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Thursday, August 15, 2019   LowVolt BICSI Courses Are Back! Explore Offerings at WECA's Rancho Cordova HQ from Oct. 28 - Dec. 20


WECA Instructor John Arias (front right, in the grey shirt) listens intently to the BICSI instructor during the April 15, 2019 session of the BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training course. 

BICSI classes are heading back to WECA just in time for fall--and we strongly encourage our interested member contractors to enroll themselves or their employees in these courses early, in order to secure seats.

Interested in enrolling yourself or an employee in a BICSI course? See below for the upcoming Fall 2019 dates and to learn more about the courses.  Enrollments are directly with BICSI at the links below. Look for "Rancho Cordova" in the location sidebar for each course.

DD102: Designing Telecommunications Distribution Systems Oct. 28 - Nov. 1

Learn how to design distribution systems in this comprehensive workshop. DD102 is an intensive, hands-on course focused on the design of structured cabling systems. Offering hands-on skill building activities from day one, this knowledge-intensive course instructs you in real-world tasks, preparing you for design roles outside of the classroom. Assignments from the award-winning Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual (TDMM) augment your learning, allowing you to prepare questions for the classroom. Learn more here.

IN101: BICSI Installer Training Nov. 18 - 22

This course is designed to provide entry-level installers with the background, knowledge and basic skills needed to function safely and effectively as part of a cabling installation team. The BICSI Installer 1 Training course is the introductory course of the Installation Program series. Learn more here.

IN225: BICSI Installer 2, Copper Training Dec. 2 - 6

The course begins with an overview of professionalism, copper transmission principles and general safety practices associated with working with copper cabling. A significant amount of course time will then be spent on BICSI best practices for the installation, termination and testing of copper cable. Learn more here.

IN250: BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Dec. 9 - 13

This course will open with an overview of professionalism, fiber transmission principles and the general safety practices related to optical fiber cabling. A significant amount of course time will then be spent on installation, splicing, termination and testing of optical fiber cable. Learn more here. 

TE350: BICSI Technician Training Dec. 16 - 20

A significant amount of course time will be spent on troubleshooting copper and optical fiber cable installations. In addition, this course will cover project planning and implementation at the technician level. Additional topics will include site safety, site surveys, blueprint reading, bonding and grounding (earthing) and firestopping practices. Learn more here. 

These classes are open to the public. Additionally, they are rarely offered in Northern California, so we encourage our members to take advantage of this convenient opportunity. 

Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these classes and to enroll yourself or an employee, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search course by location for "Rancho Cordova."
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Thursday, August 15, 2019   Register Today for the Oct. 2 Webinar: "Prevailing Wage and Skilled and Trained Workforce"


Join Cook Brown Partner Carrie Bushman as she discusses:
  • Recently enacted statutory provisions regarding new penalties for non-compliance with skilled and trained workforce requirements;
  • The small project exemption for contractor registration and submission of eCPRs;
  • How to read and interpret prevailing wage determinations, including scopes of work, travel and subsistence provisions, and shift differential provisions;
  • Taking credit for fringe benefit contributions;
  • Public works contractor registration requirements;
  • Apprenticeship compliance; and, 
  • Record keeping requirements, including eCPR.
Register today to join us online on October 2, from 8:30-12pm, for this informative webinar.
This webinar is free for WECA member contractors, industry partners, and their employees. All others are $75/registration.

Want a handy Prevailing Wage reference in the meantime? Purchase WECA's updated ePublication, "Blueprint to California's Prevailing Wage: A Contractor's Guide Second Edition." Now available for Amazon Kindle, and as an Interactive PDF.

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

Register now

Not yet a member of WECA? See our membership benefits and services.
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Thursday, August 15, 2019   Harness the Power of the Sun with WECA's Solar Courses; Some in Partnership with SEI & Mike Holt


Are you - or your employees - interested in broadening your knowledge, skill sets, and business offerings? 

Corporate and consumer interest in solar power is burgeoning, and opportunities for electrical contractors in performing this work are growing.

Get a leg up on the competition with WECA's self-paced online solar courses offered in partnership with Solar Energy International and Mike Holt.

Explore the offerings from our solar course catalog below, and enroll today to join or stay up-to-date with this thriving industry. 

Faultless Solar (32-hour course)

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

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

This scheduled self-paced instructor-led course from WECA education partner Solar Energy International is for students who want to learn the fundamentals and gain a solid understanding of various components, system architectures, and applications for PV systems. Successful completion of this course results in State of California Journeyman Continuing Education or Electrician Trainee hours, and also counts as one of the two courses required to qualify students to sit for the NABCEP PV Associate Exam. Enroll today!
 
PVOL202: Advanced PV System Design and the NEC (Grid-Direct) (60-hour course) 

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

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

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

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

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

The PVOL101 through PVOL203 courses are also offered in Spanish. Learn more here.

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

Learn about the fundamental concepts required for safe, code-compliant installation of residential and commercial-scale Photovoltaic systems.  Enroll today!

Understanding 2014 NEC Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Systems Home Study (DVD Based) (16-hour course) 

This 16-hour course is based on Mike Holt's "Illustrated Guide to Understanding NEC Requirements for Solar Photovoltaic Systems, based on the 2014 NEC" textbook and DVDs.  Enroll today! 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 15, 2019   WECA Supports ACE Mentor Program, San Diego Chapter's Electrical Industry Education Initiatives


The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) exists to inform, educate and train men and women for successful and satisfying careers in the electrical and low voltage trades.

One such initiative during the 2018-19 fiscal year was its sponsorship of the San Diego Chapter of the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering (ACE) program. The mission of the ACE program is to ensure that students aspiring to careers in the architecture, construction, and engineering industries can learn the skills needed to develop successful and satisfying careers in those fields.

This year, ACE's San Diego Chapter was able to award over $100,000 in scholarships to 50 juniors and seniors attending 11 high schools in San Diego County. What's more, the generous donations ACE received also enabled them to send one student from each participating high school to a free week-long ACE summer camp!

WECEF and WECA do not currently directly participate in the ACE San Diego Chapter mentoring program, but Don Black, WECA's Apprentice Training Director, says "Some of our instructors have expressed an interest in mentoring," said Black. "It's a fairly significant commitment, but I think it's well worth it. And WECA would 100 percent support our instructors," should they undertake it.

WECEF is excited to continue strengthening its commitment to not only the San Diego community, but also all the communities we serve. And we, of course, eagerly await the great impacts these students will have on their communities and the electrical industry.

Learn more about supporting the ACE Mentor Program in San Diego here. We're proud to see WECA member contractors on the list!
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Thursday, August 15, 2019   Around HQ This Week: Instructor John Arias Demonstrates Exothermic Welding


WECA instructor John Arias demonstrates exothermic welding for the cameras during filming of an educational demo this week. Exothermic welding is the permanent joining of two metals by an exothermic reaction that is not susceptible to loose connections, corrosion or other problems associated with mechanical connections. Exothermic welding is utilized in the commercial sector for attaching to the grounding electrode and building steel among other things, and the low voltage sector for attachment to the telecommunication bonding infrastructure.
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Thursday, August 08, 2019   Opinions




Richard Markuson

Did IBEW Just Put a Nail Into the C-46 Coffin? In a meeting of the California State Labor Board Legislative Committee - one filled with charges of inexperienced and untrained workers involved with the installation of energy storage systems (ESS) - the Committee instructed staff (lucky them) to craft a proposal that would limit the heretofore unfettered ability of solar contractors to install ESS for only smaller residential projects, and then bring it back to the Committee. C-46, therefore, could install ESS if:
 
  • It is limited to a PV system up to 10kW on a single-family dwelling or duplex with a battery system that must not exceed a 5kW backup/20kWh energy.
  • The battery system is installed at same time as solar PV system.
  • No upgrade or alteration is made to the existing electrical system.
 
The hearing, which lasted more than five hours, was still standing room only despite the meeting having been moved to a large auditorium at the California Employment Development Department. What's more is that so many people watched the hearing online, that the Web server crashed several times.
 
Supporters of an outright ban on C-46 installing anyESS included IBEW, NECA, and - of course - a group of Democrat legislators who regularly feed at the IBEW trough, such as Diane Ravnik (the former head of the Division of Apprenticeship Standards and a former IBEW training director), California Apprenticeship Committee member Yvonne de la Peña, and the Sierra Club. Wait - don't they want more solar? Sorry, I am confused.
 
