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Thursday, December 1, 2022   Wrapping Up a Successful Year of Outreach

WECA and Members Promoted Apprenticeship at CIE Foundation's Trades Day in Sacramento on November 28th











WECA’s Apprenticeship Outreach team is wrapping up a very productive and successful year! We were thrilled to attend CIE Foundation’s Trades Day at Cal Expo in Sacramento on Monday, November 28th as one of our final events of the year.

Representing WECA at the event were Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, and Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructors John Arias and Randy Rivera. WECA Member Contractors Royal Electric Company and Mark III Construction, Inc. joined in the outreach efforts.

“We had hundreds of individuals from various high school and construction trades programs visit our booth,” said Wendy. “They were eager to hear about the classroom and get hands-on demonstrations with John and Randy, while I shared program information with them and handed out our fun swag.”

Thank you for having us, CIE Foundation! It was an rewarding day, as always, of reaching out to the future of California electrical and low voltage workforce! 

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   Congratulations to the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Winners!

wecef
 

Please join us in congratulating the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Winners!

·        Phillip Anossov

·        Gabriel Avila

·        Damien Carlos

·        Cody Carpenter

·        Charles-Joshua Cortez

·        Ivan Cruz Perez

·        Saul Fernandez, Jr.

·        Javier Garcia, Jr.

·        Dane Godbe

·        Benito Gonzales

·        Micah Kirk

·        Scott McFarland

·        Roeun Morng

·        Elissa Penn

·        Shane Peters

·        Ricardo Ramirez

·        Jake Ramsey

·        Justin Robinette

·        Daniel Rojas

·        Brandon Roome

·        Cody Ruggles

·        Ulises Sanchez

·        Brian Shipp

·        Taiye Skillman

·        Dane Storm

·        Brandon Velasco

·        Andres Vera

We were pleased to receive a record number of scholarship applications this year, and are continually inspired by applicants' talent and determination. This year, WECEF focused its scholarship opportunities on students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program.

Each annual WECEF scholarship round helps support students in continuing their education with WECA. This year, awardees received up to $1,000 each in monetary awards towards furthering their education, and/or tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path.

Leanne Sipes, WECA Senior Accountant, says "This year's applications yielded many thoughtful responses. We were pleased to receive applications from the employees of members and non-members alike. It was also great to see that many applicants espoused the importance of safety in the workplace, stating that their approach to safety was to 'continually train on it and embed it into everyone's psyche."

Terry Seabury, WECA Executive Director and CEO, also notes that many applications touched upon common themes in response to questions posed during the application process, such as "What does it take to be an effective leader?" and "Ideas to improve the work environment?" The most common responses to these questions were: leading by example, listening and communicating effectively, remaining calm in the face of challenges, highlighting and sharing everyone's strengths and talents, demonstrating honesty and sincerity, and practicing proper planning and execution to ensure safety on the jobsite. "Many applicants also demonstrated a desire to contribute to improving jobsite and team communication," said Terry.

Congratulations, everyone!

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   Rising Above the Competition in Arizona

WECA Arizona Founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric Makes Phoenix Business Journal's Arizona Corporate Excellence (ACE) Private Companies List

Please join us in congratulating WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric in making the Phoenix Business Journal's Arizona Corporate Excellence Private Companies List!

We're pleased that our Member Contractors continually dominate these types of lists and demonstrate merit shop excellence in the West.

Congratulations, Corbins! Thank you for anchoring WECA in Arizona, and we are excited to see further accomplishments and accolades in the coming new year!

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   Congratulations Larry Thomas, Jr.: Recipient of Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award









Please join us in congratulating Larry Thomas, Jr., WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentice with Member Contractor Corbins Electric, who recently won an Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award!

Larry received the award at the 60th annual Outstanding Apprentice Awards ceremony on Saturday, November 19th at the Wigwam Resort and Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona. There were 600-plus people in attendance, 99 of whom were award recipients. Larry’s wife and daughter were on hand to help celebrate, as were Darin Johnson, Vice President of Foreman Development at Corbins Electric, Olivia Kasparek, Apprenticeship Program Coordinator at Corbins Electric, and Bob Bartlett, WECA Membership Director.

Dennis Anthony, the Chairman of the Arizona Apprenticeship Advisory Committee, was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Additionally, Ted Cooke – the General Manager of the Central Arizona Project – was a featured guest speaker and gave a speech on what it takes to be a leader and not just a manager.

And last, but not least, the award winners had their pictures taken with Willie Higgins, the director of the Arizona State Apprenticeship Program, while receiving their awards.

Congratulations, Larry! We are so proud of your momentous achievement and thank you for representing excellence in apprenticeship! 

Read more >>


Thursday, December 1, 2022   It's Time to Come Together to Celebrate the WECA Arizona Graduating Class of 2022!

There's One Month Left to Support WECA Graduates by Sponsoring This Graduation Event.

Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Arizona Graduating Class of 2022!

Our Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the Class of 2022 have successfully completed their education with WECA!

Help us honor their achievement with your sponsorship of their graduation event on:

Saturday, January 7, 2023 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM

The Grand Ballroom

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Phoenix Airport

320 North 44th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85008

Help us make their graduation memorable--your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend the graduation event, which is especially meaningful for grads 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 the graduation, 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.   

Please consider the sponsorship opportunities at the link below, and thank you for your support of electrical training, apprenticeship, and workforce development for Arizona!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team

Reserve your sponsorship package

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   Congratulations to the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Winners!

wecef
 

Please join us in congratulating the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Winners!
 

·        Phillip Anossov

·        Gabriel Avila

·        Damien Carlos

·        Cody Carpenter

·        Charles-Joshua Cortez

·        Ivan Cruz Perez

·        Saul Fernandez, Jr.

·        Javier Garcia, Jr.

·        Dane Godbe

·        Benito Gonzales

·        Micah Kirk

·        Scott McFarland

·        Roeun Morng

·        Elissa Penn

·        Shane Peters

·        Ricardo Ramirez

·        Jake Ramsey

·        Justin Robinette

·        Daniel Rojas

·        Brandon Roome

·        Cody Ruggles

·        Ulises Sanchez

·        Brian Shipp

·        Taiye Skillman

·        Dane Storm

·        Brandon Velasco

·        Andres Vera

We were pleased to receive a record number of scholarship applications this year, and are continually inspired by applicants' talent and determination. This year, WECEF focused its scholarship opportunities on students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program.

Each annual WECEF scholarship round helps support students in continuing their education with WECA. This year, awardees received up to $1,000 each in monetary awards towards furthering their education, and/or tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path.

Leanne Sipes, Senior Accountant, says "This year's applications yielded many thoughtful responses. We were pleased to receive applications from the employees of members and non-members alike. It was also great to see that many applicants espoused the importance of safety in the workplace, stating that their approach to safety was to 'continually train on it and embed it into everyone's psyche."

Terry Seabury, Executive Director and CEO, also notes that many applications touched upon common themes in response to questions posed during the application process, such as "What does it take to be an effective leader?" and "Ideas to improve the work environment?" The most common responses to these questions were: leading by example, listening and communicating effectively, remaining calm in the face of challenges, highlighting and sharing everyone's strengths and talents, demonstrating honesty and sincerity, and practicing proper planning and execution to ensure safety on the jobsite. "Many applicants also demonstrated a desire to contribute to improving jobsite and team communication," said Terry.

Congratulations, everyone!

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   Congratulations Larry Thomas, Jr.: Recipient of Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award

Please Join Us in Congratulating WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentice, Corbins Electric Employee, and 2022 Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award Recipient Larry Thomas, Jr.









Please join us in congratulating WECA Arizona Commercial Electrical Apprentice and WECA Arizona founding Member Contractor Corbins Electric employee Larry Thomas, Jr., who recently won an Arizona Outstanding Apprentice Award!

Larry received the award at the 60th annual Outstanding Apprentice Awards ceremony on Saturday, November 19th at the Wigwam Resort and Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona. There were 600-plus people in attendance, 99 of whom were award recipients. Larry’s wife and daughter were on hand to help celebrate, as were Darin Johnson, Vice President of Foreman Development at Corbins Electric, Olivia Kasparek, Apprenticeship Program Coordinator at Corbins Electric, and Bob Bartlett, WECA Membership Director.

Dennis Anthony, the Chairman of the Arizona Apprenticeship Advisory Committee, was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Additionally, Ted Cooke – the General Manager of the Central Arizona Project – was a featured guest speaker and gave a speech on what it takes to be a leader and not just a manager.

And last, but not least, the award winners had their pictures taken with Willie Higgins, the director of the Arizona State Apprenticeship Program, while receiving their awards.

Congratulations, Larry! We are so proud of this momentous achievement and thank you for representing WECA’s excellence in Arizona and the West! 

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   National Apprenticeship Week 2022 and Veterans Day Recaps, Spotlights, and Videos

Read About Our Three Successful National Apprenticeship Week Open Houses and Read Our National Apprenticeship Week Apprentice Spotlights and Veterans Day Spotlights on Veteran Apprentices

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Was One for the Books!


WECA Northern California Open House at Our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova Training Facility

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

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

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

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

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WECA Arizona Open House at Our Phoenix Training Facility

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

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

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

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

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



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

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WECA Southern California Open House at Our San Diego Training Facility

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

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

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

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Terry Travis Jr.

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Alec Briseno

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Please Join Us in Thanking Veteran WECA Apprentices for Their Service! Learn More About Their Stories in Our Article and Videos in Honor of Veterans Day 2022

Abigail Stone


Air Force veteran, current Air National Guard member, and WECA Commercial Electrical apprentice at our Fresno training facility

Meet Abigail Stone – Commercial Electrical Apprentice at WECA’s Fresno training facility, Air Force veteran, and current member of the Air National Guard.

Abigail – who served as a vehicular mechanic during her six years at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State and reached the rank of Staff Sargeant – cites her former profession as the reason for choosing to become an electrician.

“I was a vehicular mechanic during my service, and that was a reason for choosing to be an electrician,” says Abigail. “I already knew electrical systems on vehicles, so I wasn’t going into the trade blind. It’s helped me on job sites with running equipment and being able to troubleshoot little issues so we can keep working.”

In her apprenticeship, Abigail says that her favorite thing to work on so far has been Musco Lighting, which are large area lighting systems used in applications such as sports.

“I’ve helped set them up from day one to finish,” says Abigail.

Abigail recommends that fellow veterans consider a career in the electrical industry after their service and offers the following advice to her fellow apprentices.

“Be a sponge. Absorb as much knowledge as you can from those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” says Abigail.

Thank you, Abigail, for your service and for being part of the WECA family! We’re thrilled to have you here and know you will do big things in your career. 

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Fue Lee

Marine Corps veteran and WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility

A friend told Fue Lee about the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, and the rest is history. This United States Marine Corps veteran and Rex Moore Group employee parlayed his experience as an electrician in the service to a successful apprenticeship with WECA. Learn more about his journey:



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Austin Thomason

Army veteran and WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility



Austin Thomason, a U.S. Army Veteran now enrolled in the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, says that "seeing the joy on our customer's faces" after the crew has accomplished a job well done is one of his favorite aspects of his new career. He also says the competitive pay is great, he enjoys the set schedule, and his apprenticeship qualifies him for an extra paycheck each month provided by the post 9-11 G.I. bill.

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   Proudly announcing the WECA Arizona Graduating Class of 2022!

RSVP today to celebrate your hard work and achievements at your graduation event, to be held in The Grand Ballroom at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Phoenix on January 7, 2023!

Dear Arizona Graduating Class of 2022,

WECA is excited to invite you and your loved ones to come and celebrate your achievement of successfully completing your program! Graduates of WECA's Commercial Electrical apprenticeship program will be honored at this event. Meet with your classmates, instructors, contractors, and WECA staff in honor of your graduation, and celebrate together!

Get your tickets for the event here. Each graduate will receive two complimentary tickets; one for themselves and one for a guest. Graduates also have the option to purchase up to three additional tickets for guests.

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Where: 

The Grand Ballroom

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Phoenix

320 N. 44th St.

Phoenix, AZ 85008

When: 

Saturday, January 7, 2023

6:30 - 9:30 PM

Highlights of the Evening:

  • Arriving and socializing with appetizers and beverages
  • Group photo of graduates
  • Graduation ceremony

Registration deadline: December 23

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On behalf of myself, your instructors, WECA's Board of Directors and Apprenticeship Training Trust Board of Trustees, and WECA staff, I wish you a heartfelt congratulations!

Terry Seabury

Executive Director/CEO

We look forward to celebrating with you!

Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   WECA's Student Referral Service: Are You Out of Work? Connect with a Great Employer Today!

WECA Member Contractors Are Urgently Hiring Electrician Trainees and Journeypersons in the Sacramento and Sonoma County Areas NOW!

WECA's Student Referral Service is a conduit to introduce our current Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, and WECA Grads to our Member Contractors. It's meant for students or grads who are currently out of work; to help them find a great new position.

There is no charge to Student or Member to use our Student Referral Service. WECA's Student Referral Service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff provide hands-on referrals, taking some of that work off your plate.  

This is a free, no-obligation service. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 

Electrician Trainees and Journeypersons residing in the Sacramento County and Sonoma County areas are in extra-high demand now. If you're out of work, don't miss out on your next great opportunity! Act today!

Three ways to sign up for the Student Referral Service today!

  1. Contact Trisha Hughes, Client Services ET/CE Specialist, at thughes@goweca.com
  2. Or call our office and ask to speak with her at 1-877-444-9322
  3. Or fill out the SRS sign-up form on our website.
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 30, 2022   Read: Top Changes to the 2023 National Electrical Code Content Courtesy of: EC&M

By: Mike Holt

When it comes to memorable Code revision cycles, this edition will be remembered for making the NEC an easier document to use. Here’s a look at the top 25 revisions.

As it does every three years, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released the latest edition of NFPA 70®, National Electrical Code®. The 2023 NEC cycle was very active with 4,006 Public Inputs, 1,805 First Revisions, 1,956 Public Comments, 900 Second Revisions, 164 Correlating Revisions, and 55 Certified Amending Motions. This resulted in several new Articles and a wide array of new and revised rules.

