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Thursday, November 21, 2019   Showcasing WECA Apprenticeships with WECA's National Apprenticeship Week 2019 Open Houses

Recruiting Your Workforce 
 
WECA got into the spirit of National Apprenticeship Week 2019 with its open houses in Rancho Cordova on November 11th and San Diego on November 12th.

The open houses showcased WECA's state-of-the-art labs, top-notch instructors, and three cutting-edge Apprenticeship programs - all designed to show the enthusiastic prospects in attendance how they can achieve their dreams with a WECA Apprenticeship.
Both open houses began with presentations and lively question-and-answer sessions before segueing into the main attraction - the tour! During both tours, attendees gained enlightening insights into the inner workings of WECA's Apprenticeship programs and learned about all the benefits that a WECA Apprenticeship can afford them - tuition coverage, hands-on learning both on-the-job and in-the-classroom, a 
health & welfare plan, scholarship opportunities, and more!
But that's not all that prospects learned during the open houses.

Prospects also discovered that all the paths they can take with a WECA Apprenticeship under their toolbelts - like being an electrician, electrical instructor, or electrical contractor - means that the sky is virtually the limit for them.
 
You know that a WECA Apprenticeship is just the beginning - the pivotal first step to a satisfying, in-demand and respected career that provides you a high quality of life. If you know prospective Apprentices who would excel in the hands-on, intellectually stimulating career of an electrician, encourage them to take their first step toward the future today by applying to one of WECA's three Apprenticeship programs.
Read more >>


Thursday, November 21, 2019   Renewal of Your Contractor's License and the Effect of a Late Renewal

Content courtesy of: Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

By: Kenneth S. Grossbart of Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

In past articles, we have addressed the issue of licensing and the effect on your ability to collect your money if for any reason you are deemed to be unlicensed. Not only will the unlicensed nature of your business affect your ability to collect monies but will also put you in the precarious position of having to return all monies that you have collected on the job. 
 
The harshness of Business and Professions Code Section 7031 which states in part that if you perform work that requires a license, you must be "duly licensed at ALL times." This means that if you have a gap in your license status at any time during the course of a construction project, you could be considered not to be "duly licensed" at ALL times. Be assured that if you are involved in a lawsuit, your opposition will check your license status and if a determination is made that you have a gap in your license, the issue of licensure will be raised and you will have to defend yourself and prove that you have been licensed at all times or satisfied the substantial compliance requirements of Business and Professions Code Section 7031. 
 
This brings us to the renewal of your contractors' license. As all contractors know, your contractors' license must be renewed on a regular basis. The Contractors' State License Board ("CSLB") sends out the renewal notice. The number one requirement for you as the contractor is to make sure that the CSLB has your correct address. If you have moved or changed address, you MUST notify the CSLB of your new address. The CSLB sends the renewal notice to the address they have on file and if you do not get the notice then you are not going to know that your license needs to be renewed and, ultimately, you could be operating with an expired license. Once your license is expired, you will then have a gap in your license history. Even if the license renewal is sent to you, often times you are so busy that you put it aside or delegate someone else to renew the license. Oftentimes, because of the press of business and the forgetfulness of people, your license is not renewed on time. In that scenario, you will have a gap in your license history. It could be days or even weeks before you recognize the fact that you forgot to renew your license.

To read the rest of the article, click here. 
Read more >>


Thursday, November 21, 2019   Veteran and Apprentice Spotlight: Pedro Andrade


Some Apprentices and Electrician Trainees come to WECA already equipped with some electrical experience - like United States Marine Corps veteran and Commercial Apprentice Pedro Andrade, who accumulated electrical work experience while serving as a Corporal in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010. 

And after some time spent back stateside, Andrade decided to capitalize on his prior electrical experience with the Corps and found work with a WECA Member Contractor.

"I was lucky enough to work for a WECA Member Contractor," Andrade said. "And I was able to hear of WECA through the anecdotes of my fellow coworkers who were enrolled, and the journeymen who had graduated from WECA. After this, the decision [to apply to become a WECA apprentice] was a no-brainer."

As Andrade has progressed throughout his Apprenticeship, he's reflected upon his journey from the Corps to WECA.

"Serving in the military definitely instilled a work ethic in me, and I am grateful for that. Also, understanding leadership and what it takes [to succeed] makes me follow orders until I'm ready to lead in this field," Andrade said.

Andrade continued, stating that "I would 100 percent recommend for other vets to get into this trade and succeed."

But Andrade's advice isn't just limited to veterans - it's for everyone.

"My piece of advice for any newcomers is this: stay motivated and remember why you are here."
Read more >>


Thursday, November 21, 2019   WECA's GetWired 402: New and Improved Solar Concepts Included in Path to ET Program Certificate


WECA's Electrician Trainees asked for solar in our GetWired! course repertoire, and we heard them! We're proud to introduce the new and improved GetWired! 402, now covering Solar Power; plus Residential Service and Troubleshooting.

