands-on education due to being tasked with completing projects from start to finish and seeing them become fully operational.

“Starting a career in low voltage and joining WECA, I was unsure of what to expect or if I would even enjoy this line of work, as I was still unsure of what career path I wanted to take. I started my journey with [WECA Member Contractor] Bergelectric here in Southern California, and shortly after was indentured with WECA as an official apprentice,” says Austin. “But WECA helped me learn more in depth all the different low voltage systems, and it has been a great experience to get to where I am now.”

Read the rest of Austin's spotlight here.
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Bryce Picone, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric

 

2022 WECA Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprentice graduate Bryce Picone, who works for WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric, describes his WECA experience as fun and practical.

“It was fun. From the friends and colleagues you make, to the teachers who get to watch their students learn and grow. It also taught me practical skills, but teachers and other students were able to show real-life applications as well. So, if we weren’t familiar with a specific topic, we were still able to learn hands-on and become familiar with it,” says Bryce.

Read the rest of Bryce's spotlight here.

Read more >>


Thursday, September 8, 2022   GetWired Instructor Franklin Tilley Finds Fulfillment in Teaching After Retirement

Retired Electricians: Want to Pass on Your Knowledge and Experience to the Next Generation? Become a GetWired Instructor!


 

Retirement doesn’t mean that electricians can’t stay involved in the industry or continue to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.

In fact, retired electricians can stay involved in the industry in ways like teaching. Take for instance GetWired instructor Franklin Tilley, who has taught at WECA in various capacities since 1988 and continued after his retirement from project management and construction supervision with the state of California in 2012.

Franklin, who began teaching for WECA after taking a class from former WECA instructor Bob Hogan in 1988, also served as the president of IAEI Sacramento Valley for three years, taught NFPA 70 updates to building inspectors for over ten years, and more.

“I have taught every level of apprenticeship classes with WECA, set up and operated the WECA program in Hayward for two years, and am now one of the instructors who teaches the GetWired 101 program online. I look forward to each class, and I hope to keep learning from the students. They teach me so very much with every class, and I now live vicariously through their stories of their companies and personal experiences,” says Franklin.

Franklin – and his wealth of knowledge and experience – are important contributors to WECA’s success and our students’ success.

“The legacy of quality work done safely, and courteous service to the customers of my employer has been my lifelong mantra, and I do my best to instill this same philosophy to all my students,” says Franklin.

In his personal time, Franklin enjoys writing to his seven children and 26 grandchildren, helping families in his church prepare for various emergency scenarios, gardening, cooking and delivering meals for the homeless, and more.

“I am nothing without the support of my wife and family, neighbors, friends, and students, and have been truly blessed to return to the community all that I have been given,” says Franklin.

Franklin, thank you for being part of the WECA family! Your lived knowledge and experience are an asset to us all, and we look forward to many more years of working with you.

Readers: are you a retired electrician (or an electrician thinking of retiring) who would like to give the gift of their knowledge and experience back to the electrical industry and their local community? Consider becoming an instructor for the WECA GetWired program, which consists of online, instructor-led, live-webcast classes on two weekday evenings per week, with one onsite, hands-on lab day per class on a Saturday at a WECA Northern or Southern California training facility. Learn more about and apply to become a WECA GetWired instructor here. 

Read more >>


Thursday, September 8, 2022   Information for Your Apprentices Regarding Wildfire Evacuation Orders and Power Shutoffs

For Member Contractors:

If you have WECA Apprentices or employ Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, or General Students who have been affected by the California wildfires or power shutoffs, 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.

For Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, and General Students affected by wildfire evacuation orders or utility power shut-offs:

WECA will accommodate course make-up requests for currently enrolled Electrician Trainees, Journeymen, and General Students, course refunds or transfers and waive all associated fees for those whose homes are affected by fires or evacuations. Please contact WECA at 877-444-9322 to get started.

Please note the following information for WECA students affected by utility power shutoffs:

WECA will still be running all scheduled GetWired! webcasts, GetWired! labs (whether scheduled for onsite or online), Live Online 2-Day Exam Prep classes, and all other instructor-led 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 at their residence, and who cannot attend the class instance from an alternate remote location (which is encouraged), can contact WECA to arrange a class make-up. WECA will cross-check the student's address with outage maps or otherwise request proof of the outage before accommodating the make-up; this accommodation is for students living in power shutoff areas only.

Please contact WECA at 877-444-9322 if you must miss a scheduled webcast due to the outage and wish to request a make-up class instance.

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 wildfire evacuation orders:

If you are affected by a wildfire evacuation, please contact WECA at 877-444-9322 and we'll work with you to determine a resolution for your situation.

Read more >>


Thursday, September 1, 2022   WECA Political Update September 1, 2022

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” Some of you older readers may recall, lo those many years ago (ten to be more exact) when voters in the City and County of Sandy Ego did the right thing and prohibited PLAs in city and county-funded construction. But, in their usual style, the State Building and Construction Trades Council pulled their puppet strings in Sacramento. The Legislature passed not one but two bills, and Governor Jerry Brown slavishly signed them to punish cities and counties with the temerity to establish their municipal contracting boundaries. The bills cut off state funding to cities and counties that prohibit PLAs on locally funded construction.

Cue 2022; even though no city or county has lost state funds because of PLA bans, the San Diego Building Trades and their new puppets in City Hall now want to repeal 2012’s Measure A. Measure D is officially on the ballot. Measure D repeals Measure A, which ensures fair and open competition on City of San Diego projects by banning discriminatory PLAs. AGC San Diego, National Black Contractors Association (NBCA), WECA, and the Building Industry Association San Diego (BIA) plan to show voters how Measure D discriminates against 80% of the local construction workforce and hurts the very people it purports to help.

Make no mistake about it, we are up against a potent and influential political machine, and it will take significant resources to overcome the deceptive campaign that has already begun. So please join us by contributing whatever you can toward our fight against discrimination. The Committee, San Diegans Against Discrimination, Opposing Measure D, is officially open and can accept personal or corporate checks. Please see the information below:

Full Committee Name: San Diegans Against Discrimination, Opposing Measure D, sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of America San Diego Chapter, Inc.
FEIN: 88-3867843 (W-9 available upon request)

It is acceptable to make checks payable to San Diegans Against Discrimination.
If you are mailing a check, please send it to:
San Diegans Against Discrimination
C/O C. April Boling
7947 Hemingway Ave
San Diego, CA 92120

Street Sweeping Bill Dies One of the few (perhaps only) trades-backed prevailing wage expansion bills to die was AB 1886 by now former Assembly Member (soon to be Sacramento County Sheriff) Jim Cooper. His bill would have made street sweeping a public work meaning every contract driver would be paid the heavy equipment operator wage. So, what happened? Until Wednesday night, the bill had enjoyed party-line support with ample Democrat sycophants to move it along. The Senate sent the bill back to the Assembly on the 29th with 25 aye votes with a couple of Democrat objections, including Ben Allen (Santa Monica), Bob Archuleta (Norwalk), and Ben Hueso (San Diego) voting No and three more Demos absent or abstaining. But when the Assembly considered it on concurrence, it died 38-13-29, a huge undervote as the 29 abstentions were primarily Democrats. These same Democrats had just voted to pass three other PW expansions, so what was different? Well, first, Cooper was one of only six Democrats who had refused to support SB 918 (Portantino), which would have created a new issuing process for concealed carry weapons licenses (CCW licenses) following the June 2022 United States Supreme Court ruling in New York Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. Second, Cooper was chairman of a committee assigned to review AB 1577 (Stone) that would have permitted Legislative employees to unionize. The bill died after Cooper initially refused to allow a vote in his committee on the final night before the lawmakers adjourned for the year. Cooper reversed his decision minutes later and allowed a vote on the bill, which failed to earn enough support for passage. Cooper was joined by Democrats Ken Cooley (Rancho Cordova), Patrick O'Donnell (Long Beach), and Republicans Kelly Seyarto (Murietta) and Randy Voepel (Santee) to defeat the bill in committee. “The reason I held this is not to make these folks take a hard vote,” Cooper said when he spoke in opposition to the legislation. “So, you can get on Twitter. I don't care. You can get on Facebook. I don't care. It's doing what's right.” So, the Assembly played a little tit-for-tat with Cooper’s PW expansion.

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Housing Production Bills Bound for the Governor. Lawmakers moved quickly after announcing a plan to send Newsom two bills taking different approaches to expedited homebuilding on commercial land — both a measure long supported by the State Building and Construction Trades Council (SB 6) and a bill with less-stringent labor rules that the Trades stopped actively opposing (AB 2011).

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Study Finds CEQA Lawsuits Challenged Nearly 48,000 Homes in California in 2020 Lawsuits alleging environmental harm under CEQA challenged roughly 39% of the homes approved in California in 2020, according to a report published by the California Center for Jobs and the Economy this month. The study's authors arrived at its conclusion by obtaining copies of every California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit filed in California that year from the state Attorney General’s office. Those complaints show “groups” opposed 47,999 residential units in 2020. Story

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PAGA News: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Petition for Rehearing in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana that bilateral arbitration agreements governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) may require arbitration of California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims on an individual basis only. In early July, Moriana, the named plaintiff-employee at the center of Viking River Cruises, filed a petition for rehearing with the Court. Moriana argued that the Court’s opinion went beyond the federal question and involved the unbriefed issue of state-law contract interpretation and statutory construction that exceeded the Court’s authority. On August 22, 2022, the high court denied the request for rehearing. It issued a final judgment, leaving intact the Court’s analysis of the severability language in Viking River Cruises’ arbitration agreement and the Court’s analysis of statutory standing under PAGA. Story

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Specialty Contractors in High Demand Amid Supply Constraints Steep inflation over the past few months has exacerbated a volatile market for construction materials, further complicating specialty contractors’ efforts to successfully navigate a post-pandemic environment where many markets remain active, albeit with resources in short supply. While there are indications that the spring-summer price acceleration may have abated, if not peaked, subcontractors remain wary. Story

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Court Partially Reinstates Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals partially reinstated President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors but still exempted seven states and members of Associated Builders and Contractors from having to get the shot. The ruling temporarily bars the vaccine mandate for ABC’s members engaged in federal procurement contracts and state agencies from the seven states party to the original suit: Georgia, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia. Story

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Who Do (Some) Californians Like for President? Overwhelmingly, according to a new poll, they do not want President Joe Biden to seek another term and see Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom as a prime contender to succeed him. A recent Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll of California voters underscored the peril for Biden and potential for Newsom. A resounding 61% of voters surveyed online Aug. 9-15 said Biden should not run in 2024, including about half of Democratic voters and most independents. The president’s statewide approval rating sat at a lukewarm 48 percent, with three-quarters of Californians saying the country was on the wrong track. Newsom and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) — who finished first in the 2020 California primary — were tied as Democratic and independent voters’ top choices to replace Biden, followed by Vice President Kamala Harris. But the largest share of voters were undecided, indicating the nebulous state of the 2024 race. Biden has said he intends to run again. For Newsom to have a path, Biden would need to step aside — and Newsom would potentially have to challenge Harris, with whom he shares a Bay Area base.

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Easier PV Installations? A bill that would make it easier for people in California to put solar panels on their homes cleared the Assembly and is headed to the governor’s desk. State Sen. Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) SB 379 would require counties and cities to use an online permitting software designed to automate approval of residential solar and storage systems to increase the technology’s use and lower greenhouse gas emissions. It was one of the more eagerly watched bills by environmentalists this month because it unexpectedly failed to clear the Assembly Appropriations Committee last year. The California Contract Cities Association argued the bill placed too heavy a mandate on cities. The bill passed 50 to 7 along party lines.

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Arizona Needs to Cut 300,000 Olympic Pools’ Worth of Water. Here Is Who Will Be Hit the Hardest Arizona farms are first in line to bear the brunt of the most significant restrictions on using the Colorado River’s water after officials declared an unprecedented shortage last week. Story

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The ‘Bonus’ Tax Deduction in The Inflation Reduction Act for Construction Firms While most of the tax deductions and incentives to build climate-friendly structures in the Inflation Reduction Act go to building owners, one area can significantly benefit contractors as well, a construction tax expert said. Contractors can earn up to a $5-per-square-foot tax deduction (increased from $1.88 currently) for specific projects under the new law starting in 2023 if they meet prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements. I bet you didn’t see that coming! Story

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State NEVI Plans Raise Concerns About EV Charging Infrastructure Rollout All 50 states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, submitted EV charging deployment plans by the Aug. 1 deadline for funding under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure formula program. The $5 billion program created by the bipartisan infrastructure law is designed to develop a network of EV charging stations every 50 miles along the interstate highway system or within one mile of an interstate exit, with the Biden administration’s goal of a total of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers nationwide. Federal funds will cover up to 80% of NEVI project costs. But supply chain and semiconductor shortages could hinder the production of EV charging equipment, especially when combined with Buy America provisions where the U.S. doesn’t have a depth and breadth of DC fast charging manufacturing, causing some industry experts to wonder if this will be yet another government finance boondoggle. Story

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California Air Agency to Ban Sales of Gasoline-Powered Cars by 2035 The California Air Resources Board (CARB) votes Thursday on a sweeping rule requiring all new cars sold in the state by 2035 to have zero emissions — paving the way for other states to adopt the requirement and transforming the country’s car market. The program — announced by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom nearly two years ago — would also require automakers to ensure that 35 percent of all new passenger cars sold by 2026 have no emissions. This threshold would increase to 68 percent by 2030. So far, in 2022, about 16 percent of new vehicles sold in California have no emissions.

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Arizona Saw High Turnout in Primary Election Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has certified the primary election results; she said voter turnout was higher than in previous midterms. Hobbs noted that more than 1.5 million people in the state cast a ballot, marking a voter turnout of about 35%.