While the final outcome will take months (or years) to complete, two things this episode should remind merit-shop leaders of are:
 
  1. IBEW may not wait for the board to act and could amend a bill in the last month of session to accomplish this change (if so, the bill would go into effect January 1, 2020).
  2. The power of labor - and in particular IBEW - to decimate another contractor group is ignored at peril.
 
An excellent write up of the day is here.
Read more >>


Thursday, August 08, 2019   State Elections

Special Election in AD 01 (Northeast California) The same interests that got together to buoy Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) in the SD 01 special election earlier this year are now back together to push to fill his former Assembly seat with his wife, Megan Dahle. The California Realtors Association and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association have each kicked in $50,000 to a new independent expenditure effort for the August 23 special primary. While Dahle is the favorite, it's going to be tough for her to exceed 50 percent in the special primary. Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt will likely receive around 30 percent. That leaves 70 percent to split among five Republicans, making that majority very tough. The special general would be on November 5. [The Nooner]

2020 Primary in CD 50 Former San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio announced he's planning to challenge Republican Duncan Hunter, whose legal troubles make him a target in 2020. "If we don't change who the nominee is going into the 2020 election, I'm worried Republicans will lose yet another seat," DeMaio said in his announcement. Hunter goes on trial next month for alleged campaign finance violations. The proceedings could get ugly, with a judge authorizing testimony on Hunter allegedly spending campaign money on extramarital affairs. DeMaio isn't the only one to sense an opening, with multiple other Republicans already in the running. But the big wild card is former Rep. Darrell Issa, who gave up the adjacent CA-49 seat since claimed by Rep. Mike Levin. [Politico]
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Thursday, August 08, 2019   What We're Reading, Listening To, and Watching

CalOSHA Adopts Emergency Smoke Regulations 
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has adopted an emergency regulation designed to protect workers from hazards associated with wildfire smoke. The regulation went into effect on July 29, 2019 and will be effective for 180 days. The regulation, however, may be extended if no permanent regulations are in place. It applies to workplaces where the current Air Quality Index for airborne particulate matter is 151 or greater, and where employers should reasonably anticipate that employees could be exposed to wildfire smoke. View the emergency regulations here. 

Building Trades warn Newsom, leaders against deal with Big Tech 
One of California's most powerful organized labor organizations is warning legislators against embracing a deal with tech companies over worker classification. Facing a California Supreme Court decision that could lead many workers to be reclassified as employees rather than independent contractors - and a bill that seeks to enshrine that decision in law - Silicon Valley businesses like Uber and Lyft are lobbying for a compromise that would offer their drivers some labor rights while preserving their contractor status. The prospect of such a deal has met pushback from critics who say it would sell workers short. The State Building and Construction Trades Council of California threw its weight behind that position Wednesday, warning against "allowing technology platform companies to exploit workers by treating them as independent contractors with substandard protections" in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders. "Creating a third category of employment that would allow technology to dictate employment status is a dangerous precedent that would undermine the Building Trades' employment and apprenticeship model by forcing employers to convert in order to compete, causing severe disruption of our entire tax base and social safety net," the letter reads, warning that it would empower "tech platform companies that dispatch misclassified workers to perform construction work." The Teamsters also signed on to the letter, though the group has joined SEIU and the United Food and Commercial Workers in deep discussions with tech companies facilitated by the Newsom administration. The tech industry, meanwhile, hopes a California deal could set a national standard - a position outlined in 
a letter to Congress this week. [Subscriber content: Politico]

Orange County, longtime GOP stronghold, now has more registered Democrats than Republicans "The county that nurtured Ronald Reagan's conservatism and is the resting place of Richard Nixon is now home to 547,458 registered Democrats, compared with 547,369 Republicans, according to statistics released early Wednesday morning by the county Registrar of Voters. And the number of voters not aligned with a political party has surged in recent years, and now tops 440,770, or 27.4% of the county's voters. Democratic leaders attributed the shift to changing demographics, aggressive recruitment efforts and President Trump." [LA Times]

Workplace injuries drive rise in overdoses, suicides An injury serious enough to trigger at least one week off from work almost tripled the combined risk of suicide and overdose death among women and increased the risk by 50% among men, researchers said. Story [Construction Dive]

7 invoice mistakes that waste time, moneySubmitting an invoice for completed work and then getting paid is about as straightforward as the construction business gets. Or at least it should be. Getting paid on time is the lifeblood for contractors, but many consistently make the same mistakes over and over when handling this vital process. Story[Construction Dive]

Contract deal gives 10% raise or more to state safety and law enforcement employees "Pay for dispatchers, security officers, inspectors and other public safety and law enforcement employees at the state will go up at least 10 percent over the next four years in a tentative agreement their union reached with the state. Additional pay raises of up to 24 percent for specific job classifications will boost pay further for the majority of the California State Law Enforcement Association's members, according to a union summary of the agreement. The 7,300-member union is the second to reach an agreement with state negotiators this summer. The agreement includes a general salary increase of 2.75 percent starting this month, followed by annual increases of up to 2.5 percent through 2022, when members will receive either 2.25 percent or 3.75 percent depending on classification." [Sacramento Bee]
Read more >>


Thursday, August 08, 2019   Washington, D.C., Labor Law, NLRB, and Recent Court Decisions

Congress is now gone for six weeks, which means that, effectively, President Donald Trump has a megaphone all to himself. It's incredibly difficult for members of Congress to break through when they are outside of D.C.
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Thursday, August 01, 2019   Brittain Insurance Services: Tailor-Made Insurance for the Discerning Electrical Contractor


When it comes to insuring your livelihood, WECA Industry Partner Brittain Insurance Services is a company that has got you covered.

In business for nearly 30 years? Check. Family-owned and run? Check. Dedicated not only to their customers, but also to their greater community? Check!

"We specialize in electrical contractors," said John Brittain IV, President of Brittain Insurance Services. "And our firm was established to provide efficient solutions for the insurance and risk management needs of businesses and individuals. Our services include risk analysis, claims review, and development of a plan to deal with your risks and protect your assets."

Electrical contractor-focused services include: coverage of contractors' tools in transit, and the writing of contractors' liability insurance, project-specific insurance, professional liability insurance, business auto insurance, and all property insurance.

Beyond that, Brittain Insurance Services also specializes in claims management, loss control, and specialized programs for commercial auto insurance specifically tailored for electrical contractors.

So, what does Brittain Insurance Services not do? As it turns out, not much. President John Brittain IV currently serves as President of the Covina Rotary Club and volunteers his time to several community projects that help the homeless and veterans in the greater Covina community.

WECA is proud to have Brittain Insurance Services as one of our Industry Partners - and we strongly encourage our Member Contractors to work with them, too.

"With our 10 percent discount, we can help save WECA members money and provide our professional services to help mitigate their exposures," said Brittain IV.

WECA Member Contractors interested in utilizing Brittain Insurance Services' products may contact them at the following:
 
John Brittain IV, President, Certified Insurance Counselor

Brittain Insurance Services

john@brittaininsurance.com

(626) 967-7985
Read more >>


Thursday, August 01, 2019   Thank You, DeWalt, for Your Generous Donations!



(Left to right: Instructor Rick Mortensen, DeWalt representative Monce' Mejia, DeWalt representative Nathan Longabach, and Instructor Talon Pobuda pose by DeWalt's generous donations!)

Thank you, DeWalt, for helping supplement the world-class educations our apprentices receive in the labs!

DeWalt Tools recently donated display boards, 20-volt battery operated tools, and 10 12-volt drills for students to use in the labs. 
   
This donation is part of DeWalt's initiative of reaching out to training facilities - like WECA - to allow starting tradesmen to experience their tools and renowned quality first-hand. 

What's more is that DeWalt makes it personal - they sent their San Diego-area representatives, Monce' Mejia and Nathan Longabach, to hand-deliver the donations!
Read more >>


Thursday, August 01, 2019   Correction to 2017-2 Prevailing Wage Increases Effective August 1, 2019 Forward

We recently discovered that increases 4 - 7 of 7 beginning August 1, 2019 for the 2017-2 Prevailing Wage Determination that covers Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra (the portion lying outside of the Tahoe Basin), Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, and Yuba counties were incorrect for apprentices. Corrections have been made and posted to WECA's website.

If you previously downloaded any of these increases, please discard them and download the corrected versions under 'Wage Resources' here.

If you need OT or DT rates for any of these increases, please email chall@goweca.com and we will calculate the correct OT and DT rates for you.
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Thursday, August 01, 2019   Nomination deadline extended to August 15th: Serve on the WECA Health and Welfare Board of Trustees

Would you like to give back to the industry, help shape direction at WECA, learn from and collaborate with other contractors, and enhance your own leadership skills?

