Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Was One for the Books!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

WECA Northern California Open House at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility

WECA hosted our Northern California National Apprenticeship Week open house at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility on Nov. 15!

The open house drew electrical and low voltage apprenticeship applicant hopefuls as well as attendees from select organizations, schools, and programs.

"Everyone was friendly and social with each other," says Jeanette Santos, Workforce Development Specialist. "And we got a lot of feedback from instructor John Arias' tour -- everyone noticed how much passion he has for his field." Attendees received the opportunity to participate in hands-on electrical demonstrations with John during the tour.

Thank you for coming, Sacramento and Rancho Cordova! We appreciate your enthusiasm, and are excited to help you succeed in the electrical and low voltage fields soon!


WECA Arizona Open House at our Phoenix training facility

On Nov. 16, WECA hosted our Arizona National Apprenticeship Week open house at our Phoenix training facility!

Attendees included representatives from Arizona state agencies, prospective WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship applicants, WECA Industry Partners, instructors from a local high school pre-apprenticeship program, and current WECA apprentices.

Bob Bartlett, Membership Director, said that the current WECA apprentices were on hand to share their experiences at WECA in comparison to their previous electrical apprenticeship program.

"They answered questions regarding how good the WECA program is, and why the other programs did not [positively] compare to ours," says Bob.

Keith Smart, Apprenticeship Manager and instructor, gave attendees a thorough presentation via our Smart Board and touched upon the subject matter taught per apprenticeship program year. A WECA National Apprenticeship week video featuring WECA apprenticeship graduate, professional motorcycle racer, and wildfire fighter Jayson Uribe was also shown, and greatly enjoyed by the attendees. Have a watch here:

Jayson Uribe, WECA Electrical Apprenticeship Grad for 2022 National Apprenticeship Week

Professional Motorcycle Racer. Wildfire Fighter. WECA Electrical Apprenticeship Grad. Is there anything Jayson Uribe can't do? Get to know this real-life hero, this National Apprenticeship Week 2022.


WECA Southern California Open House at our San Diego training facility

And last, but not least, WECA hosted our Southern California National Apprenticeship Week open house at our San Diego training facility on Nov. 16!

Jeff Van de Moere, Membership Manager, says that the diverse mix of attendees -- existing WECA Electrician Trainees, WECA Apprenticeship program applicants, and people new to but curious about pursuing careers in the electrical and low voltage industries -- peppered himself and instructor Neil Pesarillo with questions throughout the presentation and tour.

Thank you for coming, San Diego! We can't wait to see you in our labs and classrooms soon!


Terry Travis Jr.

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

“For as long as human beings walk the earth, we will continually use electricity. Those that understand and know how to harness the power of electricity will always be wanted and needed,” says Commercial Electrical Apprentice Terry Travis, Jr.

Electricians are the backbone of today’s modern society, and as such, will always be in demand. But being an electrician wasn’t on Terry’s radar until a family friend recommended that he apply for an apprenticeship with the union. But despite applying, Terry never heard back – so he then began WECA’s Electrician Trainee program on the recommendation of a church elder.

While enrolled as an Electrician Trainee, Terry sent his resume to ten WECA Member Contractors in hopes of being hired for eventual apprenticeship sponsorship. Terry’s tenacity paid off when WECA Member Contractor Alessandro Electric Inc. hired Terry as a material handler. After six months, Alessandro sponsored his Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship with WECA – an event that drastically altered and determined the course of Terry’s life.

“Becoming an apprentice has given me the power to change my world,” says Terry. “It has given me the ability to create stability for myself and my family. When I was a child and young adult, I went through periods of homelessness – I have slept in cars, lived in motels, and ridden public transportation all night because I had nowhere else to go. That is no longer the case or reality in my life – I own a home and am the first person in my family to do so. My wife and children will never struggle like I did. I thank God that I have become an electrician. The apprenticeship has provided me the opportunity to learn a skill that will always be in demand,” says Terry.

Though tenacious and determined, Terry is also humble. In his continual pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement, Terry also credits WECA and his apprenticeship instructors – James Hall, Lakeal Morris, and Zack Wallace – with “providing me with the resources to become the best electrician I can be.”

Terry looks forward to every class because it provides him the chance to grow in knowledge and understanding – due in large part to his instructors.

“The instructors at WECA are some great individuals … after every class, I feel that I have leveled up and am ready to apply what I was taught. James is very knowledgeable about the NEC, and he has helped me to understand it much better. I also love the analogies Lakeal uses to relate and show the connection between electricity and life. And thanks to Zack, I have a much better understanding of how to read and make sense of blueprints,” says Terry.

However, WECA’s instructors aren’t the only ones full of wisdom. Terry also has some great wisdom to impart, himself.

“Humility comes before honor, and persistence and determination alone are omnipotent,” says Terry. “Being an apprentice is a humbling position; there are so many things you do not know, and you will not find out that you do not know those things until you are in that situation. As an apprentice, you are constantly learning and the best way to learn is to heed the advice of those that have been where you are. Being teachable has led to my success as an apprentice and I encourage all apprentices to practice humility.”

Terry, thank you for choosing to pursue a Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship with WECA. We are humbled to play such an instrumental role in your life, and know that your tenacity, humility, and talent will take you far in life.


Alec Briseno

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

One thing that a lot of our apprentices have in common is being mechanically inclined since they were a kid, or having been exposed to the construction industry from a young age. Alec Briseno, a Commercial Electrical Apprentice studying at WECA’s Rancho Cordova training facility, is no different.

“I have been mechanically inclined from a young age,” says Alec. “My dad had his own industrial shop that repaired appliances and offered other parts to local vendors. The mechanics of it was very simple to me, but one thing that challenged me was how a single-phase system or a three-phase system worked on the motors. I felt like it really grabbed my interest in a way that nothing else could.”

As an adult, Alec followed up on that passion by joining up with WECA Member Contractor Reyff Electric.

“I was referred to WECA by Reyff Electric and after doing some research, I figured it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. It’s a complete setup for success and what you put in is what you will get out [of it]”, says Alec. “I was job-hopping before and not sure what I was going to do, or what was interesting to me. The electrical trade and the people at Reyff Electric have inspired me to push through hard times because there is a brighter future ahead.”

In his apprenticeship, Alec enjoys having the opportunity to work on commercial jobs and seeing everything that goes into getting the job done.

“Communication, ability to work with a team, and helping yourself at 100 percent is what’s important on a job. These traits have allowed me to challenge myself every day,” says Alec.

Alec also cites instructor Jimmie Slemp as being another positive influence on his apprenticeship.

“So far, my favorite instructor has been Jimmie,” says Alec. “With his years of experience and knowledge of the trade, he can teach and answer questions with complete honesty. One thing that has always stood out to me was that he can teach apprentices from just his field experience alone.”

Though Alec is enjoying the here and now, he also looks to the future with optimism and implores his fellow apprentices to do the same.

“Keep pushing and challenging yourself every day,” says Alec. “Those challenges are what’s going to make you better for yourself and your crew.”

Those are great words of wisdom, Alec! We’re glad that you followed your passions and turned them into a career, and are excited to see where your passion, hard work, and dedication take you in the future!