Click here to read and download the full article.

Read more >>


Tuesday, November 22, 2022   WECA Political Update November 22, 2022

I had planned to provide a more comprehensive overview of the November election, but as the editorial deadline approaches – and several California races are undecided – here is Politico’s take on some of the tightest races in California.

Races Still in Limbo Members of Congress targeted for defeat — both Democrats and Republicans — have held onto their jobs or, in one case, led a too-tight-to-determine race. Despite the tens of millions of dollars spent to dislodge officeholders in tight districts, voters chose to return their representatives to the House. But Republican challengers have a clear path to picking up a few seats in the Legislature by ousting Democratic state lawmakers — something we haven’t seen in several cycles — and a Republican could be unseated. To add to the drama, several races are separated by fewer than a thousand votes and two by fewer than twenty.

While Republicans managed to wrest control of the House from Democrats, in California, the two parties have fought to a draw. GOP Reps. Michelle Steel, Ken Calvert, Mike Garcia, and Young Kim bested Democratic challengers; Democratic Reps. Katie Porter, Mike Levin, Julia Brownley, and Josh Harder rebuffed GOP opponents. As a result, Rep. David Valadao has consistently led Democratic Assembly member Rudy Salas and had a 4,500-vote margin on Friday. However, the race has not been called (and we should note that, in 2018, it took weeks for Valadao to lose his lead for good).

On Friday, a prime legislative race came off the board as Democratic Assembly member Brian Maienschein’s Republican opponent, Kristie Bruce-Lane, conceded and ended one of the CAGOP’s preeminent seat-flipping opportunities.

But multiple Sacramento incumbents are in trouble. Republican Assembly member Suzette Valladares Martinez, whose rare pickup of a formerly Democrat-held open seat was a bright spot for the party in 2020, fell 511 votes behind Democrat Pilar Schiavo over the weekend. Democratic Assembly member Ken Cooley slipped 16 votes behind Republican staffer Josh Hoover on Friday. In contrast, state Sen. Melissa Hurtado — forced by redistricting to move rather than take on fellow Democratic Sen. Anna Caballero — trailed Republican farmer David Shepard by a few thousand votes. Democratic party PACs and outside interests spent more than $4 million to protect Hurtado and about $3.5 million to safeguard Cooley in the general election.

The final balance of power will swing on a few nailbiter contests for open seats: In the Central Valley, Republican farmer John Duarte had an 865-vote advantage over Democratic Assembly member Adam Gray for a spot in Congress, and Democrat Esmeralda Soria sat a couple of thousand votes above Republican ex-Sheriff Mark Pazin for a seat in the Legislature.

Further south, Democratic Palm Springs Council member Christy Holstege was just nine (9) votes ahead of Republican staffer Greg Wallis for a battleground Assembly seat. Holstege and Soria have participated in new member activities, including the speakership fight. [Politico]

And many of you will recall Senator Bob “Huggy Bear” Hertzberg, who authored SB 954 that prohibited the use of “industry advancement” credits on prevailing wages by non-union contractors. The Los Angeles Times noted A double defeat for the Hertzbergs: “Termed-out state Sen. Bob Hertzberg had hoped to win a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — but Lindsey Horvath, a progressive West Hollywood city councilmember, beat him. And Daniel Hertzberg, who sought to succeed his father in the Senate, lost to Caroline Menjivar, a military veteran who will be the first openly LGTBQ+ legislator to represent the San Fernando Valley. The two races mark a victory for political newcomers from the left over a nascent political dynasty.” So, let’s all drink a toast to LA voters!

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A Fight is Brewing Politico gave Rep. Mike Garcia’s victory over Democrat Christy Smith in CA-27 as Republicans’ 218th seat in the House — and majority control for the first time since 2018. Others gave that honor to Rep-elect Kevin Kiley (R – representing a vast swath of Northeast California). Whatever, the House is now under Republican control with Kevin McCarthy living by my eternal motto – “be careful what you ask for.” Why, you ask? McCarthy (whose election to speaker is not assured) will be tasked with leading the House with the slimmest (autocorrect kept changing that to slimiest) of majorities which means he will be continually whipsawed by a minority of his caucus who want to repeal the 2020 election, impeach the majority of Biden administration Secretaries, and subject the Biden family to countless hours of House Committee hearings while China prepares to invade Taiwan, Russia pummels Ukraine, DPRK perfects “the peoples’” ICBMs, and Iran builds more nuclear (pronounced – well – you decide) bombs. Sorry – not the best “Thanksgiving” soliloquy.

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Democrats Poised to Take Majority on Orange County Board of Supervisors for First Time in Decades Democrats are on the cusp of having a controlling majority on Orange County’s Board of Supervisors for the first time in nearly 50 years. The latest election results Thursday evening – which reflect 97% of all ballots cast across Orange County (OC) – had Democrat Katrina Foley holding her lead over former State Senator, Republican Pat Bates, 51.2% to 48.8%. Bates reportedly called Foley “to congratulate her.” This south OC 5th District seat decides which party will have a majority on the board. The last time Dems had control – they adopted a countywide PLA – you can bet the building trades are poised with a PLA for early adoption in 2023. [Voice of OC]

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“Back In the Saddle Again!” One week after securing his sixth term in the Assembly, Asm. Jim Patterson (R – Fresno) is throwing himself right back into the campaign trail. First elected under California's current legislative term limits scheme, Patterson is set to reach his maximum twelfth year in Sacramento in 2024. So on Wednesday, while guest-hosting lunchtime rush radio in Fresno, Patterson uncorked what has long been an open secret: he's planning on running for Fresno County Supervisor in 2024, opening up a challenge against a fellow Republican.

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Budget Deficit Projected The State’s Legislative Analyst (LAO) released a report this week – titled Economic Conditions Weigh on Revenues – that reported on several economic factors California will face next year. The LAO concludes these could push the State back into a budget deficit. Facing rising inflation, the Federal Reserve — tasked with maintaining stable price growth — repeatedly enacted significant interest rate increases throughout 2022 to cool the economy and slow inflation. The more prolonged inflation persists, the higher the Federal Reserve increases interest rates in response and the greater the risk to the economy. The chances that the Federal Reserve can tame inflation without inducing a recession are narrow. Reflecting the threat of a recession, the LAO’s revenue estimates represent the weakest performance the State has experienced since the Great Recession.

Under this outlook, the Legislature would face a budget problem of $25 billion in 2023-24. (A budget problem — also called a deficit — occurs when resources for the upcoming fiscal year are insufficient to cover the costs of currently authorized services.) The budget problem is mainly attributable to lower revenue estimates, which are lower than budget act projections from 2021-22 through 2023-24 by $41 billion. However, lower spending in certain areas has partially offset revenue losses. As a result, over the subsequent years of the forecast, annual deficits would decline from $17 billion to $8 billion. (Chump change.)

The Assembly Speaker and other legislative leaders have indicated they want to continue spending. Still, the LAO cautions, “We discuss the State’s reserves, which are the State's key tool available to address budget problems. We urge lawmakers to begin planning the 2023-24 budget without using general purpose reserves and, instead, to save those reserves for when the State faces a recession.” Let’s hope the Legislature and Governor Newsom heed this recommendation! But signals suggest “no.” Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D - San Francisco) told Politico, “Projections are just that — projections.” (Awesome analysis, sir.)

As CalMatters reported earlier this year, California adopted a $308 billion budget that will provide refunds to most taxpayers in the State, pour resources into expanding abortion access, and extend health care to more undocumented immigrants. The final agreement, which includes $234.4 billion in general fund spending, is similar to a placeholder budget that the Legislature passed earlier to meet a constitutional deadline. But at Newsom’s insistence, new spending commitments were slashed by several billion dollars, and some appropriations will only be triggered in future years if revenue estimates hold up. As the state eyes another potential economic downturn, reserves will grow to nearly $38 billion, including more than $23 billion in the general rainy-day fund.

So, if the State does face a deficit, unless spending is cut or additional revenue (taxes and fees) is raised, the State would be forced to spend the entire general rainy-day fund or cut services – and this is before what some economists are forecasting – a moderate recession in 23-24!

The tax rebate program, debated for months, was the centerpiece of the budget deal. Under the $9.5 billion plan, more than 95% of taxpayers — those making as much as $250,000 a year, or $500,000 if they file jointly — are supposed to receive a payment this fall. The amounts vary based on income and whether the recipients have dependents, so a low-income family with children will receive $1,050. In contrast, a single taxpayer with a higher income will receive just $200.

With the new legislative year commencing on December 5, it will be interesting to see if the members take the deficit projections seriously – or if they will punt the ball to Governor Newsom. He might be forced to cut billions from next year’s budget.

By the way, David Crane of Govern for California agrees. Read his letter to the Legislature here..

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State Lithium Panel Recommends PLAs, Other Steps As reported in the Palm Springs Desert Sun, “California’s Lithium Valley Commission has finished a comprehensive report on how to maximize the development of the critical mineral and create jobs and economic opportunities while aiming to protect public health and benefit local communities.” The report included several recommendations urging “California to push to create a so-called ‘circular’ in-state economy related to lithium, from extraction through production, transportation and even recycling of batteries and other products. The report also calls for state and federal funding of badly needed infrastructure to implement commercial lithium production, including paved roads, transmission lines, and repaired or new bridges. It urges the State to incentivize companies to use Project Labor Agreements with area unions, to do local hiring and provide workforce training, but stopped short of asking the Legislature to mandate them explicitly in exchange for public funds.”

There is no direct online link to the final report, but it should be posted on the commission’s docket when it is complete.

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Do People Not Want to Work in Construction Anymore? Most of you probably saw this in Construction Dive but in case you missed it, “Construction is no stranger to labor shortages. Over several decades, funding that advocates for higher education as the primary career route for young adults has continued to increase, drying the well of entry-level workers for the trades. Many believe there is a sentiment that people don’t want to work with their hands anymore in what can be a dirty, back-breaking job.” Story

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Candidates Galore A combined 2,998 candidates ran for president in 2016 and 2020. On Nov. 15, former President Donald Trump (R) announced he would run for a second term — and filed the paperwork to make it official. Anyone can file to run for president with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). In 2016 and 2020, 2,998 individuals filed to run for president with the FEC. In 2016, 1,786 candidates filed with the FEC; in 2020, that figure was 1,212.

Of the candidates who filed in 2020:

·        323 filed as Democratic candidates

·        164 filed as Republican candidates

·        65 filed as Libertarian candidates

·        23 filed as Green candidates

Of the candidates who filed in 2016:

·        228 filed as Democratic candidates

·        288 filed as Republican candidates

·        56 filed as Libertarian candidates

·        14 filed as Green candidates.

[Ballotpedia]

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CSLB Shares Additional Details Regarding Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirement for Four License Classifications The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is informing active licensees starting January 1, 2023; renewals will not be processed without proof of workers’ compensation insurance for license classifications C-8 (Concrete), C-20 (Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning), C-22 (Asbestos Abatement), and D-49 (Tree Service), regardless of whether the contractor has employees. The new workers’ compensation insurance requirement for C-8, C-20, C-22, and D-49 licensees results from Senate Bill 216, which takes effect January 1, 2023. The only exception in SB 216 is for joint venture licenses, which will still be able to file a certificate of exemption if one of the joint venture license entities has a workers’ compensation insurance policy.

SB 216 also requires that all active contractors – with or without employees – have a valid Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance by January 1, 2026.

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Brand Offers a Spicy Response in Lawsuit Defense A name is just a name on a bottle of hot sauce, especially when the back of the label and the company’s website says so. That’s the gist of the defense offered by Garner Foods Co. of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in a federal lawsuit that contends the name “Texas Pete” and its packaging are deceptive because the product is not made in the eponymous state but rather in North Carolina. Attorneys for Garner Foods filed their response in the case recently seeking dismissal on numerous grounds, but particularly noting that the company is not in the least deceptive or misleading toward consumers because it makes clear products with the Texas Pete brand name are not made in Texas, reports Triad Business Journal's David Hill. “The back label of the product clearly states the location of its source as Winston-Salem, North Carolina,” states the motion to dismiss. “Nowhere on any of the product's labels does it state or represent that the product is made in Texas or is a product of Texas.” Plaintiff Philip White said in the initial complaint filed Sept. 12 in the Central District of California federal court that Garner Foods violated laws regarding unfair competition and false advertising by presenting or implying Texas Pete as made in Texas.

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And what will surely bring tears to faithful readers - NLRB Feels the Heat: The National Labor Relations Board “will likely be forced to pursue furloughs” if its funding isn't boosted in the next congressional spending deal, the agency's top officials warned last week. “At this point, the Agency has exhausted its ability to absorb cost increases through staff attrition, and operational efficiencies," board Chair Lauren McFerran and General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo told key congressional appropriators. McFerran and Abruzzo’s appeal makes public what the NLRB had been signaling in communications with the unions representing agency staff. Now, don’t get me wrong. Having been furloughed once or twice in my adult life, I am empathetic to those being cast aside (Governor Wilson notified a small group of former Senate employees who were establishing the California Research Bureau, including yours truly, of cancelation of our employment MOU – on Christmas Eve. Who said Wilson had no sense of irony – or humor?) But come on, who thinks the House in the 118th Congress will toss a life ring to the NLRB?

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And Before You Go, Some Good News California’s new poet laureate, Lee Herrick, is a community college teacher from Fresno. Herrick, 52, is a writer and professor at Fresno City College and a teacher at the University of Nevada, Reno, at Lake Tahoe, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was born in South Korea and adopted by a family in Modesto as an infant. In appointing Herrick as California’s 10th poet laureate, Gov. Gavin Newsom praised his “vivid celebration” of the California experience. “Lee’s dedication to highlighting the diverse experiences of Californians, and making them so accessible through his poetry, makes him a perfect candidate for poet laureate,” Newsom said in a statement on Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Read more >>


Thursday, November 17, 2022   National Apprenticeship Week 2022 Was One for the Books!



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

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

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

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

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

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WECA Arizona Open House at our Phoenix training facility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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WECA Southern California Open House at our San Diego training facility

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

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

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

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Terry Travis Jr.

