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2017 Valedictorian and Salutatorian Graduate Spotlight: Matous Horak, Ryan Legg, Julio Mendoza, and Ziad Ben Houcine

Meet some of the WECA Class of 2017 All-Stars

Matous, hard at work in a WECA NorCal Training Facility Lab

Matous Horak

WECA Northern California Commercial Program Salutatorian

Matous Horak recently graduated from the WECA Northern California Commercial Program as the Salutatorian--earning the second highest GPA in his class! He worked for WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric Corporation of majority of his apprenticeship, and continues to do so now. Matous enjoys his work with Berg, where he is surrounded by a great team and opportunities for advancement. He adds, "I would like to thank Berg for putting their trust in me...It's been a life-changing opportunity and I enjoyed every moment of it." He recommends that new and continuing apprentices, "stay motivated and keep a good attitude; it goes a long way."

Matous is particularly proud of working on the electrical substation at Mule Creek Prison, where he was able to follow the project from start to finish, learning about medium and high voltage, as well as power generation. He states, "it was really empowering to see the final outcome when we finished everything and sent the power down the stream to feed the new prison."


Ryan Legg, WECA 2017 Southern California Low Voltage Program Valedictorian

Ryan Legg

WECA Southern California Low Voltage Program Valedictorian

Ryan Legg is the Valedictorian of WECA's Southern California Low Voltage Program--earning the highest grade in the 2017 graduating SoCal Low Voltage class! Ryan has chosen to continue his career as a lead Journeyman with WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric Corporation. He asked to thank Bergelectric and WECA for providing him with the means to achieve his academic goals: "It means a lot to have my employer and school believe in me and give me more confidence in myself." During his apprenticeship, Ryan worked on fire alarms, card access and security systems for the SoCal Youth Rehabilitation center in Hemet, CA. He says, "I was able to work on that project from start to finish--and the job was a success. It felt great to be a part of a crew that worked well together!"

He has one piece of advice for new and continuing students: "Invest in yourself. Pursue certifications and higher education beyond what you learn in class. The time you spend educating yourself is always worth your time and effort."


Julio Mendoza in WECA's NorCal Low Voltage Lab

Julio Mendoza

WECA Northern California Low Voltage Program Valedictorian

Meet Julio Mendoza, WECA's Northern California Low Voltage Program Valedictorian! As if earning the highest grade in the 2017 graduating NorCal Low Voltage class wasn't enough, since graduating he has become the new head foreman for a new division of WECA Member Contractor 3D Datacom. Julio is excited to continue to learn and grow at 3D Datacom, stating, "I would just like to thank them for the opportunities they have give me and will be able to give me."

Julio recently completed a year-long project at UC Santa Cruz involving two multi-story building for their engineering department, and other buildings on campus. He says that it was one of the most challenging jobs he has worked on, adding, "There were labs, classrooms, offices, as well as shops that were all wired up for their new network. We ran over a million feet of Cat 6/6a cabling as well as a lot of fiber optic cabling for their backbone."

When asked if he had any words of wisdom to pass on to current or prospective students, Julio said: "everything that they put into WECA is what they're going to get out of it."


Ziad Ben Houcine at WECA's Riverside Training Facility

Ziad Ben Houcine

WECA Southern California Commercial Program Valedictorian

Ziad graduates from WECA's Southern California Commercial Program as the Valedictorian--earning the highest grade in the 2017 graduating SoCal Commercial class. Following graduation, Ziad plans to continue his work with WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric as a Journeyman. The earn-while-you-learn structure of apprenticeship was what attracted Ziad to WECA's Low Voltage program, adding that students should, "learn as much as [they] can while in the classroom, so that [they] continue to build on this knowledge while working." He adds, "I want to thank my instructor Keith Smart for his positive and uplifting energy. WECA truly gives you everything you need to succeed."

Ziad has been able to travel for different jobs with Helix during his apprenticeship, even moving with his family to San Luis Obispo for over a year--where he worked on his most memorable project.


Our heartfelt congratulations to these WECA all-stars, as well as to all of WECA's 2017 graduates across California--we wish you the very best in your future endeavours!


Have these graduates gotten you interested in becoming an Apprentice too? Learn more about WECA's Apprenticeship Program and how to apply HERE