WECA has two open positions on the WECA Health and Welfare Board of Trustees, and we have extended our nominations deadline!

Members, please check your inboxes for an email from WECA with a link to the nominations form. 
Read more >>


Thursday, August 01, 2019   Members: Watch Your Mailboxes for Your Complimentary Copy of WECA's 2019 Labor Law Book


The 2019 edition of WECA's "Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors" is here! It's an important reference guide - for members, the industry, and the general public - to the latest new and amended laws that could affect your business. 

WECA Members, watch your mailboxes--your complimentary copy is on the way!
Not a Member Contractor with WECA yet? No worries - you can purchase the 2019 edition of "Selected California Laws Affecting Electrical and Low Voltage Contractors" in our Amazon store. Or join the association and receive it in your welcome package, along with gaining access to the rest of our array of member services and benefits!
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Thursday, July 25, 2019   Opinions

 

Richard Markuson

House Approves Pension Bail-Out Bill: 
The US House of Representatives voted 264-169 on Wednesday to advance the Democrats' multiemployer pension bill, H.R. 397 (116), which would create a new Treasury agency to issue bond-backed loans to failing multiemployer pension plans.  [View summary of the bill as introduced here. View draft bill text here.] Of the roughly 1,350 U.S. multiemployer plans in 2017, about 770 - or 57 percent - were in the construction industry, says Ben Ablin, a consulting actuary with Horizon Actuarial Services LLC. Such plans, typically negotiated by a labor union with multiple businesses within a particular industry, ran into financial trouble with the decline of manufacturing, trucking, and coal mining. Without a legislative fix, the multiemployer pensions' insurer, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, is facing its own insolvency in 2025 - a threat that could eviscerate millions of Americans' retirement benefits. PBGC head Gordon Hartogensis issued a statement earlier Wednesday calling on Congress to enact "a long-term, sustainable solution taking into account fairness to retirees, workers, taxpayers, and employers," adding that "Only bipartisan compromises have a chance of succeeding." The legislation faces slim odds in the US Senate, where Republicans previously declined to support a similar bill, the Butch Lewis Act, which they deemed a government bailout. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D - Ohio) reintroduced that legislation in the Senate on Wednesday.
 
Back in 2017 the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) noted that "As many as 114 multiemployer pension plans covering nearly 1.3 million workers are severely underfunded and headed toward failure within the next 20 years." Horizon updated that recently to 130 plans in "critical and declining" condition including about 35 in construction, which cover 30,000 participants. According to SHRM "The troubled plans have total assets of $43.5 billion and liabilities of $79.9 billion, leaving unfunded liabilities-future benefit payouts promised to retirees and beneficiaries for which reserve funds have not been set aside-of $36.4 billion." Is it any wonder that unions are pushing PLAs that require contractors to pay into the union's pension plans?
 
Just three of the pension plans account for $22.8 billion-or more than 62.5 percent-of the $36.4 billion in unfunded liabilities of failing multiemployer plans. The Teamsters' Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan has the most unfunded liabilities at $17.2 billion, followed by the Bakery and Confectionary Union's plan ($3.2 billion) and the United Mine Workers' ($2.4 billion).


Sponsors of single-employer plans shouldn't be overly concerned about a spillover threat to the PBGC's single-employer system. "The PBGC's own financial reports and projections indicate that its single-employer system is strong and sound," noted John Lowell, an Atlanta-based partner and actuary with October Three, a pension advisory firm.
 
Conservative economists maintain that the multiemployer pension crisis is more than 10 times larger than the $54 billion estimate, and that Congress would be wasting taxpayer money by lending money to struggling pension plans. Olivia S. Mitchell, an economist who has worked on pension and Social Security reform around the world for four decades and teaches at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, noted last month: "Because of flaws in the legislation structuring the multiemployer insurance program, these pension plans and the employers who sponsor them have been permitted to:
  • vastly understate retirement plan liabilities;
  • avoid contributing what should have been paid to keep the plans solvent;
  • pay far too little for the insurance premiums backing the plans in case of insolvency;
  • withdraw from the business without ponying up what was owed to the plans; and
  • invest in risky assets thus putting benefits in doubt.
These policies are tailor-made to create underfunded plans that would need to rely on the PBGC, while leaving the PBGC financially unable to back these plans.
 
Single-employer plans cannot follow such practices and are required to make higher contributions, address unfunded liabilities more rapidly, and pay higher premiums to the PBGC. Yet multis are permitted to take advantage of lower funding rules and continue making promises they cannot keep.
 
For instance, single employers that go out of business are required to cover pension promises out of company assets, while in the multiemployer system, a bankrupt employer's obligations are passed on to surviving firms.
 
Single-employer plans must use corporate bond rates to measure their liabilities, but multiemployer plans across the board have assumed much higher rates to cut "required" pension contribution rates.
 
But - with the house in control of the Democrats (or as some refer to them - the Labor Party) and with an election next year - passage in the House was a given.
 
So who will bail out the multis if the Democrats win the Senate and the Presidency next year? You and I and every other taxpayer in the USA.
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Thursday, July 25, 2019   State Legislation

California First State to Clarify Definition of Race Discrimination to Include Hair Style. Governor Gavin Newsom signed  SB 188 into law on July 3, 2019. SB 188, also known as the CROWN ACT, "Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair," clarifies the definition of race for the workplace and educational institutions to include hair texture and protective hairstyles and defines protective hairstyles. While certain states have proposed legislation, California is likely the first state to protect employees from racial discrimination based on hairstyle. New York City banned hair discrimination earlier this year. Story [Jackson|Lewis]

California Extends Paid Family Leave from 6 Weeks to 8 Weeks Beginning on July 1, 2020, California will extend the maximum duration of Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits from six weeks to eight weeks. Individuals may receive benefits from California's state disability insurance (SDI) program:
  • To care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner.
  • To bond with a minor child within one year of the birth or placement of the child through foster care or adoption.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law these most recent changes in Senate Bill 83, on June 27, 2019. Senate Bill 83 was part of a larger state budget package for the new fiscal year that starts July 1 and is a move toward the governor's goal of ultimately expanding paid family leave to six months (for two parents if leave is taken consecutively). Story [Jackson|Lewis]

State Regulations Cal/OSHA Appeals Board Proposes Revisions to Procedural Rules. The Cal/OSHA Appeals Board has proposed to revise its rules of practice and procedure in a number of ways. Most significantly, the Board seeks to remove the requirement that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) automatically produce its inspection file and other relevant documents within 30 days. Instead, appellant employers will be required to seek this information through the ordinary course of discovery. This change, which the Board is accepting comments on until August 22, 2019, comes at a time when the California Department of Industrial Relations is seeking to enhance workplace safety enforcement efforts and simultaneously streamline its appeals process to reduce a backlog of the Board's dockets.
Story [Reed Smith]
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Thursday, July 25, 2019   Labor Law, NLRB, and Recent Court Decisions

Ninth Circuit Reinstates California Off-The-Clock Work Claims Related to Post-Shift Security Checks In a unanimous decision in Rodriguez v. Nike Retail Srvs., the Ninth Circuit overturned a California district court's ruling in a wage and hour class action under the California Labor Code that granted Nike's motion for summary judgement after applying the federal de minimis doctrine.  Story [Hunton Andrews Kurth]

NLRB Explains When Granting Benefits to Nonunion Employees and Withholding the Same From Union Workers Can Be Lawful On May 7, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision that will be welcomed by employers desiring to maintain differences in the benefits provided to their union and nonunion employees. In Merck, Sharp & Dohme Corp., the Board held that a company's decision to grant nonunion employees an additional paid day off while requiring union employees to work the same day was lawful under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The analysis offered in the majority's opinion may assist employers in understanding how they can comply with the NLRA when, for legitimate business reasons, they decide to grant a benefit to non-represented employees while withholding the same benefit from employees who are represented by a union. Story [Ogletree Deakins]
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Thursday, July 25, 2019   What We're Reading, Listening To, and Watching

Why Rent Control is Ridiculous New York's rent control laws are truly bizarre and now a man who checked into a hotel and as a result claimed to own the hotel has even managed to get a housing court to agree. Story 

Sacramento City Council rejects Union Greenmail Attempt The Sacramento City Council quickly dismissed an appeal of approvals for downtown project 10K Tuesday night, rejecting environmental concerns raised by a labor union.  Story [Business Journal]

Contractor relationship major cause of San Francisco Subway issues The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA) $1.6 billion Central Subway project will start service 428 days later than the deadline in its Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Full Funding Grant Agreement, according to a federal monitor's report. With approximately 85% of major work complete at the end of April, outstanding claims of $102 million for changes will exceed available contingency funds of $47.6 million, the report from the FTA's Project Management Oversight Committee (PMOC) said. Story [Construction Dive]

More Labor Unrest in Sanders Campaign:An unfair labor practice charge was filed against Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign Monday, alleging that employees have faced retaliation for participating in protected union activities, among other things. The details of the allegations won't be revealed until the NLRB conducts an investigation, but the charge states that the campaign illegally disciplined and discharged a worker and modified the campaign's contract with the union. The charge, first reported by Labor Union Report, comes after The Washington Post reported last week that unionized employees were demanding annual salaries that would be equivalent to a $15 hourly wage, a rate Sanders says should be the federal minimum wage. [Politico]

Home Sales Update: June 2019 Home sales can be a good indicator of the health of the state's economy and housing markets. Home sales have been relatively weak in recent months. This continued in June, which had an estimated 25,900 non-distressed (not resulting from mortgage delinquency or foreclosure) home sales statewide in May. This (is) below the 28,000 sales in June 2018 and the long-term historical average of 31,400 sales per month. (This data is "seasonally-adjusted" because some months are predictably higher or lower than others.)