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Alec Briseno

WECA Apprentice Spotlight for National Apprenticeship Week 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

 

 

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Thursday, November 17, 2022   Please Join Us in Thanking Veteran WECA Apprentices for Their Service

Learn More About Their Stories in Our Article and Videos in Honor of Veterans Day 2022

Abigail Stone

Air Force veteran, current Air National Guard member, and WECA Commercial Electrical apprentice at our Fresno training facility

Meet Abigail Stone – Commercial Electrical Apprentice at WECA’s Fresno training facility, Air Force veteran, and current member of the Air National Guard.

Abigail – who served as a vehicular mechanic during her six years at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State and reached the rank of Staff Sargeant – cites her former profession as the reason for choosing to become an electrician.

“I was a vehicular mechanic during my service, and that was a reason for choosing to be an electrician,” says Abigail. “I already knew electrical systems on vehicles, so I wasn’t going into the trade blind. It’s helped me on job sites with running equipment and being able to troubleshoot little issues so we can keep working.”

In her apprenticeship, Abigail says that her favorite thing to work on so far has been Musco Lighting, which are large area lighting systems used in applications such as sports.

“I’ve helped set them up from day one to finish,” says Abigail.

Abigail recommends that fellow veterans consider a career in the electrical industry after their service and offers the following advice to her fellow apprentices.

“Be a sponge. Absorb as much knowledge as you can from those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” says Abigail.

Thank you, Abigail, for your service and for being part of the WECA family! We’re thrilled to have you here and know you will do big things in your career. 

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Fue Lee

Marine Corps veteran and WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility

A friend told Fue Lee about the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, and the rest is history. This United States Marine Corps veteran and Rex Moore Group employee parlayed his experience as an electrician in the service to a successful apprenticeship with WECA. Learn more about his journey:



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Austin Thomason

Army veteran and WECA Commercial Electrical Apprentice at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility

WECA Apprentice and Veteran Austin Thomason

Austin Thomason, a U.S. Army Veteran now enrolled in the WECA Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program, says that "seeing the joy on our customer's faces" after the crew has accomplished a job well done is one of his favorite aspects of his new career. He also says the competitive pay is great, he enjoys the set schedule, and his apprenticeship qualifies him for an extra paycheck each month provided by the post 9-11 G.I. bill.

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Thursday, November 17, 2022   WECA Member Contractors: There Are About Two Weeks Left; Don't Forget to Vote!

Check Your Mailboxes and Cast Your Ballot for the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees, and Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees by Nov. 30

Dear WECA Member Contractors,

There's about two weeks left to cast your ballot for candidates for the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, WECA Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees, and WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees.

Ballots were sent out to our primary contact at each WECA member contractor. If you haven't yet voted, please check your inbox and submit your ballot!

Read more >>


Thursday, November 17, 2022   Want to Show Your Support for the WECA Arizona Graduating Class of 2022?

Now's Your Chance -- Support WECA Graduates by Sponsoring Their Graduation Event!

Dear WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and Supporters,

WECA is proud to announce the Arizona Graduating Class of 2022!

Our Commercial Electrical Apprentices in the Class of 2022 have successfully completed their education with WECA!

Help us honor their achievement with your sponsorship of their graduation event on:

Saturday, January 7, 2023 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM

The Grand Ballroom

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Phoenix Airport

320 North 44th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85008

Help us make their graduation memorable--your sponsorship can allow you and members of your team to attend the graduation event, which is especially meaningful for grads 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 the graduation, 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.   

Please consider the sponsorship opportunities at the link below, and thank you for your support of electrical training, apprenticeship, and workforce development for Arizona!

Sincerely,

The WECA Graduation Team

Reserve your sponsorship package

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Thursday, November 3, 2022   WECA San Diego Chronicles: Klein Visit; First Year, Commercial Electrical Apprentices Succeed in Lab

WECA San Diego Chronicles

Klein Tools Reps Visit; First Year, First Semester Commercial Electrical Apprentices Succeed in the Lab



Instructor Neil Pesarillo and his first year, first semester Commercial Electrical class were pleased to recently host Klein Tools reps Dan Garland and Elizabeth Medlen at WECA's San Diego facility for a demo and lesson!

During the visit, Dan and Elizabeth gave out free gifts and engaged students by having them answer questions for prizes. Neil also gave his students a shout-out by praising their success in understanding the theories and concepts taught in recent labs.

Thank you for visiting, Dan and Elizabeth, and keep up the great work, everyone!

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Thursday, November 3, 2022   Advancing Women in the Construction Industry

Wendy and Diane Represent WECA at 2022 SRBX/CIEF Women in Construction Fall Conference in Sacramento

Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship, and Diane Trotter, Workforce Development Supervisor, attended the 2022 SRBX/CIEF Women in Construction Fall Conference in Sacramento on Oct. 27.

According to the SRBX website, SRBX Women in Construction is a council that helps to educate, connect, develop, inspire, and advance women in the construction industry as they build meaningful careers. The council also celebrates women as a visible component of the construction industry and seeks to encourage California lawmakers at all levels to adopt policies that will successfully increase women in apprenticeship programs.

Diane says, "We both attended some great breakout sessions. Mine were 'How to Create a Culture that Invites Diversity' and we both went to a fabulous one on 'Overcoming Unconscious Bias in Recruiting and Retention.' There was also a great panel called Lived Experiences, where we got to hear from women that have been successful in their careers in construction."

Thank you, Wendy and Diane, for representing WECA and women in construction at the conference!

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Thursday, November 3, 2022   Checking in with WECA Northern California Low Voltage Apprentices

Second Year, First Semester Apprentices Learn How to Install and Troubleshoot Initiating Fire Alarms









Instructor Randy Rivera took some pictures of second year, first semester Low Voltage Apprentices learning how to install and troubleshoot initiating fire alarms in the lab at our California headquarters in Rancho Cordova this week. Thank you for sharing, Randy!
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Thursday, November 3, 2022   It's Never Too Early to Think About the Future

Inspiring Sacramento-area Youth to Pursue Careers in the Electrical and Low Voltage Industries

WECA loves investing in today's youth and the future of the electrical and low voltage industries!

We recently joined forces with Capital College and Career Academy, WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric, and Sacramento-area utility provider SMUD at Capital College and Career Academy's "Build Your Future Today" Program Cohort to teach local students how to wire electrical circuits.

We had a wonderful time inspiring the students to someday pursue well-paying, rewarding, and hands-on careers in the electrical and low voltage industries!

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Thursday, November 3, 2022   Have Employees Considering Apprenticeship? Encourage Them to Attend Our Upcoming Open Houses

Have Employees Considering Apprenticeship?

Encourage Them to RSVP to Attend Our Upcoming Apprenticeship Open Houses in Recognition of National Apprenticeship Week 2022.

It's the Perfect Opportunity to Tour a WECA Facility -- Current and Prospective WECA Member Contractors Welcome, Too!


 

This National Apprenticeship Week, WECA's pulling out all the stops and showing off our cutting-edge apprenticeship programs at three of our state-of-the-art facilities! There are three opportunities to see what we're all about:

  • ARIZONA: November 16 at 3 p.m. at our Phoenix training facility/Arizona HQ
  • NorCal: November 15 at 10 a.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility/California HQ
  • SoCal: November 16 at 1 p.m. at our San Diego training facility

Attendees will get the chance to learn about our apprenticeship programs, tour our facilities, view lab demos, meet instructors and staff (with the opportunity to ask individual questions), and more!



Registration link for the WECA Arizona Open House



Registration link for the WECA Northern California Open House



Registration link for the WECA Southern California Open House

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Thursday, November 3, 2022   WECA Member Contractors: Don't Forget to Vote!

Check Your Mailboxes and Cast Your Ballot for the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees, and Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees by Nov. 30

Dear WECA Member Contractors,

It's time to cast your ballot for candidates for the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, WECA Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees, and WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees.

Ballots were sent out to our primary contact at each WECA member contractor. If you haven't yet voted, please check your inbox and submit your ballot!

Read more >>


Thursday, November 3, 2022   San Diego: Vote No on Measure D

WECA and its strategic partner AGC San Diego have been busy fighting the lies and misinformation the San Diego Building Trades have been using to sell Measure D to San Diego city voters.

These tactics included a mailer that suggested the San Diego Padres agreed with the union liars, which resulted in the Padres issuing a press release disclaiming any endorsement of "D". Read the story here.

The "No on D" side will be running some TV ads this week to encourage city voters to "Vote No on D."

Watch the ad here.

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Thursday, October 27, 2022   WECA Political Update October 27, 2022

Elk Grove City Council Adopts City-wide PLA Last night, the Elk Grove City Council (located in Sacramento County) adopted a PLA (which they called a “Community Workforce and Training Agreement”) for all city work greater than $1.0 million on a 3-1-1 vote. Councilmember Stephanie Nguyen (who has tired of city life and is running for State Assembly against Sacramento councilmember Eric Garcia, who also loves PLAs) made the motion to adopt the boilerplate PLA, which Vice Mayor Darren Suen quickly seconded. Suen explained that he supports PLAs because he believes that every person in the United States should have a defined benefit pension, which was a step in that direction. Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen (who is the only councilmember up for re-election this year) provided the third ‘aye’ vote and read from a union-prepared statement that all of the criticisms about PLAs were fabricated and untrue – based upon her own extensive and personal examination of the PLA supporting studies from the UC Berkeley Labor Center.

Councilmember Kevin Spease was the only opponent on the council who insisted the PLA could not apply to a local contractor (“local” is defined in the PLA as the seven counties surrounding Sacramento) and that no construction worker should be forced to change health plans or contribute to union pension plans that have a vesting period. Councilmember Pat Hume said he couldn’t support the PLA with the pension language but abstained instead of joining Spease with a “no” vote. Hume is running for Sacramento Supervisor and believes he can straddle the fence – although the construction unions are all full blast in support of Hume’s opponent, the “union-owned” Jaclyn Moreno. Moreno facilitated the PLA in her current position at the Cosumnes Community Services District, which provides fire protection and parks for Elk Grove and Galt.

Some points in the five-year PLA are unresolved – but with the council telling the City Manager to get the PLA signed, sealed, and delivered, his ability to negotiate benefits for the city further seems – well, challenging.

WECA member Ian van der Linden and a number of his staff spoke in opposition, but the deals had been done in advance of the meeting, and all that was left was for the three PLA supporters to follow the script as written by the unions.

Ironically, the vote took place after a 90-minute celebration of DEI by the council and acknowledgment of Diwali – the Hindu religious festival that celebrates “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.” I wonder if any of those three picked up on the irony?

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Where Was Gavin? President Joe Biden’s three-day October trip to Southern California featured events with a who’s who of California Democrats — but not Gov. Gavin Newsom. Many of the party’s biggest names — including U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; U.S. Reps. Karen Bass, Katie Porter, and Ted Lieu; state senator and congressional candidate Sydney Kamlager — turned out alongside the president as he made stops in Los Angeles and Orange County to tout federal infrastructure investments and plans to lower healthcare costs. Biden also headlined a fundraiser with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Los Angeles. Some called Newsom’s absence “strange,” given that “it certainly is the tradition that the governor of the state — particularly when the governor’s from the same party — will see the president” when he’s in town, Jessica Levinson, a Loyola Law School professor and California political commentator, told CalMatters. NBC News political director Chuck Todd described the situation to KCRA as a “head-scratcher.” 

Newsom spokesperson Alex Stack explained: “The Governor, unfortunately, had scheduling conflicts. For example, he had an event in Sacramento on Friday morning for his book, in addition to state commitments.” The White House could not explain why Newsom’s book was more important than POTUS. 

Levinson said she was skeptical of the governor’s claim: “‘Scheduling conflict’ is the equivalent of ‘I’m dropping out of this political race that I’ll never win to spend more time with my family.’ Nobody really believes it.” Levinson suggested a few possibilities for why Newsom and Biden may have avoided meeting with each other: 

“Biden has been kind of out ahead of Newsom on a couple of issues.” First, the president last month took the rare step of wading into a California legislative battle and endorsing a farmworker unionization bill that Newsom had opposed. The move infuriated the Governor, who ended up signing the bill on the condition that it be significantly amended next year. Second, Biden called on three Los Angeles City Council members to resign for making racist comments and plotting to consolidate Latino political power during last year’s redistricting process — a step Newsom hasn’t taken, though he applauded former council president Nury Martinez’s decision to step down. Third, Biden has endorsed Rep. Karen Bass for Los Angeles mayor over her opponent, billionaire businessman Rick Caruso — while Newsom thus far has kept out of the race, telling Fox 11 earlier this year that he’s known both candidates for years and has “deep respect” for both. 

“Biden may feel that Newsom is waiting in the wings … There could be a little personal bad blood because Newsom has become such a national presence and seems to be positioning himself to fill a potential void.” Newsom’s efforts to amplify his national profile — including by slamming the Democratic Party for failing to aggressively counteract the GOP on such hot-button topics as abortion and LGBTQ rights — have seemingly irked some members of the Biden administration. But Newsom, who insists he has “sub-zero” interest in a presidential run, has repeatedly praised Biden, saying that he’s delivered “a master class … on substance and policy” in his first two years in office. 

Meanwhile, the Governor’s office published a recap of events showing how “the Newsom administration was hard at work this week taking action for Californians across a variety of issues,” including breaking ground on a 10,000-mile broadband network to help expand high-speed internet access and cracking down on illegal cannabis operations. [CalMatters]

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California to end Covid state of emergency early next year Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that California would end its Covid-19 public health state of emergency on Feb. 28, marking the official end of the public health crisis. "The State of Emergency was an effective and necessary tool that we utilized to protect our state, and we wouldn’t have gotten to this point without it,” Newsom said. “With the operational preparedness that we’ve built up and the measures that we’ll continue to employ moving forward, California is ready to phase out this tool.”

The four-month lead time allows the state to unwind remaining pandemic provisions while giving time to respond to a potential winter surge. Administration officials stressed that the emergency order allowed the state to create the framework necessary to mount a centralized response to the pandemic and that infrastructure could be scaled up if necessary to manage an increase in Covid cases or another health crisis.