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OFCCP Replaces Controversial Directive on Contractor Pay Equity Audits Synopsis. On Thursday, August 18, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) replaced its Directive 2022-01, entitled “Pay Equity Audits” (effective March 15, 2022, the “March Directive”), with a new Directive 2022-01, entitled “Advancing Pay Equity Through Compensation Analysis” (“New Directive”). The New Directive provides that the OFCCP will not require contractors to produce privileged pay analyses to prove their compliance with 41 CFR §60-2.17(b)(3). Section 60-2.17(b)(3) requires contractors to undertake an “in-depth analysis” of their entire employment process to ensure nondiscrimination, including compensation systems. Contrary to the March Directive, the New Directive expressly recognizes a contractor’s right to assert attorney-client privilege and attorney work product doctrine concerning compensation analyses. In addition, the new Directive eliminates the March Directive’s statements that assume, without authority, that contractors are required to perform an undefined “pay equity audit” and replaces that term with “compensation analyses.” More

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Labor Board’s ‘Whore Board’ Graffiti Ruling Survives Review The NLRB had adequate justification for ruling that an aluminum products maker violated federal labor law for firing a worker who wrote “whore board” on overtime sign-up sheets, a divided federal appeals court in Washington held. The National Labor Relations Board’s decision against a Constellium NV subsidiary sufficiently addressed the conflict between Andrew Williams’s protections under the National Labor Relations Act, and the company’s anti-discrimination obligations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said in its 2-1 ruling. Story

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Cal/OSHA Begins Enforcing Indoor Heat Safety Under §3203 Cal/OSHA’s outdoor heat illness prevention standard is well known by employers with employees who commonly work outside. And while there is no official indoor heat illness standard, employers still need to consider heat hazards when evaluating workplace safety, especially considering Fed/OSHA’s National Emphasis Program (“NEP”) for Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards. Story

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Leaders Hit the Road to Address Arizona’s Affordable Housing Problem The Arizona Legislature’s committee for housing supply is traveling the state next month to hear from communities about what they need to address housing shortages. The committee will be in Flagstaff, then Tucson, Sierra Vista, and Sedona to take information from constituents. The committee was formed to put together plans to address housing shortages in the state. The National Low Income Housing Coalition estimates Arizona has about 200,000 extremely low-income renter households and only 26 affordable places to rent for every 100 households.  The committee expects to have a final report of its findings by the end of the year. [KJZZ]

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Subsidizing Dues California workers who pay union dues will get a tax credit starting in 2024, and the first-in-the-nation proposal could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions annually. A bill introduced in the Senate on Friday fleshed out a proposal for the credit, initially included in the state budget passed in June. State lawmakers and union organizers say the program would help low-wage employees, who are less likely to itemize taxes and weren’t taking advantage of an existing union dues deduction. [Politico]

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LAUSD's Hefty School Board Salaries Spared by Senate Bill “A Senate bill awaiting the governor’s signature would change California’s education code to align with how Los Angeles Unified pays its school board members, allowing for compensation more than five times the code’s initial cap. LAUSD currently pays $125,000 to school board members who do not have outside employment, in contrast to the $24,000 currently allowed for a district of its size under the education code. LAUSD currently operates by a Los Angeles City charter rule, which says compensation should be set by a compensation committee comprising stakeholders and community members chosen by officials outside the district, which the bill would make clear is permissible. The compensation committee’s decisions over salary have put LAUSD board members at a compensation level of nearly seven times the amount earned by board members at the second-largest school district in the state. According to 2021 data from Transparent California, school board members at San Diego Unified earn $18,000 — the maximum under the state cap for a district of its size. The district’s average daily attendance is just under 100,000 for the 2020-21 school year, according to EdData.” [EdSource]

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THC Testing Cannabis is legal in California, but employees and job applicants can still be fired or denied employment for using it off the job. A bill prohibiting employers from testing workers and applicants for traces of non-psychoactive cannabis cleared the state Legislature Tuesday. If Newsom signs Assemblymember Bill Quirk’s (D-Hayward) AB 2188, California will become the seventh state to offer such protections to recreational users and the 22nd to shield medical users. Jobs requiring a federal background test, or a drug test under federal or state law, would be exempt from the ban, as would construction operations. For supporters, it’s a common-sense change: Employees shouldn’t be punished for using a legal substance during their free time, especially since they can test positive for doing so weeks after use. But business interests have fought the bill, warning they could face lawsuits if they punish employees for legitimate causes, such as on-the-job pot use. [Politico]

 

Read more >>


Tuesday, August 30, 2022   Celebrating the WECA Southern California Class of 2022; Spotlights on Some of This Year's Graduates

Cosimo D'Alessio


 

2022 Southern California Commercial Electrical Valedictorian Cosimo D’Alessio credits WECA with giving him a better understanding of the electrical field and a concrete base from which to build upon, while preparing him to exceed, thrive, and advance in his career.

“The impact this program has had on me both personally and professionally might be impossible to quantify,” says Cosimo, who works for WECA Member Contractor Enovity. “The time I’ve spent learning and absorbing the material within this program’s classroom environment over the last five years has been an invaluable asset; giving me the tools in which to develop and succeed.”

Cosimo says his apprenticeship consisted of a combination of hands-on training in the field and an accommodating classroom curriculum that kept him engaged and thoroughly tested his newfound knowledge and comprehension of the electrical field – though completing the program wasn’t without its challenging moments.

“Even though it might seem like an arduous path, spending five years attaining your certification, I promise you it’s an endeavor well worth your time and effort. It certainly was for me. I’ve always believed that perseverance and hard work will always certainly contribute to one’s success” says Cosimo.

Moving forward, Cosimo plans to “continually expand my knowledge of the electrical field” and start his own electrical business. However, he acknowledges that his success would not have been possible without his parents.

“I’d like to thank my parents, without whom none of this would’ve been possible,” concludes Cosimo.

Congratulations, Cosimo! We’re glad that our Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program formed part of the foundation of your success, and prepared you to exceed, thrive, and advance in your career – which you surely will!

Austin Schroeder



2022 WECA Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Valedictorian Austin Schroeder says that WECA provided a fully hands-on education due to being tasked with completing projects from start to finish and seeing them become fully operational.

“Starting a career in low voltage and joining WECA, I was unsure of what to expect or if I would even enjoy this line of work, as I was still unsure of what career path I wanted to take. I started my journey with [WECA Member Contractor] Bergelectric here in Southern California, and shortly after was indentured with WECA as an official apprentice,” says Austin. “But WECA helped me learn more in depth all the different low voltage systems, and it has been a great experience to get to where I am now.”

During his apprenticeship, Austin cites the preparation for testing to get their licenses and to run their own work as providing an education toward several different career options such as programmer, project manager, foreman, and superintendent.

“WECA provided us with the details of different positions that go into completing a job, and which tasks they oversee. Since graduation, I have been promoted to a foreman role with Bergelectric, and am already running my own work on Naval Base Coronado [in San Diego],” says Austin.

In the future, Austin plans to move up within Bergelectric by continuing to “learn more and more” moving forward.

Austin would like to “thank my family and friends for the support along the way, which motivated me to get here, my superintendent, and of course my awesome WECA instructor Mr. P [Neil Pesarillo] for all the help along the way, making this possible.”

Bryce Picone

2022 WECA Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprentice graduate Bryce Picone describes his WECA experience as fun and practical.

“It was fun. From the friends and colleagues you make, to the teachers who get to watch their students learn and grow. It also taught me practical skills, but teachers and other students were able to show real-life applications as well. So, if we weren’t familiar with a specific topic, we were still able to learn hands-on and become familiar with it,” says Bryce.

Bryce also credits his WECA apprenticeship with helping him apply the lessons taught in class to practical on-the-job tasks from bending pipe and pulling wire, to doing voltage drop calculations in the field. Additionally, Bryce credits his family and his tenacity with his success at WECA and in his career, stating that “Everything I’ve done has been for them [my family]. I also strive to be good at what I do – I truly enjoy being an electrician, so why not be good at it?”

Bryce says that the apprenticeship provided a positive challenge for him, especially when going over the code book and the calculations. But he implores apprentices to “Keep asking questions; you’re still learning. Even when you’re finished with the program, the learning doesn’t stop.”

After graduation, Bryce’s priority is raising his newborn son and continuing to work at WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric with the goal of hopefully someday becoming a superintendent.

“I would also like to shout out to my amazing wife for always believing in me, and my mom and my two brothers. And all the superintendents and the journeymen I have had the pleasure of learning from. And lastly, my teachers and fellow students – without them, these past five years wouldn’t have been as fun.”

Congratulations, Bryce, on your graduation and your growing family! You have so much to look forward to, and we here at WECA are excited to see you accomplish your goals! 

Read more >>


Tuesday, August 30, 2022   Celebrating the WECA Southern California Class of 2022; Looking Back on This Year's Graduation

Go behind-the-scenes of the 2022 WECA Southern California graduation ceremony with our video (below):

WECA held a graduation ceremony for the Southern California Class of 2022 on Saturday, August 27th at the Falkner Winery in Temecula. 

We enjoyed celebrating our graduates and were thrilled to be joined by so many of their family and friends, as well as Member Contractors Helix Electric and Bergelectric, Industry Partner Milwaukee ToolWECA Board Member Rob McMillian, and Rick Guantone from the San Joaquin County Office of of Education LEA. 

The atmosphere of the event -- emceed by Don Black, WECA Apprentice Training, IT, and Facilities Director -- was "electric", according to WECA Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan.

"Everyone was excited and had a fun time celebrating," says Wendy. "I met parents, wives, and several graduates brought their new little WECAns. I also spoke with several graduates that shared their appreciation for WECA and their future career goals now that they have graduated." 

Congratulations, graduates! It was wonderful to see your big smiles, celebrate your accomplishments, and share the excitement of your growing success in the electrical and low voltage fields! 

Read more >>


Tuesday, August 30, 2022   New Self-Paced GetWired Option: GetWired 104

Introducing the next self-paced online option for our GetWired Electrician Trainee Program series:

GetWired 104: Special Systems & Single-Phase Transformer Theory in Residential Electrical Applications

Take it on your own time, at your own pace!



WECA is excited to announce another way students can take GetWired 104, the fourth class in WECA's Path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!

We've long offered GetWired 104 as an online-led instructor course. And we still do!

But for students who would prefer to take this course at their own pace, on their own time, we're now offering a fully self-paced online option, just like we've been offering for GetWired 101102, and 103! Students who might prefer this format include:

  • Students with job, childcare, or other obligations preventing them from taking the instructor-led scheduled course in the evenings
  • Students who would benefit from being able to review the material at a slower pace, such as students for whom English is a second language
  • Students who just prefer to work on the coursework at times when it best works for them
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WECA's new GetWired 104 Self-Paced Option is an entirely online, self-paced alternative version of our GetWired 104 course which expands your skills and knowledge into a variety of special applications. Core competencies include:

  • Single-phase transformers
  • Special purpose outlets for electric heating and air conditioning
  • Gas and oil central heating systems
  • Installation of a twist-on coaxial connector
  • Television, telephone and low voltage signal systems
  • Heat, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fire alarms and security systems
  • Arc flash protection
  • Service entrance equipment
  • Overcurrent protection-fuses and circuit breakers
  • Calculating residential loads
  • Swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and hydro-massage baths
  • Wiring of home automation systems
  • Stand-by power systems

Practical applications that involve the interpretation of schematic wiring diagrams and/or accessing code requirements information are covered in this fast-paced course.

  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309


If all of this sounds like it would work for you,

enroll in GetWired 104 Self-Paced Online today!

Think you'd prefer being able to interact with an instructor and learn along with other students, on a schedule?

Enroll in an upcoming instance of the original, online evening instructor-led GetWired 104 here!

Read more >>


Tuesday, August 30, 2022   Behind the Scenes with NorCal Low Voltage Apprentices This Month

First Year Low Voltage Apprentices Learn to Bend Conduit in the Lab with Instructors Randy Rivera and John Arias













Read more >>


Tuesday, August 30, 2022   WECA's Student Referral Service: Are you out of work? Connect with a great employer today!

WECA Contractors urgently hiring Electrician Trainees in the Sonoma County area NOW!

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Contact Trisha Hughes, Client Services ET/CE Specialist, at thughes@goweca.com
  2. Or call our office and ask to speak with her at 1-877-444-9322
  3. Or fill out the SRS sign-up form on our website.
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Thursday, August 25, 2022   Industry Partner Spotlight: EV Range

The electric vehicle charging industry was already big business – but it became even bigger yesterday as the State of California announced its plan to ban the sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035. And EV Range, one of WECA’s newest Industry Partners, stands to benefit handsomely as the State and automotive industry phase out new gas-powered vehicle sales over the next thirteen years in anticipation of the new law.

San Pedro-based EV Range is a burgeoning electrical vehicle charging network that provides powerful cloud-based charging station software, installs DCFC and Level 2 charging stations nationwide, and intelligent and scalable load management via cloud-based and local management options for fleet charging.

Matt Peterson, Marketing Manager of EV Range, says that what sets EV Range apart from its competitors is that “Customers use the EV Range app to utilize QR codes to access a web payment portal versus requiring drivers to download an app on their smartphone. The number one complaint we heard from drivers was their frustration in needing to have a separate app for each charging vendor.”

Currently, EV Range boasts over 300 Level 2 chargers installed nationwide, or in various stages of installation, with plans to bring over 21 new DCFC charging stations online in California and Nevada.

“EV Range chargers arrive prepared and pre-networked for easy installation and are easily managed with the provided EV Range cloud-based charger station and management solution,” says Peterson. “We also continually add new features to our charging management software for our clients, and also to the driver interface for their users.”

Peterson also notes that EV Range’s commercial, fleet, and DCFC charger hosting offerings are all handled specifically to each client as they design each solution, apply for specific grants, consult on the build of future-proof EV charging stations, and provide management solutions for each. 

EV Range partners with electrical engineering firms, commercial electricians, electricians, commercial builders, and architects to expand their offerings, and looks forward to working with WECA Member Contractors to increase their ability to serve its clients with installation services of EV charging stations.

“WECA Member Contractors that partner with EV Range to easily provide their clients with leading EV charging station solutions will have full access to EV Range team guidance for site planning, grant applications, engineering designs, and equipment. We also provide charger station management software for existing chargers to help WECA members’ clients gain visibility into previously installed chargers. EV Range also provides discounts on leading EV charging equipment as well as a host of EV engineering, grant, and implementation support services to attain and complete charging station implementations,” says Peterson.

WECA Member Contractors interested in partnering with EV Range can contact Dave Stansel, Director of Business Development, at dave.stansel@evrange.com to learn more about EV Range’s support and products. 

Read more >>


Thursday, August 25, 2022   WECA Member Contractors Make EC&M's 2022 Top 20 Electrical Contractors List!



WECA Member Contractors keep showing the electrical industry how it's done! Please join us in congratulating Helix Electric and Power Design Inc. in making EC&M's 2022 Top 20 Electrical Contractors List! We're proud of all the accolades our members garner from the industry, and commend the hard work, dedication, and expertise that made them possible.
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Thursday, August 25, 2022   Member Contractors: Participate in Our Sep. 22 "Jump Start Your Career" Job Fair at WECA's CA HQ

RSVP today!

We are excited to host the "Jump Start Your Career" job fair at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters on September 22 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, August 25, 2022   It's Not Too Late -- Support WECA Graduates by Sponsoring Their Graduation Events!



Note: Tickets are no longer available for our SoCal graduation ceremony, to be held this Saturday Aug. 27th, at time of publication. However, your generous contributions will benefit both graduation ceremonies and make them memorable for our graduates.
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Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Graduating Classes of 2022!

Our Commercial Electrical, Residential Electrical, and Low Voltage Apprentices as well as Electrician Trainees in our Get Wired program in the Class of 2022 have successfully completed their education with WECA!