Senate Won't Act on Cadillac Tax Before Recess The US Senate has started the process for bringing directly to the floor the House bill to repeal Obamacare's "Cadillac tax" but the vote won't happen until after the August recess, according to POLITICO sources. The House last week easily passed legislation to repeal the tax on high-cost employer-provided health insurance that was supposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act.  Story [ASCE]

Recruitment Struggles Latinos, Asian Americans and women are underrepresented among applicants for the California commission that draws congressional districts, and some advocacy organizations are asking for a deadline extension to address the disparities. Since the application period for the California Citizens Redistricting Commission opened June 10 this year, just over 7,500 people have applied with just over two weeks to go before the deadline. But about two thirds of the applicants are white, though less than 40 percent of the state's population is white. Six percent are Asian American or Pacific Islander, compared to nearly 16 percent of the general population. Less than 13 percent of applicants are Latino, the state's largest ethnic group at 39 percent of the population. Women make up just under 39 percent of applicants. A coalition of organizations sent a letter on Tuesday to state auditor Elanie Howle, who oversees the commission, asking her to extend the deadline to September 20. The state auditor's office hasn't yet had a chance to thoroughly review the request but plans to do so, said spokeswoman Margarita Fernandez. For now, the deadline to apply for the commission is August 9. [Sacramento BEE]
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Congratulations to Our Southern California Class of 2019 Graduates!

2019 WECA Southern California Graduation

2019 WECA Southern California Graduation

And that's a wrap! Congratulations to our Southern California Class of 2019 graduates! May the successes, knowledge, and lessons learned during your WECA apprenticeship continue to carry you to great heights.

WECA's Southern California graduation - held on July 13th at the picturesque Falkner Winery in Temecula - was an evening to remember as graduates and their loved ones celebrated the end of a long but rewarding journey.

"It doesn't get much more perfect than this," said Wendy Flanagan, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship. "Nor does it ever get old, watching these students' family and friends come together to cheer them on."
Attendees started out the evening with a lively cocktail hour and a delectable dinner provided by Falkner Winery's own Pinnacle Restaurant before moving onto the main attraction - the graduation itself!

WECA Southern California instructor Rick Labon emceed the ceremony, and his fellow Southern California instructors Talon Pobuda, Neil Pesarillo, Rick Mortensen, and Raymond Newton, as well as WECA Apprentice Training Director Don Black, were on hand to present the graduates with their diplomas. During the ceremony, WECA's Southern California valedictorians were presented with commemorative plaques and gifted items from WECA Industry Partner Ideal Industries, Milwaukee Tools, and Klein Tools. Additionally, the salutatorians received gifts from Ideal Industries.

The Valedictorians and Salutatorians for the Southern California Class of 2019 were:

Valedictorians
  • Tyler Nicks (Commercial)
  • Robert Bucklin (Low voltage)
  • Alan Torres (Residential)
Salutatorians
  • Ryan Galarneau (Commercial)
  • Alonso Arturo, Jr. (Low voltage)
The evening concluded with a raffle of special swag for graduates, courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Ideal Industries.

Congratulations, all! We here at WECA look forward to watching our graduates continue to shape and revolutionize the merit shop electrical industry!
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Donors for Making the SoCal Graduation Memorable!

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

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

Thank you for your continued support of WECA! 

Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Vernon de Peralta


Electrician Trainee Certificate Program Grad Vernon de Peralta (left) with Instructor Talon Pobuda at WECA's 2019 Graduation Ceremony

"Their experience is gold." 

That's what Vernon de Peralta, a 2019 electrician trainee graduate, had to say about WECA's instructors.

De Peralta also shared that instructor John Arias "is a very good instructor; informative and knowledgeable. If you had a question or didn't understand a subject or question, he would try his best to walk you through it and he got the class involved in his lectures."

"A good guy to know," de Peralta mused.

De Peralta - who came to WECA by way of a car audio background - was inspired to enter the electrical trade and study at WECA by supportive and experienced coworkers.

"They were also in the program," said de Peralta. "And I wanted to expand my knowledge in commercial housing and construction, learn more about myself, and advance my career."

Ahead of his graduation, de Peralta fondly reminisced about his time at WECA.

"You meet many people from all over in your classes. And weekend labs were fun, because you had a chance to meet good instructors and apply hands-on training and knowledge of what you would be doing in the actual field," said de Peralta.

In the spirit of his upcoming graduation, de Peralta offered up sage words of advice to current and future students.

"Take notes - lots of notes - and get the proper textbooks. Also listen to the instructors because they say a lot of things that are not in the books," said de Peralta.

Looking back at his time in the program, de Peralta stated "I'm proud to have the electrician trainee program under my belt. I can use that valuable knowledge for a raise, and even after I leave my current job, I can take my WECA Electrician Trainee program certificate with me. I may plan to join the commercial housing industry."

What's more, de Peralta enthused that he is "very excited about my future. And I am proud to be affiliated with WECA."
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Archer


At WECA, we take pride in having become a second home and family for our employees.

And Rebecca Archer - WECA employee of six years, in her current role of Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist since 2018 - is the perfect embodiment of that.

Archer - a native of Galt, California - studied English at Consumes River College and worked as a night and weekend receptionist at a tax and accounting business in Galt for three tax seasons before joining the WECA team. After obtaining her degree, Archer was looking for a similar role in a different industry, and WECA fit the bill.

"I was interested in how the association comes together to offer training and support for electricians throughout the state," said Archer.

Archer's first two positions with WECA were that of Assistant ET/Journeyman Registrar and, following a promotion, ET/Journeyman Registrar, respectively.

"In both roles I was responsible for processing eCommerce enrollments, maintaining and ordering inventory, and providing backup for both the apprenticeship and ET programs," said Archer. "I also maintained the association's files."

Archer then landed in her current position when she "filled in on a GetWired! curriculum project based on some previous editing work I had done with the marketing team, and it ended up being something I really enjoyed."

WECA Director of Marketing, Product, and Learning Michelle Gilkey comments that "Rebecca's skill and professionalism were obvious, and we were thrilled to be able to redirect her efforts to the important role she now plays in keeping the technical and logistical aspects of our education programs on point."

As the Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, Archer runs WECA's eCampus (online LMS, or Learning Management System), implements updated curriculum for all of WECA's educational programs, and provides technical support for GetWired! online learning courses.

"I like working to deliver curriculum and helping to further improve what we're doing and how we deliver it," said Archer.

Ahead of her sixth working anniversary at WECA, Archer mused that she would "like to help further improve our curriculum and expand our course offerings to our students."

When not keeping things at WECA in ship-shape or helping students fulfill their career goals, Archer enjoys playing video games, reading, and all things tea-related.

Especially tea - although Archer reports that it did take her a while to appreciate it.

"I used to hate any tea that wasn't oolong," said Archer. "And I still absolutely hate green tea, but my favorites are white, oolong, and mint teas."

And occasionally, Archer even combines two of her passions - reading and tea - into one.

"I just read a book about tea earlier this year. For example, did you know that white, oolong, black, and green teas are all made using the same leaves? Or that there is a black market for tea where people sell counterfeits of rare teas?"

We hope working at WECA remains Archer's cup of tea for a good long while.
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Industry Spotlight: the All-American Ideal Industries


Ideal Industries is all-American.