Newsom declared a state of emergency on March 4, 2020, which gave him broad powers to issue executive orders to direct how the state controlled the pandemic response. Republicans have long been clamoring for the governor to end what they've considered an overbearing and controlling approach to Covid restrictions and an abuse of executive privilege.

Many of the key provisions of the pandemic restrictions ended in 2021 and this year. These include travel restrictions, facial masking requirements, and other Covid health protocols. In September, the California Department of Public Health said visitors to healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, will not have to provide proof of vaccination or be tested for Covid-19 to visit their loved ones.

Less than five percent of the original orders — or just 27 of the 596 provisions of the state of emergency — remain. Many of those are operational and no longer needed. Administration officials said Monday they intend to work with the Legislature on statutory fixes for two provisions: one that would allow nurses to order and dispense Covid medications and another to ensure the ability of lab workers to process Covid tests.

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Employers Should Continue to Use the Current Version of Form I-9 After Oct. 31, 2022 On October 12, 2022, the USCIS announced that employers should continue to use the current Form I-9 after its expiration date of October 31, 2022, until further notice. It is anticipated that the Department of Homeland Security will publish a new one-page Form I-9 in the coming months. Thus, until the new version of the Form I-9 is published and effective, employers should continue to use the current version of the I-9 form. Learn More

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IRS Releases 2023 Annual Limits for Retirement Plans The IRS just announced the 2023 annual limits that will apply to tax-qualified retirement plans. For the second year in a row, the IRS increased the annual limits, allowing participants to save even more in 2023. Employers maintaining tax-qualified retirement plans must ensure their plans’ administrative procedures are adjusted accordingly. Story

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The Mega-Donors Funding the Midterm Campaigns Private groups and individuals pour a lot of money into the elections to decide which party controls Congress. The Washington Post (I can hear the groans already) compiled a list of the top 10 individuals and groups bankrolling this midterm cycle. The top 50 donors this election cycle have pumped $1.1 billion into political committees and other groups competing in the midterms. Who are these donors? Billionaire investors, shipping magnates, casino moguls, and others. Many are longtime donors, but some new faces have made their money through cryptocurrency. How do they vote? The group skews Republican, though the top donor is a Democrat.

Legislative Calendar:

  • Sept. 30 – Last day for governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 1 and in the governor’s possession on or after Sept. 1 
  • Nov. 8 – General Election.
  • Nov. 30 – Adjournment Sine Die at midnight 
  • Dec. 5, 12 noon – Convening of the 2023-24 Regular Session and special session
  • Jan. 1, 2023 – Statutes take effect 
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 26, 2022   On the Scene! GetWired and Basic Motor Controls Labs





Above, students are hard at work practicing new skills in the lab-based Basic Motor Controls course. Motor controls are an in-demand skillset for many journeypersons, and part of the final year of instruction for ETs pursuing WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate.

Below, students work on a GetWired switching and circuit ampacity lab, learning concepts they'll use in the field, guided as always by expert instructors. That's instructor Brian Ray (a WECA grad himself!) on the left in the first photo.






Read more >>


Wednesday, October 26, 2022   Three Ways to Take GetWired Path to an Electrician Trainee Certificate. Which is Right for You?

There Are Now Three Ways to Take WECA's GetWired Path to an Electrician Trainee Certificate.

Which One is Right for You?

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Design the journey to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate in California that works for YOU. Learn all about the different ways and combinations--online; onsite; instructor-led; on your own--that you can now take WECA's GetWired program.



This Video Explains It All

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Download the Flyer

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OPTION 1 GetWired Online Instructor-Led with ONSITE IN-PERSON LAB

You could call this option "Get Wired Classic." Attend most of your class sessions from home, online, at a scheduled time with a live instructor; usually two evenings a week.

Then attend one hands-on lab on a Saturday at the training facility closest to you! (Onsite labs begin with GetWired! 102.) 

OPTION 2 GetWired Online Instructor-Led with ONLINE INTERACTIVE LAB EXPERIENCE*

New for 2023! Attend all of your class sessions from home, online, at a scheduled time with a live instructor; usually two evenings a week. On one of your course evenings, your instructor will lead you through an online interactive lab experience, covering the same concepts as the onsite lab option.

* The online lab option is now available for the GetWired 100 series, with the 200 series and beyond coming soon.

OPTION 3 GetWired ONLINE SELF-PACED* 

Take all of your class sessions from home, online, on your own time, at your own pace! One of the lessons will be an online interactive lab experience, covering the same concepts as the onsite lab option. An instructor is always available by email for questions.

* The self-paced option is now available for the GetWired 100 series and select upper-division GetWired classes, with the 200 series and beyond coming soon.

Switch it up any time! You can move from instructor-led for one course to self-paced the next; in-person lab this quarter and online interactive lab next quarter: mix and match from class to class to best fit your life at that point in time! Successful completion of any GetWired classes in any format count equally towards your program certificate.

As the largest provider of Electrician Trainee education in California, WECA is committed to serving all of our students with as flexible and affordable an electrician trainee program as possible.

Start or continue your journey to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate (completion of which qualifies you, when combined with sufficient on the job hours, to take the California General or Residential Certification exam) by enrolling in your next class today, or give us a call at 877-444-9322 to talk through your options.

 

Read more >>


Wednesday, October 26, 2022   Missed Construction Inclusion Week?

Learn How WECA Continually Supports the Development of Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces in Our Industry

We observed Construction Inclusion Week on social media and in our communications last week, but for WECA, supporting the development of diverse and inclusive workplaces in our industry is always a top priority. 

One of the ways we observed Construction Inclusion Week was through a video on Alondra Mora -- who entered a WECA apprenticeship program directly out of high school, and with the benefit of a supportive employer (WECA Member Contractor Sebastian, based in Fresno, CA), coworkers, and a strong education from WECA, has now graduated into leadership roles on the job site! 

Check the video out below!

Read more >>


Wednesday, October 26, 2022   Don't Miss Out -- Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2022 with WECA!

Join Us for Our Electrical and Low Voltage Apprenticeship Open Houses in Northern and Southern California, and Our Electrical Apprenticeship Open House in Arizona!

Already an Apprentice? Share This Opportunity with a Friend or Family Member.

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This National Apprenticeship Week, WECA's pulling out all the stops and showing off our cutting-edge apprenticeship programs at three of our state-of-the-art facilities! There are three opportunities to see what we're all about:

  • ARIZONA: November 16 at 3 p.m. at our Phoenix training facility/Arizona HQ
  • NorCal: November 15 at 10 a.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility/California HQ
  • SoCal: November 16 at 1 p.m. at our San Diego training facility

Regardless of which open house you attend, you'll get the chance to learn about our apprenticeship programs (all of which pay YOU to learn a skilled profession without having to take on any college debt!), tour our facilities, view lab demos, meet instructors and staff (with the opportunity to ask individual questions), and more!

Don't miss out! Be sure to register for the open house nearest you (links below each respective image). (Note: pre-registration is not necessary, but encouraged.)

We look forward to seeing and meeting you!

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Register for the WECA Arizona Open House here!



Register for the WECA Northern California Open House here!



Register for the WECA Southern California Open House here!

Read more >>


Wednesday, October 26, 2022   FIVE DAYS LEFT TO APPLY for the 2022 WECEF Scholarship Opportunity!

FIVE DAYS LEFT TO APPLY for the 2022 Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) Scholarship Opportunity!

This Year's Awards Targeted at Electrician Trainees on the GetWired Path Toward an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate

wecef

 

For students enrolled in the GetWired Electrician Trainee program:

Application Deadline:

October 31, 2022

Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE:

  • Active WECA Electrician Trainee at time of application or as of 10/1/2022
  • COMPLETION of at least one WECA ET course within the GetWired 100-300 series, with a passing grade of at least 80%, during the six months prior to 10/1/22 (between April 1, 2022-Sept 30,2022).
  • Accurate completion of the online scholarship application and answers to questions, by the deadline of October 31, 2022. Incomplete applications, or late applications, will not be considered.
  • Not currently a registered Apprentice.
  • Not a General Student or a Journeyman Student. This is only for Active Electrician Trainees.
  • Within the past two years, may not have received a notification of any violation of any WECA student conduct standards as outlined in our ET student handbook.
  • Was not a recipient of a WECEF scholarship during 2021

AWARDS:

Depending on the quality and quantity of the applications, up to ten (10) recipients will be awarded. This year the WECEF Board of Directors has decided to award a monetary amount plus a credit towards future courses.

  • Each monetary award will be between $500-$1000, PLUS tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path, namely the GetWired series and Basic Motor Controls 1 and 2.
  • Tuition awards towards courses cannot be converted to cash or transferred to another person.
  • Tuition award cannot be used towards a class already purchased.
  • Tuition can be used for only two future WECA courses; and both courses must be started before July 31, 2023.
  • Award towards tuition expires after July 31, 2023 and cannot be renewed.

A 1099 will be issued for tax purposes for the monetary and the tuition credit award.

The WECEF Board of Directors will review applications from eligible candidates. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s final decision within one month from application deadline, by mail and/or email.

Submissions must be fully completed by the 10/31/2022 11:59 PM deadline for consideration.

Electrician Trainees can login to WECA eCampus to access and complete their scholarship application.

Sincerely,

The WECEF Board of Directors

Read more >>


Wednesday, October 26, 2022   Read: Want a career saving the planet? Become an electrician. Courtesy of: The Washington Post

To ‘electrify everything’ the country is going to need a lot more electrical experts.

By: Shannon Osaka

When we think about solving climate change, we often think about things that, in one way or another, plug into an electrical grid: Solar panels. Heat pumps. Efficient air conditioners. Wind turbines. Electric cars and electric car chargers. Induction stoves. Transmission lines.

Over the past several years, the mantra of energy experts has been that we need to electrify everything — and then switch electrical power generation over to clean sources of power like wind, solar, geothermal and nuclear. Doing so will rapidly decrease carbon emissions and help to stave off dangerous levels of warming.

But installing all of that electrical stuff — the solar panels, the heat pumps, the transmission lines — will require something that the United States doesn’t have: lots and lots of electricians.

Read the rest of the article here. 

Read more >>


Wednesday, October 26, 2022   Get in the Halloween Spirit with 10 Scary Stories Involving Electricity. Courtesy of: EC&M

Get in the Halloween Spirit with "Haunted Encounters of the Electrical Kind: 10 Scary Stories Involving Electricity"

Content courtesy of: EC&M

As an early Halloween treat, here are 10 creepy stories based on allegedly true events and involving — what else? — electricity.

Read the spooky stories here -- if you dare! 

Read more >>


Thursday, October 20, 2022   Industry Partner Spotlight: Walters Wholesale Electric Company


 

WECA is proud to announce our new Industry Partner, Walters Wholesale Electric Company! We are excited to join forces with them to ensure that our Member Contractors in Southern California have the finest electrical supplies at their disposal.

Since its founding in Long Beach, California in 1953, Walters has grown to include 30 locations throughout Southern California, in addition to a central distribution center in Brea, California.

This central distribution center – which clocks in over 250,000 square feet – sets Walters apart from the competition with a 99 percent fill rate, meaning that Walters’ immense inventory remains local and makes its way to customers in a timelier manner.

As an electrical supply distributor, Walters carries a vast number of products, according to Shahla Cox, Walters’ Manager of Marketing, Talent Development, and Recruiting. However, Walters also offers various suites of services geared toward different sectors of the electrical field, including but not limited to prefabrication, wire solutions, EV chargers, residential lighting, roadway and street lighting, underground and utilities, low voltage, industrial automation, and more!

“We are excited to see our new relationship flourish and bring our products and services to the WECA network,” says Cox. With that in mind, Walters would also like to invite WECA Member Contractors in Southern California to join Walters for the following events and initiatives:

·        Food Drive
·        Toys for Tots
·        Win Rams tickets from Signify
·        Free Watt Stopper Lighting Controls Training

WECA Member Contractors in Southern California who are interested in sourcing supplies and/or services from Walters Wholesale Electric Company may visit their website for more information or contact staff at one of their 30 locations throughout Southern California to begin a partnership on the company level.

Thank you, Walters Wholesale Electric Company, for partnering with WECA and providing our Southern California Member Contractors with premier electrical industry supplies and services! 

Read more >>


Thursday, October 20, 2022   It's Construction Inclusion Week!

Learn How WECA and Our Member Contractors Are Supporting the Development of Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces in Our Industry

It's Construction Inclusion Week, but for WECA and our Member Contractors, supporting the development of diverse and inclusive workplaces in our industry is always a top priority. 

If you're a Member Contractor wondering how to start or continue fostering diversity and inclusivity in your workplace, click here to access WECA's ever-expanding library of diversity, equity, and inclusion resources for Member Contractors. 

In recognition of Construction Inclusion Week, WECA has been sharing our diversity and inclusion initiatives on our social media channels, as well as those of our Member Contractors.

On Monday, we shared a video on Alondra Mora -- who entered a WECA apprenticeship program directly out of high school, and with the benefit of a supportive employer (WECA Member Contractor Sebastian, based in Fresno, CA), coworkers, and a strong education from WECA, has now graduated into leadership roles on the job site! 

We're also sharing what your fellow WECA Member Contractors have shared on social media about developing their own diverse and inclusive workplaces -- check them out below!



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WECA Member Contractors Royal Electric Company and Bergelectric participated in #ConstructionInclusionWeek on social media, where they shared their respective commitments to diversity and inclusivity in their workplaces.

Read more >>


Thursday, October 20, 2022   Royal Electric Company and Helix Electric Make SBJ's Best Places to Work 2022 List!

WECA Member Contractors are at it again: Royal Electric Company and Helix Electric have made the Sacramento Business Journal's Best Places to Work 2022 list!

Congratulations, both -- we are proud of you for continuing to exemplify WECA excellence in the Sacramento region and showing the industry how it's done!

Read more >>


Thursday, October 20, 2022   Join Us for a Two-Part Webinar Series on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce in Nov.

Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for a Two-Part Webinar Series on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce

Part 1 (Prevailing Wage) on Nov. 10

Part 2 (Skilled and Trained Workforce) on Nov. 17

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman November 10 for Part 1 of a two-part webinar series on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce. Part 1 will cover Prevailing Wage, including:

  • Identifying and understanding the wage determination applicable to your project
  • Taking credit for employer-provided fringe benefits
  • Record-keeping
  • Apprenticeship compliance
  • Enforcement

Register today to join us online on November 10, from 8:30 to 11 AM, for Part 1 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Register for the November 10 webinar here!

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Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for Part 2 of a two-part webinar series on November 17. Part 2 will focus on Skilled and Trained Workforce, where Carrie will discuss:

  • Recognizing to which types of projects Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements apply
  • Understanding apprentice graduation requirements
  • Compliance and enforcement

Register today to join us online on November 17, from 8:30 to 9:30 AM, for Part 2 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Register for the November 17 webinar here! 

Read more >>


Thursday, October 20, 2022   WECA Member Contractors: It's Time to Vote!

Check Your Mailboxes and Cast Your Ballot for the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees, and Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees by Nov. 30

Dear WECA Member Contractors,

It's time to cast your ballot for candidates for the 2023 WECA Board of Directors, WECA Apprenticeship and Training Board of Trustees, and WECA Health and Welfare and Pension Board of Trustees.

Ballots were sent out earlier this week to our primary contact at each WECA member contractor. If you haven't yet voted, please check your inbox and submit your ballot!

Read more >>


Thursday, October 20, 2022   Don't Let Your Electrician Trainees Miss Out on 2022 WECEF Scholarship Opportunity!

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) 2022 Scholarship Opportunity

Don't Let Your Electrician Trainees Miss Out. Encourage Them to Apply for Consideration Today!

wecef

 

For students enrolled in the GetWired Electrician Trainee program:

Application Deadline:

October 31, 2022

Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE:

  • Active WECA Electrician Trainee at time of application or as of 10/1/2022
  • COMPLETION of at least one WECA ET course within the GetWired 100-300 series, with a passing grade of at least 80%, during the six months prior to 10/1/22 (between April 1, 2022-Sept 30,2022).
  • Accurate completion of the online scholarship application and answers to questions, by the deadline of October 31, 2022. Incomplete applications, or late applications, will not be considered.
  • Not currently a registered Apprentice.
  • Not a General Student or a Journeyman Student. This is only for Active Electrician Trainees.
  • Within the past two years, may not have received a notification of any violation of any WECA student conduct standards as outlined in our ET student handbook.
  • Was not a recipient of a WECEF scholarship during 2021

AWARDS:

Depending on the quality and quantity of the applications, up to ten (10) recipients will be awarded. This year the WECEF Board of Directors has decided to award a monetary amount plus a credit towards future courses.

  • Each monetary award will be between $500-$1000, PLUS tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path, namely the GetWired series and Basic Motor Controls 1 and 2.
  • Tuition awards towards courses cannot be converted to cash or transferred to another person.
  • Tuition award cannot be used towards a class already purchased.
  • Tuition can be used for only two future WECA courses; and both courses must be started before July 31, 2023.
  • Award towards tuition expires after July 31, 2023 and cannot be renewed.

A 1099 will be issued for tax purposes for the monetary and the tuition credit award.

The WECEF Board of Directors will review applications from eligible candidates. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s final decision within one month from application deadline, by mail and/or email.

Submissions must be fully completed by the 10/31/2022 11:59 PM deadline for consideration.

Please encourage your Electrician Trainees to login to WECA eCampus to access and complete their scholarship application.

Sincerely,

The WECEF Board of Directors

Read more >>


Thursday, October 13, 2022   WECA Political Update October 13, 2022

Growth of PLA language in State Legislation Since the second election of Jerry Brown, PLA language in state legislation has exploded. First, the Legislature passed bills prohibiting counties and general law cities from banning PLAs. Next, they enacted a bill to punish charter cities with PLA bans by cutting off state funds; then passed an expansion of skilled and trained workforce mandates with PLA waivers. Finally, let’s review PLA mandates on specific contracting authority. In 2019, the Legislature sent Governor Gavin Newsom 13 bills, which would put them on a pace to match the 25 bills sent in 2018. But the coronavirus intervened, shutting down the State Legislature for much of the year – but not the desire of the State Building and Construction Trades Council and their constituent unions to expand PLAs in California and to incorporate them into State Legislation. So, the pace accelerated in 2021 – the first year of the just concluded two-year session with 28 bills that include PLA language. In 2022, the Legislature considered no fewer than 26 PLA bills. You can read the whole report here.

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Governor Newsom calls a special session of the Legislature to consider windfall tax on oil companies over California’s high gas prices. Newsom said he would call a special session of the Legislature to adopt a windfall profit tax on oil companies in response to California’s “outrageous and unconscionable” gas price. The Governor told reporters the session would start December 5, the same day a new class of legislators is sworn in. The work will take place on a separate track from the regular session to focus attention on what Newsom said has become one of the most urgent priorities for Californians: an “inexplicable” gap between gas prices in California and the national average that has grown to a record $2.50 a gallon. It would also allow his administration and lawmakers sufficient time to prepare for what will likely be a tough fight to impose a new tax even with a Democratic super-majority in the Legislature. It would also occur after the November election, sparing candidates from having to take a difficult vote in the heat of campaign season. A new tax would require a two-thirds vote from the Legislature. Republicans have already come out in opposition, calling instead for the state to cut the gas tax — an idea Newsom quickly rejected because there are no guarantees consumers would benefit. (He did not explain how he would prevent these new taxes from being passed on to consumers.)

But California leaders have known for over 20 years some of the reasons for the spread between California and nationwide gas prices were entirely “explicable.” The Los Angeles Times observed, “California officials have had repeated warnings over the last two decades that the state’s unique blend of gasoline is susceptible to supply shortages and sharp price spikes. But despite multiple reports and special committees, California has struggled to find solutions as it tries to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels rapidly. Severin Borenstein, the director of UC Berkeley’s Energy Institute at the Haas School of Business, who sat on statewide committees in 1999 and 2015 aimed at finding possible solutions for the state’s volatile fuel market, noted, “We’ve got to make longer-run plans and not just wait until the crisis is upon us.” None were implemented, he said.

Gas refiner and marketer Valero hit back at California’s Energy Commission (CEC) last week after the agency demanded oil refinery executives explain why gas prices have spiked despite declining crude oil prices.

“[C]rude oil prices are down and industry profits are up, yet gas prices have increased by a record $0.84 per gallon in 10 days in California – a $2.50 difference compared to U.S. prices,” CEC Chair David Hochschild wrote in a Sept. 30 letter to executives. “This degree of divergence from national prices hasn’t happened before, regardless of planned or unplanned refinery maintenance, and no explanation has been provided. The oil industry owes Californians answers.” [For some reason, when I read this – I thought of the famous scene from A Few Good Men between Colonel Jessep and Lieutenant Kaffee. Jessep: You want answers? Kaffee: I think I’m entitled. Jessep: You want answers? Kaffee: I want the truth. Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!]

Hochschild accused the executives of not providing an “adequate and transparent” explanation for the price spike. He noted that the industry’s “lower-than-normal” gasoline stockpiles appear to contribute to a tightening gasoline market that increased gasoline prices over the prior week.

Hochschild demanded that the industry leaders explain why gasoline prices have risen “despite a sharp downturn in global crude prices, no significant unplanned refinery outages in the state, and no increases in state taxes or fees.”

Hochschild asked what the State of California could do to address logistics or other obstacles that have contributed to the price increases. He also demanded that refiners explain why they supposedly allowed inventory levels to drop despite knowing “for months, or in some cases years,” that planned maintenance would occur.

In response, Valero’s Vice President of State Government Affairs, Scott N. Folwarkow, denied any allegations of “price conspiracies” among oil refineries, pointing to a federal judge having thrown out another case finding no basis for them. Instead, Folwarkow blamed low inventories on post-COVID’s growing demand and limited supply. He said the higher prices in California than in the rest of the U.S. had to do with the state being the “most expensive operative environment in the country and (being) a very hostile regulatory environment for refining.”

“California policy makers have knowingly adopted policies with the expressed intent of eliminating the refinery sector,” he said. “California requires refiners to pay very high carbon cap and trade fees and burdened gasoline with the cost of the low carbon fuel standards.”

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California Creates Bereavement Leave Requirement On September 29, 2022, Governor Newsom signed AB 1949, which creates protected bereavement leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). As of January 1, 2023, AB 1949 makes it unlawful for an employer to refuse to grant an eligible employee the opportunity to take up to five days of bereavement leave upon the death of a family member. As does CFRA, this new requirement applies to employers with five or more employees. More

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Over $6.5 Million In Independent Expenditures Yesterday Over $6.5 million in independent expenditures were reported this week in legislative and statewide races, far and away the single biggest day of this election cycle. The new spending also propelled two senate races into the top two spots for IE spending, vaulting ahead of the previous leader.

The bulk of yesterday’s spending came courtesy of the fossil fuel industry’s Coalition to Restore California’s Middle Class, which spent $4.9 million in seven races:

•       SD 38 - $1,562,275: Supporting Matt Gunderson (R) / opposing Catherine Blakespear (D). SD 38 includes portions of Orange and San Diego Counties, including the whole cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano, Solana Beach, and Vista, and portions of the City of San Diego. Blakespear, Encinitas Mayor and Chair of SanDAG, was the number one cheerleader for SanDAG’s recent PLA decision.
•       SD 8 - $1,218,022: Supporting Angelique Ashby (D). SD 8 includes portions of Sacramento County, including the whole cities of Elk Grove and Sacramento. Former Insurance Commissioner and career politician Dave Jones (listed on the ballot as “Environmental Advocate/Educator”) finished first in June – beating Ashby 46%/41%.
•       AD 10 - $827,248: Supporting Stephanie Nguyen (D) AD 10 consists of portions of Sacramento County, including the whole City of Elk Grove and parts of the City of Sacramento. On the Elk Grove City Council, Nguyen will be voting on a Citywide PLA in October. Apparently, the Building Trades want to hold her feet to the fire. Nguyen was the top vote-getter in the primary with 29.9%, legislative staffer Eric Guerra was 459 votes behind her in second with 29.4%.
•       AD 22 - $488,668: Supporting Juan Alanis (R). AD 22 consists of portions of Merced and Stanislaus counties, including the whole cities of Newman, Turlock, Ceres, Modesto, Patterson, and Gustine. While this district includes the entire City of Modesto, it splits off north-eastern Stanislaus County to keep the City of Oakdale whole in neighboring AD 9. This is a new competitive district with 96% of its voters in Stanislaus County and the remainder in Merced, encompassing the cities of Modesto, Turlock, Patterson, Gustine, Newman, and Ceres. Three Republicans, and two Democrats, ran in the June primary. The new district narrowly voted for Joe Biden by 4.6% in 2020, for Gavin Newsom by 2.7% in 2018, and appears to have narrowly voted in favor of recalling Newsom by 52.3%/47.7% in 2021. Alanis was the top vote-getter in the primary, taking 36.5%, with Self in second with 27%. With the GOP candidates taking 52.8% of the vote, this is one of the top targets for both parties in November.
•       AD 40 - $482,990: Supporting Suzette Valladares (R-Inc). AD 40 consists of portions of Los Angeles County, including the whole City of Santa Clarita and parts of the City of Los Angeles. Splits in the City and County of Los Angeles are to balance population while considering communities of interest. The redistricting commission transformed this formerly competitive Santa Clarita Valley district into one that is far more Democratic, imperiling the re-election prospects for incumbent Republican Suzette Martinez Valladares. The new district keeps 71% of the old AD 38’s voters in the Santa Clarita and northern San Fernando Valley areas, loses Agua Dulce to the new AD 34, and, more crucially, the Republican stronghold of Simi Valley in Ventura County to the new AD 42. While the terrain is challenging for Republicans, a progressive labor-backed Democrat advancing out of the top two may leave business groups no choice but to pull out all the stops to try to prevent this moderate-leaning seat from slipping away in November. This area is also likely to be ground zero for both sides going all in for the overlapping congressional race between incumbent Republican Mike Garcia and Democrat Christy Smith. Valladares was the only Republican vote in favor of putting a constitutional amendment codifying Roe vs. Wade on the ballot.
•       SD 36 - $212,800: Supporting Janet Nguyen (R). SD 36 includes portions of Los Angeles and Orange counties, including the whole cities of Artesia, Cerritos, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Hawaiian Gardens, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, San Clemente, Seal Beach, Stanton, and Westminster, and portions of the cities of Buena Park and Garden Grove. This is a Republican-leaning coastal district with 92% of its voters in Orange County and the remaining 8% in Los Angeles County. No incumbent lives in the district, and AD 72 Republican Assemblymember Janet Nguyen and Huntington Beach Democratic city councilmember Kim Carr ran in the primary. This district, which has a 2% Republican registration advantage, voted for John Cox by 5% in 2018 and narrowly went for Joe Biden by 0.8% in 2020. The 2021 Gavin Newsom recall appears to have passed by slightly over 5% here.
•       AD 39 - $143,010: Supporting Juan Carrillo (D). AD 39 consists of portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, including parts of the cities of Palmdale, Adelanto, Victorville, Hesperia, and Lancaster. This new safe Democratic majority-Latino VRA district was created by carving out 59% of its voters from the heavily Democratic Lancaster and Palmdale portions of the old AD 36 and adding the deep blue areas of Victorville, Hesperia, and Adelanto from the old AD 33. As the only Republican on the ballot, Paul Marsh claimed the top spot, winning 38.1% of the vote. Carrillo secured the second spot with 30%. With Marsh looking ill-equipped to mount even a token challenge, Carrillo should have little difficulty winning in November. [So, why a $500,000 IE?]