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

  • Saturday, August 27, 2022 at Falkner Winery (40620 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591) from 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM for Southern California graduates.
  • Saturday, September 17, 2022 at WECA California Headquarters (3695 Bleckely St., Rancho Cordova, CA 95655) from 4 PM - 7:30 PM for Northern California graduates.

Help us make their graduation memorable--your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend either graduation event, which is especially meaningful for grads if you're their contractor. Plus, you can meet WECA instructors and staff, other member contractors, and electrical industry supporters as well. Sponsorship packages at different levels may include tickets to attend one or both graduations, ads in the graduation program, recognition of your sponsorship during the ceremony, mention of your support on our website, in our newsletters, and over social media.   

Please consider the sponsorship opportunities at the link below, and thank you for your support of electrical and low voltage education!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team

Reserve your sponsorship package

Read more >>


Thursday, August 25, 2022   Low Voltage Apprentices Learn to Bend Conduit in the Lab w/ Instructors Randy Rivera & John Arias













Read more >>


Thursday, August 18, 2022   WECA Political Update August 18, 2022

Recently, I noted a troubling trend for public works in California that required PLAs to qualify for state funding. In August, we saw mixed results.

·        AB 2419 (Bryan - D) This bill mandated that for a construction project that will cost $5,000,000 or more, IIJA funds may be allocated only if the construction project will be performed under a PLA. Status: DIED in Senate Appropriations. Caltrans and DWR noted higher costs and project delays because of the PLA mandate – thanks State Building and Construction Trades Council!
·        S.B. 22 (Glazer - D) This bill would have required DGS to prioritize projects for funding that used a PLA. Status: Died in Senate Education. No school bonds this year.
·        SB 1020 (Laird - D) requires new procurement of clean energy by the state to be constructed with contractors using multi-craft project labor agreements. Status: Assembly floor
·        SB 1105 (Hueso - D) This bill created the San Diego Regional Equitable and Environmentally Friendly Affordable Housing Finance Agency and grants it the authority to impose taxes and fees. The bill would have required the agency to execute a PLA with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council before placing a measure on the ballot to raise revenue for the agency. Status: Died in Assembly Appropriations.

While it might appear the Legislature is acting in a more prudent manner, the truth is more complex and worthy of a graduate school thesis. Nonetheless, we will take the win where we can!

Legislation

PLAs

SB 6 (Caballero - D) This bill, until January 1, 2029, enacts the Neighborhood Homes Act, which authorizes housing on any parcel zoned for office or retail uses. On PLA projects bars the labor commissioner from enforcing the labor code and exempts these projects from skilled and trained workforce mandates. Requires prevailing wages and apprentices on all projects - even if private. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

SB 679 (Kamlager - D) This bill provides that any construction project receiving funding or financing from Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA) shall constitute a public work for which the contractor must pay prevailing wages. All contractors and subcontractors must use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all work on projects (with the usual SBCTC language). Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

SB 1020 (Laird - D) This bill requires retail sellers or local publicly owned electric utilities to require its contractors to use a PLA for the construction of the zero-carbon resource or eligible renewable energy resource. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

APM/DB/CMaR

AB 902 (O’Donnell - D) AB 902 establishes an alternative design-build pilot project to procure school construction contracts. According to CDE, in 2019-20, 11 school districts had an enrollment of more than 50,000 students. Fiscal Impact: This bill was not expected to result in high costs to local school districts or the state. For school districts electing to utilize the design-build contract methodology proposed by this measure, there could be cost savings for those facility projects compared to other procurement methods. The bill had no opposition, so why was it killed? Good question. Status: DEAD

SB 991 (Newman - D) SB 991 will allow Local Water Agencies (LWA) to contract with entities that utilize the Progressive Design-Build method to execute a public works project. Progressive Design-Build (PDB) is a contracting model in which a public agency hires a single entity to design and construct a project at the earliest feasible stage. Includes a mandate for STWF, including an exemption for projects covered by a PLA. It contains language that deems a union contractor “safe.” Status: 8/8/2022 - Assembly floor

SB 1422 (Hertzberg - D) SB 1422 authorizes, until January 1, 2028, a state or local agency to use alternative contracting procedures for the purchase or installation of carpet, resilient flooring, synthetic turf, or lighting fixtures, so long as the installation work is not performed in connection with new construction, and the contractor complies with specified wage and labor requirements. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

Apprenticeship

SB 1351 (Durazo - D) This bill establishes a program within the Division of Apprenticeship Standards, called the California Youth Apprenticeship Program, to develop new or expand on existing apprenticeship programs targeting 16 to 24-year-olds who are unhoused in the welfare or juvenile justice system or otherwise facing barriers to labor market participation Status: 8/10/2022 - Dead

Business Issues

AB 732 (Quirk - D) This bill changes the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2021, deletes obsolete provisions related to registered hazardous waste transporters, and makes additional technical and conforming changes. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

Construction Practices

AB 1867 (Lee - D) This bill requires the governing board of a school district intending to seek state funding for specified school modernization projects to include, as part of the project, faucet aerators and water-conserving plumbing fixtures in all bathrooms. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

SB 1393 (Archuleta - D) This bill requires local governments to consider the CEC’s guidance on building electrification when adopting ordinances that require the electrification of existing buildings. Status: 8/10/2022 - Dead

EVC

AB 1738 (Boerner Horvath - D) AB 1738 will require the Building Standards Commission (BSC) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to research, develop, and propose the adoption of mandatory building standards for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in existing multifamily dwellings and nonresidential development when existing parking facilities are being retrofitted, added, or altered. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

AB 2061 (Ting - D) This bill would require entities receiving state or ratepayer funding for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure to report on charging station uptime and excluded time and would require the California Energy Commission (CEC) to assess this data and consider adopting tools to improve related metrics. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

SB 1482 (Allen - D) This bill requires access to an electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure for each dwelling unit with access to a parking space in a multifamily dwelling. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

GHG

SB 905 (Skinner - D) This bill tasks CARB with several responsibilities surrounding geologic carbon sequestration demonstration projects, including but not limited to developing a geologic carbon sequestration demonstration initiative; funding 1-3 projects therein by January 1, 2026; developing program guidelines and criteria; and acting as lead agency under CEQA for any geologic carbon sequestration demonstration projects. It requires projects to use a Skilled and Trained Workforce unless there is a PLA. Status: 8/3/2022 - Assembly floor

Housing

AB 2011 (Wicks - D) AB 2011 would enact the “Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022” to create a ministerial, streamlined approval process for 100% affordable housing projects in commercial zones and mixed-income housing projects along commercial corridors, as specified. The bill would also impose set labor standards on those projects, including requirements that contractors pay prevailing wages, participate in apprenticeship programs, and make specified healthcare expenditures. On PLA projects, no CPRs are required, and the Labor Commissioner may not enforce the labor code. On development projects of 50 or more units, a contractor with construction craft employees shall make health care expenditures for each employee in an amount per hour worked on the development equivalent to at least the hourly pro-rata cost of a Covered California Platinum level plan for two 40-year-old adults and two dependents 0 to 14 years of age for the Covered California rating area in which the development is located. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

SB 886 (Wiener - D) This bill exempts faculty and staffing housing projects and student housing projects meeting specified requirements from CEQA. There are at least 12 existing CEQA housing exemptions, some of which may apply to a university housing development project depending on the project’s scope, size, and individual characteristics. Requires the use of a Skilled and Trained Workforce unless there is a PLA. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

SB 1226 (Durazo - D) This bill allows, until January 1, 2032, private, nonprofit corporations that provide services to zero-emission transportation systems or facilities to join a joint powers authority (JPA) or enter into a joint powers agreement with one or more public agencies to facilitate the development, construction, and operation of zero-emission transportation systems or facilities that lower greenhouse gases, reduce vehicle congestion and vehicle miles traveled, and improve public transit connections. Exempts PLA projects from CPRs, Skilled and Trained Workforce, and Labor Commissioner enforcement. Status: 8/4/2022 - Assembly floor

Labor Law

SB 1044 (Durazo - D) This bill prohibits an employer, in the event of a state of emergency or an emergency condition, from taking or threatening adverse action against an employee who feels unsafe and leaves or refuses to report to the workplace. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

Licensure

SB 216 (Dodd - D) This bill does four things: it requires the C-8 (concrete contractors), C-20 (HVAC contractors), C-22 (asbestos abatement contractors), and D-49 (tree service contractors) license classifications to the license classifications required to obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance, even if they have no employees, as a condition of being licensed by the CSLB; it requires, beginning January 1, 2026, all classifications under the CSLB’s jurisdiction to obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance, even if that contractor has no employees, as a condition of being licensed by the CSLB; it exempts joint ventures from the workers’ compensation insurance requirements, and prohibits the CSLB from accepting certificates of exemption from workers’ compensation on behalf of a licensee beginning January 1, 2026. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

Practice

SB 1164 (Stern - D) This bill requires the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop and implement (1) statewide electronic heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment sales registry and compliance tracking system and (2) an electronic statewide compliance document data registry. Status: 8/3/2022 - Dead

Public Works

AB 1717 (Aguiar-Curry - D) AB 1717 expands the definition of “public works” to include fuel reduction work paid for in whole or in part out of public funds performed as part of a fire mitigation project. It increases the cost of crucial fire mitigation projects around communities and critical infrastructure by including these projects in the definition of ‘public works,’ thus subjecting them to prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

AB 1851 (Rivas, Robert - D) AB 1851 would expand the definition of “public works” to include the on-hauling of materials used for paving, grading, and fill onto a public works site if the individual driver’s work is integrated into the flow process of construction. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

AB 2143 (Carrillo - D) This bill requires a contractor to pay prevailing wages on renewable energy installation projects with a generating capacity of more than 15 kilowatts (kWs) and which receive service under an electric utility’s net energy metering (NEM) tariff. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

SB 954 (Archuleta - D) This bill requires DIR to develop and implement an online database of certified payroll records submitted to comply with Public Works requirements. The Labor Commissioner or a joint labor-management committee can then use this information to streamline checking for compliance. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

SB 1422 (Hertzberg - D) SB 1422 authorizes, until January 1, 2028, a state or local agency to use alternative contracting procedures for the purchase or installation of carpet, resilient flooring, synthetic turf, or lighting fixtures, so long as the installation work is not performed in connection with new construction, and the contractor complies with specified wage and labor requirements Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

SES

AB 2316 (Ward - D) This bill would require the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to establish a new community renewable energy program that meets specified criteria. PLA construction means no CPRs or Labor Commissioner authority. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

STWF

AB 1602 (McCarty - D) This bill establishes the California Student Housing Revolving Loan Fund Act of 2022 (Fund) to provide zero-interest loans to qualifying applicants of the University of California (UC), the California State University (CSU), and the California Community Colleges (CCC) to construct affordable student, faculty, and staff housing. Requires using a Skilled and Trained Workforce UNLESS there is a PLA and exempts PLA projects from keeping CPRs. Status: 8/2/2022 - Dead

AB 1775 (Ward - D) This bill imposes workplace safety training, certification, and staffing requirements for which an entertainment events vendor must provide written certification to a contracting entity. The entertainment events vendor must certify that its employees and any subcontractors’ employees meet the conditions for a skilled and trained workforce. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

AB 2046 (Medina - D) This bill establishes the Inland Rising Fund to support the multiyear operating costs for the development, operation, and maintenance of economic development and innovative climate change research efforts, and health care and medical research operations at the UC Riverside (UCR) and UC Merced. This bill requires STWF, but with a PLA, no penalties or reporting are needed. Status: 8/11/2022 - Senate floor

SB 1136 (Portantino - D) This bill expands a provision in existing law that requires public agencies, at the time of adoption of a rule or regulation requiring the installation of pollution control equipment or a performance standard or treatment requirement, to perform an environmental analysis of the reasonably foreseeable methods of compliance, to also apply to the adoption of a rule or regulation requiring the reduction in greenhouses gases (GHG), criteria air pollutants, or toxic air contaminants. This bill also requires projects to meet specific labor requirements to utilize a focused environmental impact report (EIR), including payment of prevailing wage and use of a “skilled and trained” workforce, unless there is a PLA. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

SB 1295 (Limón - D) This bill establishes labor requirements for specified activities related to plugging and abandoning oil and gas wells and authorizes an increase in the annual expenditure limit from the Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Administrative Fund (OGGAF). The bill would require the division to develop a procurement process to group multiple oil well projects and use project labor agreements to deliver projects. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

Taxes/Fees

SB 485 (Portantino - D) This bill extends the Film and TV Tax Credit 3.0, which authorizes the California Film Commission to allocate $330 million in tax credits each fiscal year from 2024-25 to 2029-30. Status: 8/3/2022 - Assembly floor

Workers Comp

AB 2894 (Cooper - D) AB 2894 requires all active licensees to, at the time of renewal, provide workers’ compensation classification codes to the CSLB. Status: 8/2/2022 - Dead

SB 216 (Dodd - D) This bill does four things: it requires the C-8 (concrete contractors), C-20 (HVAC contractors), C-22 (asbestos abatement contractors), and D-49 (tree service contractors) license classifications to the license classifications required to obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance, even if they have no employees, as a condition of being licensed by the CSLB; it requires, beginning January 1, 2026, all classifications under the CSLB’s jurisdiction to obtain and maintain workers’ compensation insurance, even if that contractor has no employees, as a condition of being licensed by the CSLB; it exempts joint ventures from the workers’ compensation insurance requirements, and prohibits the CSLB from accepting certificates of exemption from workers’ compensation on behalf of a licensee beginning January 1, 2026. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

SB 1127 (Atkins - D) This bill modifies various timelines and penalties under the workers’ compensation system. The bill fundamentally alters longstanding rules and timeframes for determining eligibility for workers’ compensation claims and, as drafted, would dramatically increase systemic friction and litigation. Status: 8/11/2022 - Assembly floor

Legislative Calendar:

  • August 15 – 31: Floor Session only. No committees, other than conference and Rules, may meet for any purpose
  • August 25: Last Day to amend bills on the Floor
  • August 31: Last Day for each house to pass bills - Final Recess begins at the end of this day's session
  • September 30: Last day for Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 1 and in the Governor’s possession on or after Sept. 1
  • November 8: General Election.
  • November 30: Adjournment Sine Die at midnight
  • December 5: Convening of the 2023-24 Regular Session
  • January 1, 2023: Statutes take effect

Lawmakers, Lobbyists Gather in Napa Ahead of Key Votes Blockchain and cryptocurrency. Artificial intelligence. Facial recognition technology. Health care innovation. The energy industry. Building tech economies in “underestimated” cities such as Fresno. Understanding the benefits of remote work. Helping small businesses thrive online. Those are among the topics that state lawmakers and tech industry lobbyists discussed recently at the luxurious four-star Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa Valley as part of an event dubbed the Technology Policy Summit, according to a draft copy of the agenda CalMatters obtained. The two-day conference — which, according to the draft agenda, began with a panel on how 5G technology can help address climate change and was followed by a reception and dinner — came precisely a week before lawmakers returned to the Capitol to make do-or-die decisions on a slate of controversial tech bills, including proposals to significantly expand kids’ privacy rights online, allow public prosecutors to hold social media companies liable for intentionally addicting youth, and regulate the cryptocurrency industry. Story

Why Is Lyft Bankrolling This California Ballot Measure on Electric Cars? California voters will decide in November whether to hike taxes on wealthy people and earmark the money for climate projects. But the effort has been bankrolled by an unlikely cheerleader: Lyft, the ride-hailing app that contributed to increased car emissions. Lyft has poured more than $15 million into the campaign for Proposition 30, a ballot measure to raise the income-tax rate for wealthy people to pay for programs to get more drivers into electric cars. The company’s involvement has divided Democrats who otherwise tend to be aligned over the state’s ambitious goals to reduce heat-trapping emissions that exacerbate climate change. Many environmentalists and building labor groups support the measure, while Gov. Gavin Newsom and the teachers' unions oppose it. Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton skewered the effort today.