This sentiment was perfectly illustrated on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 - stocked with specially-requested Ideal wire strippers - and its crew landed on the moon in a lunar landing module constructed with Ideal tools.

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted that flag into the lunar soil and saluted it, Ideal was there.

And fifty years later, "American ingenuity runs through everything we do - especially our commitment to producing tools here," said Kristen Pentolino, Ideal's Area Sales Manager for Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and Las Vegas.

Pentolino further stated that "it's not just about making high-quality tools, but it's about making them the right way - with American steel and American labor, right here in the USA. Look for our Made in the USA badge for tools that are American through and through."

And that commitment to excellence permeates everything Ideal does. Their products offer electricians start-to-finish excellence - from their industry-defining wire connectors and fish tapes, to their superior wire strippers to their advanced electrical testers.

"We are the electrician's champion," said Pentolino. "From pulling wire to installation to testing connection, we understand what electricians go through during every stage of the job, and design tools and supplies to make each stage easier."

To that end, Ideal's partnership with WECA strives to offer value-added services to enrich the educational experience of WECA apprentices, electrician trainees, and journeymen.

"From the classroom to the jobsite, Ideal is committed to being the ultimate training partner for students and apprentices. We want to assist students in gaining the tools they need to be successful in the field," said Pentolino.

This is evident in Ideal's practice of hiring employees who are intimately acquainted with not only the electrical industry, but also the electrical trade school industry. A perfect example is Ned Johns, Ideal's Western Region Area Training Manager. Prior to joining Ideal, Johns was a commercial electrician instructor at WECA for a decade.

"Having Ned at Ideal is wonderful," said Terry Seabury, WECA's Executive Director and CEO. "It has helped strengthen our partnership with Ideal, and our member contractors and students can rest easy knowing that Ned knows exactly what they're looking for."

With strong partnerships like this, everyone wins. WECA's member contractors and students can benefit from a 25 percent discount on tools and supplies. Member contractors interested in utilizing Ideal's products and services can contact their local Ideal sales manager below, while students interested in utilizing Ideal's products and services can either contact their local Ideal sales manager below or visit the IDEAL4students page.

To learn more about Ideal's products, services, and/or training programs, contact them at the below:

Ned Johns, Area Training Manager: Ned.Johns@idealindustries.com for questions about training programs

Elissa Wenster, Western Regional Manager: Elissa.Wenster@idealindustries.com for questions about products and services that Ideal offers

But the benefits don't end there.

Another perk of Ideal's partnership with WECA is the opportunity for WECA-affiliated students and professionals to compete in a qualifying event - leading to the opportunity to compete in the Ideal National Championship - for a chance at over $500,000 in cash and prizes.

WECA member contractors and students who are interested in competing can learn more here.
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Heads Up, Journeymen! Time's Running Out for WECA's Exclusive Employee and Member July Special!


32 Hours of Continuing Education: Easily Fulfilled! 

WECA-developed Packages for Journeymen: "Perfect Sizing", "Faultless Solar", "Voice Data Video Exam Preparation", and "Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation". Currently available for $150 each to journeymen and their contractors through July 31, 2019. 

WECA is offering Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep. - all 32-hour online classes - to WECA journeymen and their member contractors at the special price of $150 each for the month of July! Journeymen can choose from these four courses and get their full 32 renewal hours for just $150.

Only employees of WECA member contractors are eligible for this deal. 

To get the discount, these courses must be ordered by phone, mail, fax, email, or walk-in, so we can confirm employment with a WECA member contractor. These discounts are not available through online enrollment. Quickest way: call us at 1-877-444-9322!

Perfect Sizing:

In this course, students learn about sizing motor circuits, sizing motor feeder circuits, wiring motors and air conditioners, and proper selection and installation of the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations.

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

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation:

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Fire Life Safety Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Voice Data Video Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through developing proficiency in the preparation for and execution of the VDV certification exam. It is meant for individuals who are almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Voice Data Video Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!

Note: if you have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 32-hour package.
  
What if you don't work for a WECA member contractor?
You can still enroll in these classes at our usual competitive pricing. Or, tell your contractor about WECA! Ask them to read all about our  member benefits and services, including our training discounts for their employees.
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   It's Time to Enroll - Oct-Dec 2019 Course Catalog On Its Way to Your Mailbox, or Access Online!


It's that time again, WECAns! 

Keep a look out for the WECA Session 4 (October - December 2019) course catalog, coming soon to your mailbox. 

In it, you'll find new course listings for Electrician Trainees and Journeymen Continuing Education for October through December, as well as all our classroom, GetWired!, and self-paced favorites. And keep your eyes peeled--there may even be a valuable coupon code in there as well! 
 
Can't wait? Okay, fine...you can download it here
 
Or, access our full online course catalog for completely up-to-date course information, 24/7/365. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   WECA's Contractor Authorization Forms: An Easy Way to Stay on Top of Your Training

One of the benefits of WECA enrollment is having everything you need to seamlessly track your training in one comprehensive place. Our Authorization for Release of Records forms help you do just that.

WECA's Authorization for Release of Records forms allow journeymen and electrician trainees enrolled at WECA to grant their employers permission to communicate with and receive records from WECA for a period of time, as stipulated either by the student or the form type.

Alternatively, your employer may also file authorization forms on your behalf if you are enrolled in an electrician trainee or continuing education program. 

Authorization forms allow for the release of records such as grades, attendance reports, progression letters, completion certificates, and program enrollment and renewal information. Your employer will be able to ensure that you are working to meet your 150-hour continuing education requirement for state renewal. Further, your employer may request to be copied on all correspondence their you receive. However, your employer must notify WECA of this request. 

Please note that WECA now offers three - rather than the previous four - different versions of the authorization form:
  • For electrician trainees: the form expires upon the student's request or upon completion or cancellation of the program; whichever occurs first
  • For journeymen: the form expires upon the student's request or three years after the signed effective date; whichever occurs first
  • Release of records for general students and electrician trainees who work for non-member contractors: these forms will expire 30 days from the effective date or upon the student's request; whichever occurs first
Electrician trainees and journeymen who wish to obtain and/or file authorization forms may do so by signing and submitting the form to etregistrar@goweca.com. Upon submission and processing of the form, your employer will have access to your information on their member dashboard within two business days.

Additionally, your employer - if you are an electrician trainee (ET) - will also be able to assist you in maintaining active ET cards with the State of California and help monitor your progress in the program.

Electrician trainees will also receive ET overview reports. Your employer will also gain access to these reports, whose release are also included in the filing of the authorization forms.
ET reports provide the following benefits to both you and your employer:
  • Transcript browse: this function allows members to pull up-to-date copies of their employees' transcripts for renewal purposes
  • ET or journeyman certificate browse: allows members to pull course completion certificates for their employees who have successfully met course requirements to pass
  • ET enrollment letter browse: allows members to find proof of the student's active renewal with WECA, either for initial registration with the State of California or for renewal purposes
  • Active ET student status: allows members to see the current status of their employees and see if they are enrolled, or currently between classes and their deadline to get signed up to maintain enrollment with WECA
  • Daily grades and attendance: allows members to check on their employee's current grades and attendance for the classes they are attending
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 24, 2019   Open Up a Whole New World of Possibilities with a WECA Low Voltage Apprenticeship


Do you enjoy the technical and analytical side of things?

Or perhaps you have a friend or family member who does.

If so, a career as a low voltage technician is a great choice! And the timing is perfect, too - WECA is currently seeking apprentice applicants from the Sacramento, Stockton, Los Angeles, and Bay Area regions who want to help make our modern world possible. 

So what, exactly, does a low voltage technician do? Great question!

Low voltage technicians specialize in installing, testing, servicing, and maintaining systems such as:
  • fire alarm systems
  • security systems
  • nurse call systems
  • voice evacuation systems
  • very early smoke detection apparatuses
  • open-area smoke imaging detection systems
  • cable and satellite TV
  • the Internet
  • home entertainment systems
  • landline phone networks
And at WECA, we can help you achieve a fast-paced, satisfying career as a low voltage technician.

 Apply today to start your low voltage apprenticeship journey! 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Congratulations to Our Southern California Class of 2019 Graduates!

2019 WECA Southern California Graduation


2019 WECA Southern California Graduation

And that's a wrap! Congratulations to our Southern California Class of 2019 graduates! May the successes, knowledge, and lessons learned during your WECA apprenticeship continue to carry you to great heights.

WECA's Southern California graduation - held on July 13th at the picturesque Falkner Winery in Temecula - was an evening to remember as graduates and their loved ones celebrated the end of a long but rewarding journey.