This 33-hour online-learning based course covers concepts like systematic troubleshooting using the 5-step troubleshooting approach; technologies and diagnostic equipment; business elements of doing service work; service call "work order" simulations; array configurations and electrical design characteristics for grid-tied Photovoltaic (PV) systems, PV system installations from the perspective of the 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC), and more! 

Curious to see what else your Electrician Trainees will learn in this course? Click here to learn more! 
Read more >>


Thursday, November 21, 2019   Your Electrician Trainees and Journeymen Can Use WECA's eCampus Mobile App w/ WECA's Online Courses

It's here! WECA's rolling out a new and updated version of our eCampus mobile app for students in our GetWired and self-paced online courses--a handy companion to our eCampus website--to give students a more seamless user experience.
  

Click here to share instructions on how to download and use the app to complete a task like taking a quiz, checking grades--and more!--with your Electrician Trainees and Journeymen.

But if your Electrician Trainees or Journeymen prefer the website to the app--not to worry. With our recent eCampus update, students can visit the website via any mobile web browser and the website will automatically scale to the size of their screen, giving every student the seamless user experience they deserve.
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 20, 2019   Showcasing WECA Apprenticeships with WECA's National Apprenticeship Week 2019 Open Houses

WECA got into the spirit of National Apprenticeship Week 2019 with its open houses in Rancho Cordova on November 11th and San Diego on November 12th.

The open houses showcased WECA's state-of-the-art labs, top-notch instructors, and three cutting-edge Apprenticeship programs - all designed to show the enthusiastic prospects in attendance how they can achieve their dreams with a WECA Apprenticeship. 

Both open houses began with presentations and lively question-and-answer sessions before segueing into the main attraction - the tour! During both tours, attendees gained enlightening insights into the inner workings of WECA's Apprenticeship programs, and learned about all the benefits that a WECA Apprenticeship can afford them - like having their tuition paid for by the WECA Member Contractor that employs them, getting to experience hands-on learning both on-the-job and in-the-classroom, and receiving either a health and welfare plan or a Fringe Benefit Package from their employer.
What's more is that prospects discovered all the paths they can take with a WECA Apprenticeship under their toolbelt - like being an electrician, electrical instructor, electrical contractor, and so much more. The sky is virtually the limit for those in the electrical trades, because the skills learned and knowledge gained during an Apprenticeship can be applied in myriad ways in a variety of professions.
A WECA apprenticeship is just the beginning - the pivotal first step to a satisfying, in-demand, and respected career that provides you a high quality of life. Would you - or someone you know - excel in the hands-on, intellectually stimulating career of an electrician? Take your - or encourage them to take their - first step toward the future today by applying to one of WECA's three Apprenticeship programs.
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 20, 2019   Learn How to Use the New Version of WECA's eCampus Mobile App

It's here! WECA's rolling out a new and updated version of our eCampus mobile app--a handy companion to our eCampus website--to give students a more seamless user experience. 


Click here to learn how to download and use the app to complete tasks like taking a quiz, checking your grades, and more!

But if you prefer the website to the app--not to worry. With our recent eCampus update, students can visit the website via any mobile web browser and the website will automatically scale to the size of their screen, giving every student the seamless user experience they deserve. 
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 20, 2019   Veteran and Apprentice Spotlight: Pedro Andrade


Some Apprentices and Electrician Trainees come to WECA already equipped with some electrical experience - like United States Marine Corps veteran and Commercial Apprentice Pedro Andrade, who accumulated electrical work experience while serving as a Corporal in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010.

And after some time spent back stateside, Andrade decided to capitalize on his prior electrical experience with the Corps and found work with a WECA Member Contractor.

"I was lucky enough to work for a WECA Member Contractor," Andrade said. "And I was able to hear of WECA through the anecdotes of my fellow coworkers who were enrolled, and the journeymen who had graduated from WECA. After this, the decision [to apply to become a WECA apprentice] was a no-brainer."

As Andrade has progressed throughout his Apprenticeship, he's reflected upon his journey from the Corps to WECA.

"Serving in the military definitely instilled a work ethic in me, and I am grateful for that. Also, understanding leadership and what it takes [to succeed] makes me follow orders until I'm ready to lead in this field," Andrade said.

Andrade continued, stating that "I would 100 percent recommend for other vets to get into this trade and succeed."

But Andrade's advice isn't just limited to veterans - it's for everyone.

"My piece of advice for any newcomers is this: stay motivated and remember why you are here."
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 20, 2019   Apprentice Spotlight: Alondra Mora



WECA first-year Low Voltage Apprentice Alondra Mora initially aspired to become a construction worker when she enrolled in a Career Technical Education (CTE) class during her junior year at Clovis High School. But when an electrical unit was introduced into the curriculum, there was a 'spark' for Mora - which led to her subsequently enrolling in an electrical systems class during her senior year.

