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Thursday, June 20, 2019   An Evening to Remember: Congratulations to the Northern California Graduating Class of 2019!

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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Thursday, June 20, 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! 
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Thursday, June 20, 2019   Northern California Commercial Apprenticeship Program Valedictorian Spotlight: Mark Mendenhall



Being an electrician is in the blood for 2019 Commercial Apprentice Valedictorian Mark Mendenhall.

Though Mendenhall initially wanted to be a firefighter, he cited his dad [Mendenhall Electric owner Carroll Mendenhall] as his inspiration for giving the electrical industry - and WECA - a chance.

"My dad played a big part in encouraging me to go down the path of becoming an electrician," said Mendenhall. "When I started at WECA, I wasn't 100 percent sure I wanted to be an electrician. But the classes kept me interested and I continued to learn new things that I could then apply out in the field."

Although Mendenhall grew up around the
 electrical industry, his WECA education prepared him for an industry career far more than simply being in the field ever could.

"My WECA education helped me learn a lot of code that you don't get to learn in the field, and WECA didn't just cram a bunch of information into my head to help me pass a test - instead it showed me how it actually applies. More importantly, WECA taught me how to better understand electricity and how it works, which then helps me understand what I'm doing and not just doing something because it says to on the prints. WECA has helped prepare me to hopefully take over the company in the future," said Mendenhall.

Mendenhall continued, "I get to put into practice what I have learned, but I still learn new things almost daily from those who have decades of experience and knowledge as electricians."

Mendenhall also encouraged current and future students to "do what you can to learn something new every day, whether it's from the code book or from one of the textbooks. There are going to be some boring or mundane days, but that can't keep you from choosing to learn and progress not only as an electrician, but also as a person."

And - as is typical for new graduates - Mendenhall found himself not only reflecting upon his educational journey, but also anticipating his future in the 
electrical field.

"I couldn't have done this without the support and encouragement from my beautiful wife, Tosha," said Mendenhall. "And now, I plan to learn more of the business side of things at the company [Mendenhall Electric]. I still have a lot to learn about how the business is run."

From all of us here at WECA - congratulations, Mark! We're excited to see what the future brings to the next generation of Mendenhall Electric.
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Thursday, June 20, 2019   Come Support the WECA Southern California Graduating Class of 2019!

diploma_grad_cap.jpg

One graduation down, one more to go!

WECA's Southern California graduation is coming around the corner, so don't forget to come support our graduates on Saturday, July 13th at Faulkner Winery in Temecula!

Class of 2019 SoCal Graduation

Saturday, July 13th

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Faulkner Winery

40620 Calle Contento

Temecula, CA 92591

Member contractors, industry partners, and industry supporters: buy your tickets and/or sponsorships here.

As always, thank you for your continued support of electrical and low voltage education, and we look forward to seeing you!  
 
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Thursday, June 20, 2019   U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division Announces New Website for Wage Determination Data

Notice courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division


The U.S. Department of Labor is excited to announce that this Friday, June 14, 2019, WDOL.gov will be transitioning to https://beta.SAM.govwhich will become the new website for wage determination data.

Features of the new beta.SAM.gov website include:
  • Search-based structure: Users may search for a variety of information including specific Davis-Bacon Act and McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act wage determinations.
  • Learning Center with tutorial videos, tools, and other information to familiarize users with the new site.
    • Ability to filter and search for content in the Learning Center. Users will find links to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Code of Federal Regulations citations for specific subjects via a Cross Index page for Contractor Labor Standards.
    • The site features more FAR Supplements and other acquisition regulations than WDOL.gov.
    • A Transition Quick Start Guide will be available soon.
  • Create an account: By creating a beta.SAM.gov account, users may access certain features of the system only available to account holders. For example, users will have the option to:
    • Save previous searches.
    • Start or modify a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    • "Follow" specific wage determinations and receive email alerts when changes or modifications are published.
      • Users will determine what to follow and the frequency of email alerts.
  • Timeline and history of changes to wage determinations.
Support for the wage determinations in beta.SAM.gov will continue to be provided by the Federal Service Desk.
Employers can find compliance assistance resources from the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division at www.dol.gov/WHD/foremployers.htm. 
Additional compliance assistance resources and answers to common questions regarding federal labor laws can be found at www.Employer.gov. 
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Thursday, June 20, 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 - or is one of your employees, or someone you know -  interested in fire alarm systems, security systems, intrusion detection systems, CCTV systems, access control systems, audio systems, nurse call systems, and basic electrical systems?
Then a WECA low voltage apprenticeship - culminating in a multi-faceted, fast-paced, and competitive career as a low voltage technician - is a great choice!
Our three-year apprenticeship program prepares low voltage apprentices for successful careers in the 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)
  • hourly wages starting from minimum wage to $22 base per hour and increasing to between $14-$34 per hour by their third year of apprenticeship
Interested? Here's how to start a low voltage apprenticeship journey today:

