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Apprenticeship News + Events

Wednesday, June 19, 2019   An Evening to Remember: Congratulations to the Northern California Graduating Class of 2019!

2019 Northern California Graduation Highlights
 
WECA graduations do not mark beginnings, nor ends. Rather, they are exciting milestones on already distinguished journeys.

And WECA's Northern California graduation ceremony - held at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters on Saturday, June 8th - was no different. The halls of WECA bustled with graduates and their loved ones and reverberated with love and support.
 
"I was glad to see so many family and friends at the graduation," said Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and graduation emcee. "Graduating from these programs is not easy, so to have that continued support from your loved ones is important."

WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, Wendy Flanagan, concurred.

"I love seeing everyone's family and friends here. They are just as much the driving force behind a graduate's success as the graduate themselves," Flanagan said.

The evening began with a lively cocktail hour featuring delicious appetizers from Hannibal's Catering and drinks poured by WECA's Curtis Hicks and Audra Jamieson, and then segued into a heartfelt ceremony emceed by Slemp.

Highlights of the graduation ceremony included:
  • Spotlights on WECA member contractors who were contributing sponsors to the graduation celebration, as well as special guests like Chris Nelson of Bergelectric, Jay Taylor of Vasko Electric, and Nora Carlton from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship
  • An inspiring speech from Windell Pascascio, Jr. - alumni of the WECA Class of 2013, and current WECA member contractor
  • Presentation of awards to the 20 graduating apprentices who completed their entire Apprenticeship while maintaining all of their discipline points
  • Presentation of diplomas by apprenticeship instructors Zach Wallace, Steve Kappes, John Arias, James Hall, and Lakeal Morris
  • Ideal Industries raffle hosted by current Ideal Industries representative and former WECA instructor Ned Johns
One of the focal points of the ceremony - aside from the presentation of awards and diplomas - was Pascascio, Jr.'s rousing speech. Pascascio, Jr. - a Belizean native who has worked in the electrical industry since he was 16 years old - detailed his journey to success and dispensed sage advice in his speech.

"My WECA apprenticeship years were exciting; I worked with Valley Unique Electric through my five years of the program before working with Rex Moore as a project manager for two years," said Pascascio, Jr. "Then I received my C10 license in 2016 and started my own business."

Pascascio, Jr. continued, stating, "Our first WECA apprentice will start their apprenticeship later this year, so I'm proud of that. And I want to take this moment to encourage everyone out there who has plans to eventually own their own electrical contracting business - you can do it."

Then Pascascio, Jr. rounded out his speech by saying, "I remember riding my bicycle with my tools in my backpack doing residential work and now I'm here today [as an electrical contractor], so if I can make it happen, any of you guys can make it happen."

And then the evening ended on a poignant note - provided by none other than emcee Slemp.

"I don't have tears in my eyes - it's just allergies," Slemp joked.
 
Slemp then added, "But seriously, I will miss some of these guys. This is one of the things I love about my job - being able to train apprentices to become electricians, and then watch them go out and succeed."
 
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Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Donors for Making the NorCal Class of 2019 Graduation Great!

The gracious support we've received from our sponsors means a lot to us - and our graduates, of course!

Our sponsors helped to make our graduates' graduation day memorable, and for that, we cannot thank them enough.

Thank you for your continued support of WECA! 
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Get an Up-Close Look at WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program

WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program
WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program


Are you interested in fire alarm systems, security systems, intrusion detection systems, CCTV systems, access control systems, audio systems, or basic electrical systems?

Then a WECA low voltage apprenticeship - culminating in a multi-faceted, fast-paced, and competitive career as a low voltage technician - may be right for you!

Our three-year apprenticeship program prepares apprentices for successful careers in the electrical industry through applying their learning and knowledge directly to their real-life job duties. 