"It was interesting because it's not like I decided 'I definitely want to do this for the rest of my life'", said Mora. "Rather, I realized that I really liked the work, enjoyed it, and never dreaded it - I would just think to myself, 'I want to know more about this.' And there was always something new to learn and it was the only thing that motivated me to go to school the next day."

And after graduation, Mora enrolled in WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship program with Member Contractor Sebastian.

"I chose to do a WECA Apprenticeship because everything about it is so much better than going to college for a couple of years, coming out with a bunch of debt, and then still having to look for a company to hire you. Going through an Apprenticeship, they are paying you to learn and you don't have anything to lose or owe for simply giving it a shot. So I gave it a shot - and it's the best decision I've ever made," said Mora.

Further, Mora stated that she specifically chose to be a low voltage apprentice because "low voltage works the most with telephone systems, cameras, computers, and all the fun stuff that would catch my attention."

Mora has only been on the job with Sebastian for a short time, but she's picked new things up quickly and has had fun doing it, too!

"I've learned several things so far - like how to put conduit up and tips and tricks on how to complete work more efficiently," said Mora, "but my favorite thing to work on is the telephone systems. I messed around with those a lot more in my electrical systems class which gave me pretty good insight on how this industry is and how it runs ... but the telephone systems are the most fun for me. I'm not so sure why, but I definitely enjoy working on them."

Being on the job has also given Mora unique insight into what it's like to be a female in the low voltage industry.

"So far, it's been really good and fun; I haven't had any problems or clashes with any of the guys. I love going to work and I really enjoy working with my coworkers," said Mora.

Mora's insight doesn't stop there, though. She also dispensed wise advice to those currently going through an Apprenticeship program or seeking to follow in her footsteps.

"Work the best you can, don't slack off, always be early, and most importantly - learn how to accept criticism from others. All you have to do is just soak up everything anyone says to you and figure out how to change and improve, rather than taking it the wrong way," said Mora.

With insight like this, we can confidently say that Alondra Mora is going to do great things and be at the forefront of the female revolution in the electrical industry. Welcome to the WECA family, Alondra, and we are excited to see where your WECA Apprenticeship and career take you!
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 20, 2019   Learn More About the Updated GW402 for Electrician Trainees


Electrician Trainees--you asked for solar in our GetWired! course repertoire, and we heard you! We're proud to introduce GetWired! 402: Solar Power; plus Residential Service and Troubleshooting.

This 33-hour online-learning based course covers concepts like systematic troubleshooting using the 5-step troubleshooting approach; technologies and diagnostic equipment; business elements of doing service work; service call "work order" simulations; array configurations and electrical design characteristics for grid-tied Photovoltaic (PV) systems, PV system installations from the perspective of the 2014 National Electrical Code (NEC), and more!

Ready to get started? Click here to learn more and register. 
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 20, 2019   California Apprenticeship Council Spotlights WECA Commercial Apprentice Nelson Caro

Content courtesy of: California Apprenticeship Council and Division of Apprenticeship Standards
 

From the article: "I am Nelson Caro, a fifth-year WECA commercial Apprentice and veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I served as a sergeant and an intermediate level hydraulics/pneumatic technician for FA-18s and KC-130s. I served two tours in Iraq, one in Iwakuni, Japan, and one in Bahrain and Syria-all before applying for WECA's Commercial Apprenticeship program. 

I've found success in WECA's Apprenticeship program in a few ways. First, you should ask as many questions as possible. The instructors are very knowledgeable and have no issues at all answering your questions. Second, discuss the topics with fellow classmates. Since not everyone learns the same way, it helps to get other points of view to get a better understanding of certain subjects. Last would be the labs. Having labs that show things like conduit bending, or properly connecting motors circuits etc. are very helpful.

To read the rest of the California Apprenticeship Council's Spotlight on Nelson and his story, click here
Read more >>


Wednesday, November 20, 2019   WECEF Offers 2020 Scholarship Opportunity--Apply Now!

wecef

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to again offer a scholarship program for students enrolled as an Apprentice, Electrician Trainee, or a Journeyman taking continuing education courses with WECA.

The WECEF Scholarship is intended to assist students whose career pursuits are in the electrical or low voltage fields and to help them in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful applicant and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition.

Awarded scholarships are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors and contingent upon the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements noted in the application form.

Apprentices and students can learn more and download the application form at the following link, or contact 877-444-9322 for more information.

Download scholarship application here

Application Deadline: 
Applications and all required documents must be received by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2020. 