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


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Upcoming Event: Workers' Compensation Action Network Town Hall and Summit in Redwood City

Courtesy of Workers' Compensation Action Network
 

Workers' Compensation Action Network Town Hall and Summit

FEATURING

Stephen Wagstaffe
San Mateo County District Attorney

Teena Barton
Senior Fraud Investigator, ICW Group

Friday, July 26, 2019
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Angelica's

863 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

JOIN US FOR LUNCH!
  • Come to a riveting, free Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Workers' Compensation Action Network, and featuring San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe who will highlight how the county is aggressively pursuing workers' comp fraud prosecutions. 
  • Also presenting is nationally recognized expert in the insurance industry and law enforcement, Teena Barton, who is a Major Case Special Investigator in a workers' comp fraud investigation unit with ICW Group. She will share stories of how injured workers are used for profit and how recruitment firms receive illegal kickbacks for referrals to hospitals, doctors and ancillary medical service providers, essentially "using people like ATMs". She will discuss her own expertise as well as the case of Sean O'Keefe, a convicted workers' compensation attorney serving 13 months in federal prison for his involvement in a $200 million scheme built around recruitment referrals and kickbacks to use injured workers for fraudulent billing.
  • Jerry Azevedo with the Workers' Compensation Action Network (WCAN) will provide an update on the status of the workers' comp system in California and activity in the State Capitol. We will also hear from YOU, business owners, who can share your workers' comp experiences with the District Attorney.
  • WCAN is a broad-based, statewide coalition that has successfully fought for reforms to provide state and local officials more tools to combat workers' compensation fraud to help meet the dual goals of stable costs for employers and higher benefits for injured workers. In recent years, state lawmakers enacted several pieces of legislation designed to improve system efficiency, reduce conflict and legislation, and stem abuses by service providers. These reforms are delivering higher benefits to California workers while stabilizing employer costs. Despite these reforms, California's system remains one of the most costly and litigious in the nation and vulnerable to evolving forms of fraud and abuse.
  • Complimentary lunch will be provided. 
 
  •  Why Crack Down on Workers' Comp Fraud?
  • Fraud hurts both employers and injured workers. It inflates employer costs, clogs the injured workers' compensation court and administrative systems, delays the resolution of claims, diverts limited system resources, and exploits injured workers who do not receive the medical care needed to properly heal from their injuries. 
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Thursday, June 06, 2019   2019 WECA All-Team Meeting: reinvigorating WECA's culture and strengthening relationships



There is no 'I' in WECA ... or in team.

This much was evident at WECA's annual All-Team Meeting at its Rancho Cordova headquarters on Friday, May 31st. The event - which included WECA employees based in San Diego, Riverside, and Texas - highlighted the employees' impressive display of teamwork, camaraderie, and passion for continuing and improving upon WECA's standards of excellence.

"It was a full day of helping each other determine paths for professional growth, and having fun with teamwork," said Terry Seabury, WECA's Executive Director and CEO. "It is always great to have the entire team together to focus on ourselves and each other."

The day kicked off with rousing remarks from Seabury as well as Don Black, WECA's apprenticeship training director.

"Professional development is a key component of both WECA's success and each employee's growth," said Black. "Don't be afraid to ask the question - what could I do? And focus on professional development that will help you in your daily job and that is
interesting to you." 

Black also implored employees to not be "afraid to think beyond your current job duties. By growing your skills, you create added value and resources to WECA, and invest in what you do to support the organization."