With yesterday’s spending blitz, Coalition to Restore California’s Middle Class has logged the highest general election IEs in state and legislative races by a wide margin, eclipsing the $1.37 million in direct IEs from kidney dialysis provider DaVita. The spending has also vaulted the Dem vs. Dem race in SD 08 to the top of the list with over $2.9 million in IEs, with supporters of Sacramento city councilmember Angelique Ashby far outpacing the spending by allies of former Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. The SD 38 race between moderate Republican Matt Gunderson and Democrat Catherine Blakespear trails not too far behind at $2.8 million. That race has also seen an additional $3 million spent by state and county party committees. [California Target Book]

---

Legislative Calendar:

  • Sept. 30 – Last day for Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 1 and in the Governor’s possession on or after Sept. 1
  • Nov. 8 – General Election
  • Nov. 30 – Adjournment Sine Die at midnight
  • Dec. 5, 12 noon – convening of the 2023-24 Regular Session and special session
  • Jan. 1, 2023 – Statutes take effect 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 6, 2022   Sacramento Members: Join CIE Foundation at Sacramento Trades Day on Nov. 17

WECA Member Contractors in Sacramento: Join CIE Foundation at Sacramento Trades Day on Nov. 17 to Reach Out to the Next Generation of Electricians and Low Voltage Technicians!


 

Reach out to the next generation of electricians and low voltage technicians in California at CIE Foundation's Sacramento Trades Day on Nov. 17! 

WECA will be at the Sacramento event. If you're a WECA member with strong workforce development needs in the Sacramento region and would like to join forces with WECA at the event, just say the word! Email Wendy Flanagan at wflanagan@goweca.com or Diane Trotter at dtrotter@goweca.com to plan. 

Click here to learn more about CIE Foundation and this Trades Day event, as well as CIE Foundation's other Trades Day events. 

Read more >>


Thursday, October 6, 2022   Video Recap: Jumpstart Your Career Event Introduced Applicants to Participating Member Contractors

Video Recap: Jumpstart Your Career Event Introduced Apprenticeship Applicants to Participating Member Contractors

Our Upcoming Apprenticeship Open Houses in Recognition of National Apprenticeship Week 2022 are the Next Opportunity to Tour a WECA Facility -- Encourage Your Interested Employees to RSVP. Members Both Current and Prospective Are Welcome, Too!

We invited applicants for apprenticeship in Northern California to come meet hiring WECA member contractors last month -- all part of WECA's extensive workforce development efforts in the regions it serves. We were thrilled to have so many of our member contractors join us and get to know these applicants.

?WECA's next apprenticeship open houses (in Sacramento, San Diego, and Phoenix) will be held in November 2022 for National Apprenticeship Week -- and these are open for public registration!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



 

This National Apprenticeship Week, WECA's pulling out all the stops and showing off our cutting-edge apprenticeship programs at three of our state-of-the-art facilities! There are three opportunities to see what we're all about:

  • ARIZONA: November 16 at 3 p.m. at our Phoenix training facility/Arizona HQ
  • NorCal: November 15 at 10 a.m. at our Sacramento/Rancho Cordova training facility/California HQ
  • SoCal: November 16 at 1 p.m. at our San Diego training facility

Attendees will get the chance to learn about our apprenticeship programs, tour our facilities, view lab demos, meet instructors and staff (with the opportunity to ask individual questions), and more!

Attendees will get the chance to learn about our apprenticeship programs, tour our facilities, view lab demos, meet instructors and staff (with the opportunity to ask individual questions), and more!



Registration link for the WECA Arizona Open House



Registration link for the WECA Northern California Open House



Registration link for the WECA Southern California Open House
 


 

Read more >>


Thursday, October 6, 2022   Industry Partner Spotlight: Desert States Electrical Sales


 

WECA’s new Industry Partner, Desert States Electrical Sales, prides itself on being a hands-on manufacturer’s representative to electrical contractors.

“We spend over half of our time in the field with the contractors and installers providing product training, and introducing new labor saving-products,” says Tony Rowe, President. Their commitment to doing so is what distinguishes Desert States from its competitors, adds Rowe.

Desert States – which has conducted business in Arizona, Southern Nevada, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, for 35 years – represents a myriad of manufacturers, such as Arlington, BRK, DeWalt/Lenox, Magnitude Lighting, and Shamrock Conduit, to name a few. In the past two years, Desert States has also made strides in doubling the size of the company in sales and personnel.

However, Desert States does not sell supplies directly to electrical contractors, opting instead to sell through distribution. Regardless, Rowe states that Desert States can “help influence pricing [of products] to a certain degree” for WECA Member Contractors interested in doing business with the supplier.

WECA Member Contractors interested in doing business with Desert States – whether through sourcing electrical supplies or giving Desert States the opportunity to meet their Apprentices, Electrician Trainees, and Journeypersons – can contact Tony Rowe or Joel Keck, Vice President, at (602) 268-7008 or info@desertstates.com.

Desert States Electrical Sales, thank you for becoming a WECA Industry Partner! We’re excited to leverage our partnership as we mutually serve the electrical industry in the American West. 

Read more >>


Thursday, October 6, 2022   Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for a Webinar Series on Prevailing Wage; Skilled and Trained Workforce

Join WECA and Cook Brown, LLP for a Two-Part Webinar Series on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce

Part 1 (Prevailing Wage) on Nov. 10

Part 2 (Skilled and Trained Workforce) on Nov. 17

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman November 10 for Part 1 of a two-part webinar series on Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce. Part 1 will cover Prevailing Wage, including:

  • Identifying and understanding the wage determination applicable to your project
  • Taking credit for employer-provided fringe benefits
  • Record-keeping
  • Apprenticeship compliance
  • Enforcement

Register today to join us online on November 10, from 8:30 to 11 AM, for Part 1 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Register for the November 10 webinar here!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------








 

Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman for Part 2 of a two-part webinar series on November 17. Part 2 will focus on Skilled and Trained Workforce, where Carrie will discuss:

  • Recognizing to which types of projects Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements apply
  • Understanding apprentice graduation requirements
  • Compliance and enforcement

Register today to join us online on November 17, from 8:30 to 9:30 AM, for Part 2 of this informative webinar series.

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Register for the November 17 webinar here! 

Read more >>


Thursday, October 6, 2022   WECEF Announces Its 2022 Scholarship Opportunity!

Don't Let Your Electrician Trainees Miss Out -- Encourage Them to Apply for Consideration Today

wecef
 

For students enrolled in the GetWired Electrician Trainee program:

Application Deadline:

October 31, 2022

Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE:

  • Active WECA Electrician Trainee at time of application or as of 10/1/2022
  • COMPLETION of at least one WECA ET course within the GetWired 100-300 series, with a passing grade of at least 80%, during the six months prior to 10/1/22 (between April 1, 2022-Sept 30,2022).
  • Accurate completion of the online scholarship application and answers to questions, by the deadline of October 31, 2022. Incomplete applications, or late applications, will not be considered.
  • Not currently a registered Apprentice.
  • Not a General Student or a Journeyman Student. This is only for Active Electrician Trainees.
  • Within the past two years, may not have received a notification of any violation of any WECA student conduct standards as outlined in our ET student handbook.
  • Was not a recipient of a WECEF scholarship during 2021

AWARDS:

Depending on the quality and quantity of the applications, up to ten (10) recipients will be awarded. This year the WECEF Board of Directors has decided to award a monetary amount plus a credit towards future courses.

  • Each monetary award will be between $500-$1000, PLUS tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path, namely the GetWired series and Basic Motor Controls 1 and 2.
  • Tuition awards towards courses cannot be converted to cash or transferred to another person.
  • Tuition award cannot be used towards a class already purchased.
  • Tuition can be used for only two future WECA courses; and both courses must be started before July 31, 2023.
  • Award towards tuition expires after July 31, 2023 and cannot be renewed.

A 1099 will be issued for tax purposes for the monetary and the tuition credit award.

The WECEF Board of Directors will review applications from eligible candidates. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s final decision within one month from application deadline, by mail and/or email.

Submissions must be fully completed by the 10/31/2022 11:59 PM deadline for consideration.

Please encourage your Electrician Trainees to login to WECA eCampus to access and complete your scholarship application.

Sincerely,

The WECEF Board of Directors

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   Celebrating the WECA NorCal Class of 2022 Graduation Celebration Recap

Looking Back on This Year's Graduation Celebration

Enjoy this video recap and some pics from last weekend's 2022 Northern California WECA Graduation: 































----------------------------------------------------------------------

WECA held its graduation ceremony for the Northern California Class of 2022 on Saturday, September 17th at WECA's California Headquarters in Rancho Cordova.

It was great to see our auditorium filled with our graduates and their families, as well as some of their employers.

"We had about 200 attendees," says Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship. "Everyone was in a fun and relaxed mood, and it was great to see so many familiar faces -- it's amazing how fast three to five years passes. (WECA's Residential and Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship programs are three years each; Commercial Electrical is five years; and our Electrician Trainee Certificate program is four years."

Adding to the joyous atmosphere was emcee Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager, who had everyone laughing with his "dad jokes," according to Wendy.

Congratulations, graduates! We were proud to share in your special day with you and your loved ones, and look forward to your accomplishments in the electrical and low voltage fields!

----------------------------------------------------------------------



----------------------------------------------------------------------

WECA would like to thank our generous sponsors and graduation gift donors for making the WECA Class of 2022 Northern California graduation celebrations memorable! 

Please join us in thanking:

Volts Level Sponsors:

  • Rex Moore Group, Inc.
  • Helix Electric
  • Bergelectric (Southern California Commercial Division)
  • Bergelectric (Low Voltage Division)
  • Rock and Sons, Inc.

Amps Level Sponsors:

  • Royal Electric Company
  • Vasko Electric
  • Bergelectric (Northern California Commercial Division)

Watts Level Sponsors:

  • Whitehead Electrical Systems
  • Bosley Electric Company
  • Graybar

Ohms Level Sponsors: 

  • KS Telecom
  • Pacific Advocacy Group
  • Sueco Equipment Rental
  • Chief Transport

Graduation Gift Donors:

  • Klein Tools
  • Milwaukee Tool
  • Platt Electric Supply
  • Empire Electrical Sales, Inc.
  • IDEAL Electrical
Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   WECA Northern California Class of 2022 Graduate Spotlights

Michael Braaten, Employee of WECA Member Contractor

e1 Audiovisual Technologies


 

 

2022 Northern California Low Voltage Valedictorian Michael Braaten cites his WECA education as being “very wide-ranging and interesting” and says that “being in a cohort with people from many different subtrades really gave me a deeper understanding of how low voltage works and what it takes to be successful on a job site.” 

Michael, who works for WECA Member Contractor E1 Audiovisual Technologies, expounds on his sentiment by saying that “My WECA education gave me a lot of background knowledge about how low voltage works in general, and electrical code, project management, and tools to be successful on a job site. Beyond that, having classes with such a wide variety of people from various subtrades really gave me excellent insight into what it is like working in those other trades, as well as how to successfully collaborate with them on site to get the job done.” 

Michael also says that his on-the-job training with E1 was very diverse and challenging in many ways, but extremely rewarding. 

Read the rest of Michael's spotlight here!
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rhoderic Tayaba, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric Corp.

2022 Northern California Low Voltage Salutatorian Rhoderic Tayaba says that if you want to be the best in your field and have state-of-the-art training and education, WECA is where you want to be.

“The opportunity with WECA is there,” says Rhoderic. “I had a strong desire to be successful in my career. I wanted to be the best in my field and WECA encouraged me to do it by providing all the tools I needed to be successful, such as a positive class environment and encouraging instructors, classmates, and coworkers. The [Low Voltage Apprenticeship] program was an incredible program that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to go into my field because it provided classroom learning with real-life field experience.”

Rhoderic – who works for WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric – says that WECA prepared him for his career by enabling him to take his classroom learning out into the field.

Read the rest of Rhoderic's spotlight here!
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alondra Mora, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Sebastian Corp.

2022 Low Voltage Apprenticeship graduate Alondra Mora – who works for WECA Member Contractor Sebastian – got her start in the low voltage electrical industry when she met her boss, Frank Sierra, at a high school career fair.  

“I was introduced to him at a high school career expo, and he always kept doors of opportunities open for me to go through and explore,” says Alondra. 

Though some of Alondra’s apprenticeship was completed during the pandemic stay-at-home directive in California, when WECA apprenticeship classes moved temporarily online, she always eagerly looked forward to doing hands-on labs at WECA’s Rancho Cordova training facility, stating that it was her “favorite part because it would allow us to experience what it would really be like working out in the field.” 

Read the rest of Alondra's spotlight here!
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Shane Suddeth, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore Group

2022 WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Shane Suddeth says that the greatest aspect of WECA and his apprenticeship was “Going through the apprenticeship with the group of people that I went through it with. We’ve all grown and learned together.”

Shane also credits WECA and his apprenticeship with giving him “quite an arsenal of knowledge and a pretty heavy-hitting support group” but attributes his success to his motivation and eagerness to learn and be successful in the trade, as well as some key people in his personal circle.

“First of all, my employer, [Rex Moore Group] for seeing potential and investing in my future,” says Shane. “Secondly, everybody who plays a role in my education (instructors, partners in the trade, foremen) and my classmates, when at some points it was difficult, we all would pull together and build one another up.”

Read the rest of Shane's spotlight here!

 

 

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   WECEF Announces Its 2022 Scholarship Opportunity!

This Year's Awards Targeted at Electrician Trainees on the GetWired Path Toward an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate: Apply for Consideration Today!

wecef
 

For students enrolled in the GetWired Electrician Trainee program:

Application Deadline:

October 31, 2022

Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE:

  • Active WECA Electrician Trainee at time of application or as of 10/1/2022
  • COMPLETION of at least one WECA ET course within the GetWired 100-300 series, with a passing grade of at least 80%, during the six months prior to 10/1/22 (between April 1, 2022-Sept 30,2022).
  • Accurate completion of the online scholarship application and answers to questions, by the deadline of October 31, 2022. Incomplete applications, or late applications, will not be considered.
  • Not currently a registered Apprentice.
  • Not a General Student or a Journeyman Student. This is only for Active Electrician Trainees.
  • Within the past two years, may not have received a notification of any violation of any WECA student conduct standards as outlined in our ET student handbook.
  • Was not a recipient of a WECEF scholarship during 2021

AWARDS:

Depending on the quality and quantity of the applications, up to ten (10) recipients will be awarded. This year the WECEF Board of Directors has decided to award a monetary amount plus a credit towards future courses.