Email all materials to lsipes@goweca.com
OR
 
Mail to: 
WECEF Scholarship Program
3695 Bleckeley Street
Mather Commerce Center

Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
Read more >>


Thursday, November 07, 2019   Alumni David Moore Competes and Instructor LaKeal Morris Judges at IDEAL National Championships


We've got some exciting news for you all! Our Commercial Apprenticeship Instructor, LaKeal Morris (above left), and 2019 Commercial Apprenticeship graduate--and current Bergelectric electrician--David S. Moore (above right) are representing us on the national stage this weekend at the IDEAL National Championships at Walt Disney World.
 
Morris is on the panel of judges, while Moore is competing for the title of 'best electrician in North America'. 

Morris--who is in his third year of judging this event--says that the event has gotten better each year, stating that "it is cool that a company like Ideal, a known contributor to this trade, could harness the competitive nature of all these electricians to culminate for one weekend at Walt Disney World. We race for lunch,
beer, and even pay checks at the end of the week just to be known as the fastest or even simply
'the best'. It's nice that I get to judge it."


Meanwhile, Moore is representing the state of California at the Championships for the third year in a row. His 2019 time of 0:50:47 seconds was the fastest in the state of California, and we wish him the 
best of luck in replicating--or even beating--his own personal best this weekend. 

We are proud of you both, LaKeal and David! Thank you to both of you for exemplifying what we--as well as our Member Contractors--already know: WECA and its Member Contractors produce California's finest electricians and low voltage technicians!

Want to get in on the action? Stay tuned for updates from LaKeal on our social media channels (links at the bottom of this communication) or download the IDEAL National Championships app in the App Store or on Google Play to stay up-to-date. 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, November 07, 2019   California Apprenticeship Council Spotlights WECA Commercial Apprentice Nelson Caro

Content courtesy of: California Apprenticeship Council and Division of Apprenticeship Standards

From the article: "I am Nelson Caro, a fifth-year WECA commercial Apprentice and veteran of the United States Marine Corps. I served as a sergeant and an intermediate level hydraulics/pneumatic technician for FA-18s and KC-130s. I served two tours in Iraq, one in Iwakuni, Japan, and one in Bahrain and Syria-all before applying for WECA's Commercial Apprenticeship program. 

I've found success in WECA's Apprenticeship program in a few ways. First, you should ask as many questions as possible. The instructors are very knowledgeable and have no issues at all answering your questions. Second, discuss the topics with fellow classmates. Since not everyone learns the same way, it helps to get other points of view to get a better understanding of certain subjects. Last would be the labs. Having labs that show things like conduit bending, or properly connecting motors circuits etc. are very helpful.

To read the rest of the California Apprenticeship Council's Spotlight on Nelson and his story, click here
Read more >>


Thursday, November 07, 2019   Do You Have Prospective Apprentices? WECA's National Apprenticeship Week Open Houses This Weekend

Next week is National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), and in observance of NAW, we're hosting two open houses! The first will take place at our Rancho Cordova HQ on November 11th, and the second will take place at our San Diego training facility on November 12th. This is a great chance for your prospective apprentices to come see what's going on behind the scenes at WECA and decide if this is the right career path for them. Make sure they don't miss out--so have them register at the links below today! 
 

Click here to learn more about and register to attend our NorCal open house at our Sacramento-area headquarters in Rancho Cordova

Click here to learn more about and register to attend our SoCal open house at our San Diego training facility
Read more >>


Thursday, November 07, 2019   WECEF's 2020 Scholarship Opportunity is Available Now--Share with Your Employees!

wecef

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to announce it is again offering a scholarship program for students enrolled as an Apprentice, Electrician Trainee, or a Journeyman taking continuing education courses with WECA.

The WECEF Scholarship is intended to assist students whose career pursuits are in the electrical or low voltage fields and to help them in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful applicant and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition.

Awarded scholarships are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors and contingent upon the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements noted in the application form.

Apprentices and students can learn more and download the application form at the following link, or contact 877-444-9322 for more information.

Download scholarship application here

Application deadline:
Applications and all required documents must be received by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2020.

Email all materials to lsipes@goweca.com.

OR

Mail to:

WECEF Scholarship Program
3695 Bleckely Street
Mather Commerce Center
Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 24, 2019   2019 Career Tech Expo Recap: the Future (of the Electrical Industry) is Female

On Thursday, October 17th, we--along with Member Contractors Sebastian Corp.and Electrical Power Source--made our annual visit to the Career Tech Expo in Fresno and shared the benefits of a career in construction as an electrician with upwards of 3,000 potential apprentices and their parents!

And Sebastian brought a familiar face from last year's Career Tech Expo--current WECA Low Voltage apprentice and Sebastian employee Alondra Mora! It was wonderful to see Alondra again, and see how far she's come since being a prospective apprentice at this very expo last year! What's more is that Electrical Power Source--pictured below--is also a female-owned electrical contracting company, with President Beatrice Pino at the helm. 