"It doesn't get much more perfect than this," said Wendy Flanagan, WECA's Assistant Director of Apprenticeship. "Nor does it ever get old, watching these students' family and friends come together to cheer them on."

Attendees started out the evening with a lively cocktail hour and a delectable dinner provided by Falkner Winery's own Pinnacle Restaurant before moving onto the main attraction - the graduation itself!

WECA Southern California instructor Rick Labon emceed the ceremony, and his fellow Southern California instructors Talon Pobuda, Neil Pesarillo, Rick Mortensen, and Raymond Newton, as well as WECA Apprentice Training Director Don Black, were on hand to present the graduates with their diplomas. During the ceremony, WECA's Southern California valedictorians were presented with commemorative plaques and gifted items from WECA Industry Partner Ideal Industries, Milwaukee Tools, and Klein Tools. Additionally, the salutatorians received gifts from Ideal Industries.
The Valedictorians and Salutatorians for the Southern California Class of 2019 were:

Valedictorians
  • Tyler Nicks (Commercial)
  • Robert Bucklin (Low voltage)
  • Alan Torres (Residential)
Salutatorians
  • Ryan Galarneau (Commercial)
  • Alonso Arturo, Jr. (Low voltage)
The evening concluded with a raffle of special swag for graduates, courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Ideal Industries.

Congratulations, all! We here at WECA look forward to watching our graduates continue to shape and revolutionize the merit shop electrical industry!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Thank You, Sponsors, for Making WECA's Southern California Class of 2019 Graduation Memorable!


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

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


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Archer



At WECA, we take pride in having become a second home and family for our employees.

And Rebecca Archer - WECA employee of six years, in her current role of Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist since 2018 - is the perfect embodiment of that.

Archer - a native of Galt, California - studied English at Consumes River College and worked as a night and weekend receptionist at a tax and accounting business in Galt for three tax seasons before joining the WECA team. After obtaining her degree, Archer was looking for a similar role in a different industry, and WECA fit the bill.

"I was interested in how the association comes together to offer training and support for electricians throughout the state," said Archer.

Archer's first two positions with WECA were that of Assistant ET/Journeyman Registrar and, following a promotion, ET/Journeyman Registrar, respectively.

"In both roles I was responsible for processing eCommerce enrollments, maintaining and ordering inventory, and providing backup for both the apprenticeship and ET programs," said Archer. "I also maintained the association's files."

Archer then landed in her current position when she "filled in on a GetWired! curriculum project based on some previous editing work I had done with the marketing team, and it ended up being something I really enjoyed."

WECA Director of Marketing, Product, and Learning Michelle Gilkey comments that "Rebecca's skill and professionalism were obvious, and we were thrilled to be able to redirect her efforts to the important role she now plays in keeping the technical and logistical aspects of our education programs on point."

As the Curriculum Production and eLearning Specialist, Archer runs WECA's eCampus (online LMS, or Learning Management System), implements updated curriculum for all of WECA's educational programs, and provides technical support for GetWired! online learning courses.

"I like working to deliver curriculum and helping to further improve what we're doing and how we deliver it," said Archer.

Ahead of her sixth working anniversary at WECA, Archer mused that she would "like to help further improve our curriculum and expand our course offerings to our students."

When not keeping things at WECA in ship-shape or helping students fulfill their career goals, Archer enjoys playing video games, reading, and all things tea-related.

Especially tea - although Archer reports that it did take her a while to appreciate it.

"I used to hate any tea that wasn't oolong," said Archer. "And I still absolutely hate green tea, but my favorites are white, oolong, and mint teas."

And occasionally, Archer even combines two of her passions - reading and tea - into one.

"I just read a book about tea earlier this year. For example, did you know that white, oolong, black, and green teas are all made using the same leaves? Or that there is a black market for tea where people sell counterfeits of rare teas?"

We hope working at WECA remains Archer's cup of tea for a good long while.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Electrician Trainee Spotlight: Vernon de Peralta

Electrician Trainee Certificate Program Grad Vernon de Peralta (left) with Instructor Talon Pobuda at WECA's 2019 Graduation Cermony

"Their experience is gold."

That's what Vernon de Peralta, a 2019 electrician trainee graduate, had to say about WECA's instructors.

De Peralta also shared that instructor John Arias "is a very good instructor; informative and knowledgeable. If you had a question or didn't understand a subject or question, he would try his best to walk you through it and he got the class involved in his lectures."

"A good guy to know," de Peralta mused.

De Peralta - who came to WECA by way of a car audio background - was inspired to enter the electrical trade and study at WECA by supportive and experienced coworkers.

"They were also in the program," said de Peralta. "And I wanted to expand my knowledge in commercial housing and construction, learn more about myself, and advance my career."

Ahead of his graduation, de Peralta fondly reminisced about his time at WECA.

"You meet many people from all over in your classes. And weekend labs were fun, because you had a chance to meet good instructors and apply hands-on training and knowledge of what you would be doing in the actual field," said de Peralta.

In the spirit of his upcoming graduation, de Peralta offered up sage words of advice to current and future students.

"Take notes - lots of notes - and get the proper textbooks. Also listen to the instructors because they say a lot of things that are not in the books," said de Peralta.

Looking back at his time in the program, de Peralta stated "I'm proud to have the electrician trainee program under my belt. I can use that valuable knowledge for a raise, and even after I leave my current job, I can take my WECA Electrician Trainee program certificate with me. I may plan to join the commercial housing industry."

What's more, de Peralta enthused that he is "very excited about my future. And I am proud to be affiliated with WECA."
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Industry Partner Spotlight: the All-American Ideal Industries


Ideal Industries is all-American.

This sentiment was perfectly illustrated on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 - stocked with specially-requested Ideal wire strippers - and its crew landed on the moon in a lunar landing module constructed with Ideal tools.

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted that flag into the lunar soil and saluted it, Ideal was there.

And fifty years later, "American ingenuity runs through everything we do - especially our commitment to producing tools here," said Kristen Pentolino, Ideal's Area Sales Manager for Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and Las Vegas.

Pentolino further stated that "it's not just about making high-quality tools, but it's about making them the right way - with American steel and American labor, right here in the USA. Look for our Made in the USA badge for tools that are American through and through."

And that commitment to excellence permeates everything Ideal does. Their products offer electricians start-to-finish excellence - from their industry-defining wire connectors and fish tapes, to their superior wire strippers to their advanced electrical testers.

"We are the electrician's champion," said Pentolino. "From pulling wire to installation to testing connection, we understand what electricians go through during every stage of the job, and design tools and supplies to make each stage easier."

To that end, Ideal's partnership with WECA strives to offer value-added services to enrich the educational experience of WECA apprentices, electrician trainees, and journeymen.

"From the classroom to the jobsite, Ideal is committed to being the ultimate training partner for students and apprentices. We want to assist students in gaining the tools they need to be successful in the field," said Pentolino.

This is evident in Ideal's practice of hiring employees who are intimately acquainted with not only the electrical industry, but also the electrical trade school industry. A perfect example is Ned Johns, Ideal's Western Region Area Training Manager. Prior to joining Ideal, Johns was a commercial electrician instructor at WECA for a decade.

"Having Ned at Ideal is wonderful," said Terry Seabury, WECA's Executive Director and CEO. "It has helped strengthen our partnership with Ideal, and our member contractors and students can rest easy knowing that Ned knows exactly what they're looking for."

With strong partnerships like this, everyone wins. WECA's member contractors and students can benefit from a 25 percent discount on tools and supplies. Member contractors interested in utilizing Ideal's products and services can contact their local Ideal sales manager below, while students interested in utilizing Ideal's products and services can either contact their local Ideal sales manager below or visit the IDEAL4students page.

To learn more about Ideal's products, services, and/or training programs, contact them at the below:

Ned Johns, Area Training Manager: Ned.Johns@idealindustries.com for questions about training programs

Elissa Wenster, Western Regional Manager: Elissa.Wenster@idealindustries.com for questions about products and services that Ideal offers

But the benefits don't end there.

Another perk of Ideal's partnership with WECA is the opportunity for WECA-affiliated students and professionals to compete in a qualifying event - leading to the opportunity to compete in the Ideal National Championship - for a chance at over $500,000 in cash and prizes.

WECA member contractors and students who are interested in competing can learn more here.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Congratulations! WECA Member Contractors Dominate SBJ Top 25 List!

This year, 15 WECA Member Contractors made the Sacramento Business Journal's list of Top Electrical Contractors, holding well over half the positions and dominating the rankings. 
 