Arizona GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake has embraced far-right positions and election denialism. Still, the former TV anchor retains an advantage that many other MAGA insurgent candidates lack: camera-ready polish and longtime familiarity with voters. Moreover, she has no campaign manager — unlike some other Republicans, she is engaging with the press these days. “I am beloved by people, and I’m not saying that to be boastful,” Lake tells Bender. “I was in their homes for the good times and the bad times.” On the trail, Lake “blurs the line between seriousness and showmanship” with finesse, he writes, drawing big crowds and even stirring 2024 Vice President chatter if she wins.

Surprising? Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) axed a tax adjustment in the Democrats’ recent tax, climate, and health care bill that would have increased taxes on investment income, especially for private equity and hedge fund managers. The move is just the latest she’s made to shield an industry that is also a significant funder of her campaigns. “Sinema has long aligned herself with the interests of private equity, hedge funds, and venture capital, helping her net at least $1.5 million in campaign contributions since she was elected to the House a decade ago. But the $983,000 she has collected since last summer more than doubled what the industry donated to her during all her preceding years in Congress combined,” reports the Associated Press in a review of campaign finance disclosures.

Under Arrest: The FBI arrested former one-term Democratic Rep. T.J. Cox on dozens of charges related to financial fraud, according to public records with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. The arrest took place around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Fresno. A statement from the Justice Department said the former congressman was charged with 15 counts of wire fraud, 11 counts of money laundering; one count of financial institution fraud; and one count of campaign contribution fraud. According to the Justice Department, if convicted in the 28-count indictment, Cox faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for wire fraud and money laundering. The indictment accuses Cox of using a cluster of business entities to enrich himself while saddling business partners with losses. The document describes a scheme in which Cox siphoned money into secret accounts and used the proceeds to pay debts, cover personal expenses such as private school tuition and fund his political campaign.

California Hospitals Use New Tactic to Delay Earthquake Safety Deadline California hospital interests want more time to comply with the state's earthquake-safety standards, and they have worked to get a significant hospital union on board with their legislative pitch — in exchange for a $25 minimum wage, four labor and industry groups familiar with negotiations have confirmed. SEIU-UHW is simultaneously lobbying to "establish healthcare worker minimum wage levels across the state and update 2030 seismic requirements to prevent hospital closures," according to a website it set up for the campaign. Any seismic deadline extension would have to come in the form of legislation since the earthquake requirements are set by state law. Proposed legislative language being circulated in the Capitol, dated Aug. 9, would extend the deadline to Jan. 1, 2037. Several labor groups — including the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, which opposes such an extension — described negotiations involving seismic safety and higher wages in the works. The building industry stands to gain financially from the hospital retrofits required by state law. But the trades council says it opposes such a delay on safety grounds, arguing it could pose a risk to health care workers, patients, and anyone else who enters a California hospital. “We are advocates for raising the bar for what people make, but this just comes at too high of a cost,” said Erin Lehane, a spokesperson for the trades council.

Read more >>


Thursday, August 11, 2022   Considering Becoming a WECA Member Contractor in Arizona?

You Can Now Schedule a Tour of Our Phoenix Electrical Apprenticeship Training Facility to See the Benefits of Membership Firsthand! 





Arizona electrical contractors: want to see firsthand what association membership in WECA can offer you? Come meet us and tour our Phoenix electrical apprenticeship training facility! Bob Bartlett, WECA's Membership Director (in yellow polo in the pic above), would love to show you around.

Here are some of Bob's thoughts on why you should check us out:

WECA provides the nation’s best electrical apprenticeship training program…hands down! Some call it “world-class training.”

Question...What’s the secret ingredient for being the best?

Answer…"COMPETENCY-BASED" training, like WECA's.

No matter what you call it, the benefits are the following:

(1) Home-grown workforce. From new hire through apprenticeship training, then journeying out. This is the absolute best scenario for growth and profitability.

(2) Higher retention rates…less turnover

(3) Improved productivity

(4) Reduced accidents

(5) Happier, more satisfied workforce

(6) Fewer reworks…translates to higher profits

(7) Trained workers help improve work processes and cost reduction efforts

At WECA, we enthusiastically encourage facility tours because there is no better way to evaluate and judge the training program’s efficacy.  Our “open door” policy will continue forever. WELCOME!

Schedule a tour

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Thursday, August 11, 2022   Course Spotlight: GetWired 104

Introducing The Next Self-Paced Online Option for Our GetWired Electrician Trainee Program Series: GetWired 104: Special Systems & Single-Phase Transformer Theory in Residential Electrical Applications

Your Employees Can Take It On Their Own Time, At Their Own Pace!




WECA is excited to announce another way students can take GetWired 104, the fourth class in WECA's Path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!

We've long offered GetWired 104 as an online-led instructor course. And we still do!

But for students who would prefer to take this course at their own pace, on their own time, we're now offering a fully self-paced online option, just like we've been offering for GetWired 101102, and 103! Students who might prefer this format include:

  • Students with job, childcare, or other obligations preventing them from taking the instructor-led scheduled course in the evenings
  • Students who would benefit from being able to review the material at a slower pace, such as students for whom English is a second language
  • Students who just prefer to work on the coursework at times when it best works for them
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WECA's new GetWired 104 Self-Paced Option is an entirely online, self-paced alternative version of our GetWired 104 course which expands your skills and knowledge into a variety of special applications. Core competencies include:

  • Single-phase transformers
  • Special purpose outlets for electric heating and air conditioning
  • Gas and oil central heating systems
  • Installation of a twist-on coaxial connector
  • Television, telephone and low voltage signal systems
  • Heat, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fire alarms and security systems
  • Arc flash protection
  • Service entrance equipment
  • Overcurrent protection-fuses and circuit breakers
  • Calculating residential loads
  • Swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and hydro-massage baths
  • Wiring of home automation systems
  • Stand-by power systems

Practical applications that involve the interpretation of schematic wiring diagrams and/or accessing code requirements information are covered in this fast-paced course.

  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309


If all of this sounds like it would work for your employees,

encourage them to enroll in GetWired 104 Self-Paced Online today!

Think your employees would prefer being able to interact with an instructor and learn along with other students, on a schedule?

Encourage them to enroll in an upcoming instance of the original, online evening instructor-led GetWired 104 here!

Read more >>


Thursday, August 11, 2022   Member Contractors: Participate in Our Sep. 22

RSVP today!

We are excited to host the "Jump Start Your Career" job fair at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters on September 22 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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

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

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

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

Read more >>


Thursday, August 11, 2022   WECA Member Contractors: Join CIE Foundation at upcoming Trades Day events!

WECA Member Contractors:

Are you located in or near: Chico, Humboldt, Long Beach, Riverside, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Tulare County, Nevada County, or Kings County?

Join CIE Foundation at an upcoming Trades Day events to reach out to the next generation of electricians and low voltage technicians in California!




 

Reach out to the next generation of electricians and low voltage technicians in California at one of CIE Foundation's Trades Day events.

Click on the event you're interested in below to learn more and register:

WECA is planning to be at the Sacramento event and may attend others as well. If you're a WECA member with strong workforce development needs in any of these regions and would like to join forces with WECA at the event, just say the word! (You can email Wendy Flanagan (wflanagan@goweca.com) or Diane Trotter (dtrotter@goweca.com) to plan that.)

Click here to learn more about CIE Foundation and its Trades Day events.

Read more >>


Thursday, August 11, 2022   Have a Journeyperson You're Eyeing for Foreman?

GetWired 403: Jobsite Management Skills Teaches Leadership Skills, Project Management Concepts, Provides Training on Construction Management and Estimating Software, and More!

Do you have journeyperson employees you're considering promoting to a jobsite leadership position? Encourage them to enroll in GetWired 403: Jobsite Management Skills, a 32-hour online, instructor-led and project-based course that focuses on:

  • Providing an introduction to concepts, technology, and best practices for project management, electrical estimating in a software environment, jobsite leadership, and communications
  • Exposure to digital construction management platforms: Learn to use Procore's Construction Management Software for project management and communications and Esticom Software for basic estimating using in-class instruction and self-paced video training
  • Interpersonal skills and communications with internal and external stakeholders on the job, as well as those under their supervision
  • Using typical construction documentation and resources on construction management software to plan, manage, and record the electrical work processes of a typical residential/commercial construction project
  • The general leadership and foremanship skills required for profitable and successful project completion

A few seats remain in the next class starting the evening of September 6th, online.

Encourage them to learn more and enroll here.

Read more >>


Thursday, August 4, 2022   WECA Political Update August 4, 2022

Travel Season — Lawmakers and interest group representatives spent part of the July recess in Montreal and Maine to learn about recycling for the latest California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy voyage. Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), Assemblymember Heath Flora (R-Ripon), and Treasurer Fiona Ma joined officials from waste management companies, Google, the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the American Forest and Paper Association, and others. The trip comes after Allen shepherded a landmark plastics recycling bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk after multiple failed attempts in the Legislature, averting what looked likely to be an expensive campaign battle over a ballot initiative to overhaul plastic waste and impose a new tax on producers. Such trips have become a tradition for lawmakers and groups with business before Sacramento. CFEE, whose board is a cross-section of political players like unions, utilities, business organizations, and local government groups, covers the costs. The Chairman is former State Building and Construction Trades Council boss Bob Balgenorth, and their President/CEO is Jay Hansen, former building trades lobbyist. Wieckowski is leaving office on August 31 – so that trip will undoubtedly help immensely for his last month in the Senate!

Working in Colorado? They Enacted Wage Theft Amendments, Increasing Employer Penalties, and Permitting Class-wide Demands Colorado has modified the state’s wage theft laws with Senate Bill 22-161. Among other things, the wide-ranging amendments increase penalties for employers that do not timely pay wages, allow employees to demand wages on behalf of a class of similarly situated employees, permit the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Labor Standards and Statistics (“Division”) to investigate such demands on a class-wide basis, and severely limit employers’ ability to recover attorney’s fees for successfully defending a claim. The amendments also impose additional requirements on employers to deduct the value of unreturned company equipment from an employee’s final payment. While some provisions take effect on August 10, 2022, the most significant changes are effective on January 1, 2023. Colorado has again modified the state’s wage theft laws by enacting Senate Bill 22-161. Among other things, the wide-ranging amendments increase penalties for employers that do not timely pay wages, allow employees to demand wages on behalf of a class of similarly situated employees, permit the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Labor Standards and Statistics (“Division”) to investigate such demands on a class-wide basis, and severely limit employers’ ability to recover attorney’s fees for successfully defending a claim. The amendments also impose additional requirements on employers to deduct the value of unreturned company equipment from an employee’s final payment. While some provisions take effect on August 10, 2022, the most significant changes are effective on January 1, 2023. More

Does the new California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) apply to employers? Yes. More

Former President Donald Trump's sway among Arizona Republicans appears intact as his picks for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, Arizona Attorney General, and Secretary of State pull ahead. The most significant outstanding question mark from Tuesday’s primaries remains unanswered in the Arizona GOP gubernatorial race: Kari Lake (the Donald Trump-backed candidate) still leads Karrin Taylor Robson (the Mike Pence-backed pick) by two percentage points as of publishing time.
Lake led in every county but Maricopa.

Ruben Gallego's campaign teases Senate challenge to Kyrsten Sinema, raises money off idea Rep. Ruben Gallego is campaign fundraising off the prospect of his running against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in Arizona's 2024 Democratic primary. "Many people are asking Ruben if he will run against Senator Kyrsten Sinema," a promoted June 18 Facebook post says. "We know many of you hope he does, and he appreciates that fact. That’s one of the reasons he is asking you to contribute to his campaign today. Because if he is going to run against her, he’ll need to win his re-election campaign this November and build a strong grassroots movement." The Facebook ad says any contributions will go toward his House re-election effort this year. Story

The New York Times looked at the CHIPS+ bill and asked Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and NEC Director Brian Deese about it. “The legislation will hand significant power over the private sector to the Commerce Department (shudder), which will choose which companies qualify for the money. The department has already said it will prefer companies that invest in research, new facilities, and workforce training, rather than those that engage in the kind of share buybacks that have been prevalent in recent years.” However, the Times neglected to mention the requirements to pay local prevailing wages on construction projects receiving grants to aid semiconductor development. President Joe Biden said on July 26, "It was a top priority for me to ensure that incentives for semiconductors have a Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirement. And these semiconductor projects—there are billions of dollars and thousands of construction jobs in each of these sites." In addition, the bill contains $52 billion in subsidies and tax credits for any global chip manufacturer that chooses to set up new or expand existing operations in the United States, along with more than $200 billion toward scientific research in areas like artificial intelligence, robotics, and quantum computing. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law on Aug. 9.

One of my favorite maxims is "no good deed goes unpunished." And now the distillers and brewers who helped stave off hand sanitizer shortages during COVID are now being targeted by the FDA with threats of recalls and fines over harmless ingredients. Distillers across the U.S. are beginning to face the wrath of the health agency after promises that their cooperation in producing hand sanitizer to keep businesses, government agencies, and families stocked up would be met with leniency. For one Central Coast distiller, who produced hand sanitizer for Federal agencies, the FDA is applying intense pressure to institute a recall (or face fines) over the presence of a specific ingredient found in higher quantities in food and wines. Story

Inside the donor network reshaping CA politics Govern for California’s 18 chapters have so far donated more than $3 million to candidates across California in the 2022 election cycle. One of the top beneficiaries is Assemblymember Robert Rivas, a Salinas Democrat. Govern For California is funded mainly by a small group of tech leaders, financiers, and other wealthy donors from the Bay Area. Their goal: counter the sway of special interests, especially labor unions, in the state Capitol. The organization is the brainchild of Stanford lecturer David Crane. One of its longtime political advisors is Rick Rivas, Robert’s brother. Story
Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   WECA Arizona Founding Member Corbins Named a 2022 Top Workplace in Arizona by The Arizona Republic

Have you heard the news? WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins was named a 2022 Top Workplace in Arizona by The Arizona Republic! Well done, everyone -- we're proud of our partnership and our work to advance fair and open competition and the rights of merit shop electrical contractors and their employees in the American West.

Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   Rex Moore Group, Inc. and Sebastian Make Fresno Business Journal List

WECA Member Contractors Rex Moore Group, Inc. and Sebastian Named to Fresno Business Journal's 2022 Top Private Sector Employers in the San Joaquin Valley List

WECA Member Contractors are the best of the best in California's Central Valley! Please join us in congratulating our Member Contractors, Rex Moore Group, Inc. and Sebastian, for making the Fresno Business Journal's 2022 Top Private Sector Employers in the San Joaquin Valley List! 

Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   Your Input Can Help Facilitate the Construction of 10,000 Miles of Fiber-Optic Infrastructure in CA

Member Contractors: Your Input Can Help Facilitate the Construction of 10,000 Route Miles of Middle-Mile Fiber-Optic Infrastructure in California

Provide Input by Participating in the California Department of Technology's Survey by August 5, 2022

The California Department of Technology Specifically Requests WECA Member Responses




Content courtesy of: California Department of Technology

Greetings All,
 
The California Department of Technology is seeking input from experienced telecommunications construction firms to help inform the planning and structuring of a competitive bid process that will facilitate the construction of approximately 10,000 route miles of middle-mile fiber-optic infrastructure. A primary objective of the planned bid process is to secure the construction labor resources necessary to complete the planned project, enabling the awarded firm(s) to begin their own internal planning and staging as soon as possible. 

Recognizing that detailed designs and permitting efforts will be ongoing in parallel to the construction, the envisioned approach will award contracts based on estimated quantities for unit-based bid items comprising the primary scope of work, with individual jobs issued to the contractor(s) against these contracts as the final designs and permits are secured by Caltrans. 
Your responses to the questions below and subsequent discussions will help us to determine the best path for the success of this project.

 
Please complete this survey by Friday, August 5, 2022.

Complete the survey here (responses are anonymous).

Select your meeting date preference here.

Any questions or inquiries can be sent directly to MMBI.PMO@state.ca.gov.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   Enforcement of Acceptance Test Requirements for Nonresidential Construction Permits

Content courtesy of: California Energy Commission



Enforcement Advisory

Scope: Permits issued for nonresidential construction projects and nonresidential spaces in multifamily projects that include the installation of mechanical systems, mechanical system controls, lighting systems, and lighting system controls.
 
Issue: Such construction projects require a certified acceptance test technician (ATT) to perform the acceptance testing required by the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code) in sections 120.5 and 130.4.
 
Enforcement: The local jurisdiction can rely on the ATT who is required to perform and document the required acceptance tests on a certificate of acceptance issued by the acceptance test technician certification provider (ATTCP). The certificate of acceptance will be in PDF format for electronic submission to the authority having jurisdiction and will carry the logo of the issuing ATTCP. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has created an Inspector Field Sheet for local jurisdictions that includes the triggers for lighting controls and mechanical systems acceptance testing, as well as the ATTCP logos used on the certificates of acceptance.
 
Background: ATTs perform required tests for lighting controls and mechanical systems in high-rise residential, hotel/motel, and nonresidential buildings. CEC-approved ATTCPs train, certify, and oversee the technicians. All permit applications submitted for nonresidential construction projects on or after October 1, 2021, require mechanical systems acceptance tests in accordance with Title 24, Part 6, section 120.5 and must use an ATT to perform the acceptance test. All permit applications submitted for nonresidential construction projects on or after July 2014, require lighting controls acceptance tests in accordance with Title 24, Part 6, section 130.4 and must use an ATT to perform the acceptance test.
 
Educational Resources: ATTCPs are offering free training for inspectors and building officials for International Code Council continuing educational credit. The training will cover ways to verify the legitimacy of the forms and tests. The CEC also offers a Getting Started presentation as an introduction to the ATTCP program and how local jurisdictions can make the best use of it.
 
Additional information:

Please see the CEC’s ATTCP website or contact:
Energy Standards (Title 24) Hotline
916-654-5106
800-772-3300, toll-free in California
Title24@energy.ca.gov
Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   GetWired Instructor Spotlight: Brian Ray

Brian Ray brings an impressive wealth of knowledge and skill to his position as a GetWired instructor.

Brian, a native of Redding, graduated from Sacramento State with a master’s degree in English and a certificate in teaching college composition before completing his electrical education with WECA’s Electrician Trainee program.

“I currently work as a full-time certified electrician [for WECA Member Contractor H & D Electric, Inc.],” says Brian. “I have also worked as a bicycle shop mechanic and manager, a high school teacher teaching students to work on bicycles, a college English teacher, an English writing tutor, an English as a second language teacher in Rome, and several part-time jobs while I was at Sacramento State.”

In his current role as a GetWired instructor, Brian brings six years of education and experience in the electrical field and many years of teaching experience to the classroom, where he helps students learn about the electrical trade and how to navigate the NEC.

“My goals for working at WECA are to help students learn about the electrical trade and pass the California electrical certification exam. What I love about my career is that as a foreman for H & D Electric, I am able to teach trainees in the field how to do hands-on, practical aspects of the electrical trade and as a WECA instructor I am able to teach trainees the theory behind what we do in the field,” says Brian.

Furthermore, Brian’s personal philosophy is evident in his dynamic career trajectory.

“Work hard in pursuit of your dreams, and you will meet with success,” says Brian.

In his personal time, Brian likes to spend time with his family, ride bicycles, and ride motorcycles.

Thank you, Brian, for being part of the WECA family! We love having well-rounded instructors, such as yourself, bring rich and diverse life experiences to our team and students. 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   Train the Trainer Recap: See What's New with WECA's GetWired Program and the People Who Deliver It!



WECA's GetWired online delivery and instructional teams convened virtually on Saturday, July 9th for the second semiannual meeting of the year.

Dan Bierly, Curriculum Development and GetWired Training Manager, reports a great turnout, noting that the GetWired team has welcomed five new instructors this calendar year in due part to the hard work of Galen Eckert, Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Online Manager.

"We talked about the interactive functions of GetWired's virtual classroom," says Dan. "And we listened and reacted to instructors' concerns about hard topics that students usually have trouble with, and created helpful crib sheets in response."

Rebecca Archer, Senior eLearning Specialist, added that the teams also discussed some upcoming 2020 curriculum changes, noting that beyond full Code updates to the 2020 NEC (coming to our online classrooms in January 2023, based as always on Code change timing from the State of California), most of them are "functionality changes."

Excellent work, everyone! We appreciate your dedication and commitment to ensuring that WECA's Electrician Trainees, Journeypersons, and Continuing Education students receive the most comprehensive, real-world electrical education possible both online and in the lab!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   WECA Training Facility Spotlight: Fresno, CA

An Update on the First Year of WECA's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program in Fresno

Insight from George Leach, Lead Electrician Apprenticeship Instructor in Fresno and Jaron Stroud, WECA Fresno Apprenticeship Program Instructor

How are things going in Fresno since opening?: "Since the Fresno branch has opened, the apprenticeship program has been multifaceted yet productive. With the many changes and challenges COVID brought, apprentices and instructors alike, had to keep on our toes to try to get the most out of every situation, often developing new strategies, ideas, techniques, etc., for both teaching online as well as the transition back to the classroom."

How are you and the apprentices enjoying teaching and learning there?: "Speaking for myself, I love that WECA has a Fresno branch. I grew up and went through the apprenticeship living in the Fresno area, so I know how hard it was commuting to and budgeting for school when Sacramento was the closest facility. The Fresno facility has a large lab area, with brand-new tools and equipment, plus the added benefit of being so close for many Central Valley apprentices. As for the apprentices, when asking them about the facility, I get unanimously positive remarks, mostly about how they are glad to be back in the classroom, and the fact that their commute is so much closer."









Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   Military Recruiting: Transform Your Organization from Military-Friendly to Military-Ready



Content courtesy of: Hiring Our Heroes/U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

According to research by Indeed, more than 60% of military job seekers are currently employed and looking for new jobs and 45% are looking for work with critical or high urgency. Are you getting in front of these active job seekers with the right messaging?
Military Recruiting: Transform Your Organization from Military-Friendly to Military-Ready with Indeed

Tuesday, August 2 at 1 p.m. ET

Join Hiring Our Heroes and Indeed for thoughtful tactics to recruit and retain today’s top military talent. During this webinar, Indeed will cover:
•   Today’s military recruiting landscape
•   A deep dive into military talent job search behavior and preferences
•   Actionable steps taking your brand from military-friendly to military-ready
•   How Indeed for Military can help
•   Live Q&A 

REGISTER NOW →
Read more >>


Thursday, July 28, 2022   It's Time to Come Together to Celebrate the WECA Graduating Classes of 2022!

There's Still Time to Support WECA Graduates by Sponsoring Their Graduation Events.



Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Graduating Classes of 2022!


Our Commercial Electrical, Residential Electrical, and Low Voltage Apprentices as well as Electrician Trainees in our Get Wired program in the Class of 2022 have successfully completed their education with WECA!

Help us honor their achievement with your sponsorship of their graduation events on:
  • Saturday, August 27, 2022 at Falkner Winery (40620 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591) from 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM for Southern California graduates.
  • Saturday, September 17, 2022 at WECA California Headquarters (3695 Bleckely St., Rancho Cordova, CA 95655) from 4 PM - 7:30 PM for Northern California graduates.
Help make their graduation memorable--your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend either graduation event, which is especially meaningful for grads if you're their contractor. Plus, you can meet WECA instructors and staff, other member contractors, and electrical industry supporters as well. Sponsorship packages at different levels may include tickets to attend one or both graduations, ads in the graduation program, recognition of your sponsorship during the ceremony, mention of your support on our website, in our newsletters, and over social media.   

Please consider the sponsorship opportunities at the link below, and thank you for your support of electrical and low voltage education!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team


Reserve your sponsorship package
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 27, 2022   WECA Training Facility Spotlight: Fresno, CA

An Update on the First Year of WECA's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship Program in Fresno

Insight from George Leach, Lead Electrician Apprenticeship Instructor in Fresno and Jaron Stroud, WECA Fresno Apprenticeship Program Instructor


How are things going in Fresno since opening?: "Since the Fresno branch has opened, the apprenticeship program has been multifaceted yet productive. With the many changes and challenges COVID brought, apprentices and instructors alike, had to keep on our toes to try to get the most out of every situation, often developing new strategies, ideas, techniques, etc., for both teaching online as well as the transition back to the classroom."

How are you and the apprentices enjoying teaching and learning there?: "Speaking for myself, I love that WECA has a Fresno branch. I grew up and went through the apprenticeship living in the Fresno area, so I know how hard it was commuting to and budgeting for school when Sacramento was the closest facility. The Fresno facility has a large lab area, with brand-new tools and equipment, plus the added benefit of being so close for many Central Valley apprentices. As for the apprentices, when asking them about the facility, I get unanimously positive remarks, mostly about how they are glad to be back in the classroom, and the fact that their commute is so much closer."









Read more >>


Wednesday, July 27, 2022   GetWired Instructor Spotlight: Brian Ray

Brian Ray brings an impressive wealth of knowledge and skill to his position as a GetWired instructor.

Brian, a native of Redding, graduated from Sacramento State with a master’s degree in English and a certificate in teaching college composition before completing his electrical education with WECA’s Electrician Trainee program.

“I currently work as a full-time certified electrician [for WECA Member Contractor H & D Electric, Inc.],” says Brian. “I have also worked as a bicycle shop mechanic and manager, a high school teacher teaching students to work on bicycles, a college English teacher, an English writing tutor, an English as a second language teacher in Rome, and several part-time jobs while I was at Sacramento State.”

In his current role as a GetWired instructor, Brian brings six years of education and experience in the electrical field and many years of teaching experience to the classroom, where he helps students learn about the electrical trade and how to navigate the NEC.

“My goals for working at WECA are to help students learn about the electrical trade and pass the California electrical certification exam. What I love about my career is that as a foreman for H & D Electric, I am able to teach trainees in the field how to do hands-on, practical aspects of the electrical trade and as a WECA instructor I am able to teach trainees the theory behind what we do in the field,” says Brian.

Furthermore, Brian’s personal philosophy is evident in his dynamic career trajectory.

“Work hard in pursuit of your dreams, and you will meet with success,” says Brian.

In his personal time, Brian likes to spend time with his family, ride bicycles, and ride motorcycles.

Thank you, Brian, for being part of the WECA family! We love having well-rounded instructors, such as yourself, bring rich and diverse life experiences to our team and students. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 27, 2022   Train the Trainer Recap: See What's New with WECA's GetWired Program and the People Who Deliver It!



WECA's GetWired online delivery and instructional teams convened virtually on Saturday, July 9th for the second semiannual meeting of the year.

Dan Bierly, Curriculum Development and GetWired Training Manager, reports a great turnout, noting that the GetWired team has welcomed five new instructors this calendar year in due part to the hard work of Galen Eckert, Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Online Manager.

"We talked about the interactive functions of GetWired's virtual classroom," says Dan. "And we listened and reacted to instructors' concerns about hard topics that students usually have trouble with, and created helpful crib sheets in response."

Rebecca Archer, Senior eLearning Specialist, added that the teams also discussed some upcoming 2020 curriculum changes, noting that beyond full Code updates to the 2020 NEC (coming to our online classrooms in January 2023, based as always on Code change timing from the State of California), most of them are "functionality changes."

Excellent work, everyone! We appreciate your dedication and commitment to ensuring that WECA's Electrician Trainees, Journeypersons, and Continuing Education students receive the most comprehensive, real-world electrical education possible both online and in the lab!
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 27, 2022   WECA's October - December Courses are Now Available for Enrollment Online. Enroll to Get Your Seat!



Attention Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education, and Project Engineer to Project Manager Program and General Students: Our Fall 2022 (October-December) course catalog is now available on our website, and GetWired instructor-led classes are already filling fast. Be sure to enroll ASAP to get your spot!

View the Electrician Trainee course catalog here.

Jump to the Journeyman continuing education course catalog here.

View the Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) course catalog here

Enroll online, over the phone at (877) 444-9322, or by email at info@goweca.com.
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 27, 2022   Want a Self-Paced Alternative to WECA's GetWired Electrician Trainee Certificate Program?

Enroll in Self-Paced GetWired 101, 102, or 103 Today, and Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Self-Paced GetWired 104 Coming Soon!



Start your Electrician Trainee Program Certificate journey today with Self-Paced GetWired 101!

Self-Paced GetWired 101: Fundamentals of Electrical Theory and Introduction to the National Electric Code (NEC), is the first course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.