Way to go--thank you, Alondra and Beatrice, for representing women in construction and showing that it's never been a better time to be a female in the construction and electrical industries! 
 
 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 24, 2019   Saturdays in the WECA Labs

Fall is here, and our Electrician Trainees and Journeymen are engaging in hands-on learning at WECA's Saturday labs--like Basic Motor Controls 1 (where they gain experience building control circuits for motors, and learn the basics of motor controls), and GetWired! 103 (where they learn to install lighting branch-circuits in residences, while exploring NEC requirements for safe installations and standard industry practices).
 
 
 
 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 24, 2019   Recording a Mechanics Lien? Hold Your Horses!

By: Sharice Marootian of Abdulaziz, Grossbart & Rudman

We have all heard of mechanic's liens being invalid when they are recorded after the statutory deadline (generally, 90 days from completion of the work, with certain exceptions). But did you know that your mechanic's lien can also be deemed invalid if it recorded too early? 

That was exactly the outcome in a recent California Court of Appeal case entitled 
Precision Framing Systems, Inc. v. Henry Luzuriaga. In this case, Henry and Deborah Luzuriaga undertook to construct a veterinary hospital. They hired a general contractor and architect. The general contractor then hired Precision Framing Systems, Inc. ("Precision") as the framing subcontractor. Precision contracted with Inland Empire Truss, Inc. ("Inland") for design and fabrication of the trusses. Although Inland contracted solely with Precision and invoiced Precision, it was paid directly by the construction lender.

The chronology of events is important in this case. Therefore, I will bullet point them:
  • July 24, 2013: Precision started work on framing
  • July 29, 2013: Inland delivered the trusses
  • August 2, 2013: Precision began installing the trusses
  • August 7, 2013: City issued a correction notice relating to the trusses 
  • August 14, 2013: Precision notified Inland that the trusses were defective
  • Later in August 2013: Inland carried out repairs to the trusses
  • December 9, 2013: City issued a second correction notice relating to the trusses
  • December 23, 2013:General contractor and Precision's superintendent walked the project
To read more, click here. 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 24, 2019   A Round of Applause for Member Contractors Helix Electric, Inc., Power Design, Inc., & Bergelectric


Please join us in congratulating WECA Member Contractors Helix Electric, Inc.Power Design, Inc., and Bergelectric for being named to Engineering News-Record's Top 50 Firms in Electrical! You make us all proud--keep up the outstanding work!
Read more >>


Thursday, October 24, 2019   Behind the Scenes at WECA: Checking Out the Latest in Curriculum Development and eLearning


Members of WECA's Curriculum Development team (L to R: Tom Thompson-Curriculum Development Manager; Maris Kaplan-Curriculum Project Coordinator; and Sadie Moua-Instructional Designer) are at the CBExchange from C-BEN (Competency-based Education Network) in Palm Desert, CA, this week. WECA's Apprenticeship programs are at the forefront of competency-based education for the trades, but that's no reason to rest on our laurels!
 

Meanwhile, WECA's Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, Rebecca Archer, is at the DevLearn 2019 Conference and Expo in Las Vegas this week. We pride ourselves on continually integrating the latest in eLearning technologies into our state-of-the-art labs and top-notch curriculum, but there's always more to see, learn, experience, and integrate when it comes to the rapidly-evolving world of learning technologies! 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 24, 2019   WECEF Announces 2020 Scholarship Opportunity--Share with Your Employees!

wecef

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to announce it is again offering a scholarship program for students enrolled as an Apprentice, Electrician Trainee, or a Journeyman taking continuing education courses with WECA.

The WECEF Scholarship is intended to assist students whose career pursuits are in the electrical or low voltage fields and to help them in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful applicant and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition.

Awarded scholarships are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors and contingent upon the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements noted in the application form.

Apprentices and students can learn more and download the application form at the following link, or contact 877-444-9322 for more information.

Download scholarship application here


Application deadline:
Applications and all required documents must be received by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2020.

Email all materials to lsipes@goweca.com.

OR

Mail to:

WECEF Scholarship Program
3695 Bleckely Street
Mather Commerce Center
Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 23, 2019   WECA's Hiring! Seeking Part-Time Instructors for Nights and Weekends

Keep Your Skills Sharp While Earning Extra Money with the Perfect Side Gig hiring
 

Seeking experienced Journeymen who:
  • Are natural teachers and leaders
  • Enjoy learning more about the field all the time
  • Enjoy sharing knowledge about all things electrical with a new generation of prospective electricians
  • Want to earn more money in the evening, without having to leave home 
We'd be excited to have you join our team and help us in developing the workforce for our industry! 