Black then invited employees to share their thoughts on how WECA could improve both internally and externally as an organization. Employees offered thoughtful and proactive suggestions such as focusing on education development, promoting personal and organizational wellness, fostering leadership opportunities for employees, improving WECA's technology offerings, and streamlining the apprenticeship onboarding process.

To implement these ideas, employees then formed groups - one for each of the above suggestions. In these groups, employees participated in an hour-long scavenger hunt of sorts; bouncing around practicable goals and researching and identifying courses and certifications employees could take to meet these goals. After the scavenger hunt, the WECA team re-convened to present their suggested goals and courses for each idea.
Following the scavenger hunt was a raffle replete with unique prizes, such as a basket chock-full of lottery tickets, a s'mores grilling set, tickets to a Sacramento River Cats baseball game, and more. The raffle elicited smiles and cheers, as well as conciliatory groans from those who didn't win their desired prizes.

After lunch came the main attraction of the day: the games.

WECA employees partook in good-natured competition as they split into groups and completed zany activities which required teamwork and effective communication.

The event concluded with the winning team receiving medals, and with the entire WECA team assembling for two group shots - one serious, one humorous - amidst a sea of colorful balloons. It was the perfect note to end on.

Here's to another fun, productive, and fulfilling year of training and serving California's best merit shop contractors and their employees!
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Thursday, June 06, 2019   Online solar courses for Electrician Trainees and Journeymen

Have your electrican trainees and journeymen harness the power of the sun this summer with WECA's online solar course offerings!

And for Spanish-speaking electrician trainees and journeymen, WECA offers three online solar course offerings in Spanish.

Learn more about and register your electrician trainees and journeymen for any of our solar course offerings, below. 

Faultless Solar (32-hour course)
 



This course combines two of WECA's popular 16-hour courses, "Faultless" and "Solar Power for Electricians," into one convenient 32-hour package. Learn about how to coordinate information in specific NEC articles, so you can properly select and install the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations. Then, build on that knowledge as you learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Solar Photovoltaic systems. Learn more and register here. 

 FVOL101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) Spanish (60-hour course)
 


This is a fundamental course for anyone who wants to start a career in photovoltaic energy (FV) and/or understand the details of electricity generation based on the photoelectric effect. The FV101 course platform will allow you to continue to develop in areas such as: Design, inspection, installation, maintenance, technical sales and technical support; all based on the most rigorous electrical codes and practices recommended by professionals with decades of experience; with WECA education partner Solar Energy International. Learn more and register here. 

 FVOL202: Advanced PV System Design and the NEC (Grid-Direct) Spanish (60-hour course)


Immerse yourself in the advanced details of design and good practices related to photovoltaic (PV) systems in this scheduled, self-paced course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International. With a highly technical approach, this course was designed to support designers, installers, inspectors and engineers who want to understand the intrinsic details of the PV system design, and the requirements for proper installation. The course provides a deep look at the National Electrical Code (NEC® 2014) standards as well as recommended industry practices. Learn more and register here. 

 FVOL203: PV System Fundamentals (Battery-Based) Spanish (40-hour course)
 


This scheduled, self-paced course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International will provide the student with an understanding of the fundamental concepts needed to work safely on battery-based PV systems; These include isolated (or self-contained) PV systems and GRID-connected PV systems with battery backup. We study the purpose, applications and design criteria required for the different components to be selected and integrated as: Charge controllers, batteries, PV array and battery-based inverters (extremely different from the inverters connected to the network). The information in this course will provide you with a theoretical understanding of battery-based PV systems that you can apply to real installations and practical applications. Learn more and register here. 

 PVOL101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) (60-hour course)
 


This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is for students who want to learn the fundamentals and gain a solid understanding of various components, system architectures, and applications for PV systems. Successful completion of this course results in State of California Journeyman Continuing Education or Electrician Trainee hours, and also counts as one of the two courses required to qualify students to sit for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam. Learn more and register here. 


 PVOL202: Advanced PV System Design and the NEC (Grid-Direct) (60-hour course) 
 


This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is for students who want to take a deep dive into National Electrical Code 2017 standards as well as other best practices that pertain to designing grid-direct PV systems. Learn more and register here. 