  • Each monetary award will be between $500-$1000, PLUS tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path, namely the GetWired series and Basic Motor Controls 1 and 2.
  • Tuition awards towards courses cannot be converted to cash or transferred to another person.
  • Tuition award cannot be used towards a class already purchased.
  • Tuition can be used for only two future WECA courses; and both courses must be started before July 31, 2023.
  • Award towards tuition expires after July 31, 2023 and cannot be renewed.

A 1099 will be issued for tax purposes for the monetary and the tuition credit award.

The WECEF Board of Directors will review applications from eligible candidates. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s final decision within one month from application deadline, by mail and/or email.

Submissions must be fully completed by the 10/31/2022 11:59 PM deadline for consideration.

Electrician Trainees can login to WECA eCampus to access and complete their scholarship application.

Sincerely,

The WECEF Board of Directors

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   Second Year, First Semester Low Voltage Apprentices Learn How to Solder Microphone Cables









Second year, first semester apprentices are pictured learning how to solder microphone cables together with Low Voltage Apprenticeship instructor John Arias. 

"This gives them practice at flowing the solder on to the conductor before attempting to solder onto the microphone XLR connector," says Arias. 

Great work, everyone!

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   Commercial Electrical Apprentice Applicants in High Demand in Imperial Valley and Yuma Areas

WECA Member Contractors Want YOU: APPLY TODAY!



Want to start a dynamic new career that PAYS YOU to learn? You're in luck -- WECA Member Contractors have a high need for Commercial Electrical Apprentice applicants in California's Imperial Valley, including El Centro and Calexico, and extending into the Yuma, Arizona area. Learn more about WECA's Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program below! 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

High Demand = Little to No Wait Time for Qualified Applicants

WECA's apprenticeship programs have been called the best in the West.  High graduation rates; great reviews from apprentices and contractors alike; to-the-point, up-to-date curriculum and on-the-job training; and a dedicated, experienced teaching staff and administration all contribute to the success of these programs.

Each apprentice enrolled in the Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program works and learns under the supervision of a journeyperson electrician, gaining expertise in such skills as the installation of electrical distribution centers, panel boards, sub panels, conduit systems, motor controls, lighting, fire alarms, green and smart technologies, and temporary wiring in commercial buildings.

The Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship program is a commitment to classroom and paid on-the-job training. A WECA apprentice's school tuition costs are paid by the WECA Member Contractors who employ them. WECA apprentices attend classes in an accelerated and intensive format consisting of full-time classroom training and hands-on labs for two consecutive weeks every five to seven months. Each two-week session is equal to one semester of classroom instruction. The rest of the time, apprentices are learning on the job...and getting paid to do it! No college debt here. This is the alternative path to a rewarding and well-paying career.

WECA is actively seeking apprentices for our Member Contractors in these areas and there is little-to-no wait time for qualified applicants. Learn more and apply today!

Not for you? Please forward this email to someone in this region who might be interested!

Read more >>


Tuesday, September 27, 2022   GetWired 102 and 103 Spotlights -- Late Enrollment Fees for Early Oct. Classes Waived!

Spotlight on GetWired 102 and GetWired 103, the second and third courses in the path to the WECA Electrician Trainee Program Certificate

LATE ENROLLMENT FEES FOR EARLY OCTOBER CLASSES WAIVED -- APPLY TODAY!

GetWired 102: Introduction to the Basic Installation of Lighting Fixtures and Branch Circuits, is the third course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

?This 42-hour course expands on the theories and applications taught in our 101 courses. Core competencies include: GFCI and AFCI; series circuits; parallel circuits; luminaries, fixtures, ballasts and lamps; NEC subject indexing; lighting branch circuits; combination circuits; measuring instruments; using wire tables and determining conductor sizes; and combined lighting circuits.

This instructor-led version of GetWired 102 is loaded with hands-on practice activities during an onsite lab day to ensure that skills covered in class can be applied on-the-job.

  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309

Next instructor-led class, which includes an onsite Saturday lab, starts October 3! 

Enroll in the next Instructor-Led GetWired 102 today!

Prefer to take it on your own time, at your own pace, including an online, self-guided lab?

Enroll in the Online, Self-Paced GetWired 102 any time.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GetWired 103: Continuation of Lighting Branch Circuits & Introduction to Special Purpose Outlets, is the third course in the path to an Electrician Trainee Program Certificate with WECA.

?This 42-hour course expands on the theories and applications taught in our 101 and 102 courses. Course competencies include: conduction in liquid and gases, batteries and other sources of electricity, inrush current, voltage drop and use of Ohm’s Law in calculating basic measurements, sizing junction boxes, box fill and conduit layout, water heater, water pump circuit calculations, calculate overcurrent protection, special purpose outlets, NEMA receptacle plug configuration, and selection of wiring devices.

This course expands your electrical skills and knowledge in the areas listed above through a series of lab and practice activities.

  • Total class hours available: 42
  • Standard Tuition Fee: $309

Next instructor-led class starts October 4! 

Enroll in the next Instructor-Led GetWired 103 today!

Prefer to take it on your own time, at your own pace?

Enroll in the Online, Self-Paced GetWired 103 any time.

Read more >>


Thursday, September 22, 2022   Celebrating the WECA Northern California Class of 2022

Looking Back on This Year's Graduation Celebration

Enjoy this video recap and some pics from last weekend's 2022 Northern California WECA Graduation: 
































---------------------------------------------------------------------
 

WECA held its graduation ceremony for the Northern California Class of 2022 on Saturday, September 17th at WECA's California Headquarters in Rancho Cordova.

It was great to see our auditorium filled with our graduates and their families, as well as some of their employers.

"We had about 200 attendees," says Wendy Flanagan, Assistant Director of Apprenticeship. "Everyone was in a fun and relaxed mood, and it was great to see so many familiar faces -- it's amazing how fast three to five years passes. (WECA's Residential and Low Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship programs are three years each; Commercial Electrical is five years; and our Electrician Trainee Certificate program is four years."

Adding to the joyous atmosphere was emcee Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and Lab Facilities Manager, who had everyone laughing with his "dad jokes," according to Wendy.

Congratulations, graduates! We were proud to share in your special day with you and your loved ones, and look forward to your accomplishments in the electrical and low voltage fields!

---------------------------------------------------------------------



---------------------------------------------------------------------

WECA would like to thank our generous sponsors and graduation gift donors for making the WECA Class of 2022 Northern California graduation celebrations memorable! 

Please join us in thanking:

Volts Level Sponsors:

  • Rex Moore Group, Inc.
  • Helix Electric
  • Bergelectric (Southern California Commercial Division)
  • Bergelectric (Low Voltage Division)
  • Rock and Sons, Inc.

Amps Level Sponsors:

  • Royal Electric Company
  • Vasko Electric
  • Bergelectric (Northern California Commercial Division)

Watts Level Sponsors:

  • Whitehead Electrical Systems
  • Bosley Electric Company
  • Graybar

Ohms Level Sponsors: 

  • KS Telecom
  • Pacific Advocacy Group
  • Sueco Equipment Rental
  • Chief Transport

Graduation Gift Donors:

  • Klein Tools
  • Milwaukee Tool
  • Platt Electric Supply
  • Empire Electrical Sales, Inc.
  • IDEAL Electrical
Read more >>


Thursday, September 22, 2022   Celebrating the WECA Northern California Class of 2022: Graduate Spotlights

Spotlights on Some of This Year's Graduates

Michael Braaten, Employee of WECA Member Contractor

e1 Audiovisual Technologies


 

2022 Northern California Low Voltage Valedictorian Michael Braaten cites his WECA education as being “very wide-ranging and interesting” and says that “being in a cohort with people from many different subtrades really gave me a deeper understanding of how low voltage works and what it takes to be successful on a job site.” 

Michael, who works for WECA Member Contractor E1 Audiovisual Technologies, expounds on his sentiment by saying that “My WECA education gave me a lot of background knowledge about how low voltage works in general, and electrical code, project management, and tools to be successful on a job site. Beyond that, having classes with such a wide variety of people from various subtrades really gave me excellent insight into what it is like working in those other trades, as well as how to successfully collaborate with them on site to get the job done.” 

Michael also says that his on-the-job training with E1 was very diverse and challenging in many ways, but extremely rewarding. 

Read the rest of Michael's spotlight here!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rhoderic Tayaba, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric Corp.


 

2022 Northern California Low Voltage Salutatorian Rhoderic Tayaba says that if you want to be the best in your field and have state-of-the-art training and education, WECA is where you want to be.

“The opportunity with WECA is there,” says Rhoderic. “I had a strong desire to be successful in my career. I wanted to be the best in my field and WECA encouraged me to do it by providing all the tools I needed to be successful, such as a positive class environment and encouraging instructors, classmates, and coworkers. The [Low Voltage Apprenticeship] program was an incredible program that I would highly recommend to anyone looking to go into my field because it provided classroom learning with real-life field experience.”

Rhoderic – who works for WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric – says that WECA prepared him for his career by enabling him to take his classroom learning out into the field.

Read the rest of Rhoderic's spotlight here!

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Alondra Mora, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Sebastian Corp.


 

2022 Low Voltage Apprenticeship graduate Alondra Mora – who works for WECA Member Contractor Sebastian – got her start in the low voltage electrical industry when she met her boss, Frank Sierra, at a high school career fair.  

“I was introduced to him at a high school career expo, and he always kept doors of opportunities open for me to go through and explore,” says Alondra. 

Though some of Alondra’s apprenticeship was completed during the pandemic stay-at-home directive in California, when WECA apprenticeship classes moved temporarily online, she always eagerly looked forward to doing hands-on labs at WECA’s Rancho Cordova training facility, stating that it was her “favorite part because it would allow us to experience what it would really be like working out in the field.” 

Read the rest of Alondra's spotlight here!

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Shane Suddeth, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Rex Moore Group


 

2022 WECA Northern California Commercial Electrical Apprenticeship graduate Shane Suddeth says that the greatest aspect of WECA and his apprenticeship was “Going through the apprenticeship with the group of people that I went through it with. We’ve all grown and learned together.”

Shane also credits WECA and his apprenticeship with giving him “quite an arsenal of knowledge and a pretty heavy-hitting support group” but attributes his success to his motivation and eagerness to learn and be successful in the trade, as well as some key people in his personal circle.

“First of all, my employer, [Rex Moore Group] for seeing potential and investing in my future,” says Shane. “Secondly, everybody who plays a role in my education (instructors, partners in the trade, foremen) and my classmates, when at some points it was difficult, we all would pull together and build one another up.”

Read the rest of Shane's spotlight here!

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Thursday, September 22, 2022   WECEF Announces Its 2022 Scholarship Opportunity!

Encourage your Electrician Trainees to Apply for Consideration

wecef
 


For students enrolled in the GetWired Electrician Trainee program:

Application Deadline:

October 31, 2022

Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to offer a scholarship opportunity for students enrolled in WECA’s Electrician Trainee (ET) Program. These scholarships help support students in continuing their education with WECA.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO PARTICIPATE:

  • Active WECA Electrician Trainee at time of application or as of 10/1/2022
  • COMPLETION of at least one WECA ET course within the GetWired 100-300 series, with a passing grade of at least 80%, during the six months prior to 10/1/22 (between April 1, 2022-Sept 30,2022).
  • Accurate completion of the online scholarship application and answers to questions, by the deadline of October 31, 2022. Incomplete applications, or late applications, will not be considered.
  • Not currently a registered Apprentice.
  • Not a General Student or a Journeyman Student. This is only for Active Electrician Trainees.
  • Within the past two years, may not have received a notification of any violation of any WECA student conduct standards as outlined in our ET student handbook.
  • Was not a recipient of a WECEF scholarship during 2021

AWARDS:

Depending on the quality and quantity of the applications, up to ten (10) recipients will be awarded. This year the WECEF Board of Directors has decided to award a monetary amount plus a credit towards future courses.

  • Each monetary award will be between $500-$1000, PLUS tuition to cover two future classes in WECA's Electrician Trainee Program Certificate Path, namely the GetWired series and Basic Motor Controls 1 and 2.
  • Tuition awards towards courses cannot be converted to cash or transferred to another person.
  • Tuition award cannot be used towards a class already purchased.
  • Tuition can be used for only two future WECA courses; and both courses must be started before July 31, 2023.
  • Award towards tuition expires after July 31, 2023 and cannot be renewed.

A 1099 will be issued for tax purposes for the monetary and the tuition credit award.

The WECEF Board of Directors will review applications from eligible candidates. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s final decision within one month from application deadline, by mail and/or email.

Submissions must be fully completed by the 10/31/2022 11:59 PM deadline for consideration.

Please encourage your Electrician Trainees to login to WECA eCampus to access and complete your scholarship application.

Sincerely,

The WECEF Board of Directors

Read more >>


Thursday, September 15, 2022   WECA Political Update September 15, 2022

California Legislative Session Ends Without Extending CCPA Employee-Data Exemptions: Next Steps for Businesses On August 31, 2022, the California legislature adjourned without extending the temporary exemptions under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for workforce and business-to-business data. As a result, companies must take steps to comply with the CCPA regarding such data by January 1, 2023, when the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) amendments take effect. Story

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San Diego City Attorney Tells Council President She ‘Won’t Be Silenced’ City Attorney Mara Elliott accused Council President Sean Elo-Rivera of trying to silence her Monday and said the expectations he and other council members expressed for her office had never been applied to her predecessors, who were all men. Story

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CA Legislature Expands Pay Transparency and Data Reporting Requirements; Extends COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave California employers should take note of two significant bills recently passed by the state Legislature awaiting likely approval by Governor Newsom. The first, Senate Bill 1162 (SB 1162), would further expand California's already progressive requirements for employers regarding pay transparency and data reporting. The second, Assembly Bill 152 (AB 152), is expected to extend the state's current Covid-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave expiration date from September 30 to December 31, 2022. Story

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California Court of Appeal Upholds Construction Industry CBA Exemption from PAGA The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upheld the construction industry collective bargaining agreement exemption to the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) in Oswald v. Murray Plumbing and Heating Corporation. Story and Story

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PROAct Pressure A coalition of unions, green groups, and other progressive organizations pushing to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act will launch a new campaign focused on Senate battleground states ahead of the midterm elections this week. They hope to put lawmakers on the record as having voted for or against the bill by forcing it to the Senate floor for a vote. That way, union members — and those who back them — will know “who the real pro-worker members of the U.S. Senate are” as they cast their ballots, IUPAT President Jimmy Williams Jr. told Politico. But this week’s campaign will act as a reignition of grassroots efforts in key states — Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida — to pressure Senate Democrats to get behind the bill and lambast Senate Republicans who oppose it after a recent poll found that 71 percent of Americans approve of unions. Organizers plan to hold protests, visit offices, coordinate call campaigns, host town halls, and more.