Part-Time Instructors for our GetWired! programs teach weeknights online and/or occasional Saturday labs at our training facilities.

This is the side gig that lets you earn extra money while keeping your day job! 

View the job posting and application details here to learn more and apply today. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 23, 2019   Saturdays in the WECA Labs

Fall is here, and our Electrician Trainees and Journeymen are engaging in hands-on learning at WECA's Saturday labs--like Basic Motor Controls 1 (where they gain experience building control circuits for motors, and learn the basics of motor controls), and GetWired! 103 (where they learn to install lighting branch-circuits in residences, while exploring NEC requirements for safe installations and standard industry practices). 
 
 
 
 
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 23, 2019   The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) Announces Scholarship Opportunity!

wecef

The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to announce it is again offering a scholarship program for students enrolled as an Apprentice, Electrician Trainee, or a Journeyman taking continuing education courses with WECA.

The WECEF Scholarship is intended to assist students whose career pursuits are in the electrical or low voltage fields and to help them in continuing their education with WECA.

Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful applicant and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition.

Awarded scholarships are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors and contingent upon the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements noted in the application form.

Apprentices and students can learn more and download the application form at the following link, or contact 877-444-9322 for more information.

Download scholarship application here

Application Deadline: 
Applications and all required documents must be received by 5:00 PM on January 13, 2020. 

Email all materials to lsipes@goweca.com
OR
 
Mail to: 
WECEF Scholarship Program
3695 Bleckeley Street
Mather Commerce Center

Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 23, 2019   It's That Time of Year Again--Commercial Apprentice Open Enrollment Underway from Oct. 15 - Nov. 6

WECA's annual open enrollment period for Commercial Apprentices is taking place from October 15 - November 6changes will become effective on December 1

If you are adding a dependent(s) to your group health plans, please return your completed enrollment form to WECA's Sacramento/Rancho Cordova headquarters no later than Nov. 6.

If you are NOT making any changes to your existing coverage, there is nothing for you to do. 

To learn more, please log in with your WECA ID and password to view the 2019-2020 Benefit Summary, and Annual Notices.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Cindy Cormier, Insurance Administrator, by phone at (877) 444-9322 ext. 117 or by email at ccormier@goweca.com.
Read more >>


Wednesday, October 23, 2019   Behind the Scenes at WECA: Checking Out the Latest in Curriculum Development and eLearning

 

Members of WECA's Curriculum Development team (L to R: Tom Thompson-Curriculum Development Manager; Maris Kaplan-Curriculum Project Coordinator; and Sadie Moua-Instructional Designer) are at the CBExchance from C-BEN (Competency-based Education Network) in Palm Desert, CA, this week. WECA's Apprenticeship programs are at the forefront of competency-based education for the trades, but that's no reason to rest on our laurels! 
 
 

Meanwhile, WECA's Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, Rebecca Archer, is at the DevLearn 2019 Conference and Expo in Las Vegas this week. We pride ourselves on continually integrating the latest in eLearning technologies into our state-of-the-art labs and top-notch curriculum, but there's always more to see, learn, experience, and integrate when it comes to the rapidly-evolving world of learning technologies! 
Read more >>


Thursday, October 17, 2019   Legislative Year in Review

 

Richard Markuson

With the 2019 California Legislative Session concluded, here is a comparison to the last Session, and an overview of how many bills Governor Newsom signed and vetoed compared with the last two-year session under Governor Brown.
 
Bills introduced in the 2019 Session: 2,625. Of these, 870 bills were signed into law and 172 bills (16.5 percent) were vetoed.
 
Bills introduced in the 2017-18 Session: 4,775. Of these, 1,875 were signed into law and 319 bills (14.5 percent) were vetoed.
 
Thus, in Newsom's first year in office, his veto rate was slightly above Brown's veto rate in his last two years in office (but close to his 16-year average).
 
But the big question is - does California need 870 statutory changes every year? I'll let you be the judge.
 
Now let's look at a few bills Governor Newson signed - and vetoed.
 
He vetoed the one CEQA bill that wasn't part of a union-approved sports arena deal. AB 394 (Obernolte - R) that would have exempted from CEQA "an egress route project specifically recommended by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection that improves fire safety of an existing residential subdivision if specified conditions are met." It had no opposition and only one "no" vote in the Assembly, but Newsom said "the CEQA exemption provided in this bill is premature and may result in unintended consequences." Yeah - like people trying to get out of a fire zone when the only road is blocked! Does the fact that Obernolte, in addition to being a Republican, is also a candidate for Congress in 2020 have anything to do with the veto?
 
But he also vetoed AB 520 (Kalra - D) that would have set the threshold of public support for public works application at $500,000. This was a BIG defeat for the State Building and Construction Trades Council. Newsom - who is in a bit of a tiff with the trades - said "While I steadfastly support prevailing wage law, I am concerned that the restrictive nature of this law may have unintended consequences. Further, there is nothing to suggest that the longstanding administrative practice of considering the public subsidy in the context of the project and using two percent as a general threshold is insufficient."
 