Apprentices enrolled in our low voltage apprenticeship program also receive the following:
  • classroom and paid on-the-job training
  • fringe benefit packages provided by their contractor (which may include major medical, a 401k, or cash equivalent per the contractor's discretion)
  • competitive hourly wages increasing through third year of apprenticeship
Interested? Here's how you can start your low voltage apprenticeship journey today:

Apply for apprenticeship here
or call us at 877-444-9322
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Journeyman Continuing Education Spotlight: Solar Power for Electricians


Solar Power for Electricians (16 hour course)(2014 NEC Edition)

This course establishes the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of photovoltaic systems. Focusing on residential and commercial-scale systems, the course includes array configurations and electrical design characteristics for grid-tied Photovoltaic (PV) systems but also covers equipment essential to understanding all types of PV systems, including systems incorporating back-up energy and energy storage sources. This course addresses PV system installations from the perspective of the 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC), including but not limited to: interconnection requirements and calculations; disconnect requirements; overcurrent protection; and wire sizing and grounding requirements, applicable to all types and sizes of PV installations. This course can be taken as an introductory course or as a gateway for those seeking to advance their knowledge in the solar industry. 

Interested? Learn more and sign up here! 
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Commercial Apprentice Health Insurance Update: Anthem Blue Cross's Pharmacy Benefits

Notice from our health insurance provider, Anthem Blue Cross

Background

On January 30, Anthem announced that we're accelerating the launch of IngenioRx, our new pharmacy benefits manager (PBM), and we wanted to let you know that your pharmacy benefits will move to IngenioRx on July 1, 2019.

We have spent more than 15 months planning this transition and, based on the results of our rigorous testing, we are confident in our ability to transition with as little disruption as possible.

More importantly, we are excited about the additional value we will be able to deliver to you with this move through things like improved pricing and enhanced member tools.

Our goal is to make this as easy as possible for you. Most of the changes will be behind the scenes so there is very little that you should have to do. And, if there is something you need to do, we'll let you know.

Here is a Client Guide that provides some general information about the move, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact your Anthem Account Manager.

Implementation

You should have recently received a letter from Anthem letting you know that your pharmacy benefits will be powered by IngenioRx beginning on July 1, 2019. We're excited about all the opportunities IngenioRx brings, but most of all, we want to make sure you can continue to get your prescriptions without missing a beat.

One of the most important steps you can take to make sure you are ready for the transition is to make sure any pharmacy you use has your most recent Anthem ID card information on file. This will help to ensure that they have the information they need to quickly and accurately process your prescriptions.

Not sure if you are using your most recent card?

Your ID card has an "Issue Date" on the back corner. As long as your issue date is September 2018 or later, you have your most recent card.

What should I do if I don't have my most recent card?

First, you can download a digital copy of your ID card at anthem.com or on the Anthem Anywhere mobile app. You can even use the digital ID card straight from your smartphone at the pharmacy counter.

Second, you can order a new ID card anytime by requesting one online or giving us a call. Just login at anthem.com and click on Request ID card to order a new one. Or call the Member Services number on the back of the ID card you do have. A new ID card will be mailed to your home in about five business days.

Finally, you can also bring a copy of this letter to your pharmacy and share it with your pharmacist. Please ask them to update your record with the information below:

RXBIN: 020099
RXPCN: WG

If you have any questions, please call the Pharmacy Member Services number on your card. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 22, 2019   Alumni and WECA Member Contractor Spotlight: Windell Pascascio, Jr. and Imperial Electric Service




WECA Alumni Windell Pascascio, Jr., (left) poses with Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, Wendy Flanagan (right).

When Windell Pascascio, Jr. was growing up in the Central American country of Belize, he originally aspired to be an architect.

But when Pascascio, Jr. was just 16 years old, he started doing residential electrical work and contributing to projects such as a hydroelectric dam on the border of Belize and Guatemala. And when Pascascio, Jr., moved to the United States later, he set his sights upon WECA's apprenticeship program thanks to the program's structure and philosophy.

"I think that WECA's program is hands-down the best program out there for upcoming electricians," said Pascascio, Jr. "Everyone should know about WECA and what it has to offer because it's the best way to start or continue in the electrical trade."

Pascascio, Jr.'s praise for WECA doesn't end there.

"[Instructors] Zach Wallace and Jimmie Slemp both have a desire to make sure you're learning something before leaving their class, and took extra time to stay behind to teach you if you didn't know something or how to do something," said Pascascio, Jr.

