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Thursday, March 25, 2021   COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Expanded Under New Law

Content Courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP



New COVID Sick Leave Mandate Requires California Employers to Provide an Additional 80 Hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave

By: Lisa V. Ryan of Cook Brown, LLP

Introduced, passed by both houses, and signed by Governor Newsom all in the same week, SB 95 provides a new 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-related purposes to virtually all California employees who work for employers with 25 or more employees, including those subject to collective bargaining agreements. As the name implies “Supplemental Paid Sick Leave” (SPSL) is in addition to existing paid sick leave requirements; therefore, employees cannot be required to use other paid/unpaid leave first or in lieu of SPSL. However, employees can be required to exhaust SPSL before receiving Cal-OSHA exclusion pay. 

Reasons for Leave

Employees are entitled to SPSL if unable to work or telework because the employee is:

(A) Subject to quarantine/isolation related to COVID-19 per order / guidelines of CDPH, CDC or local health officer;

(B) Advised by health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;

(C) Attending a COVID-19 vaccination appointment;

(D) Experiencing COVID-19 vaccination symptoms;

(E) Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking diagnosis;

(F) Caring for a family member subject to (A) or (B);

(G) Caring for child whose school / care provider is closed / unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 on the premises.

Amount of Leave
  • Full-time employees and employees who are scheduled to work, on average, at least 40 hours per week for the employer in the two weeks before the date the employee took supplemental paid sick leave are entitled to up to 80 hours of SPSL.
  • Part-time (or non-full-time) employees:
  • If the employee has a normal weekly schedule: the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work for the employer over two weeks.
  • If the employee works a variable number of hours: 14 times the average number of hours the employee worked each day for the employer in the six months before the first date the employee needed leave.


Terms of Leave

Governor Newsom signed SB 95 on March 19, 2021, meaning the new COVID-19 sick leave law becomes effective on March 29, 2021. However, the SPSL entitlement applies retroactively to January 1, 2021. This means that upon written or oral request by an employee, the employer must provide retroactive SPSL payment for prior uncompensated leave. For that reason, employers can also count hours of other paid leave provided to employees for covered COVID-related reasons on or after January 1, 2021, including leave provided under FFCRA, towards SPSL requirement.

An important takeaway for all employers is that the law requires the SPSL to be reported separately on paystubs, starting with the next full pay period following the effective date. 

Notice Requirements

Under California law, employers are required to display the required poster in a conspicuous place that contains information about 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave.

If an employer’s covered employees do not frequent a workplace, the employer may satisfy the notice requirement by disseminating notice through electronic means.

Payroll Tax Credit

The passage of SB 95 at the state level coincides with the passage at the federal level earlier this month of the American Rescue Plan, which extends the federal payroll tax credit established in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) to September 30, 2021.

That measure increases the wages covered by the paid family leave credit to $12,000 per worker, from $10,000. Larger employers also should realize that the tax credit only applies to employers with 500 or fewer employees. The effective date of the FFCRA payroll tax credit begins after March 31, 2021. This calls into question whether leave retroactively designated under SB 95 would qualify for the payroll tax credit under the FFCRA. 

SB 95’s SPSL provisions also expire on September 30, 2021. 

The DLSE released FAQs on the bill found here: 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs (ca.gov)
Read more >>


Thursday, March 25, 2021   Introducing the WECA PE to PM Program

Essential Electrical Training for Non-Electrician Construction Professionals

Our contractors asked, and WECA delivered.

Introducing our new program of essential training for non-electrician construction professionals:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager
(PE to PM) Program

Get acquainted with a quick video:

The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program is here.

And now learn a whole lot more:
 
The WECA Project Engineer to Project Manager (PE to PM) Program

Providing training in electrical concepts, code, and best practices for non-electrician construction professionals, WECA's PE to PM Program was designed and developed in close consultation with our contractors. It's designed to give construction professionals--including Project Engineers who have a background in construction but little or no electrician-specific training--the electrical fundamentals and crucial concepts they need to talk the talk and walk the walk on your projects. 

The PE to PM Training Path is made up of five online courses which should be taken in the following order:

1. Practical Electrical Theory is an online, self-paced introduction to electrical theory, laws, and circuits. Course topics include:
  • Atomic Theory
  • Ohm’s Law
  • Series Circuits
  • Parallel Circuits


Available now! Learn more and enroll here.

2. Subject Indexing and Code is an online, self-paced course in which students will learn how to effectively navigate and answer code-related questions in the National Electrical Code (NEC 2017) book and complete the calculations needed for electrical installations. Course topics include:
  • NEC Subject Indexing
  • Conductor Sizing and Protection
  • Raceway, Box Fill, and Conduit Fill Calculations
  • Service Sizing, Clearances, and Terminations
  • Wiring Methods, Special Equipment and Occupancies
  • Grounding and Bonding
  • Motors
  • General Equipment, Lighting and Panelboards
.
Available now! Learn more and enroll here.

3. Electrical Wiring Methods and Installations is an online, self-paced introduction to the most used wiring methods with emphasis on proper installation and correctly applying electrical code. Course topics include:
  • Installation basics
  • National electrical code
  • Workmanship standards
  • Identification of methods


Launching April 5, 2021

4. Job Costs and Estimating Basics is an online hybrid (a scheduled instructor-led introduction and otherwise self-paced) course which introduces estimating job costs, material and labor for electrical installations. Course topics include:
  • Material estimations
  • Labor estimations
  • Voltage drop as applied to installation
  • Total job cost analysis


Launching April 12, 2021
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5. Commercial Electrical Blueprint Reading is an online, scheduled, instructor-led course in which students learn how to coordinate cut sheets, submittals, the NEC and more with digital blueprints to plan electrical installation for commercial construction from the ground up. Available now! Learn more and enroll here.
 
FAQs
 
Q: Is the PE to PM Program for Project Engineers only?
A: Nope! Any construction industry professional (for instance, General Contractors, Construction Managers, etc.) who requires a grounding in electrical concepts, the National Electric Code, and best practices on the electrical job site can benefit from this program. 

Q: Does the WECA discount structure for Member Contractors and their employees apply to the PE to PM program?
A: Yes, discounts on these classes are available to WECA Member Contractors and their employees as a WECA membership benefit. Members: Please log in to your secured member dashboard to download the PE to PM program discount rate sheet, or call our office for more information. Member employees: Please speak to your contractor about accessing a discount.

Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
A: The program is modularized and was designed to accommodate individual choice in the intensity and speed of completion. Motivated students might complete it in as little as 6 months. A student who would like to integrate the concepts more slowly, or who is combining this program with other on-the-job training, might prefer to enroll in only one course per quarter, taking approximately 18 months to complete the program.

Q: Will the timing of the classes interfere with job duties?
A: The program has been designed for busy working professionals and should not interfere with full-time job duties. All of the courses are fully online. Three of the courses are entirely self-paced. One of the courses has an instructor-led introduction, which is held online in the evening, and then the remainder is self-paced. The final course is scheduled, online, instructor-led, but classes occur on weeknight evenings and one Saturday.

Q: I'm a construction professional who has had some electrical training already. Can I skip a class? 
A: WECA recommends the full program, taken in the order outlined above. However, if you've had previous electrical training (for instance, by taking some WECA GetWired! classes), we recommend you review the course outlines closely, and then enroll in whatever is most appropriate for you. Call WECA and talk to one of our client services specialists if you're not sure what to take.

Q: Does WECA provide a certificate of completion at the end of this program?
A: Yes, a student who successfully completes all five courses in the PE to PM Program Path with be granted a certificate of completion from WECA. (Credit towards the certificate for alternative courses previously taken at WECA will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

Q: I'm ready to get started (or to get my employees started) in this program! What do I do next?
A: Enroll online through our PE to PM Course Catalog, or call our office at 1-877-444-9322 for enrollment guidance.
Read more >>


Thursday, March 25, 2021   Drumroll, Please: Join Us in Congratulating the 2021 WECEF Scholarship Winners!



The moment you've all been waiting for has finally arrived--please join us in congratulating the 2021 WECEF Scholarship winners!

The WECEF scholarship provides tuition assistance to students pursuing careers in the electrical and low voltage fields, and we were gratified to award 33 scholarships this year.

Here are the 2021 WECEF Scholarship recipients:
  • Apprentice Mario Alvarado
  • Apprentice Brenton Caceres
  • Apprentice Nue Cha
  • Apprentice Lindsay Couch
  • Apprentice Blake Edwards
  • Apprentice Michael Goodman
  • Apprentice Brad Jackson
  • Apprentice Joel Luis
  • Apprentice Tobiah Moore
  • Apprentice Shahram Mostafaie
  • Apprentice Andrew Murillo
  • Apprentice Brady Muth
  • Apprentice Su Nguyen
  • Apprentice C.L. Paige
  • Apprentice James Ryan
  • Apprentice Francois Shelton
  • Apprentice Taylor Silva
  • Apprentice Eric Solorio
  • Apprentice German Valazquez
  • Apprentice Laura Varela
  • Apprentice Brandon Vogt
  • Apprentice Cory Williams
  • Apprentice Scott Wiltse-Singh
  • ET Ian Crilly
  • ET Cristobal Cuevas
  • ET Stephen Guerra
  • ET Jakob Hervilla
  • ET Jasmin Kadric
  • ET Noah Lange
  • ET Kameran Malcolm
  • ET Garret Pozarnsky
  • ET Lucas Schall
  • ET Monica Slabaugh


Congratulations, everyone!
Read more >>


Thursday, March 25, 2021   WECA is hiring--again!

Our student enrollment just keeps growing. Share your knowledge with the next generation of electricians.

Seeking qualified instructors for online weeknight classes and Saturday classes online or in-person.
It's the perfect side gig that doesn't interfere with your primary job!





If you're a certified electrician or C-10 contractor (or a retired one, on either front), we've got a great opportunity for you: become a part-time, online WECA instructor on weeknights and Saturdays! It's the perfect side gig to complement your day job (or keep your skills sharp in your retirement), and you can bring in some extra cash sharing your expertise with the next generation of electricians in California.

Teach for WECA's GetWired! electrician training program from the comfort of home (with the option to also teach in-person Saturday labs).

Review the job listing and apply here..
Read more >>


Thursday, March 25, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

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, March 11, 2021   Congratulations to the Member Contractors Who Made SBJ's 2021 "Top Electrical Contractors" List!

Bringing light to our communities during a dark year





During a dark year, WECA's Member Contractors were there, bringing light to our communities like never before. And today, we're happy to announce that our Sacramento-area contractors' efforts, dedication, growth, and success have been officially recognized! Please join us in congratulating the twelve WECA Member Contractors who dominated the Sacramento Business Journal's 2021 "Top Electrical Contractors" list:
  • Alessandro Electric, Inc.
  • Ample Electric, Inc.
  • Barnum & Celillo Electric, Inc.
  • Bosley Electric
  • Butterfield Electric, Inc.
  • Garrahan Electric, Inc.
  • Helix Electric
  • K-S Telecom, Inc.
  • North State Electrical Contractors, Inc.
  • Rex Moore Electric
  • Royal Electric Co.
  • Vasko Electric, Inc.
Congratulations, all, and thank you for exemplifying what it takes to be top of the list!
Read more >>


Thursday, March 11, 2021   WECA Industry Partner Spotlight: simPRO

Logistics software made by trade contractors, for trade contractors
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Read on for their value proposition for WECA Member Contractors



WECA Industry Partner simPRO—like many great software companies—started out of founder Steve Bradshaw’s garage in 2002.

However, unlike other software companies, its founder was an electrical contractor, who felt that his business was losing opportunities due to inefficiencies and sought change as a result. So Bradshaw teamed up with an engineering student named Vaughn McKillop to create a simple scheduling tool made by trade contractors, for trade contractors. Bradshaw’s business expanded as a result, and the software then blossomed into the complete end-to-end solution that helps over 150,000 businesses worldwide streamline their operations, keep loyal customers happy, and win new business.

“If your business struggles with quoting multi-stage projects, managing inventory, communicating with technicians, or any other areas of workflow, simPRO provides a streamlined platform to address your pressing challenges all while helping you increase productivity and profits,” says Nick Carter, simPRO’s Business Development Manager. “simPRO is a top-rated choice in the field service industry due to easily accessible customer support, online help guides, in-depth implementation and training, and consistent software updates that are tailored to customers’ needs. simPRO also connects with Quickbooks and Xero for streamlined accounting and job management.”

Simply put, “simPRO helps companies manage their project, service, and maintenance workflows from initial lead all the way through to final invoice and helps businesses become more efficient by producing quotes and invoices, scheduling staff, managing inventory, job tracking, report building, and more. We allow businesses to take on more jobs and win new business,” says Carter.