In reply, Robbie Hunter said (in part), "National politics provides us a cautionary tale of what happens when the working class is forgotten by candidates who are steeped in the ambitions of unrequited presidential aspirations. California could, and should, do better for workers and their families." The trades have also been running a social media campaign that blames Newsom for recent worker deaths because of a delay in appointments to the OSHA standards board.
 
Several measures that would have changed or expanded Skilled and Trained Workforce died or were delayed in the Legislature.
 
AB 168 (Aguiar-Curry - D) would have amended SB 35 of last year that authorizes a development proponent to submit an application for a multifamily housing development that is subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process, to include a requirement that the development not be located on a site that is a tribal cultural resource. Existing law requires payment of prevailing wages and apprentice wages even if the project is not a public works and prohibits the DLSE from enforcing the Labor Code if the Project is covered by a PLA. AB 35 also waives CPRs on projects covered by a PLA. (2-year bill)
 
AB 1177 (Frazier - D) would have repealed the Skilled and Trained Workforce provisions in SB 35 from last year - from a Democrat. (2-year bill)
 
AB 1706 (Quirk - D) would have created specified financial incentives for development proponents of residential housing development in the nine-county San Francisco Bay area region. The bill requires payment of prevailing wages and apprentice wages even if the project is not a public works and prohibits the DLSE from enforcing the Labor Code if the Project is covered by a PLA. AB 1706 also waives CPRs on projects covered by a PLA. (2-year bill)
 
SB 4 (McGuire and Beall - D) would have created a streamlined approval process for eligible projects within a half-mile of fixed rail or ferry terminals in cities of 50,000 residents or more in smaller counties and in all urban areas in counties with over a million residents. It also creates a streamlined approval process for duplexes and fourplexes, as specified, in residential areas on vacant, infill parcels. Requires SATWF unless covered by a PLA; exempts contractors under a PLA from completing CPRs. (2-year bill)
 
SB 25 (Caballero and Glazer - D) would grant accelerated CEQA appeals for certain housing projects. Requires SATWF unless covered by a PLA, exempts contractors under a PLA from completing CPRs. (2-year bill)
 
SB 524 (Stern) is sponsored by California State Association of Electrical Workers, California State Pipe Trades Council, Western States Council Sheet Metal Workers, and would require the CPUC to direct energy efficiency program administrators to ensure that work is performed by a skilled and trained workforce for projects receiving at least $50,000 in ratepayer-funded initiatives within a single facility. (2-year bill)
 
But there was a big bill - AB 48 - that will be on the March 2020 ballot. It is a $15 billion school bond that has some developer concessions - so of course the trades got something. School construction projects with PLAs get priority over other projects without PLAs.
 
Next time we'll cover the major bills Newsom signed that will affect employers next year.
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Thursday, October 17, 2019   National

California Contagion Spreads - New York is Next: According to POLITICO, "A new labor-backed coalition wants New York State to follow our lead in reclassifying gig-economy independent contractors as employees. The group wants the state to establish a three-part test to determine whether a worker should be compensated as an independent contractor or as an employee eligible for more protections and benefits. 'Tech organizations backed by companies like Uber and Lyft are resisting the effort, arguing that it makes no sense to impose an old fashioned employment model on a new way of doing business,'" they write. "'Instead, they argue for some sort of 'third way,' involving portable benefits and say they hope to work with the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to build a system that works in the state.' The issue is expected to be addressed in the next legislative session, which starts in January."
 
Sanders Proposes Boost in Worker Ownership: POLITICO reported on a plan by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to boost his standing with the Socialists in the United States. "Sanders wants to provide workers with an ownership stake in their businesses," they write. "Under his proposal, employees at large companies would be given 20 percent of the shares. They would also have control of 45 percent of the seats on the board of directors." How it would work: "Companies that meet Sanders' guidelines - ones that are publicly traded or bring in $100 million or more in annual revenue - would be required to give at least 2 percent of their stock to their employees every year, until they reach 20 percent. The plan also would increase the corporate tax from 21 percent to 35 percent (where it stood before Republicans passed their tax overhaul in 2017)."
 