 PVOL203: PV System Fundamentals (Battery-Based) (40-hour course)
 


This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is for students who want to focus on the fundamentals of battery-based PV systems. Components such as batteries, charge controllers, and battery-based inverters are covered in detail, along with safety and maintenance considerations unique to battery-based systems, load analysis, battery bank configuration, and the electrical integration of the system. Learn more and register here. 


 PVOL350: Tools and Techniques for Operations and Maintenance (40-hour course) 
 


This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is an advanced online training targeted towards solar professionals who want to take their technical skills to the next level. This course is geared towards training PV technicians to safely and effectively perform operations and maintenance (O&M) tasks including inspections, commissioning, performance verification, and troubleshooting. Learn more and register here. 


 Solar Power for Electricians (16-hour course)
 


Learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Photovoltaic systems. Learn more and register here. 



Understanding NEC Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Systems Home Study Course (16-hour course) 
 


This 16-hour course is based on Mike Holt's "Illustrated Guide to Understanding NEC Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Systems, based on the 2014 NEC" textbook and DVDs. Learn more and register here. 
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Thursday, June 06, 2019   All parties working with apprentices must participate in anti-harassment training



WECA currently provides anti-harassment training to every WECA apprentice as part of their apprenticeship. However, it is also required for you, the employer, to ensure that all parties working with apprentices have participated in anti-harassment training.


Per Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations, 29 CFR 30.3(b)(4), this training must be provided to all individuals including: apprentices, apprentice supervisors, forepersons, journey-workers, instructors, and other employees regularly working alongside apprentices, including management and administrative personnel.


If you have not already educated your workers in anti-harassment training, we strongly encourage our members to utilize and make available to all employees the U.S. Department of Labor's interactive, web-based, self-directed EEO training


It's easy - just have your employees read and utilize the following resources. Further resources are also available to our member contractors on WECA's website under 'Member Forms and Resources' in the 'Approved to Train' section. 

Anti-Harassment and EEO Resources for Member Contractors and their Employees

View the EEO Training Here

Read the Anti-Harassment Fact Sheet

Read WECA's Equal Opportunity Pledge
Read more >>


Thursday, June 06, 2019   Come support the WECA Graduating Classes of 2019!

diploma_grad_cap.jpg

Graduation is literally just right around the corner - so don't forget to come support our NorCal graduates this Saturday, June 8th at WECA headquarters in Rancho Cordova!

Class of 2019 NorCal Graduation

Saturday, June 8th

4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


WECA headquarters

3695 Bleckely Street

Rancho Cordova, CA 95655


For member contractors, industry partners, and industry supporters in Southern California, there's still time to buy tickets and/or sponsorships for our SoCalgraduation on Saturday, July 13th at Faulkner Winery in Temecula!


Class of 2019 SoCal Graduation

Saturday, July 13th

5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


Faulkner Winery

40620 Calle Contento

Temecula, CA 92591



As always, thank you for your continued support electrical and low voltage education, and we look forward to seeing you! 
 
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Thursday, May 23, 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 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 >>


Thursday, May 23, 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 >>


Thursday, May 23, 2019   Hiring? Post Today to our Job Board or Access our Student Referral Service

 
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 WECA member contractors who want to hire them. 
 
Our job board exists for...
  • Talented electricians
  • Low voltage technicians
  • Electrician Trainees
  • Industry employees (including office personnel)
  • And the Member Contractors who want to hire them. 
View this WECA-provided, free-for-our-members, no-obligation service HERE, and post a position to help you find your next great employee today! You can also view active resumes here as part of your member contractor benefits.

You may also use our free job referral service connecting currently-unemployed ETs, Journeymen, and WECA Graduate job seekers to Member Contractors in order to help meet their staffing needs. It's included with your contractor membership!  
This service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff supply you with hands-on referrals. In other words, we take some of the hard work off your plate. The Student Referral Service refers job-seekers to you, and you hire them directly.
To receive referrals from WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Ana Lopez, WECA ET/Journeyman Program Manager, at alopez@goweca.com
 or 1-877-444-9322.
 
Post a job today!
 
Read more >>


Thursday, May 23, 2019   Jobsite Tech Survey Respondent Raffle Winners


Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to respond to our recent member survey about jobsite technologies. Your input helps to inform updates to our Apprenticeship curriculum and Electrician Trainee and Journeyman Continuing Education course offerings, and to make sure your employees are being trained on the most important new developments and technologies to help your businesses maintain their competitive edges.