Though a software company, simPRO was founded by an electrical contractor and as such, was uniquely interested in partnering with WECA to connect and network with electrical contractors and help their businesses flourish.

This includes special perks for WECA Member Contractors such as saving 20 percent on your simPRO implementation cost; a free, customized software consultation, and a monthly subscription plan with no lock-in contracts.

If your company is interested in doing business with simPRO—or you just simply want to learn more about simPRO—contact Nick Carter, Business Development Manager, at nick.carter@simpro.us. You can also visit simPRO’s web landing page formulated just for WECA Member Contractors here.
Read more >>


Thursday, March 11, 2021   It's Women in Construction Week 2021!

Celebrate accordingly with us--check out our spotlights on inspiring women learning with WECA and its Member Contractors as Apprentices and Electrician Trainees!

Also, read on for coverage of WECA's inaugural (and virtual!) Apprentice Women's Forum meeting



Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Gina White

Whether it’s in the social work field or prospectively on-the-job as an electrician trainee, Gina White is a woman who gets things done.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2018, White started her career as a social worker, but longed to work with her hands. As the daughter of an electrical engineer father who “can fix and build anything”, White thought about going back to college for a mechanical engineering degree but soon discovered that most mechanical engineers end up doing design work behind a computer. Read the rest of Gina's spotlight here.

__________________________________________________



Apprentice Spotlight: Charlotte Burggraf

WECA Apprentice Charlotte Burggraf has had the best of both worlds—a traditional four-year college degree plus educational and on-the-job experience under her toolbelt with WECA—and says that “the biggest shortcoming of [college] was the complete lack of job experience during it.”

“You spend four-plus years for a piece of paper that, on its own, doesn’t get you a career. Even with a degree in hand, you still need to be able to show you can do the work to get hired by a company. Meanwhile, with WECA, or any apprenticeship program really, you get work experience as you do your classroom training, which sets you up well for a career in the field,” says Burggraf. Read the rest of Charlotte's spotlight here.

___________________________________________



Apprentice Spotlight: Laura Varela

WECA Phoenix Commercial Electrical Apprentice Laura Varela, who works for founding Arizona member contractor Corbins Electric, says that “over the years, being a female in construction has become a normal thing. Since joining the trade in 2015, I have personally seen so many women join the trades; there is definitely no divide. We are all a team working together to get one goal done—and that is to finish the job.”

Varela—who first became interested in becoming an electrician while enrolled in her high school’s construction program—says that more women should think about working in the electrical field because “it is not as hard as it may seem. With the advancements in technology, tools that were once manually operated are now battery operated, which means that not as much strength is required anymore.” Read the rest of Laura's spotlight here.

_____________________________________________



Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Ariana Beltran

Like father, like daughter! WECA Electrician Trainee Ariana Beltran has her father to thank for the career journey she’s currently on.

“My dad is an electrician, and I always wanted to follow in his footsteps,” says Beltran. 

Aside from having that much more in common with her father (shop talk during get-togethers, anyone?), Beltran says that studying to become an electrician—and working in the electrical field—comes with some major perks. Read the rest of Ariana's spotlight here.

___________________________________________



Apprentice Spotlight: Liddia Ventura

Liddia Ventura is no stranger to construction, having been around it her whole life. But she found that the electrical trade interested her the most because “There’s always a learning opportunity. Electricity is part of our everyday life and being able to have a working knowledge of it is a great life skill.”

For Ventura, becoming an electrician is also borne out of sentimentality. Her goal is to ultimately operate a solar farm in her mother’s hometown.

In the meantime, though, Ventura is enjoying learning in the classroom with WECA as a Commercial Electrical Apprentice as well as on-the-job with her employing member contractor. Read the rest of Liddia's spotlight here.

____________________________________________


 

Apprentice Spotlight: Jaclyn Surber

If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.

That’s the personal philosophy that WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice—and wrestling Olympic hopeful—Jaclyn Surber ascribes to.
And her love for her chosen profession shines through.

“I love learning a new trade, and my contractor [Helix Electric] has been amazing. WECA has also been amazing—as a female, I’m getting the same training and experiences that my male counterparts are receiving. There is no favoritism; I have to pull my weight like everyone else. I also like the fact that I get to do on-the-job training that is paid,” says Surber. Read the rest of Jaclyn's spotlight here.

____________________________________________



But that's not all! WECA also held its inaugural WECA Apprentice Women's Forum on March 10, and it was a great success!

The inaugural event, hosted virtually via Zoom, was attended by women apprentices from WECA's training facilities in California and Arizona, and even included WECA Alumni Journeyperson (and valedictorian of her class!) Demi Zayas, whom we've previously featured in our newsletters and on our social media channels.

Each attendee brought ideas to the forum, which included suggestions on places WECA could expand their recruiting efforts to, forming groups to connect more frequently, and starting a CODE of the day/week contest with each other.

Zayas also shared useful tips on various topics--including the value of finding ways to get tasks/assignments done with techniques that work for each individual attendee--and spoke of continuously pushing herself to be a continuous learner and tackling new assignments with a desire to be the best.

It was a great meeting, and WECA looks forward to our next forum meeting and continuing to connect (and grow) this fantastic group of women with each other!
Read more >>


Thursday, March 11, 2021   Commercial & VDV 2021-1 Prevailing Wages Now Available

WECA Members: Commercial & VDV 2021-1 prevailing wages are now available on your secured member dashboards on our website. Please login to access them.

Please contact WECA at 1-877-444-9322 you have any questions or need any assistance.
Read more >>


Thursday, March 11, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

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 >>


Tuesday, March 02, 2021   New WECA Industry Partner Spotlight: Qmerit

A leader in the burgeoning Electrical Vehicle (EV) Installation and Electrification Industry since 2010, Qmerit has partnered with WECA to expand its network of certified contractors.



WECA’s Member Contractors and Industry Partners have long been recognized for leading innovation in the industry, and our newest Industry Partner—Qmerit—certainly fits the bill.

Based in Irvine, California, Qmerit has been at the forefront of the burgeoning Electrical Vehicle (EV) Installation and Electrification industry since 2010. Qmerit is building the largest residential/light commercial network of contractors in North America, and has partnered with Schneider (Square D), and LimeRock New Energy and leading auto manufacturers, charger manufacturers, and fleet and utility partners such as BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen and Volvo to do so.