After graduating from WECA's apprenticeship program in 2013, Windell was on a roll. He started his own business (Imperial Electric Service, based in Fresno), became a WECA Member Contractor, and became a member of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce (FMBCC).

"Being part of the FMBCC has been outstanding," said Pascascio, Jr. "They have assisted me from the start, making sure I received all the resources out there that can help my business grow - they have even connected me with a client that has contracted us for over $1 million worth of work this year. And the FMBCC strives to make sure that all cultures and business owners are aware of and educated about the projects and resources out there."

As a business owner, Pascascio, Jr. states that "my greatest joy is being able to accomplish our clients' goals from design to installation. I also strive to provide jobs for those that need someone to give them a chance to learn a trade - especially those that don't realize that they can make a career in the electrical trade."

However, owning a business is not easy.

"Owning my own business has opened my eyes on a whole new level," said Pascascio, Jr. "As a company we have to set our goals to make sure our customers are satisfied and manage each project from start to finish with excellence."

Further, Pascascio, Jr. stresses that "owning your own business isn't an overnight thing - it takes a lot of dedication and hard work. Not only yours, but also your employees' and family's dedication. But don't ever give up, put in the hours every day, and treat your team with respect because a business is not built on the owner - it's built on your employees."

Though Pascascio, Jr. is flying high now, he knows that he would not be where he is now if not for his support group and prior experiences.

"I would like to thank my wife and kids for sticking by my side for all those late nights working," Pascascio, Jr. said. "And I would definitely like to give a shout-out to Rex Moore, because I've only worked for two companies and Rex Moore is a great example of what I would like my company to become in the next five years. I have never seen a company strive like they do to make sure their employees' opinions matter or let them [have input] in making the company better; they have the most outstanding management team that I hope my team will emulate one day."
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 22, 2019   Course Spotlight: Online Solar Courses for Journeymen and Electrician Trainees

 
 


Harness the power of the sun this summer with WECA and SEI's online solar course offerings, which can be completed poolside if you so desire!

These unique 6-week courses range from introductory level to advanced level training, helping you explore the fundamentals of solar components, system architectures, and applications for PV systems to the inspection, commissioning, performance verification, and troubleshooting of PV systems. You'll work through interactive online activities, PowerPoints, readings, quizzes, exercises, and homework - all available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the full duration of the course.

Students who complete these courses successfully will gain not only Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education (ET/CE) hours for California through WECA, but also North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) training hours through SEI.

Successful completion of "Solar Electric Design and Installation", paired with "PV System Fundamentals", qualifies you to sit for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam.

With the need for highly trained PV electricians rapidly growing in California, WECA Curriculum Development Lead Mike Moyer states that "It's great that WECA is able to partner with SEI to offer another way for the WECA community to get solar training. Our apprenticeship program covers solar basics, our existing online self-paced courses "Solar Power for Electricians" and "Faultless Solar" take solar to the next level for Journeyman Electricians and Advanced Electrician Trainees, and now our partnership with SEI allows another level of training for these students, plus the opportunity for NABCEP certification."
 
To learn more about enrolling in these courses through WECA (enrollment through WECA is necessary for any student desiring State of California Continuing Education or Electrician Trainee hours in addition to the NABCEP hours granted by SEI), please visit WECA's Solar Course CatalogAct now to enroll in these summer courses! 
 
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019   WECA's Participating in National Electrical Safety Month!



May is National Electrical Safety Month, and WECA is still observing it with relevant trivia, safety tips from our instructors, posts from trusted voices in the industry, spotlights on our safety courses - and more - all month long! 
 


So check us out on social media to see what it's all about! Who knows - maybe you'll even see your favorite instructor featured. If so, be sure to give them a shout out in the comments!

Facebook


Twitter


Instagram


LinkedIn
 
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019   WECA Grads on the Job: Edward 'EJ' Penick


Look who we ran into on the job while we were at our outreach event at McKinleyville High School in McKinleyville, CA on May 2nd! That's right - Edward 'EJ' Penick, a WECA graduate from the Class of 2017! Great to see you, Edward, and we hope to see more of you - and all our graduates - around on the job, powering California!
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 22, 2019   Unemployed? Check Out Opportunities with a WECA Member Contractor!