This 40-hour course introduces fundamental electrical laws and theory and explains how the National Electrical Code (NEC) governs the installations of electrical wiring and equipment. Core competencies include: a refresher on basic math skills applied to electrical calculations, general information on electrical installations, an introduction to hand and power tools used in the field, and more.

Total class hours: 40
Standard Tuition Fee: $309

In this course, safety best practices are covered along with tips on study skills. In this course, math equations are applied to the safe and sound wiring and load choices for electrical installations, troubleshooting and maintenance. Theories are discussed and applied to on-the-job situations and tasks. An online, interactive, lab activity reinforces practical applications of key concepts.

Enroll in Self-Paced GetWired 101 today!

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

So you've taken the Self-Paced GetWired 101 course, or even instructor-led GetWired 101. You can choose instructor-led GetWired 102, OR, keep going with the Self-Paced GetWired 102 course!

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


?This 42-hour course expands on the theories and applications taught in our 101 courses. Course competencies include: GFCI and AFCI; series circuits; parallel circuits, luminaries, fixtures, ballasts, and lamps, and more.
  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309
This course includes hands-on practice activities and labs, whether in-person or online interactive, to help ensure that skills covered in class can be applied on-the-job.

Enroll in Self-Paced GetWired 102 today!

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

You've taken the Instructor-Led or Self-Paced GetWired 101 and 102 courses. Keep going with your choice of the Instructor-Led or Self-Paced GetWired 103 course!

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


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

Total class hours available: 42
Standard Tuition Fee: $309

This course is loaded with interactive practice and an online lab to ensure that skills covered in class can be applied on-the-job.

Enroll in Self-Paced GetWired 103 today!
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 27, 2022   Don't Forget to RSVP Today to Celebrate Your Hard Work and Achievements at Your Graduation!

Graduating This Year? Don't Forget to RSVP Today to Celebrate Your Hard Work and Achievements at Your Graduation! Check Your Email for the Ticketing Link!
Southern California: Celebrate on August 27, 2022 in Temecula
Northern California: Celebrate on September 17, 2022 at WECA's California HQ




Where: 
Falkner Winery
40620 Calle Contento
Temecula, CA 92591

When: 
Saturday, August 27, 2022
5:30 PM - 8:30PM

Schedule:
5:30 - 6:00 PM Arrive and Socialize (Appetizers & Beverages)
6:00 - 6:30 PM Group Photo of Graduates 
6:30 - 8:30 PM Graduation Ceremony

Registration deadline: August 19

Check your email for the ticketing link!


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



Where: 
WECA California HQ
3695 Bleckely Street
Rancho Cordova, CA 95655

When: 
Saturday, September 17, 2022
4 PM - 7:30PM

Schedule:
4:00 - 5:00 PM Arrive and Socialize (Appetizers & Beverages)
5:00 - 5:30 PM Group Photo of Graduates 
5:30 - 7:30 PM Graduation Ceremony

Registration deadline: September 9

Check your email for the ticketing link!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 21, 2022   WECA Political Update July 21, 2022

NLRB Reaffirms Regional Directors’ Discretion to Dismiss Election Petitions Absent a Hearing On June 15, 2022, in Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc., 371 NLRB No. 109, the National Labor Relations Board reaffirmed that regional directors have the authority to dismiss representation and decertification petitions if the regional director determines there is merit to an unfair labor practice charge involving misconduct “that would irrevocably taint the petition and any related election.” This 3-2 decision illustrates a sharp division among Board members regarding the regional director’s discretion to administratively dismiss a timely filed decertification petition without first holding an evidentiary hearing on the impact of pending but unproven unfair labor practice allegations. More
 
November election news: In a sign that California could play a pivotal role in determining which party secures control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November, five of the six candidates added Monday to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program are running in California. The candidates include Kermit Jones (running against Kevin Kiley in CA-03), Adam Gray (running against John Duarte in CA-13), Christy Smith (running for a third time against Mike Garcia CA-27), Asif Mahmood (running against Young Kim in CA-40), and Will Rollins (running against Ken Calvert in CA-41). They’ll receive fundraising, organizing, and other support from the committee as it seeks to flip GOP-held seats. Californians now account for more than one-fifth of the 33 candidates in the Red to Blue program, according to the Los Angeles Times. Two other candidates, Jay Chen, (running against Michelle Steel in CA-45) and Rudy Salas (running against David Valadao in CA-22), were already on the list. A similar program run by the National Republican Congressional Committee called “Young Guns” supports five California House candidates.
 
Fresno Council President Charged with Felony Over Alleged Extortion In allegations made by fellow city councilman Garry Bredefeld — and corroborated publicly by City Attorney Sloan – Fresno City Council President Nelson Esparza allegedly told Sloan to work only for a majority of four councilmembers or face termination.
 
Fresno Supervisors Move $7B Measure C Renewal One Step Closer to Ballot A projected $7 billion transportation tax that could shape road building, mass transit, and maintenance for a generation is one step closer to the ballot. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on July 12 to advance a spending plan on the renewal of Measure C, the half-cent transportation sales tax on the books since 1986. The current version expires in 2027. Measure C leaders have been pushing for a November 2022 renewal to take advantage of project costs they say will only go up. Boosters also want to avoid a 2024 presidential ballot they predict will be “divisive.” Story
 
San Francisco Ranked the World's Most Expensive City for Construction The city overtakes Tokyo as inflation and supply chain snarls affect global markets. A new report by Turner & Townsend quantifies what contractors who work in San Francisco already know: Doing business there is expensive. The report, published this week, found that construction in San Francisco costs $4,728.50 per square meter ($439.29 per square foot) due to a perfect storm of inflation, supply chain issues, and demand from tech companies such as Google, Apple, and more. Last year’s top city, Tokyo, fell to the No. 2 spot on the list, followed by Osaka, Japan, which was included on the list for the first time.

In total, North America had four markets in the top 10. Aside from San Francisco, New York City ranked fourth, Boston ranked eighth, and Los Angeles ranked ninth, per the report. According to a press release, significant shifts in North American markets were driven primarily by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, higher building material costs caused by supply chain disruptions, and high labor costs. A worldwide skilled labor shortage has bottlenecked development and forced contractors into delays and project disruptions. In this year’s survey, 79.6% of markets were experiencing skills shortages, and 15.9% were in balance. According to the release, only 4.5% of markets had a surplus in construction labor. The report comes as the U.S. construction industry battles wage and employment issues, with wages expected to beat projections even as hiring is slowing. More
 
Unions kill Amazon Hub in Newark, and Thousands of Jobs Love them or hate them, Amazon invests and creates jobs, but that didn’t stop a coalition of unions from helping to kill a planned airport cargo center in New Jersey, for which Amazon intended to hire 1,000 workers, and invest hundreds of millions of dollars over 20 years. The project, which hinged on a 20-year lease worth hundreds of millions of dollars, attracted opposition after the Port Authority disclosed it last summer. Story
 
Senate Retirement Tracker: Currently, six members (five Republicans and one Democrat) of the Senate have announced that they will not seek re-election in 2022. The Republicans are Pat Toomey (R-PA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Richard Shelby (R-AL), and Roy Blunt (R-MO). The Democratic member is Pat Leahy (D-VT). There will also be a special election to finish the term of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). That special election will coincide with the regular Senate election in Oklahoma, similar to the Georgia Senate elections from the 2020 cycle.
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House Retirement Tracker: Currently, 51 House members (19 Republicans and 32 Democrats) have announced that they will not seek re-election to the House in 2022. The Republicans are Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Mo Brooks (R-AL-05), Jody Hice (R-GA-10), Kevin Brady (R-TX-08), Lee Zeldin (R-NY-01), Ted Budd (R-NC-13), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-04), Billy Long (R-MO-07), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16), Louie Gohmert (R-TX-01), John Katko (R-NY-24), Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN-09), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-02), Fred Keller (R-PA-12), Van Taylor (R-TX-03), Fred Upton (R-MI-04), Bob Gibbs (R-OH-07), and Chris Jacobs (R-NY-23). The Democratic members not running for re-election to the House are Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-02), Val Demings (D-FL-10), Charlie Crist (D-FL-13), Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Conor Lamb (D-PA-17), Ron Kind (D-WI-03), Filemon Vela (D-TX-34), Karen Bass (D-CA-37), John Yarmuth (D-KY-03), David Price (D-NC-04), Anthony Brown (D-MD-04), Mike Boyle (D-PA-18), GK Butterfield (D-NC-01), Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Tom Souzzi (D-NY-03), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07), Bobbie Rush (D-IL-01), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14), Albio Sires (D-NJ-08), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Jerry McNerney (D-CA-09), Jim Langevin (D-RI-02), Earl Perlmutter (D-CO-07), Jim Cooper (D-TN-05), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04), Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), and Kai Kahele (D-HI-02).
 
California Employers Soon May Be Subject to a Workplace Violence Safety Standard On May 17, 2022, Cal/OSHA released a draft regulation for workplace violence prevention that applies to all California employers, with only limited exceptions. Cal/OSHA is seeking input from interested parties by July 18, 2022. Currently, Cal/OSHA’s workplace violence regulations only apply to employers in the health care industry. For non-health-care industries, Cal/OSHA regulates workplace violence using the employer’s obligation to regularly identify and evaluate workplace hazards under Section 3203 of Cal/OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Standard. More
 
If Employers Test Union Certification and Lose, Will They Have to Pay? On June 24, 2022, the NLRB sought an order forcing an employer who refused to negotiate with a certified union to pay back wages and benefits to employees that they allegedly could have earned absent the delay in bargaining during the time the employer appealed the NLRB’s certification of the union as the exclusive bargaining representative in federal court. Story
 
Halfway through the primary calendar, the number of state legislative incumbents defeated in primaries is up 65% State legislative incumbents are losing to primary challengers at an increased rate this year compared to 2020. Across the 26 states that have held primaries, 132 incumbents — 27 Democrats and 105 Republicans — have lost. This represents a 65% increase from 2020 among these states at the same juncture in 2020. This increase has been driven by Republican losses, up 98% from 53 in 2020. For Democrats, the number defeated this year remains the same.



Here are five facts about state legislative incumbent primary losses:

·        In total, 5.0% of incumbents running for re-election this year have lost, up from defeat rates ranging from 2.4% to 3.4% since 2014.
·        Of the 26 states that have held primaries, 22 have had at least one state legislative incumbent lose in a primary.
·        The defeat rate is highest in Idaho, where 18 incumbents— all Republicans — lost to challengers. That represents 24% of all incumbents who filed for re-election.
·        Twenty-nine of the 132 incumbents defeated (22%) were guaranteed to lose because of redistricting (when states redraw legislative lines, incumbents can often end up in a new district with other incumbents leading to incumbent v. incumbent primaries or general elections). Twenty-three Republican incumbents lost in incumbent v. incumbent primaries, while six Democrats lost in incumbent v. incumbent primaries.
 
Arizona Business Groups Announce Opposition to Labor Union-Backed Debt Collection Initiative Two of the state’s leading business groups have announced their opposition to an initiative that would decimate Arizonans’ ability to secure credit and financing. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Greater Phoenix Chamber said they oppose what proponents have dubbed the “Predatory Debt Collection Protection Act.” Story
 
Hello From a New Citizens Initiative Voice of San Diego reported that former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer “is not just playing pundit on KUSI these days. He’s also making calls to gauge support for a new citizen initiative he wants to get on the ballot in November 2024. We are not entirely sure what the measure will be. Still, it would likely fall along the lines of one that voters in Sacramento will consider, which would make it illegal for unsheltered residents to camp on the street once there are enough city shelters and safe camping options.
 
UI Tax increases We mentioned last time that California mainly ignored the debt it incurred to pay the enhanced UI benefits during COVID. It turns out California is not alone. Connecticut, Illinois, and New York — all Democratic-led states with budget surpluses — have decided “not to fully repay the federal government for money borrowed to fund unemployment benefits,” according to the Wall Street Journal, “a move that will impose increased charges on businesses to help make up the difference.” What happens next: “If the debts aren’t fully repaid by Nov. 10, as officials in the four states envision, the federal government will start charging $21 per employee annually on all businesses in the states next year. In addition, state taxes on businesses to fund their unemployment programs will increase by varying amounts.” Story



Sinema’s vote critical as Senate Democrats attempt to pass slimmer Build Back Better The Biden White House and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer are negotiating with West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin to pass a slimmed-down version of the failed Build Back Better bill, a sweeping multi-trillion-dollar domestic policy and spending package that collapsed last December. Ariz. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema will determine whether a revised bill gains traction. Story
 
Calling Mulder and Scully The House voted last week to create a secure government system to report UFOs and to compel current and former officials to reveal what they might know about the mysterious phenomena by promising to protect them from reprisal. It was a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act and passed without debate. I’ll post the link if you have something to report.
 
‘A very dangerous situation’ The most advanced category of mass-produced semiconductors — used in smartphones, military technology, and much more — is known as 5 nm. A single company in Taiwan, known as TSMC, makes about 90 percent of them. U.S. factories make none. The situation can potentially cause a national security crisis: If China were to invade Taiwan and cut off exports of semiconductors, the American military would be at risk of being overmatched by its main rival for global supremacy. One vocal opponent of the bill is the Chinese government. Its state media has criticized the idea as “bullying” and part of a “Cold War mentality.” No country’s share of semiconductor manufacturing has recently increased as rapidly as China’s. Story
 
Lawmakers Jet Around the World What exactly do state lawmakers do when they aren’t in Sacramento? A common activity is embarking on trips funded not by taxpayers but by special interests that lobby the Legislature — typically a combination of labor unions, corporations, and trade associations. For example, after finishing the legislative session last year, groups of lawmakers jetted off to Portugal and Maui on trips sponsored by various interest groups. Another delegation of lawmakers went to Iceland this spring. Story
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Top Five Labor Law Developments for June 2022
·        The National Labor Relations Board modified its electronic notice posting requirements for workplaces impacted by COVID-19.
·        The NLRB issued its spring rulemaking agenda, which focuses on the joint-employer status and its Election Protection Rule.
·        The NLRB’s General Counsel (GC) issued a memorandum updating the make-whole remedies that regional offices can seek in settlement agreements, including the cost of baby formula.
·        The NLRB’s Buffalo regional office filed a petition in district court for a nationwide cease and desist order against Starbucks.
·        Workers at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Augusta, Maine, filed an NLRB election petition, trying to become the first unionized location for the restaurant chain.