Among the services that Qmerit offers to their contractor network are: EV installations directly delivered with no sales cost, assisting certified installers with finding electricians through Qmerit’s Workforce Development program, and contractors to technical education on the systems integration required to make emerging technologies such as solar, battery storage, and microgrids function seamlessly. But that’s not all—Qmerit also educates contractors and their sales and marketing teams in their network on how to price, sell, install and service these new technologies.



Qmerit has partnered with WECA to expand its network of certified contractors. Michael Roppolo, COO of Qmerit, said that “WECA has the reputation of working with very highly skilled electrical professionals in California, and as you may know, California has the highest level of electrification activity in the United States. We think that WECA is the perfect partner to help us with our mission to pivot the electrical industry to electrification.”

WECA Member Contractors interested in working with Qmerit—and taking pole position as the first Qmerit Contractor in their market--may contact Vernon Riggs, the Vice President of Network Development, via phone at (254) 227-3008 or email at vernon.riggs@qmerit.com, or visit Qmerit’s website at http://www.qmerit.com/contractors
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   Welcome New Members

Thank You for Joining WECA:

A.J. Kirkwood & Associates, Inc.
(Fullerton, CA)

Andrade Electric
(Rancho Cordova, CA)



 
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   Meet Qmerit, Our Newest Industry Partner

Qmerit Has Partnered With WECA to Expand Its Network of Certified Contractors
 

WECA’s Member Contractors and Industry Partners have long been recognized for leading innovation in the industry, and our newest Industry Partner—Qmerit—certainly fits the bill.

Based in Irvine, California, Qmerit has been at the forefront of the burgeoning Electrical Vehicle (EV) Installation and Electrification industry since 2010. Qmerit is building the largest residential/light commercial network of contractors in North America, and has partnered with Schneider, Square D, and LimeRock New Energy and leading auto manufacturers, charger manufacturers, and fleet and utility partners such as BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen and Volvo to do so.



Among the services that Qmerit offers to their contractor network are: EV installations directly delivered with no sales cost, assisting certified installers with finding electricians through Qmerit’s Workforce Development program, and contractors to technical education on the systems integration required to make emerging technologies such as solar inverters, battery storage, and microgrids function seamlessly. But that’s not all—Qmerit also educates contractors and their sales and marketing teams in their network on how to price, sell, install and service these new technologies.



Qmerit has partnered with WECA to expand its network of certified contractors. Michael Roppolo, COO of Qmerit, said that “WECA has the reputation of working with very highly skilled electrical professionals in California, and as you may know, California has the highest level of electrification activity in the United States. We think that WECA is the perfect partner to help us with our mission to pivot the electrical industry to electrification.”
WECA Member Contractors interested in working with Qmerit—and taking pole position as the first Qmerit Contractor in their market--may contact Vernon Riggs, the Vice President of Network Development, via phone at (254) 227-3008 or email at vernon.riggs@qmerit.com, or visit Qmerit’s website at http://www.qmerit.com/contractors
 
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   WECA Industry Partner Border States Electrical Supply donates to our Phoenix Training Facility

Want to see your company's name in lights and help make WECA's premier electrical industry education possible? Learn more below!





WECEF's 2020-21 Lab Donation Scoreboard continues to amass generous monetary and physical donations! New WECA Industry Partner Border States Electrical Supply recently (and generously!) donated 7,000 feet of 1/2" EMT conduit along with rigid and PVC conduit to WECA's Apprenticeship program at our new Phoenix Training Facility.



"These materials are essential for our Apprentices to practice the very bending techniques they will use in the field. The sheer volume of the donation ensures that our Apprentices will have the materials they need to master the various bends and feel assured they will be successful in their next conduit bending assignment on the job site," said Keith Smart, WECA's Arizona Apprenticeship Program Manager and Instructor.

As always, we're grateful for the support of our lab material donors, who help make our seamless delivery of electrical industry education in California and Arizona possible.

The year's only begun, and we eagerly anticipate more generous donations to our Lab Donation Scoreboard. If you would you like to help WECA deliver a cutting-edge and immersive electrical industry education in California and Arizona, here's your chance! Click on the image above to be redirected to WECEF's Lab Donation Scoreboard page and view "wish lists" for our respective educational programs. Besides the satisfaction of contributing to the bright futures of WECA Apprentices and Electrician Trainees, donors will get to see their "name in lights" on our Scoreboard!

Thank you in advance to our donors--the learning experiences of our apprentices and students are greatly enhanced with your support.
 
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   Meanwhile, more great news in Arizona...

WECA's Founding Arizona Member Contractor Corbins Electric Named to Phoenix Business Journal's Top Electrical Contractors in Arizona List!
?


Here's some excellent news to (almost) end the week: WECA's Founding Arizona Member Contractor Corbins Electric was named to the Phoenix Business Journal's Top Electrical Contractors in Arizona list!

Way to go, Corbins! We're proud to have you as our founding member in Arizona, and thank you for exemplifying that WECA's Member Contractors are the best in the American West!
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   It's all good news in Arizona!

WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice Laura Varela Featured in an ABC15 News Segment in Phoenix, Encouraging Others to Consider a Career in the Electrical Trade!



ABC15 in Phoenix filmed and aired a segment this week focused on how to build a career in the trades, and it featured WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentice Laura Varela, who works for Founding Arizona Member Contractor Corbins Electric and trains at our new Phoenix Training Facility.

Congratulations on the recognition, Laura, and great job encouraging others to pursue an electrical apprenticeship and a career in the electrical trade!

Watch the ABC15 News Segment!
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   Emergency Paid Sick Leave Changes in Sonoma County, San Francisco, and the City of Los Angeles



Content Courtesy of: Littler's News and Analysis

On February 9, 2021, the Sonoma County, California Board of Supervisors enacted an urgency ordinance that, effective immediately, expands coverage under its emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) ordinance while clarifying and/or amending leave and notice requirements. The same day, the San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors adopted, and sent to the mayor, an ordinance that extends its expiring EPSL ordinance for an additional 60 days, prospectively exempts certain non-profits from coverage, and prospectively narrows instances in which some employees may use leave. The next day, February 10, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti revised an order requiring employers to provide COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) by broadening employee coverage and, as a result, changing how employers must calculate the amount of SPSL they provide employees.