Click Image for Full List

WECA ran a congratulatory ad in the Journal in February, and you can watch for the list and the ad again in the Sacramento Business Journal's keepsake "Book of Lists" edition in December. Please join us in congratulating all the listed contractors!
 
Click to View Larger

Our members who made the list, in listed order, are:

1. Rex Moore Group Inc.

2. Royal Electric Co.
4. Barnum & Celillo Electric Inc.
6. Helix Electric Inc.
8. North State Electrical Contractors Inc.
9. Capitol Valley Electric Inc.
10. Vasko Electric Inc.
12. Alessandro Electric Inc.
13. All-Bright Electric Inc.
14. Butterfield Electric Inc.
15. Bosley Electric Co.
16. Perfection Electric Co. Inc.
18. Garrahan Electric Inc.
19. KS Telecom
20. Ample Electric Inc.

We feel confident our member contractors will continue to dominate the list in future years-let's see if someday soon we can take all 25 spots! 

 
WECA was included on the Sacramento Area-based Business Advocacy Groups as well, landing in #16th place! Take a look below!
Click Image for Full List
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Act Fast - Time Running Out For Exclusive WECA Member and Employee July Special


32 Hours of Continuing Education: Easily Fulfilled! 


WECA-developed Packages for Journeymen: "Perfect Sizing", "Faultless Solar", "Voice Data Video Exam Preparation", and "Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation". Currently available for $150 each to members and their employees through July 31, 2019. 

WECA is offering Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep. - all 32-hour online classes - to 
WECA member contractors and their employees at the special price of $150 each for the month of July! Members' journeymen can choose from these four courses and get their full 32 renewal hours for just $150.
Only employees of WECA member contractors are eligible for this deal. 

To get the discount, these courses must be ordered by phone, mail, fax, email, or walk-in, so we can confirm employment with a WECA member contractor. These discounts are not available through online enrollment. Quickest way: call us at 1-877-444-9322!


Perfect Sizing:

In this course, students learn about sizing motor circuits, sizing motor feeder circuits, wiring motors and air conditioners, and proper selection and installation of the correct electrical circuit components and conductors needed for different load and circuit configurations.

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

Fire Life Safety Exam Preparation:

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Fire Life Safety Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) as well as the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72). It is meant for individuals almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to code questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Fire Life Safety Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!

Voice Data Video Exam Preparation

This self-paced online course is for students who want to study for the California Voice Data Video Technician certification exam at their own pace. Informative presentations help guide students through developing proficiency in the preparation for and execution of the VDV certification exam. It is meant for individuals who are almost ready to take the exam. Much of the class is dedicated to sample testing similar to state exams. It focuses on practical research by the students to find the answers to questions rather than instruction by lecture.

Learn more about Voice Data Video Exam Prep.
But call in to get your discount!


Note: if you or your journeymen have previously taken any of the standalone classes "Faultless," "Solar Power for Electricians," "Sizing Motor Circuits," "Wiring Motors and Air Conditioners," or "GetWired! 304" on the current code year (2014), please consult a WECA client services representative for help selecting the appropriate 32-hour package.
  
What if you don't work for a WECA member contractor?

You can still enroll in these classes at our usual competitive pricing. Or, tell your contractor about WECA! Ask them to read all about our  member benefits and services, including our training discounts for their employees.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Don't Forget: Stay on Top of Employee Training w/ Contractor Authorization Forms

One of the benefits of WECA membership is having everything you need to seamlessly track your employees' training in one comprehensive place. Our Authorization for Release of Records forms help you do just that.


WECA's Authorization for Release of Records forms allow journeymen and electrician trainees enrolled at WECA to grant their employers permission to communicate with and receive records from WECA for a period of time, as stipulated either by the student or the form type.


Alternatively, member contractors may also file authorization forms on behalf of their employees if the employees are enrolled in an electrician trainee or continuing education program. 


Authorization forms allow for the release of records such as grades, attendance reports, progression letters, completion certificates, and program enrollment and renewal information. Member contractors will also be able to ensure that their employees are working to meet their 150-hour continuing education requirement for state renewal. Further, member contractors may request to be copied on all correspondence their employees receive. However, the member contractor must notify WECA of this request. 

Please note that WECA now offers three - rather than the previous four - different versions of the authorization form:
 
  • For electrician trainees: the form expires upon the student's request or upon completion or cancellation of the program; whichever occurs first
  • For journeymen: the form expires upon the student's request or three years after the signed effective date; whichever occurs first
  • Release of records for general students and electrician trainees who work for non-member contractors: these forms will expire 30 days from the effective date or upon the student's request; whichever occurs first
Member contractors or their employees who wish to obtain and/or file authorization forms may do so by either obtaining the student's signature, or signing the form, and submitting the form to etregistrar@goweca.com. Upon submission and processing of the form, contractors will have access to their students' information on their member dashboard (accessible here ) within two business days.

Member contractors - if the concerned employee(s) are electrician trainees (ETs) - will also be able to assist those employees in maintaining active ET cards with the State of California and help monitor their employees' progress in the program.

Employees enrolled in the ET program will also receive ET overview reports. Member contractors employing ETs will also gain access to these reports, whose release are also included in the filing of the authorization forms.

ET reports provide the following benefits to both member contractors and their employees:
  • Transcript browse: this function allows members to pull up-to-date copies of their employees' transcripts for renewal purposes
  • ET or journeyman certificate browse: allows members to pull course completion certificates for their employees who have successfully met course requirements to pass
  • ET enrollment letter browse: allows members to find proof of the student's active renewal with WECA, either for initial registration with the State of California or for renewal purposes
  • Active ET student status: allows members to see the current status of their employees and see if they are enrolled, or currently between classes and their deadline to get signed up to maintain enrollment with WECA
  • Daily grades and attendance: allows members to check on their employee's current grades and attendance for the classes they are attending
To obtain ET reports, contractors may login to the WECA website with their member login.

WECA is also pleased to announce that additional benefits will be added in the future, such as improved enrollment functionality online for member contractors with students already in the program, to improve the user experience for our member contractors. 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Hiring? Post Today to Our Job Board or Access Our Student Referral Service!

 
WECA's Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board is designed to help connect individuals seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry with the WECA member contractors who want to hire them. 
 
Our job board exists for...
  • Talented electricians
  • Low voltage technicians
  • Electrician Trainees
  • Industry employees (including office personnel)
  • And the Member Contractors who want to hire them. 
View this WECA-provided, free, no-obligation service HERE, and post a position to help you find your next great employee today! You can also view active resumes here as part of your member contractor benefits.

You may also use our free job referral service connecting currently-unemployed ETs, Journeymen, and WECA Graduate job seekers to Member Contractors in order to help meet their staffing needs. It's included with your contractor membership!  

This service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff supply you with hands-on referrals. In other words, we take some of the hard work off your plate. The Student Referral Service refers job-seekers to you, and you hire them directly.
To receive referrals from WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Ana Lopez, WECA ET/Journeyman Program Manager, at alopez@goweca.com or 1-877-444-9322.
 
Post a job today!
 
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Today's Read: Union-rigged government contract scheme plays favorites, robs jobs


Content courtesy of Pacific Legal Foundation


Editor's note: The company prominently featured in the article - Lakeside Electric - is actually Laketown Electric.


If you've ever visited the Twin Cities region of Minnesota, there's a decent chance you've encountered the work of Lakeside Electric. In fact, CEO Matt Bergman says the electrical handicraft of the company his dad started 44 years ago is woven into many large buildings Minnesotans use every day.


"We've done municipal projects like wastewater treatment plants, police stations, city halls, courthouses, and jails," Matt says. "We've also done ball fields and a brewery. And we're doing a food hall in downtown Minneapolis that will have six different restaurants. Nearly anything you can name, we've done it."


Much of the work came about after Matt took the helm of the family business following his father's death seven years ago. Since then, the firm has grown from 12 employees to 110, opened a second location, and offers training and profit-sharing bonuses, making it one of the fastest growing companies in the Twin Cities.


Despite their proven expertise, one area remains virtually untouchable to Matt's team: the Minneapolis School District.


Read more here
Read more >>


Thursday, July 18, 2019   Today's Read: It's Time to Take CEQA Reform Seriously


Content courtesy of Borre Winckel and the Voice of San Diego

Regulations in California have something of a dubious (and occasionally comical) reputation within the state and throughout the country. California is a state notoriously draped in red tape, complicating just about everything imaginable. After all, it was just last year that we were debating whether your morning coffee needed to come with a cancer warning. Unfortunately, some of the red tape in our state is misused to a much graver and more dangerous extent, putting low-income residents and entire sectors of the economy at risk.