Alaska Cracks Down on Union Dues: The fake New York Times reported that Alaska's new governor, Mike Dunleavy, issued an administrative order that "'proposes to halt payroll deductions for union dues and require state workers to go through a cumbersome, multi-step process to restore that option.' Dunleavy said the plan was intended not to harm unions but to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling last year in Janus v. AFSCME, which barred government unions from collecting mandatory fees from non-union members to cover their share of collective bargaining costs. Under the policy 'state workers will have to declare that they want to opt into the union and sign an acknowledgement that they know they do not have to have such representation. They will then need a second layer of authentication, such as an email exchange, to reaffirm their intentions. And they will have to repeat the opt-in process every year.'"
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Thursday, October 10, 2019   A Round of Applause for WECA Member Contractors Helix Electric, Inc. and Mark III Construction

Sacramento Business Journal's 2019 "Best Places to Work" Honorees sbj
 

Please join WECA in congratulating Member Contractors Helix Electric, Inc. and
Mark III Construction for being named among the best places to work in the
Sacramento Business Journal's 2019 Best Places to Work list

We're proud of our Member Contractors for fostering some of the happiest workplaces in town--keep it up, all! 
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Thursday, October 10, 2019   Brush Up on Your Mechanics Lien Knowledge--Courtesy of Porter Law Group

Content courtesy of Patrick G. McNamara, Esq., of Porter Law Group (Sacramento, CA): 


When is a Mechanics Lien Premature?

It is well-established law in California that the latest date on which a mechanic's lien may be recorded relates to the date of completion (or cessation) of the project work, or, if a Notice of Completion is recorded, to the date of the recording of that Notice. As to the earliest date a subcontractor or supplier lien may be recorded, Civil Code Section 8414(a) states the lien may be recorded only "after the claimant ceases to provide work." A California Court of Appeals opinion filed in August of this year (Precision Framing Systems, Inc. v Luzuriaga) sheds light (or fog) on when a subcontractor "ceases to provide work." Read the full article here. 
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Thursday, October 10, 2019   2019 SoCal Commercial Apprentice Graduate David S. Moore to Compete at IDEAL Nationals in November!


Congratulations are in order for WECA 2019 SoCal Commercial Apprentice Graduate David S. Moore of Bergelectric Corp.--he will be representing the state of California (for the third year in a row, no less!) at the 2019 IDEAL National Championships held from Nov. 7 - 9 at Disney World!

David's time of 0:50:47 seconds was the fastest in the state of California, and we here at WECA wish him good luck as he shows off his electrician chops on the national stage next month. Thank you, David, for exemplifying what we--as well as our Member Contractors--already know: WECA and its Member Contractors produce California's finest electricians and low voltage technicians! 
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Thursday, October 10, 2019   Learn How to Navigate Skilled and Trained Workforce Mandates and Exceptions at our Nov. 6 Webinar


Do the sheer volume of Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates and exceptions make you feel as though you're all bound up in red tape?

While we can't eliminate bureaucratic madness, what we can do is help you navigate it by providing you with up-to-date information on current Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates. This webinar will cover the basics of Skilled and Trained Workforce requirements, new interpretations of compliance, and legislative changes effective 2020.

Join Richard Markuson of WECA Government Affairs as he takes you through what he calls "the rabbit hole" of California's ever-evolving Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates for public works construction.

Assistant Director of Apprenticeship Wendy Flanagan will also be on the webinar to describe WECA's 'Accelerated Apprenticeship' option for WECA Member Contractors dealing with Skilled and Trained Workforce mandates.

Register today to join us online on November 6, from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m., for this informative webinar. 

This webinar is free for WECA Member Contractors, Industry Partners, and their employees. All others are $50/registration.

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership services and benefits. 
 
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Thursday, October 10, 2019   WECA's Hiring--Seeking Part-Time Instructors for Nights and Weekends

Please Share with Your Journeymen; Help Them Keep Their Skills Sharp While Earning Extra Money with the Perfect Side Gig
 

We bet you have exceptional Journeymen who are natural teachers and leaders, enjoy learning more about their field all the time, and sharing their knowledge about all things electrical with others!

We'd be excited to have them join our team and help us--and future you--in developing the workforce for our industry!

Part-Time Instructors for our GetWired! programs teach weeknights online and/or occasional Saturday labs at our training facilities. 

This is the side gig that lets your Journeymen earn extra money while keeping their day jobs!

Download this flyer containing the full job description to share with your Journeymen here.

And, view the job posting and application details here to learn more.
 
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Thursday, October 10, 2019   Swinging the Pendulum on Construction Careers--Content Courtesy of Construction Dive and NCCER

The unemployment rate in the United States has remained at or below 4% for the last 18 months, hitting the 3.7% mark in August. Yet, more than 5.8 million jobs have been added since January 2017, including the nearly 700,000 in construction alone.

With the average age of craft professionals at 43 and 21.7% over the age of 54, the industry is expecting to see 40% of seasoned workers retire by 2030. Even more alarming is that, in 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that only 1.7% of construction workers were 16-to-19-years old and less than 10% were under 25-years-old.

Where is our future workforce going to come from? The industry is facing a severe skilled worker shortage that is not going to change overnight. Read the full article here. 
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