Sonoma County: On February 2, the Board revived the ordinance and extended it through June 30, 2021. In its February 9 vote, the Board made additional changes to the ordinance including the following:

Employer Coverage: The ordinance now applies to all employers in the county’s unincorporated areas. Previously, coverage was limited to employers with 500 or more U.S. employees.

No New Bank of Leave: The amendments confirm that, notwithstanding the fact that the 2020 ordinance now extends into 2021, EPSL is a one-time benefit, so employers do not need to provide a new bank of leave to employees. This one-time benefit is available to employees of employers the ordinance has always covered, as well as those it now covers but who the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) covered previously. Employers can count leave provided to employees under all emergency paid sick leave programs, e.g., the ordinance, the statewide EPSL executive order and/or statutes, the FFCRA, and Cal-OSHA regulations as leave required by the ordinance.

Limited Exception for Health Care Providers & Emergency Responders: Unlike the federal FFCRA, employers of health care providers and emergency responders covered by the ordinance could not elect to exempt those employees from being able to take EPSL. The ordinance now provides a limited exception for these employers. If they have employees who need leave to care for an individual whose senior care provider, school, or childcare provider is closed or is unavailable due to COVID-19, these employers may deny leave if they make a good-faith determination that granting leave would create a staffing shortfall and that their operational needs require them to deny all or some of the requested leave.

Notice / Posting Requirement: The amendments require that, within three days of publication of the ordinance, employers provide notice to employees of their rights under the ordinance in a manner calculated to reach all employees, including posting a notice in English and Spanish in the workplace, on any intranet or app-based platform and/or via email. These requirements mirror pre-existing notice-posting requirements. The county has now made available notices employers can use to meet their obligations, which describe the law as amended, so employers will need to redistribute and post the updated notices.

San Francisco: Originally, the Board of Supervisors simply proposed reenacting, for an additional 60 days, the Public Health Emergency Leave Ordinance (PHELO), which was set to expire on February 11, 2021. The version going to the mayor – who has 10 days from receipt to sign, veto, or return unsigned the measure – however, includes additional changes that will apply prospectively if the ordinance is retroactively reenacted effective February 11.

Employer Coverage: Since April 2020, PHELO has applied to employers with 500 or more U.S. employees. Once reenacted, it will continue to do so, with one exception. Specifically, going forward, PHELO will not apply to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations if the majority of their annual revenue is program service revenue that is not unrelated business taxable income under federal law and they do not engage in “healthcare operations,” i.e., providing diagnostic and healthcare services and devices including, but not limited to, hospitals, medical clinics, diagnostic testing locations, dentists, pharmacies, blood banks and blood drives, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. Additionally, it includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals, but excludes fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.

Covered Uses: The amendments prospectively remove a controversial PHELO provision that allowed employees to take leave regardless of whether and when they were scheduled to work. Accordingly, employees will only be able to use PHEL if they actually miss work due to a covered reason.

City of Los Angeles: Under the mayor’s prior order, an employee had to have been employed between February 3, 2020 and March 4, 2020 to be eligible for SPSL, and amount of leave was based on average hours an employee worked over a two-week period during this time. As a result, employees hired after March 4, 2020 were not entitled to SPSL. The amended order changes those provisions.

Employee Coverage: The revised order provides SPSL benefits to employees employed with the same employer for 60 days, expanding coverage to employees hired on or after March 5, 2020.

SPSL Calculation: The revised order requires employers to calculate the amount of SPSL due employees based on their two-week average over the last 60 days of employment. The revised order does not address, however, whether this standard applies only to employees who the order did not previously cover or, whether it also applies to previously covered employees. If it applies to previously covered employees, employers may need to recalculate the amount of SPSL these employees are eligible to receive.

The revised order does not address when employers must perform this calculation. It is hoped the L.A. Office of Wage Standards issues guidance clarifying this issue. If it does not, employers might consider using the approach the federal FFCRA used: calculate the amount of leave when an employee first requests to use leave.

Retroactive v. Prospective: The revised order, issued on February 10, 2021, does not include text suggesting the revised standards apply retroactively, so, like other COVID-19 related orders, it appears it will apply prospectively.

What About State or Federal Laws? Despite the consistent extension and/or expansion of local EPSL ordinances, the California Legislature has not proposed reinstating or expanding the statewide emergency paid sick leave laws, nor has the governor acted through an executive order to do the same. Additionally, California employers and employers across the country continue to wait to see whether, and if so, how, the federal government might extend or expand the FFCRA.
Read more >>


Thursday, February 25, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

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, February 11, 2021   Announcing a New WECA Member Benefit A new "Toolbox Talk" safety sheet in your inbox every Monday

 

We know how seriously our members take the Cal/OSHA Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program guideline of presenting a "Toolbox Talk" on a safety topic to their team members on the job site on at least a weekly basis.

WECA educates its apprentices, as well as its advanced electrician trainees and journeyperson continuing education students taking the capstone/foremanship course of our GetWired! program, on the skills involved in delivering effective safety talks. They all receive the opportunity to practice this key leadership skill with their peers.

Today, we're introducing a new member benefit to additionally assist you in providing these Toolbox Talks on the job site. Starting Monday, February 15th, we'll be sending you a new Toolbox Talk/Safety Topic Sheet every week. (We're going to send you five to start, and then we'll start rotating in a new one each subsequent Monday.)

We hope you'll find this new benefit helpful, and that we can lessen the work and research involved in planning your safety talks each week. Watch for the first installment on Monday the 15th! (Or don't, if it's a holiday for you--we promise it will still be there waiting for you on Tuesday.)
Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   CSLB to Offer Wildfire Rebuild Workshops for Contractors ?

Content courtesy of: CSLB

When the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) declares a disaster, CSLB responds quickly to help educate survivors so they can make the best decisions possible when looking for a licensed contractor to help them rebuild. CSLB also provides tools and resources to contractors who want to work in disaster areas and assist with the rebuild.

The first step in CSLB’s disaster response is to assign staff or make materials available at various assistance centers opened to aid survivors. Local Assistance Centers (LACs) are run by OES; Disaster Relief Centers (DRCs) are run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A central feature of CSLB’s message to survivors is to only hire licensed contractors.

To further protect homeowners and to benefit our licensed contractors working in the affected areas, CSLB has partnered with the California Department of Insurance and local district attorney’s offices for a “boots on the ground” outreach program. This approach allows CSLB to reach homeowners and contractors beyond the walls of an assistance center.