As promised, we entered each survey respondent into a raffle for one of three $50 Amazon gift cards. Our raffle winners were:
  • April Thompson of Modesto Executive Electric
  • Angela Silva of Fort Bragg Electric, Inc.
  • Tanner Schamber of Schamber Electric

Congratulations April, Angela, and Tanner, and please watch your inboxes for your gift cards!  
Read more >>


Thursday, May 23, 2019   WECA's 2018 Year in Review



It's here!  WECA's 2018 Year in Review/2019 Anniversary Celebration publication highlights the accomplishments of your merit shop contractors' association over the past year, explores WECA's history, and also provides a glimpse into where we're headed in this, our 90th anniversary year.

If you're a member of WECA, your print edition was recently mailed to you, but anyone can also access the digital version here.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 09, 2019   New WECA Industry Partner Spotlight: Construction Happens

It takes one to know one.

That's what Nick Attardi, founder of constructionhappens.com, was banking on when he started the eponymous job board for contractors and electricians in 2012. An electrician and owner of Fair Oaks-based H&H Electric with 14 years of experience under his belt, Attardi understood the stress associated with finding and eventually hiring experienced and qualified electricians.

"We know that there is a huge need for training and hiring skilled tradesmen," said Cari Loskamp, Construction Happens' sales director.

Unlike other job boards, however, Construction Happens really goes to bat for stakeholders on both ends of the employment spectrum.

"We build this connection and network to focus on local construction and local jobs for the right candidate that construction companies need today," said Loskamp. "And we are knocking on every trade school door, working with building associations and workforce centers to develop and build a network of qualified candidates that are eager to find a job or career in the construction industry."

And the passion for securing employment and employees for their stakeholders doesn't stop there.

As a WECA Industry Partner, "We are working on a paid semester program for student sponsorship, working with returning military veterans that need a job or experience, and networking daily with local associations and construction industry affiliates to help WECA members find qualified and skilled candidates," said Loskamp.

Furthermore, Loskamp asserts that "Construction Happens is not just a job board - we are your partner in the industry."

For WECA member contractors, Construction Happens offers a $240 annual membership that includes unlimited job postings, automatic email blasts to connections and partners, and a free banner.

What's more is that membership with Construction Happens also does good in the electrical industry community - for every 75 new memberships, Construction Happens sponsors a student at a trade school for a quarter semester.

"Call us - we can meet with you, partner up in a job fair, assist with job board ads, and connect you with the right people," said Loskamp.

WECA member contractors who are interested in utilizing Construction Happens' services may visit the website and job board at www.constructionhappens.com, or directly contact Construction Happens using the following contact information:

Cari Loskamp
Sales Director
Construction Happens
916-437-5684
cari@constructionhappens.com
Read more >>


Thursday, May 09, 2019   Sponsor the WECA Graduating Class of 2019 Today!



Don't forget - graduation is just around the corner! 

Help us honor our graduates' achievements with your attendance and/or sponsorship at their graduation events on:
  • Northern California: Saturday, June 8, 2019 at WECA headquarters in Rancho Cordova from 4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
  • Southern California: Saturday, July 13, 2019 at Falkner Winery Pinnacle Room in Temecula from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Help us make their graduation memorable - your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend either graduation location and meet the graduates, which is especially meaningful for them 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.
Individual tickets are also available, independent of the sponsorship packages. 

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

Reserve your sponsorship packages and/or individual tickets here
 
Read more >>


Thursday, May 09, 2019   Public Works Contractors: Renew Registration Starting May 1 New Account Creation Requirements

Update: The DIR has provided instructions on how to set-up an account, how to link an existing registration, and then how to renew. 
 
This is the first time DIR has required an account set-up. Download the instructions here

Content courtesy of: California Department of Industrial Relations


Public Works Contractors: Renew Registration Starting May 1
Contractors can now register for up to three fiscal years


The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) is informing public works contractors that registrations can be renewed starting on May 1. Public works contractor registrations expire each year on June 30. Contractors now have the option to renew current registrations for one, two or three fiscal years. 