 

Are you out of work and seeking employment? Post your resume to the WECA Job Board. Or  view open positions posted by our members. Our contractors are hiring!  


If you are a current WECA student, or a WECA grad, go a step further and contact us about our Student Referral Service! This service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff provide hands-on referrals, taking some of that work off your plate.
 
WECA's Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board is designed to help connect individuals seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry with the contractors who want to hire them. 
 
Our job board exists for...
  • Electricians, 
  • Low voltage technicians, 
  • Electrician Trainees and Journeymen,
  • Industry employees (including office personnel!),
  • And the Member Contractors who want to hire them. 
This is a free, no-obligation service open to all workers seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 
 
Search Open Positions Today
 
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019   Summer Coupon

SUMMER COUPON summer




$10 off any class
Coupon code: 
ETSUM19
Expiration date: 9-23-19

See you online and in the lab!
  
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019   Committed to Safety: WECA Apprentices Learn CPR ... with Virtual Reality!


As California's premier training provider for the electrical and low voltage industries, WECA is committed to continually bringing cutting-edge technology to its apprentices, students, and member contractors.

To that end, WECA recently piloted a CPR and first aid training program utilizing ground-breaking virtual reality technology from Fremont, CA-based ICE Safety Solutions. First-year commercial and residential apprentices undertook the training on May 1st at WECA's Rancho Cordova facility.

"The idea to pilot virtual reality for CPR and first aid training was a great decision, and I am grateful to Terry [Seabury, WECA's Executive Director and CEO] for making sure WECA took this step," said Don Black, WECA's Apprentice Training director. "The students were deeply engaged and had fun - and more importantly, I think they will retain more of the information. It is Terry's leadership and foresight that makes WECA the premier merit-based apprenticeship program."

ICE Safety Solutions' virtual reality CPR and first aid training utilizes virtual reality headsets featuring videos of real-life CPR and first aid scenarios, a Bluetooth Manikin app that connects to ICE-provided iPhones to provide participants with real-time stats and vitals on the dummies they're 'working' on, and partner and group-based exercises and simulations. Exercises and simulations featured in the pilot training program included chest compressions, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and scenarios for jobsite falls, bleeding, and shock.

"Technology is a tool that can help in the understanding of existing training to make it more fun and interactive," said Black. "Anytime you can take static content and leverage current technology to make it [training] more interactive and engaging, it improves the student's ability to absorb the content and learn the material."

During the pilot training program, students were absorbed in the exercises, simulations, and material, as evidenced by their asking questions often. And even instructor Lakeal Morris joined in on the training, taking the opportunity to learn alongside his students as well as brush up on his CPR and basic first aid skills. Black, meanwhile, stood off to the side, observing the program with rapt attention and gamely offered suggestions and words of encouragement to apprentices.
Over the course of the program, apprentices quickly gained confidence in their newfound skills and knowledge, even going so far as to take the lead and delegate tasks when carrying out the group-based exercises and simulations.

"I hope that through their training - because it was more engaging, interactive, and immersive - that they will retain more of what they learned today so that if they ever have to perform CPR or first aid, they will be better prepared to potentially save a life," said Black.

This appears to be a safe bet - during the program, apprentices sometimes paused to take pictures of the real-time stats and vitals displayed on the iPhones. And toward the end of the program, apprentices were eager to respectfully take selfies of their groups, replete with a fellow apprentice laying on the ground under a space blanket.

Of his thoughts on the program, Black stated that "because WECA is leveraging current technology to help our apprentices be better prepared through virtual reality training, I think it gives them a competitive advantage [in the field]. I would hope that all organizations will work to provide the best possible training available - especially CPR training - because CPR training has the ability to save lives; maybe even my own life."
Read more >>


Wednesday, May 22, 2019   Are You a Veteran? Or an Active Duty or Reserve Member?

Are You a Veteran? Or an Active Duty or Reserve Member? veteran
 
american-flag-banner.jpg


WECA has a special, standing discount for active duty and reserve military members on any Electrician Trainee or Journeyman course.

Call and talk to our client services team at 1-877-444-9322 to sign up with your discount.
Read more >>


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