The program consists of Enforcement staff placing hundreds of warning signs in both English and Spanish throughout affected disaster areas, as well distributing educational materials. Some warning signs caution consumers to hire only licensed contractors; while others warn that contracting without a license in a disaster area could lead to a felony charge, which includes state prison time and/or a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, partnering agencies conduct joint sweep operations of active jobsites and undercover sting operations, as needed.

To further assist applicants and licensees, CSLB has continued its practice of waiving fees for licensees to replace wall certificates and/or plastic pocket licenses lost in the fires. CSLB also has waived delinquent fees for failure to renew a license before it expires for fire survivors and has worked to expedite license applications for those planning to work in fire areas.

Should applicants and licensees need further assistance, please visit our website or contact us directly for additional services.

Wildfire Workshops

CSLB is now reaching out to local counties and jurisdictions to set up wildfire rebuilding workshops. As with past disasters, CSLB will offer two distinct wildfire rebuilding workshops:

1. For fire survivors looking to rebuild

2. For contractors who plan to work on the rebuilding effort

The fire survivor workshop will include essential consumer protection tips, information about contractor licensing and other requirements, insurance issues, how to work with an architect, and an update on the rebuild provided by the local building department.

The contractor workshop will include a building department update on the local rebuild and any special rules established for plan approvals and inspections. Licensing requirements are also covered, as are bonds and insurance, how to obtain a workers’ compensation policy, contract requirements, how to prevent complaints, and how the selection of building materials and the choice of building methods can help prevent future disasters.
Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   WECA Member Action Alert: Take Action to Oppose the PRO Act

Learn More with an In-Depth Article from Construction Dive
 
Content Courtesy of AGC-San Diego

Last Thursday, the misleadingly-named Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act was reintroduced in Congress. While this legislation claims to help workers, it will have a detrimental impact on an employee’s right to free choice and privacy and an employer’s ability to effectively manage its operations regardless of whether it is a union or open shop firm. 
 
Among the dozens of drastic changes to established labor law, the following are the most significant:
 
·         Threatens workers’ absolute right to a free, fair, and secret union ballot
·         Forces employers to turn over employees' private, personal information to unions
·         Allow intermittent strikes and slowdowns that could devastate jobsite progress and production
·         Eliminates “secondary boycott” protections
·         Strips away employees’ Right-to-Work protections
·         Codifies the “quickie” election rules
·         Expands joint employer liability
·         Establishes an overly restrictive independent contractor test
 
Taken together, many of these extreme changes will be disruptive to both union and non-union employers. We need to tell members of Congress and Senators Feinstein and Padilla to oppose this anti-worker, anti-privacy, and anti-recovery legislation. Click on the "Take Action" button to send them that message.

Take Action
Content courtesy of Construction Dive: How the PRO Act would change the construction industry
On Thursday, Democratic lawmakers reintroduced the PRO Act, the sweeping labor rights bill that was passed by the House of Representatives last year. Construction groups representing workers, unions and employers alike say they are watching intently to see how the bill, or parts of it, would affect the industry if it becomes law. 

By redefining “employees” and “employers” in revisions to the National Labor Relations Act, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act grants benefits to workers previously classified as independent contractors. Additionally, the way in which unions and employers collectively bargain and agree could be altered in states where unions have little to no say in the employee-employer relationship.

Construction’s unique employment model, which often features numerous workers on jobsites from various contractors and subcontractors, means that if the act passes, construction firms may have more responsibilities to every worker on site.

While union groups have long supported the legislation, associations that represent construction firms such as the Associated General Contractors of America and Associated Builders and Contractors oppose it.

“The PRO Act would radically change the employment and contracting landscape for 7.4 million essential construction workers trying to rebuild our economy and cost small businesses — and ultimately taxpayers — a fortune,” said ABC CEO Michael Bellaman in a statement released Thursday.

Also Thursday, AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr said his organization will take “every possible step” to ensure that the act does not become law.

“We view this measure as a significant threat to the viability of the commercial construction industry, its long history of offering advancement and opportunity to all workers and its ability to rebuild our economy and revive our nation,” he said in a statement.

Construction trade unions said they view the bill as empowering the American workforce by granting benefits to employees who have not had them in the past, while ensuring all of those benefiting from the union are paying dues.

“It’s OK for employer organizations to be opposed to [the PRO Act] — it is a workers bill,” said James Williams Jr., general vice president at large for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. “It’s designed to change some of the labor laws in this country and benefit the average working person and bridge the gap. To give the workers their voices back.”

Will it become law?

Despite the new Democratic majority in the Senate, the fate of the PRO Act is not guaranteed. Republicans could use a filibuster to derail the bill, which means that at least 60 senators — nine more than a simple majority — would be needed to move the legislation to a vote. Under that scenario, Democrats would likely not have enough votes required to bring the bill for a vote, which means the PRO Act could languish in the Senate, according to Kristen Swearingen, vice president of legislative and political affairs at ABC.

"We are now having to play offense on everything because the reality is the dozens of provisions in this bill are likely to make their way into other pieces of legislation."

 Jimmy Christianson, Vice President of Government Relations, AGC


Nevertheless, even if the PRO Act stalls in the Senate, elements may find their way into other pieces of legislation or agency guidance such as the revision to “employee” definitions or abolishing right-to-work laws in states. 

For instance, the push to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour is a huge talking point for many Democratic elected officials. Even if the act doesn’t pass, it would not take much for President Joe Biden to implement a $15-an-hour wage on federal projects for federal contractors via executive action, something Jimmy Christianson, vice president of government relations for the AGC, said he anticipates.

“We are now having to play offense on everything because the reality is the dozens of provisions in this bill are likely to make their way into other pieces of legislation,” Christianson told Construction Dive before the bill’s reintroduction.

Implications for construction

As the PRO Act returns to the national spotlight, here is a broad look into the biggest parts of the bill and how they will affect contractors, trades workers and construction employers if it passes:

Redefining employees. The PRO Act would change the definition of an “employee.” As a result, many workers who are currently labeled as “independent contractors” would become “employees,” and therefore, qualify for union representation, benefits and higher wages.

“This is likely the issue that will have the biggest effect on contractors if the PRO Act is passed,” said Elliot Haney, attorney at Cotney Construction Law.

Under the PRO Act, workers are considered employees unless they are free from control and direction from the employer. If a worker is on a jobsite, it's reasonable to expect employers are responsible for them. 