Madame Ambassador: Republican business executive and former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman will be the Biden administration’s ambassador to Kenya after winning Senate approval. It’s a full-circle moment for Whitman, who lost an expensive contest — much of it her own money — to Democrat Jerry Brown back in 2010. Fast-forward to 2020: Brown had left office as the state’s longest-serving governor, and Whitman had aligned with Democrats by endorsing Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention. That support helped Whitman secure a nomination. She has ironically fared better than Los Angeles Mayor Democrat Eric Garcetti, a top Biden campaign surrogate. Garcetti's India ambassadorship nomination has stalled allegations that the mayor knew of a former prominent aide’s alleged sexual misconduct. Garcetti's parents hired a top lobbying firm to help him secure the nomination. The firm, McGuireWoods Consulting, registered to lobby on behalf of Sukey and Gil Garcetti for “Outreach Related to Confirmation for Ambassadorship Nomination.” [Politico]
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Thursday, July 14, 2022   Is It Time to Update Your Recruiting Strategy?

By Nat Peniston, Vice President of The Contractors Plan (a WECA Industry Partner)

The number one challenge contractors face nationally, by far, is an inability to hire and retain an adequate number of skilled craft workers. While businesses are having problems finding and retaining qualified employees in today's post-COVID-19 economic recovery, the construction labor market has been tightening for years, and contractors are uniquely affected. According to ABC analysis, there is a shortage of over 500,000 skilled workers in the United States. There are various reasons for this labor shortage, but false perceptions of a career in construction are a primary cause. Many Gen Y and Z workers perceive construction as dangerous work, with poor income potential and limited career opportunities.

The fact that these negative perceptions are demonstrably false is not enough;  
successful contractors must intentionally and forcefully dispel them. Fortunately, contractors have many tools at their disposal, but it will take time and effort.

Another factor frequently overlooked is an employee benefits program. Many contractors do not have any employee benefits at all. When it comes to hiring and retaining good employees, benefits work. Why does every Fortune 500 company have a robust benefits offering? In a word, outcomes. Contractors not only compete against other contractors for the next generation of talent, but Amazon, Starbucks, and other leading employers too. These corporate behemoths shower benefits on recruits and offer retirement, medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance plans, hiring bonuses, paid-time-off (PTO), and attractive career advancement opportunities. Contractors who offer these benefit programs will compete more effectively, and these programs do not have to be expensive and hard to administer.

If contractors want to find and hire people with unique talents and vital skillsets, they are going to have to tackle what corporate staffing executives call “talent branding.” Most construction job descriptions haven’t changed in 30 years and possess a “must-have” approach instead of a “we need you and recognize you have a choice” mindset. Take a look at the “Typical Job Description” versus the “Impactful Job Description” examples, which were customized from current job descriptions on Indeed. Which company would you want to work for?

If you have trouble hiring and keeping employees, ask yourself one question: "Am I recruiting and retaining employees the same way contractors did a decade ago?" If so, that's likely a problem. A skilled craft worker can enjoy a life-long career of excellent opportunities for advancement and significant compensation while enjoying exciting challenges using advanced technology while being healthful and uninjured. However, this scenario will only occur if contractors meet employee expectations for training, career advancement, employee benefits, and health and safety.

Written by Nat Peniston, The Contractors Plan
Nat Peniston is vice president of The Contractors Plan, a WECA Industry Partner, and author of The Contractor’s Guide to the Davis-Bacon Act: Essential Knowledge for Bidding and Compliance on Prevailing Wage Jobs. 
Contact Info: (512) 827-5359, npeniston@fbg.com

 
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Thursday, July 14, 2022   Member Contractor Barnum & Celillo Electric Inc. Makes SBJ's Top Employers -- Private Sector List

We love seeing WECA Member Contractors' excellence recognized! Please join us in congratulating Barnum & Celillo Electric Inc. for making Sacramento Business Journal's Top Employers - Private Sector List!

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Thursday, July 14, 2022   WECA Makes First Appearance on Sacramento Business Journal's Top Business Advocacy Groups List

WECA made its first appearance this year on the Sacramento Business Journal's Top Business Advocacy Groups List.

WECA focuses exclusively on the needs of electrical and low voltage contractors and their employees, and we're proud to represent thousands of electricians and low voltage technicians and hundreds of contractors across the West.

Our members believe that fair and open competition is the key to a robust and growing economy. WECA Advocacy is always hard at work to protect the rights of merit shop business owners and their employees.

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Thursday, July 14, 2022   WECA Member Contractors: The 2022 Labor Law Book Is In Your Mailboxes Now!



WECA Member Contractors, check your mailboxes: your complimentary copy, which is one of your annual member benefits, should have arrived!

The 2022 edition of WECA's "Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors" is here. It's an important reference guide -- for members, the industry, and the general public -- to the latest new and amended laws that could affect your business.

Topics covered in this publication include:
  • Wage and Hour laws
  • Apprenticeship regulations
  • Prevailing Wage laws
  • Electrician Certification
  • Electric Vehicle Charging
  • And more!
Not yet a WECA Member Contractor? Get your copy of the 2022 edition of "Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors" on Amazon!
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Thursday, July 14, 2022   Behind the Scenes: WECA Staff Convene at Long-Awaited In-Person TopGolf Team Building Event

WECA staff from across California and Arizona were finally able to get together for some in-person fun at TopGolf in Roseville, CA on July 7. Staff enjoyed an afternoon of competitive but good-natured golf and delicious food and drinks. Employees participated in two raffles as well, and WECA Executive Director and CEO Terry Seabury rounded out the afternoon with a rousing speech of gratitude that focused on our triumphs over the past two years, and a mini ice-breaker session where new and newer employees introduced themselves to the greater team. It was wonderful to finally get everyone together, and reflect on the diligent individuals that contribute to WECA's continued success serving electrical and low voltage contractors and their employees in the West.



Instructors Neil Pesarillo (left) and Jaron Stroud (right) get a couple of good practice shots in.



Apprentice Training, IT, and Facilities Director Don Black (left), Instructor Randy Rivera (middle), and Workforce Development Assistant Kierra Day (right) smile for the camera as they cheer on their teammates.



Human Resources Generalist Kim Delaney (left), Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan (middle), and Instructor John Arias (right) hang out while taking a break from golfing.



Workforce Development Specialist Jeanette Santos (left) and Education Technology Specialist Maris Kaplan (right) keep cool in the shade.



All together now! From left to right: Don Black and Randy Rivera join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs, Membership Director Bob Bartlett, Membership Manager Jeff Van de Moere, and Client Services ET/CE Specialist Ralph Williams for an impromptu picture.



And last, but not least, WECA Executive Director and CEO Terry Seabury (left) takes a moment to reflect on the competition with ET/CE Online Education Manager Galen Eckert (right).
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Thursday, July 14, 2022   It's Time to Come Together to Celebrate the WECA Graduating Classes of 2022!

Support WECA Graduates by Sponsoring Their Graduation Events.



Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Graduating Classes of 2022!


Our Commercial Electrical, Residential Electrical, and Low Voltage Apprentices as well as Electrician Trainees in our Get Wired program in the Class of 2022 have successfully completed their education with WECA!

Help us honor their achievement with your sponsorship of their graduation events on:
  • Saturday, August 27, 2022 at Falkner Winery (40620 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591) from 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM for Southern California graduates.
  • Saturday, September 17, 2022 at WECA California Headquarters (3695 Bleckely St., Rancho Cordova, CA 95655) from 4 PM - 7:30 PM for Northern California graduates.
Help make their graduation memorable--your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend either graduation event, which is especially meaningful for grads if you're their contractor. Plus, you can meet WECA instructors and staff, other member contractors, and electrical industry supporters as well. Sponsorship packages at different levels may include tickets to attend one or both graduations, ads in the graduation program, recognition of your sponsorship during the ceremony, mention of your support on our website, in our newsletters, and over social media.   

Please consider the sponsorship opportunities at the link below, and thank you for your support of electrical and low voltage education!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team

Reserve your sponsorship package
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Thursday, July 14, 2022   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors?

*COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards: What Employers Need to Know About the December 16 (2021) Standards
Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

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


Thursday, July 7, 2022   WECA Political Update July 7, 2022

A Troubling Trend for Public Works in California Until recently, the State Building and Construction Trades Council required authors of prevailing wage legislation to incorporate one or more of the following “boilerplate” provisions:

·        A mandate for a Skilled and Trained Workforce. But if a PLA is in place, the contractor is not required to report monthly of its compliance, and instead of the $10,000 per month penalties levied by DLSE, an arbitration alternative to solve the issue,
·        A waiver for contractors to keep and submit certified payroll records,
·        A prohibition of DLSE enforcement wage and hour violations on PLA projects,
·        A definition of “safe contractor” that includes all union contractors, regardless of their experience or safety record,
·        And a general requirement to pay prevailing wages, even on 100% private work.

However, in 2021, Assembly Member Burke – who authored AB 680 – started a trend when she renounced her elected position and abruptly quit her job on January 31, citing the “challenges of a post-COVID-19 landscape and wanting to spend more time with her family” and become a lobbyist. Burke announced via Twitter that she joined Axiom Advisors, “a full-service government affairs firm that provides strategic consulting to clients in Sacramento and throughout California, as a principal consultant.” Axiom is the brainchild of Jason Kinney. CalMatters noted after the 2018 election, referring to Kinney, “As the revolving door turns, a Capitol fixer is poised to ascend with Gavin Newsom—and legal weed.”

But back to the trend. AB 680 was the first bill to link State funds to a PLA. AB 680 established the California Jobs Plan Act of 2021, which requires the State Air Resources Board (CARB) to work with the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) to update, by July 1, 2025, the funding guidelines for administering agencies to ensure that all applicants to grant programs funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) meet fair and responsible employer standards and provide inclusive procurement policies. So, what did the State Legislature and Gavin Newsom define as “inclusive?” First, proponents shall provide evidence of a community workforce agreement for construction projects over one million dollars ($1,000,000) in funding. The bill defines a “community workforce agreement” as a project labor agreement that includes a targeted hire plan.

The passage of AB 680 and its enactment established that the Democratic leadership in California had zero concern about linking PLAs to state funding. As a result, in 2022, language similar to that in AB 680 is showing up in many bills:

·        AB 1161 (Garcia, Eduardo-D) Electricity: eligible renewable energy and zero-carbon resources: state agencies: procurement. Requires the Department of Water Resources to only purchase power from projects constructed using project labor agreements.
·        AB 2419 (Bryan-D) Environmental justice: federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Justice40 Advisory Committee. For a construction project that will cost $5,000,000 or more, IIJA funds may be allocated only if the construction project will be performed under a PLA.
·        SB 22 (Glazer-D) Education finance: school facilities: Public Preschool, K–12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2022. It requires the Department of General Services to prioritize projects for funding, including using a project labor agreement (PLA).
·        SB 162 Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review establishes the Community Economic Resilience Fund Program, administered by the Workforce Services Branch at the Employment Development Department. The program shall be overseen by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Office of Planning and Research, and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development referred to as the Inter-Agency Leadership Team. Projects funded by CERF must “support labor standards where applicable, such as prevailing wage, project labor agreements, or community workforce agreements.”
·        SB 1020 (Laird-D) Clean Energy, Jobs, and Affordability Act of 2022. This bill establishes interim targets to reach SB 100 clean energy goals and requires state agencies to purchase 100 percent zero-carbon electricity by 2030 to serve their load. Requires new procurement commitments made on behalf of a state agency to be constructed with contractors using multi-craft project labor agreements. Requires new procurements made for the State Water Project after February 1, 2022, to use multi-craft project labor agreements for construction.
·        SB 1105 (Hueso-D) San Diego Regional Equitable and Environmentally Friendly Affordable Housing Agency. Creates the San Diego Regional Equitable and Environmentally Friendly Affordable Housing Finance Agency and grants it the authority to impose taxes and fees. The bill would also require the agency to execute a PLA with the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council and the San Diego Housing Federation before placing a measure on the ballot to raise revenue for the agency.

From one bill in 2021 to six in 2022 is a troubling trend!
 
Why Does IBEW Hate Rooftop Solar? Our brothers and sisters at the IBEW are trying their best to put proverbial nails into the coffin of rooftop solar. Why and how?

First is their long-term effort to prohibit C-46 solar contractors from installing anything bigger than the rough equivalent of a “D cell” battery in any rooftop PV they install. They want all C-46 to become C-10 and hire only certified electricians. While many of you C-10s will agree this idea makes sense, it is another example of how the IBEW controls the industry – and how the government is a willing contributor. CSLB recently decided to open the regulatory process to cap the size of BESS a C-46 can install.

Second, for years IBEW has led an effort to revise the tariff for net-energy metering (NEM), which would drastically cut the payments rooftop solar owners receive from utilities for the energy they feed back into the system.

Third, and perhaps best is AB 2143 (Carrillo), which will require that prevailing wage be paid on renewable energy installation projects with a generating capacity of more than 15 kilowatts (kWs) and which receive service under an electric utility’s NEM tariff. The bill's sponsors, the California State Association of Electrical Workers and the Coalition of California Utility Employees, explained in their support letter that “AB 2143 addresses two critical issues surrounding the rooftop solar. First, it addresses the exclusion of lower-income communities from participating in rooftop solar.” (So, assuming a PW requirement raises the cost of rooftop solar, higher costs improve things for “lower-income communities”!) Second, “AB 2143 would require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to submit an annual report to the Legislature documenting the progress of rooftop solar deployment by zip code and census track to fix rooftop solar inequities in communities facing the largest cost shifts.” Ah, that explains it!

Now, the why. IBEW represents both the employee electricians of signatory C-10 contractors AND utility employees! The union C-10s will, arguably, already be paying PW as part of the CBA, so it won’t make them any less competitive (and perhaps more competitive if every installer is now paying PW) and, more importantly, if this makes rooftop PV unaffordable, utilities will be left as the only supplier of solar power – a double win for IBEW.

Concerns about the impact on clean energy didn’t stop Democrats Dave Cortese, Maria Elena Durazo, and Josh Newman from passing the bill out of committee but Democrat (and frequent target of construction union animosity Scott Wiener) joined the only Republican on the Labor Committee, Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh, in voting no. After that, the bill goes to the Appropriations Committee, then to the floor in August.
 
U.I. Loan California will pay down a fraction of its U.I. debt - only $1 billion over two years – toward the $17.8-billion federal loan that the state used to fill a hole left by a surge in unemployment claims during the worst of the pandemic. This is despite an almost $100 billion windfall budget surplus in 2021-22! “Why so little when the State could have paid all the debt it incurred with the budget surplus?”, you ask. A power play of public employee unions. They want to blow open the Jarvis-Gann Limit (Prop 13) and expect influential (and wealthy) groups, the realtors, the apartment owners, and other business groups to oppose it. Unions will bargain with these groups to remove or soften their opposition, or the unions will prohibit (through their control of Democrats) the State from repaying the loan, which will trigger massive increases in U.I. premiums on California employers. These premium jumps are required when a state borrows money but chooses not to repay it.
 