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War Chest Waiting: Governor Gavin Newsom had $5.6 million in his ballot initiative account at the end of June (some of which is left over from the tens of millions he raised to beat the 2021 recall). Will he spend some of that on 2022 ballot initiatives? (No on San Diego’s Measure D, perhaps?) One interesting nugget from Politico: The California State Association of Electrical Workers has sent six-figure contributions to Newsom’s ballot committee and the Yes on 30 campaigns. The yes campaign also got $1 million from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Prop 30 is the new tax measure to subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles by Lyft drivers to help Lyft comply with State mandates to deploy ZGHG vehicles. CALMatters described it like this, “The opponents of Proposition 30, a proposal to tax millionaires to fund electric car incentives and infrastructure, want California voters to keep one thing in mind when they decide how to vote on the measure: Gavin Newsom’s face. So a new “No on 30” ad features the governor — and only the governor — speaking out against the proposal in no uncertain terms.”

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It Turns Out Kamala Harris is Less Popular Than Mike Pence The Washington Examiner examined (sorry) lobbying records and found that VP Kamala Harris’ office isn’t a top-rated destination in the influence industry. “About half as many companies and outside groups have hired lobbyists to influence Harris’s office during her first two years compared with her predecessor, Mike Pence. Among those lobbying Harris and her aides were representatives of drug companies, technology firms, and energy businesses, according to the records.”

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NLRB Reverses Precedent on Employer Dress Codes and Joint Employer Standard Consistent with its pro-union agenda, the National Labor Relations Board recently reversed the precedent established under the prior administration concerning employer dress codes and the joint employer standard. Specifically, on August 29, 2022, the Board held that an employer’s dress code policies preventing employees from wearing pro-union apparel were unlawful. Furthering its agenda, on September 6, 2022, the Board released a new proposed joint employer standard, which would roll back the standard established under the prior administration, making it much easier for companies to be deemed joint employers. Story

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Arizona Minimum Wage Set to Increase Again In 2023 For the sixth year in a row, Arizona’s minimum wage will go up at the beginning of 2023. Following the release of the latest Consumer Price Index report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers in Arizona will have to pay workers at least $13.90 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2023. Currently, the minimum wage is $12.80 an hour. Story

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Can Solar Investment Help Farmers Survive the Central Valley Water Crises? Agricultural businesses are under growing economic pressure as drought conditions worsen and inflation continues to climb. Rising energy costs have been a particularly damaging repercussion of the drought, with farmers spending more on electricity to keep wells and irrigation systems pumping water to their crops. Story

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Phoenix Inflation at Record 13% Shows Divergence Among Cities Inflation soared to 13% in Phoenix last month, a record for any US city in data going back 20 years and more than twice as high as San Francisco. Other cities across the South and Southwest saw double-digit increases in consumer prices, with the Atlanta metropolitan area posting annual inflation of 11.7% and Miami reaching 10.7%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Overall inflation was resurgent in August, dashing hopes of a nascent slowdown even as gasoline prices declined. But the national average of 8.3% masks growing disparities among cities, making the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation more complicated. Story

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CSLB Reminds Contractors of Requirements for Mechanical Systems Acceptance Tests The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) issued an Industry Bulletin for contractors performing mechanical systems acceptance tests. Any person performing these tests in a nonresidential building must be certified as an acceptance test technician (ATT) by an acceptance test technician certification provider (ATTCP). The mechanical systems ATT requirement is part of the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code) Section 10-103.2. If you are performing acceptance tests, or plan to in the future, be sure to look at this bulletin.

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Changes to Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2021 Since the inception of the 2008 Act, regulators have become increasingly concerned the collection of thermostats has been lackluster. Furthermore, they believe outreach by the thermostat industry has failed to properly inform appropriate entities that collection is available, and many consumers and retailers alike are unaware of the program. In addition, there has never been any dedicated funding for DTSC’s oversight and enforcement of the 2008 Act, which has led to lax oversight of the thermostat industry’s performance. So, Assemblymember Bill Quirk carried AB 707 in 2021, which made several changes to the 2008 Act. Stakeholders discovered several technical issues that needed to be addressed. AB 732 makes changes, collectively requested by stakeholders, to the Act to address these technical issues. Significantly, AB 732 requires each manufacturer, or group of manufacturers, to provide collection bins for out-of-service mercury-added thermostats to a thermostat wholesaler in the state by eliminating the requirement that the wholesaler request a collection bin. AB 732 is waiting for action by Governor Newsom, who has until September 30 to sign or veto bills sent to him last month.



It’s that Time CFEC will hold their annual Sacramento soiree on October 18 from 4:30 – 6:00 at the Elks Tower. 

And on September 22nd, at Bergelectric's office in Tustin, they will be holding an event to raise funds to help fight PLAs and union CEQA extortion.

RSVP for either event to Eric Christen at (858)431-6337 or ericdchristen@gmail.com.

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Taking a break… I’m traveling for the next three weeks – so this is the last edition until I return on October 13. So be well, dear readers.

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And finally, Bedbugs Have Returned to The Office with Our Employees. What Should You Do? I know WECA members have been working both in the field and in the office for the duration of COVID-19, but I had to chuckle when I saw this article and wanted to share this article about the “tiny vampires” who “feed on human and animal blood.” Story

Read more >>


Thursday, September 8, 2022   Celebrating the WECA SoCal Class of 2022; Looking Back on This Year's Graduation Celebration

Go behind-the-scenes of the 2022 WECA Southern California graduation ceremony with our video (below):

WECA held a graduation ceremony for the Southern California Class of 2022 on Saturday, August 27th at the Falkner Winery in Temecula. 

We enjoyed celebrating our graduates and were thrilled to be joined by so many of their family and friends, as well as Member Contractors Helix Electric and Bergelectric, Industry Partner Milwaukee ToolWECA Board Member Rob McMillian, and Rick Guantone from the San Joaquin County Office of of Education LEA. 

The atmosphere of the event -- emceed by Don Black, WECA Apprentice Training, IT, and Facilities Director -- was "electric", according to WECA Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan.

"Everyone was excited and had a fun time celebrating," says Wendy. "I met parents, wives, and several graduates brought their new little WECAns. I also spoke with several graduates that shared their appreciation for WECA and their future career goals now that they have graduated." 

Congratulations, graduates! It was wonderful to see your big smiles, celebrate your accomplishments, and share the excitement of your growing success in the electrical and low voltage fields! 

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WECA would like to thank our generous sponsors and graduation gift donors for making the WECA Class of 2022 Southern California graduation celebrations memorable! 

Please join us in thanking:

Volts Level Sponsors:

  • Rex Moore Group, Inc.
  • Helix Electric
  • Bergelectric (Southern California Commercial Division)
  • Bergelectric (Low Voltage Division)
  • Rock and Sons, Inc.

Amps Level Sponsors:

  • Royal Electric Company
  • Vasko Electric
  • Bergelectric (Northern California Commercial Division)

Watts Level Sponsors:

  • Whitehead Electrical Systems
  • Bosley Electric Company
  • Graybar

Ohms Level Sponsors: 

  • KS Telecom
  • Pacific Advocacy Group
  • Sueco Equipment Rental
  • Chief Transport

Graduation Gift Donors:

  • Klein Tools
  • Milwaukee Tool
  • Platt Electric Supply
Read more >>


Thursday, September 8, 2022   Celebrating the WECA Southern California Class of 2022; Spotlights on Some of This Year's Graduates

Cosimo D'Alessio, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Enovity

2022 Southern California Commercial Electrical Valedictorian Cosimo D’Alessio credits WECA with giving him a better understanding of the electrical field and a concrete base from which to build upon, while preparing him to exceed, thrive, and advance in his career.

“The impact this program has had on me both personally and professionally might be impossible to quantify,” says Cosimo, who works for WECA Member Contractor Enovity. “The time I’ve spent learning and absorbing the material within this program’s classroom environment over the last five years has been an invaluable asset; giving me the tools in which to develop and succeed.”

Read the rest of Cosimo's spotlight here.
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Austin Schroeder, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Bergelectric

2022 WECA Southern California Low Voltage Apprenticeship Valedictorian Austin Schroeder says that WECA provided a fully hands-on education due to being tasked with completing projects from start to finish and seeing them become fully operational.

“Starting a career in low voltage and joining WECA, I was unsure of what to expect or if I would even enjoy this line of work, as I was still unsure of what career path I wanted to take. I started my journey with [WECA Member Contractor] Bergelectric here in Southern California, and shortly after was indentured with WECA as an official apprentice,” says Austin. “But WECA helped me learn more in depth all the different low voltage systems, and it has been a great experience to get to where I am now.”

Read the rest of Austin's spotlight here.
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Bryce Picone, Employee of WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric

 

2022 WECA Southern California Commercial Electrical Apprentice graduate Bryce Picone, who works for WECA Member Contractor Helix Electric, describes his WECA experience as fun and practical.

“It was fun. From the friends and colleagues you make, to the teachers who get to watch their students learn and grow. It also taught me practical skills, but teachers and other students were able to show real-life applications as well. So, if we weren’t familiar with a specific topic, we were still able to learn hands-on and become familiar with it,” says Bryce.

Read the rest of Bryce's spotlight here.

Read more >>


Thursday, September 8, 2022   GetWired Instructor Franklin Tilley Finds Fulfillment in Teaching After Retirement

Retired Electricians: Want to Pass on Your Knowledge and Experience to the Next Generation? Become a GetWired Instructor!


 

Retirement doesn’t mean that electricians can’t stay involved in the industry or continue to share their wealth of knowledge and experience.

In fact, retired electricians can stay involved in the industry in ways like teaching. Take for instance GetWired instructor Franklin Tilley, who has taught at WECA in various capacities since 1988 and continued after his retirement from project management and construction supervision with the state of California in 2012.

Franklin, who began teaching for WECA after taking a class from former WECA instructor Bob Hogan in 1988, also served as the president of IAEI Sacramento Valley for three years, taught NFPA 70 updates to building inspectors for over ten years, and more.

“I have taught every level of apprenticeship classes with WECA, set up and operated the WECA program in Hayward for two years, and am now one of the instructors who teaches the GetWired 101 program online. I look forward to each class, and I hope to keep learning from the students. They teach me so very much with every class, and I now live vicariously through their stories of their companies and personal experiences,” says Franklin.

Franklin – and his wealth of knowledge and experience – are important contributors to WECA’s success and our students’ success.

“The legacy of quality work done safely, and courteous service to the customers of my employer has been my lifelong mantra, and I do my best to instill this same philosophy to all my students,” says Franklin.

In his personal time, Franklin enjoys writing to his seven children and 26 grandchildren, helping families in his church prepare for various emergency scenarios, gardening, cooking and delivering meals for the homeless, and more.

“I am nothing without the support of my wife and family, neighbors, friends, and students, and have been truly blessed to return to the community all that I have been given,” says Franklin.

Franklin, thank you for being part of the WECA family! Your lived knowledge and experience are an asset to us all, and we look forward to many more years of working with you.

Readers: are you a retired electrician (or an electrician thinking of retiring) who would like to give the gift of their knowledge and experience back to the electrical industry and their local community? Consider becoming an instructor for the WECA GetWired program, which consists of online, instructor-led, live-webcast classes on two weekday evenings per week, with one onsite, hands-on lab day per class on a Saturday at a WECA Northern or Southern California training facility. Learn more about and apply to become a WECA GetWired instructor here. 

Read more >>


Thursday, September 8, 2022   Information for Your Apprentices Regarding Wildfire Evacuation Orders and Power Shutoffs

For Member Contractors:

If you have WECA Apprentices or employ Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, or General Students who have been affected by the California wildfires or power shutoffs, and you have any questions or concerns about their progress, please contact WECA for clarification about accommodations for your employees' situations at 877-444-9322.

For Electrician Trainees, Journeyperson Continuing Education students, and General Students affected by wildfire evacuation orders or utility power shut-offs:

WECA will accommodate course make-up requests for currently enrolled Electrician Trainees, Journeymen, and General Students, course refunds or transfers and waive all associated fees for those whose homes are affected by fires or evacuations. Please contact WECA at 877-444-9322 to get started.

Please note the following information for WECA students affected by utility power shutoffs:

WECA will still be running all scheduled GetWired! webcasts, GetWired! labs (whether scheduled for onsite or online), Live Online 2-Day Exam Prep classes, and all other instructor-led class instances at this time. Students should plan to attend class as normal.

Students who are unable to attend a scheduled webcast due to a power shutoff at their residence, and who cannot attend the class instance from an alternate remote location (which is encouraged), can contact WECA to arrange a class make-up. WECA will cross-check the student's address with outage maps or otherwise request proof of the outage before accommodating the make-up; this accommodation is for students living in power shutoff areas only.

Please contact WECA at 877-444-9322 if you must miss a scheduled webcast due to the outage and wish to request a make-up class instance.

Please watch your email closely for further updates from WECA; if the power shutdown maps are expanded, classes may be further affected.

For Apprentices affected by wildfire evacuation orders:

If you are affected by a wildfire evacuation, please contact WECA at 877-444-9322 and we'll work with you to determine a resolution for your situation.

Read more >>