Although the act is designed to change the NLRA, Haney said, legal scholars anticipate it will also apply to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs federal wage and hour requirements — meaning employees who previously didn’t qualify for those mandates may if the PRO Act becomes law.

Joint employer definition. The definition of a “joint employer” would also change. Currently, Haney said, contractors with multiple workers on a jobsite from various subs need only worry about potential liability if they have control over “the essential terms and conditions of another firm's employee.” With the PRO Act, an employer could be deemed liable with only “indirect control or potential control.” 

“If there are multiple union employers on a single jobsite,” Haney said, “all such employers must have the wherewithal to navigate the NLRA, even in their interactions with another employer or another employer’s employees.”

"What we know is that at least having a public debate about reforming our labor laws could be a healthy thing for this country.”
 
James Williams Jr., Vice President at Large, IUPAT

Christianson said the resulting change could open company owners to liability from workers other than employees. They could also face secondary boycotts — where union workers don’t cross picket lines for strikes initiated by other unions on the jobsite. With multiple subcontractors on site, the AGC official said, work could halt over a labor dispute between just one union and its employer.

The IUPAT's Williams, however, said the redefinition would bring benefits for many workers who he called “woefully misidentified” as independent contractors instead of employees.

“Some of the worst actors have adopted that model, and that is bad for workers,” he said. 

Right-to-work. The PRO Act would remove the distinction of the “right-to-work” state, a model in which union security agreements are prohibited. There are 27 right-to-work states.

In non-right-to-work states, employers and labor unions agree to the extent the unions can compel workers to join via the collective bargaining agreement.

Opponents of the PRO Act say this provision would force workers to join unions and pay dues, but Haney said that is not necessarily the case.

“The PRO Act does not require all employees in union industries to pay union dues. It just allows employers and unions in all states to enforce such a provision in their collective bargaining agreement if they so choose,” Haney said in an email to Construction Dive. “The policy basis for this shift is often called the ‘fair share’ approach to collective bargaining — that if a worker is going to benefit from union representation, they should have to contribute to the cost of such representation.”

The elimination of right-to-work laws could mean that open-shop contractors will face a sudden shift in balance to the unions, Christianson said.

Secret ballots. The certification of a union as a representative workers group is usually conducted through a secret ballot, wherein workers vote if they want to be represented by the union. Opponents of the PRO Act claim that it would eliminate the secret ballot elections, which they see as an invasion of privacy that allows unions to essentially strongarm their way into control.
 
According to Haney, that’s not true. “Under the PRO Act, the initial vote whether to certify a union will still occur via secret ballot,” he said. “What the PRO Act changes is the process by which the union can appeal the result of such an election.”

If the PRO Act becomes a law, unions that lose initial votes can petition the National Labor Relations Board claiming employer interference or violation. If the NLRB finds probable cause of interference, the union can overturn the failed election result by obtaining signed authorization cards from a majority of employees in favor of certifying the union, Haney said. 

Opponents of the bill fear unions will be able to assert undue influence on employees willing to vote against the union when conducted by a secret ballot — as they may feel intimidated when asked by the union to sign their name to authorization cards, Haney said.

The future

Whether the PRO Act becomes law or not, discussions focused on labor relations are likely to take center stage now that Biden, who vowed to be a pro-union president, is in the White House. Union leaders are looking forward to a continued conversation about these issues, said Williams.

“What we’re excited about and what we know is that at least having a public debate about reforming our labor laws could be a healthy thing for this country,” he said. “We’re optimistic."

?
Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   Please Share This Reminder with Your Employees: 2021 WECEF Scholarship Applications Due by Feb. 15!

wecef
For students enrolled in a WECA Apprenticeship program, Electrician Trainee program, or Journeyperson-level continuing education classes: there's still time to apply for money to help offset the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition!
 
Application Deadline:
February 15, 2021

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer its annual scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Apprenticeship; Electrician Trainee program (ET); or Journey Level continuing Education programs. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful candidate and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees and/or tuition. The availability of scholarships may vary as funds permit. Awards are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors. Awards are contingent upon the applicant’s ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements stated below. 

Please encourage your employees to visit the WECEF website scholarship page to learn more, review eligibility requirements and application submission options, and download your application.
Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   Want to Make Your Voice Heard on Issues Impacting Merit Shop Contractors?

Don't Miss Out on This Excellent Opportunity--Register Today to Virtually Join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs at the Joint Merit Shop Legislative Conference on March 17 & 18, 2021
 
Register today to attend this virtual event!
Read more >>


Thursday, February 11, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

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, January 14, 2021   The finish line is in sight--a look at the progress on WECA's new Fresno training facility!

 

2021 is shaping up to be a big year for WECA--we opened our new Phoenix, Arizona training facility earlier this month, and the build-out of our new Fresno training facility is proceeding apace !

WECA's new Fresno training facility will be outfitted with final touches such as fire sprinklers, HVAC systems, electrical work, painting, and new ceiling tiles in the coming weeks--with the installation of doors and final inspections following right after.

We can't wait to begin providing more conveniently-located training to our Fresno area and Central Valley contractors' apprentices in 2021!

See you soon, in Fresno!
 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 14, 2021   Behind the scenes at WECA's latest Train the Trainer meeting for its Get Wired instructor team

WECA's Get Wired! instructional and delivery teams kicked off the New Year with the first Train the Trainer meeting of the year.

The meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom, brought WECA's myriad Get Wired! instructors and delivery team together to discuss issues such as how the GetWired! program continues to reach students across California thanks to fully-online delivery in the time of COVID-19, technical updates to the Adobe Connect program that Get Wired! instructors and students utilize to deliver and access instruction, how instructors can encourage their students to apply for 2021 WECEF Scholarships during the now-open application period, and more.

"The meeting was cathartic," said Dan Bierly, the Curriculum Development and GetWired Training Manager. "Each instructor talked about how Covid-19 has personally affected them. Some of our instructors have had very personal and serious Covid-19 scares."

Galen Eckert, the Electrician Trainee and Continuing Education Online Education Manager, concurred with Dan. "It was nice to hear everyone open up, and build some camaraderie amongst the group," said Eckert.