City of Phoenix forgoes more water from Lake Mead due to declining levels. The city of Phoenix said Friday that it would forfeit delivery of an additional 14,000 acre-feet, or 4.5 billion gallons, of Colorado River water to shore up Lake Mead. Story
 
Fresno lawmakers back off hefty pay raises: This proposal would reorient how Fresno's City Council is paid, tying their salaries to the hefty compensation offered to Fresno County Superior Court judges and Fresno County Supervisors isn't going to happen. Instead, lawmakers agreed to a more modest, scaled pay bump over the next three years to bring their pay closer to the city councils of the state's largest cities. The pay proposal, introduced amid Fresno's oft-contentious budget process, overshadowed record-spending for the fiscal year 2022-2023.
 
How many U.S. House incumbents lost re-election on June 28?

Election season is in full swing, and three U.S. House primaries incumbents — one Democrat and two Republicans — lost. Research suggests that the total number of incumbents defeated so far in 2022 is above the average decade. How many U.S. House incumbents lost in primaries, on average, between 2012 and 2020? 7? 14? 9? 4? I'll discuss the answer in a future bulletin.

And if things were not bad enough, Scientists predict a ketchup shortage by 2050. Scientists have a new concern about climate change... running out of ketchup. Story

Fifth Circuit Rules that COVID-19 Pandemic Did Not Trigger the “Natural Disaster” Exception to WARN Notice Requirements In the first such decision from a federal appellate court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled the COVID-19 pandemic is not a “natural disaster” that exempts employers from providing advance notice of mass layoffs and plant closures under the WARN Act. The court also opined that the natural-disaster exception requires proof of proximate causation, not but-for causation. Story

Unions protest $600M De Niro NYC Studio Project New York City union chapters took a united stance against Robert De Niro’s $600 million movie studio project on the Astoria waterfront that has broken ground and will primarily use non-union labor. The unions — including Sheet Metal Workers Local 28, Steamfitters Local 638, and Laborers’ Local 79 — protested the project on June 17, criticizing the actor for making outspoken pro-union comments publicly, but choosing to use non-union labor to build his Wildflower Studios building. Story

Transportation, Labor, Business, Environmental Groups Object to Biden Gas Tax Holiday Proposal; But At-Risk Democratic Members of Congress Applaud. Biden’s “gimmick” (Mitch McConnell’s words, not mine) has already received pushback from both sides of the aisle and prominent non-governmental organizations. In a letter sent to the White House, the Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition and the Transportation Construction Coalition expressed their opposition as well. “Suspending the gas tax will not provide meaningful relief for consumers — it will instead subsidize the largest and most profitable industry on the planet,” the National Association of City Transportation Officials said in an emailed statement. Okay, I don’t have any photo of at-risk Democrats (or anyone, for that matter) applauding. Story

House Appropriations Subcommittee Advances Labor Spending Bill The House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee approved a bill funding the Labor Department for fiscal year 2023. Some of the labor policy provisions include a prohibition on the privatization of job search functions offered through the employment service system and a block on Trump-era apprenticeship programs overseen by the private sector. In addition, the measure would appropriate $319 million to the National Labor Relations Board — including $1 million to create a system for the agency to hold union elections electronically, a years-long push by Democrats. It would also spend $3.2 billion on unemployment insurance, which matches the White House’s request of $334 million more than fiscal year 2022. That does not include additional contingency funding to states if benefit claims spike. Lawmakers advanced the legislation by voice vote. But Republicans made clear they did not support the measure, which subcommittee ranking member Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said contained “poison-pill policy riders” that move the U.S. “toward a leftist agenda that is out of step with the American people.” Packaged alongside spending for the Education and Health and Human Services departments, the legislation proposes $15 billion in discretionary funds for DOL — a boost of $1.9 billion above what it had in fiscal year 2022 and $125 million more than President Joe Biden requested. That’s enough for sizable increases for the Employment and Training Administration ($1.3 billion more than fiscal year 2022) and OSHA ($100 million more than fiscal year 2022), among other agencies.

November Ballot

The Secretary of State's Office certified five initiatives for the November ballot recently, in addition to SCA 10, the Legislature's abortion constitutional amendment, which will appear on the ballot as Proposition 1 (specified by the passage of the SB 131 budget trailer bill), and the flavored tobacco referendum. Californians will not vote in November on raising the state's minimum wage to $18 an hour after a proposed ballot initiative fell just short of the ballot. Counties did not finish certifying that the measure had enough signatures before a June 30 deadline. The miss removes a high-profile — and likely expensive – fight from the ballot chessboard.

Legislative Calendar:

·        July 1 Summer Recess begins upon adjournment, provided Budget Bill has been passed
·        July 4 Independence Day / State holiday
·        Aug. 1 Legislature reconvenes from Summer Recess
·        Aug. 12 Last Day for fiscal committees to meet and report bills to the Floor
·        Aug. 15 - 31 Floor Session only. No committees, other than conference and Rules, may meet for any purpose
·        Aug. 25 Last Day to amend bills on the Floor
·        Aug. 31 Last Day for each house to pass bills
·        Final Recess begins at end of this day's session

And finally, a note from our friend and frequent collaborator, Eric Christen at CFEC.

Much is happening on the CEQA reform front:

ICON Lawsuit Against Union Extortion Notches Another Victory! In April, the ICON Company in Los Angeles had an appeals court unanimously reverse a lower court's decision on their project. Labor unions had used greenmail on the project to force ICON into “agreeing” to a Project Labor Agreement (PLA). This was great news as ICON was now back to being fully entitled. BUT, then the unions filed a petition for review with the State Supreme Court. Ten amicus briefs were filed on the unions’ behalf requesting the review, including one from California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta! Well, the Supreme Court just denied their petition for review, which means that the published opinion is now and forever citable. ICON’s entitlements have been fully reinstated, and they should have smooth sailing in federal court with their antitrust case. Great news!

San Francisco Chronicle Opinion Piece Regarding Union CEQA Abuse: If you have not had a chance to read this op-ed by Robert Selna that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday regarding CEQA abuse by big labor special interests, here it is: Union CEQA Abuse Must Stop. Mr. Selna does an excellent job highlighting what we have been discussing and how reform is needed – now.
 
California Court Decries CEQA Abuse: In its stunning opinion delivered on May 12 in Tiburon Open Space Committee v. County of Marin, the First District of the California Court of Appeal upheld Marin County's approval of a 43-unit residential project following decades of "not in my backyard" (NIMBY) obstruction, governmental recalcitrance, and multiple court challenges. In so holding, the Court zealously denounced "official hostility" from "two levels of local government" and NIMBY litigation tactics aimed at preventing the construction of much-needed housing during a statewide housing crisis. The ultimate impact of the Tiburon Open Space Committee remains to be seen, but it has the potential to cast a long shadow. As acknowledged by the Court, "CEQA lawsuit abuse is worsening California's housing crisis. … Something is very wrong with this picture." Hopefully, the Court's forceful affirmation that CEQA is subordinate to state laws limiting the discretionary authority of local agencies to deny or pare the density of compliant housing projects will reduce opportunities to leverage CEQA as an "instrument for the oppression and delay" that has "become its own reward for project opponents." After all, as this important case makes clear, "CEQA is not meant to cause paralysis." Read the story here
 
Next Steps:
 
If your company is interested in CEQA reform and you want to join the next Zoom meeting, contact Eric Christen, Executive Director, Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction.
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Thursday, June 30, 2022   GetWired 103: Continuation of Lighting Branch Circuits & Introduction to Special Purpose Outlets

Introducing the next self-paced online option for our GetWired Electrician Trainee Program series: GetWired 103: Continuation of Lighting Branch Circuits & Introduction to Special Purpose Outlets. Your employees can take it on their own time, at their own pace!



WECA is excited to announce another way students can take GetWired 103, the third class in WECA's Path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate!

We've long offered GetWired 103 as an online-led instructor course. And we still do!

But for students who would prefer to take this course at their own pace, on their own time, we're now offering a fully self-paced online option, just like we've been offering for GetWired 101 since last fall! Students who might prefer this format include:
  • Students with job, childcare, or other obligations preventing them from taking the instructor-led scheduled course in the evenings
  • Students who would benefit from being able to review the material at a slower pace, such as students for whom English is a second language
  • Students who just prefer to work on the coursework at times when it best works for them
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WECA's new GetWired 103 Self-Paced Option is an entirely online, self-paced alternative version of our GetWired 103 course which focuses on installing lighting branch-circuits in dwelling units while exploring NEC requirements for safe installations and standard industry practices. Core competencies include:
  • Conduction in liquid and gases
  • Batteries and other sources of electricity
  • Inrush current, voltage drop and use of Ohm’s Law in calculating basic measurements
  • Sizing junction boxes, box fill and conduit layout
  • Water heater, water pump circuit calculations
  • Calculate overcurrent protection
  • Special purpose outlets
  • NEMA receptacle plug configuration
  • Selection of wiring devices
  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309
This course expands your employees' electrical skills and knowledge in the areas listed above through a series of online, interactive lesson, lab, and practice activities.

If all of this sounds like it would work for your employees,
encourage them to enroll in GetWired 103 Self-Paced Online today!

Think your employees would prefer being able to ask an instructor questions and learn with other students?
Encourage them to enroll in an upcoming instance of the original, online evening instructor-led GetWired 103 here!

 
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Thursday, June 30, 2022   Stay safe on the jobsite with OSHA's Prevent Heat Illness at Work flyer.



Summer is here, and so are heat waves.

Keep yourself and your employees safe on the jobsite by refreshing your heat illness prevention knowledge with OSHA's Prevent Heat Illness at Work flyer.

Stay safe, cool, and hydrated on the jobsite, everyone!
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Thursday, June 30, 2022   Reach out to the next generation of the electrical workforce at SDUSD's Construction Expo July 13

San Diego Member Contractors: reach out to the next generation of the electrical workforce at the San Diego Unified School District's Construction Expo on July 13!



Register to attend here!
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Thursday, June 30, 2022   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors?

*COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards: What Employers Need to Know About the December 16 (2021) Standards
Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety Plan (updated 12-21-20)
CA DIR Div. of Occupational Safety & Health: COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
* CA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Construction
*  COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening
COVID Situation Flow Diagram Company Template
COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Construction
WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
 * Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Supplemental Toolbox Talks COVID-19
Coronavirus Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 in Construction Workplace
COVID-19 Safety Meeting Outlines
COVID-19 Toolbox Talks for Subs
Fact Sheet for Pandemics
Marek Brother Toolbox Talk
COVID-19 Action Plan
Pandemic Preparedness - Coronavirus
Coronavirus - Workplace, School and Home Guidance
COVID-19 Tool Cleaning Protocols
COVID-19 Print Resources
COVID-19 Fact Sheet
United States Department of Labor: COVID-19
CDC COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart
CALPASC HR 6201 Guidance
EDD Coronavirus Resources for WECA Community
Contractors State License Board Encourages Licensees to Donate PPE During COVID-19 Emergency
*  WECA Special Update Helping to Clarify Executive Order N-33-20 for California Electrical Contractors
* COVID-19 Federal Paid Leaves Explained
 * Get Your Editable Essential Work Permission Slips for Yourself and Your Employees Here
Show the Industry How WECA Contractors Lead in Best Practices for Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
WECA Special Update 4-1-20: New Carpooling and Facemask Recommendations; Sonoma County Joins In On New Bay Area Restrictions; New Requirements in Los Angeles for Comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan; Two New Guides to CARES Act from the U.S. Chamber 
Coronavirus: Read the Yuba County and Sutter County Stay-at-Home Orders, issued April 7, 2020
*  OSHA's "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" and Other Resources; Includes Spanish Versions to Help You Reach All Employees

These, and more, plus class scheduling updates for your apprentices and students, are always available on WECA's COVID-19 Advisory Page.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2022   Employee Spotlight: Bob Bartlett, Membership Director, celebrates 20 years with WECA!



Bob Bartlett – WECA’s diligent and enthusiastic Membership Director, who celebrated his 20th working anniversary with WECA this June – is a huge driver of WECA’s continued success and expansion across the American West.

When Bob joined the team in 2002, WECA was on the precipice of change and contending with significant challenges spurred by unions and the California Apprenticeship Council.

“Times were difficult and challenging for a span of about eight years because the unions and the California Apprenticeship Council were collaborating to disenfranchise WECA’s ability to offer an apprenticeship program,” says Bob. “WECA rose to each challenge with a strong resistance and fought back legally, intelligently, and strategically to finally prove that we do indeed deserve the right to offer an exceptional apprenticeship program.”

WECA persevered and emerged as the victor, thanks to the concerted efforts of WECA’s Board of Directors and leadership team. Bob, however, muses that “WECA might never have built the ‘world-class’ curriculum and programs being offered today” had it not been for these challenges.

The challenges have been plenty – but Bob has risen to each of them with his cheerful tenacity.

“Initially, my primary role was strictly to build statewide membership. As membership numbers grew throughout the years, the ‘boss’ [Terry Seabury, WECA’s Executive Director and CEO] enthusiastically found more and more non-member, ancillary ‘fun’ projects for me to do,” says Bob. “Eventually, anything that touched membership within the next decade was assigned to me. After hiring and training the ‘new guy’ [Jeff van de Moere, WECA’s Membership Manager in California], I was able to finally reassign those projects … only to pack up and move to Phoenix to face my current challenge, which is to build statewide membership in Arizona. Beyond membership, a smattering of my additional responsibilities in Phoenix includes indenturing apprentices, attending political events and socializing with Richard’s [WECA Government Affairs advocate Richard Markuson] political cohorts, attending outreach events at high schools, and doing whatever is possible to assist Keith [Smart, Apprenticeship Manager and Instructor] in managing the Phoenix facility,” says Bob.

Though Bob has quite the workload in Phoenix, we cannot imagine having anyone better to help build the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program in Arizona. And knowing Bob, he’s just getting started – his foremost goal in Arizona is to accomplish “increasing Arizona membership sufficiently, so that, financially, it can stand on its own [as an entity].”

Bob continues, saying that the “Electrical industry is interesting, and every day offers unique challenges. I enjoy and thrive on interfacing with the contractors and convincing them that their membership will indeed elevate their prestige and profitability. Every new member that comes on board, whether I signed them up or someone else did, is a sign that WECA is indeed a hot commodity, and we should all take pride in that.”

In his personal time, Bob enjoys staying active, working out, and eating a healthy diet, among other pursuits.

“Hiking is my number one thrill. Then comes exercising with weights or machines, then riding my bike. Watching sports like football and baseball is enjoyable when the bod needs a rest. And, sharing laughs and telling stories regarding our younger years with my long-time fraternity brothers and recently with my new neighbors never gets old.”

In reflecting upon his two decades with WECA, Bob says that “Just about everyone I have worked with at WECA deserves recognition for helping me thrive, but a couple of names that float to the top are Terry, Richard, Don, Michelle, and Jeff.”

Bob, we cannot thank you enough for your twenty years of excellence at WECA. WECA would not be as successful or dynamic as it is today without your guidance and perseverance. Cheers to twenty years – but we all know you’re just getting started! 
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