California law requires all contractors to register with DIR prior to bidding, being listed on a bid proposal, being awarded or engaging in the performance of any public works contract on or after April 1, 2015. Fees and penalties may be assessed for a lapse in renewal or failure to register when engaged in public works.


The public works contractor registration application was recently updated to process applications within one business day when paid by credit card, and provide the applicant with a credit card receipt. 


Registration and requirements are available on DIR's public works website, including information on responsibilities related to prevailing wages, apprenticeship and certified payroll records.


DIR protects and improves the health, safety and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws. 


DIR's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), also known as the Labor Commissioner's Office, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, investigates retaliation complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses and educates the public on labor laws.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 09, 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 >>


Thursday, May 09, 2019   WECA Participating in National Electrical Safety Month



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


Curious? Check out our social feeds by clicking on the links below to see what it's all about. 

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

LinkedIn
Read more >>


Thursday, May 09, 2019   WECA's Hiring! Seeking a Full-Time Lead Instructor for our GetWired! Program


Your Chance to Teach for WECA! 


Are you a certified electrician or other similarly-qualified individual in the electrical field (former/retired acceptable if you're willing to get re-certified upon hire), or a C10 contractor, who enjoys learning more about your field all the time, sharing your knowledge with others, and educating the next generation, and who'd like to work for an organization that combines the best of all worlds? 

If so, we'd be excited to have you join our team! 
WECA is seeking qualified applicants for the following position: 
  • Full-Time Lead Instructor for Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education programs including GetWired! This position not only teaches, but leads other instructors through quality educational delivery, as well! 







To learn more about this position and apply, please visit our 'Careers' page.
Read more >>


Thursday, May 09, 2019   Seats Filling Fast! Reserve Your Spots in BICSI Courses!


WECA is pleased that our BICSI courses at our Rancho Cordova headquarters have been well-attended, and strongly encourages our member contractors to enroll themselves or their employees in these courses to further develop a wide breadth of knowledge. 

But seats are filling fast, so be sure to register now - especially for popular courses such as Applied Outside Plant Design 102 and Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices 102. 


Wondering if registering yourself or your employees in these courses is worth it? Learn more below to find out what you can expect from these courses: 

OSP102 (Applied Outside Plant Design), June 17 - 21

Why Should I Attend, and What Will I Learn?

Through attendance in this course you will learn the following:
  • Identify the components of an outside plant infrastructure
     
  • Identify outside plant pathways and spaces
     
  • Describe effective route designs for outside plants
     
  • Describe media solutions
     
  • Describe planning requirements for initial outside plant design
     
  • Identify the primary codes and standards associated with outside plant cable installation
     
  • Identify grounding and bonding requirements associated with OSP installation
     
  • Locate requirements in project documentation, including an RFQ, scope of work, and other information typically established during a site and/or field survey
     
  • Identify underground, direct-buried, and aerial sections of a route
     
  • Describe the three primary cabling topologies and hybrid topologies
     
  • Identify special design considerations
     
  • Identify the minimum components of a maintenance plan
     
  • Identify the information that is needed to provide a cost estimate

Learn more about and register for OSP102 here.

DC102 (Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices), June 24 - 28

Why Should I Attend, and What Will I Learn?

After completing this course, you should be able to design a data center based on a set of given requirements; this will include both new and retrofit designs.

In addition to data center design, the course will also include life safety practices such as grounding and bonding to ensure that you can account for these issues when designing a data center.


You will be able to evaluate your learning through a final project and a comprehensive course assessment.

A variety of hands-on exercises, including the final group project, will help reinforce material and prepare students for real-world scenarios.

The DC102 course will address the following areas:
  • Data center design process
  • Site location
  • Building and support spaces
  • Computer room layout
  • Electrical systems
  • Bonding and grounding (earthing)
  • Mechanical systems
  • Telecommunications and IT
  • Ancillary systems
  • Security systems
  • Fire protection systems
  • Building automation systems (BAS)
  • Lighting
  • Security plan
  • Commissioning
Learn more about and register for DC102 here

These classes are rarely offered in Northern California, and we encourage our members to take advantage of this convenient opportunity. Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To enroll yourself or an employee,  visit BICSI here.
Read more >>


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