However, the meeting also had its lighthearted moments. Bierly relayed that "hearty congratulations was given to all Get Wired! instructors for stepping up to the COVID-19 challenge with increased students and different conditions without missing a beat," and Rebecca Archer, the Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, was quick to note that "a delicious lunch--of the attendee's choice--was provided via GrubHub gift cards." WECA has long known that a well-fed instructor is a happy instructor.

And last--but certainly not least--Ana Lopez, the Electrician Trainee and Journeyperson Program Manager, wrapped up the meeting with the good news of the continued success and expansion of the Get Wired! program.

Overall, the first Train the Trainer meeting of the year was a success, and laid positive groundwork for the year to come. We look forward to seeing how the Get Wired! program will continue to grow and succeed this year--all thanks to this large and diverse team's relentless work and passion!
Read more >>


Thursday, January 14, 2021   WECA Industry Partner Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction to Host Educational Zoom Meeting

WECA Industry Partner
Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction
to Host Educational Zoom Meeting to Discuss the Issue of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)
?January 22 from 1 - 2 p.m.
 
The Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction (CFEC), a WECA Industry Partner, invites you to join them on Friday, January 22nd, from 1:00pm - 2:00pm PST, as CFEC will be hosting an educational Zoom meeting to discuss the issue of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs).

On the call they will explain exactly what PLAs are, how they lead to higher construction costs, and how they impact contractors, apprentices, workers, and taxpayers alike.

If you're interested in joining them, please email cfec.ca@gmail.com for sign-up information.
Read more >>


Thursday, January 14, 2021   The future of the solar energy industry is bright--employees skilled in solar installation in demand

The solar industry is expanding rapidly--especially in the sunny states we now serve, California and Arizona! As a WECA Member Contractor in these states, it may be worth encouraging your employees to expand their skill sets into solar for the benefit of your company.

If you have apprentices with us, you and they benefit from WECA's recent addition of a foundational level Photovoltaic (PV) System competency to our Commercial Electrical apprenticeship curriculum. Our apprentices learn how PV systems operate, installation practices, and the application of relevant code articles. They also reinforce their newfound PV knowledge by analyzing a stand-alone solar array and battery backup system onsite at our facilities.

Here's some recent solar industry research data from WECA Educational Partner Solar Energy International (SEI).

According to SEI, "In the last decade alone, solar has experienced an average annual growth rate of 49 percent." Such growth is due to many factors like strong federal policies supporting solar, the increasing affordability of solar, and more demand for clean electricity from private and public sectors alike.
This translates to increased demand for contractors specializing in solar energy. SEI notes that as of "Fall 2019, nearly 250,000 Americans work in solar - more than double the number in 2012 - at more than 10,000 companies in every U.S. state."
Although one tends to think of sunny locales when thinking of the word "solar", the solar energy industry is fair game for all 50 states. In fact, states outside of traditionally sunny climes like California made up "made up their largest share of the market in the last decade, led by rapid growth in Florida and Texas," according to SEI's data.
And this explosive growth is poised to keep going, despite economic challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. SEI's article asserts that "most utility-scale work has continued and a record pipeline in that segment will carry the industry to a record year for deployment in 2020," and that "Impending step downs to the Investment Tax Credit help to pull demand into the 2021 – 2023 time frame, setting the stage for a series of record years."
The future's bright for solar--so join us in harnessing the power of the sun and expanding your company's solar expertise by encouraging your journeyperson or advanced Trainee employees to enroll in WECA's solar courses in partnership with educational partner SEI. Our SEI-partnered courses qualify for not only California ET/CE hours, but also NABCEP hours! Click here to access all of WECA's solar course offerings!

Want to see more of SEI's comprehensive solar industry research data? Click here!
Read more >>


Thursday, January 14, 2021   WECA's Student Referral Service has qualified Electrician Trainees ready to work in your area

Full county list included within
 


Are you looking to hire Electrician Trainees? We have qualified individuals in the Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Shasta, and Sutter county areas looking to get referred to a WECA Member Contractor through our Student Referral Service. Don't see your county listed? Let us know of your interest anyhow; new participants sign up every week.

What is this Service?

A free job referral service that introduces our current Electrician Trainee, Journeyman, and WECA-grad job seekers to Member Contractors in order to help you meet your staffing needs. It's included with your membership! (Please note: We do not currently have any journeymen looking for referrals.)

Who does this benefit?

Everyone! WECA Member Contractors are referred qualified, WECA-trained applicants to help meet their staffing needs. And in turn, WECA student and grad participants get valuable job referrals.

How does this differ from the WECA Job Board?

WECA's current Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board is a self-service portal where members and electrical and low voltage employment job seekers submit and review resumes and job postings online.

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 employees to you, and you hire them directly.

To receive referrals from WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Trisha Hughes, WECA Client Services Specialist, at thughes@goweca.com or at (877) 444-9322. 
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   Use Your Member-Exclusive Job Board Benefit: Post Open Positions to WECA's Job Board Today!

WECA Member Contractors: Remember To Utilize This Valuable Member Benefit: You can post open positions on the WECA Industry Job Board

Get your open listings in front of electricians and industry workers hoping to work for a great company like yours.

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...
  • Talented 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. 

WECA Members: Post a job today
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   WECEF announces 2021 scholarship opportunity for Apprentices, Electrician Trainees & Journeypersons


Encourage your employees to submit an application for consideration by February 15, 2021
 
wecef


For students enrolled in a WECA Apprenticeship program, Electrician Trainee program, or Journeyperson-level continuing education classes.
 
Application Deadline:
February 15, 2021

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to once again offer its annual scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Apprenticeship; Electrician Trainee program (ET); or Journey Level continuing Education programs. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful candidate and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees and/or tuition. The availability of scholarships may vary as funds permit. Awards are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors. Awards are contingent upon the applicant’s ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements stated below. 

Please encourage your apprentices and other employees training with WECA to visit the WECEF website scholarship page to learn more, review eligibility requirements and application submission options, and download your application.
 
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   Invest in the next generation with the North State Building Industry Foundation

Host an intern with North State's Thousand Strong program
 
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Thursday, January 14, 2021   IEC-Chesapeake Offers Discount to WECA Members for online , 8-week Project Management Class

To get your WECA Member Discount Code for the course below, please log in to your secured member dashboard and scroll to the discounts section.
If you're interested in this course, click here to enroll!

But--before you enroll, be sure to log in to your WECA dashboard to get your WECA Member Contractor discount code.
Read more >>


Thursday, January 14, 2021   COVID-19 Resources for WECA Member Contractors

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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