Nowhere is this more plainly visible than in the weaponization of the California Environmental Quality Act, known more commonly as CEQA. Originally written with the noble intention of ensuring that new development projects around California were undertaken in an environmentally responsible manner, it has since become a blunt-force bit of regulation used to put permanent holds on important housing and development projects throughout the state. Instead of protecting the environment, CEQA is now often misused to freeze a critical sector of our economy and keep our courts full.

California's housing prices have been impossibly high for some time, and they continue to rise. State residents are having a tough time finding an affordable place to live, and in one study conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, 35 percent of respondents said they are considering moving out of state altogether because of how expensive it has become to live here. California has long been a place where people dream of living, and we should not let housing prices get in their way.

Read more here
Read more >>


Thursday, July 11, 2019   State Legislation

Clean Vehicle Rebate Program California may increase rebates for low-emission vehicles under bill amendments by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). AB 1046 previously would have established a new incentive program but is being amended to instead reform the existing Clean Vehicle Rebate Program, which gives low-emission vehicle buyers $900 to $5,000, depending on the type of vehicle. Under the changes, the state would initially provide a higher maximum rebate of $7,500 per car, which would eventually fall to zero as the state makes progress toward its goal of 5 million zero-emission vehicles by 2030 as established in an executive order last year by former Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill is silent on funding sources; it would have the Department of Finance and Treasurer figure out a funding plan - maybe the State will find a Golden Goose. The Senate Transportation Committee analysis raised issues: Californians operate 600,000 zero emission vehicles, more than any other state but far short of the 5 million goal. The total rebate cost to reach the goal could be $16.5 billion. It's not clear where the money would come from. California would need 250,000 charging stations for just 1.5 million ZEVs. The state has 18,000 charging stations now.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 11, 2019   Labor Law, NLRB, and Recent Court Decisions

NLRB Makes It Easier For Employers To Drop UnionsThe National Labor Relations Board last week issued a ruling, 3-1, that lowered the legal hurdles an employer must pass through to rid their business of a labor union. The ruling in Johnson Controls, Inc. now places the onus on unions to prove that they still maintain majority support through a ballot election if an employer submits an "anticipatory" withdrawal of recognition indicating the employer possesses evidence that a majority of employees in the bargaining unit no longer supports union representation. A business may now stop bargaining up to 90 days before the expiration of a union contract so long as it notifies the union that it plans to withdrawal recognition. Under prior precedent, the board said if a union challenged the withdrawal, an employer would be in violation of the National Labor Relations Act if it failed "to establish that the union lacked majority status at the time recognition was actually withdrawn." Under the new ruling, a union must file an election petition within 45 days of the employer's "anticipatory" withdrawal notice. Read the decision. [Politico]
Read more >>


Thursday, July 11, 2019   What We're Reading, Listening To, and Watching

The New Gov. Moonbeam? Back in the 70s's, Chicago news icon Mike Royko famously dubbed then-California Gov. Jerry Brown "Governor Moonbeam" for the brash young governor's appeal to young progressive voters, or what Royko called "the moonbeam vote." The nickname was only reinforced by Brown's idea of California becoming the first state to launch its own satellite. Well, here all these years later the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has issued an executive order to form the Mississippi National Guard Space Directorate, which would be a state-level part of President Donald Trump's plan to create a Space Force as a new branch of the U.S. military. One can only wonder what fun the late Royko would have had with this one. [StateNet Capitol Journal]
 
How's Newsom Doing? 
Gov. Newsom set several goals including increasing the number of apprentices by 500,000 by 2029. The Sacramento Bee said this: "In the Central Valley, where fewer residents have college degrees than in other parts of the state, Newsom campaigned on boosting apprenticeships to help workers get jobs in a rapidly changing economy. He proposed partnering with community colleges and businesses to create half a million apprenticeships over the next decade in growing fields like advanced manufacturing, health services and information technology. 'The vast majority of us will not get a bachelor's degree in a fancy institution of higher learning, and we need an agenda to support those folks,' Newsom said in Fresno. He suggested it could be an area of collaboration with the federal government. What he's doing: The budget includes $165 million over five years (about $33 million per year) for workforce development projects called for under California's cap-and-trade law, which Newsom's predecessor Jerry Brown signed into law in 2017. The spending will come from money raised by the cap-and-trade program, which makes companies pay to pollute. Newsom's Department of Finance estimates these programs will train about 5,100 people for apprenticeships and other jobs, far short of Newsom's stated goal. [Sacramento BEE]
 
Modular construction: threat or opportunity? When Jan Mischke speaks to industry leaders about the benefits of modular construction, they usually respond in one of two ways, he said. "They are either optimistic about the future of modular or they are really worried that modular companies are going to eat their cake." Story
 
The top OSHA fines of Q2 2019 Once again, fall-related violations were behind most of the biggest fines OSHA issued to construction companies in the second quarter of this year, but burn and asbestos hazards made a showing as well. Story
Read more >>


Thursday, July 11, 2019   2020 Election

One Dem Out, One InCalifornia Rep. Eric Swalwell, dogged by fundraising challenges and a failure to register in the polls, is ending his longshot bid for the presidency. Two weeks ago, Swalwell, 38, called on Democratic front-runner Joe Biden to "pass the torch" of party leadership to a new generation in the first Democratic presidential debates. But this Monday, Swalwell called a press conference at his Dublin campaign headquarters to announce that instead of continuing in the Democratic primary, he will instead seek a fifth term representing the strongly Democratic East Bay 15th district in Congress. "Being honest with ourselves, we had to look at how much money we were raising, where we were in the polls," Swalwell told supporters, arguing that he had "moved the needle on the debate stage with an issue I was very passionate about," referring to gun control measures. "So we've achieved that,'' he said. "But we have to be honest about our own candidacy's viability." Swalwell's decision to bow out comes as another Californian, billionaire activist Tom Steyer - who had earlier ruled out a run for the White House - prepared to announce his entry into the race.
Read more >>


Thursday, July 11, 2019   Opinions

 


Richard Markuson

What are IBEW (and Scott Wetch) Up to Now? 

We have mentioned that IBEW and their subsidiary, NECA, are seeking to end the authority for C46 solar contractors to install energy storage systems and that they are also sponsoring SB 524 (Stern), which was heard Wednesday afternoon in the Assembly Utilities and Energy Committee. This bill requires that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) directs an energy efficiency program administrator or program implementer to ensure that work is performed by a skilled and trained workforce for projects receiving $50,000 or more in ratepayer-funded incentives for energy efficiency projects within the same building, facility, or building complex. For example, an apartment complex of 300 units that received an incentive of $166 per unit to reduce energy consumption would be required to comply with Public Contract Code §2601, which, for work performed on or after January 1, 2020, requires that at least 60 percent of the journeypersons employed are graduates of an apprenticeship program for the applicable occupation.
 
According to the CPUC's 2018 annual report, they implemented a series of recent policy decisions to achieve their established goal of doubling energy efficiency (EE) savings. Those decisions included allowing the EE program administrators a combination of budget certainty, continuity, and flexibility in program administration. In 2018, the CPUC approved a $7.5 billion budget for EE through 2025. Additionally, new incentive mechanisms, such as pay for performance, will allow program designers to better ensure energy savings. The CPUC is also designing a new policy initiative, in which EE programs will be evaluated for effectiveness by utilizing a framework for tracking progress using common metrics.

Existing law requires the CPUC to work with stakeholders - including the California Energy Commission (CEC) - to identify all potentially achievable, cost-effective electricity and natural gas efficiency savings, and establish energy efficiency targets and ratepayer-funded programs for investor-owned utilities. Under existing law, IOUs can offer customers ratepayer-funded incentives to make energy efficiency improvements that produce energy savings. These improvements can include a number of changes to a building, including energy-saving lighting, refrigeration, and heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC). Rebates that help lower the cost of less expensive energy-saving appliances and equipment like smart thermostats may also be offered an incentive.

Workforce Issues. In 2013, the CPUC directed the IOUs to employ an expert consultant to help develop a comprehensive plan to address workforce issues in the IOU energy efficiency programs. The University of California, Berkeley's Donald Vial Center for Employment in the Green Economy was selected as the consultant and developed a guidance plan with recommendations for addressing workforce issues in the IOUs rolling portfolio investments. The plan made three broad recommendations:

1)          The IOUs should incorporate a set of contractor and workforce standards and other measures into the program requirements for their energy efficiency incentive programs.

2)          The IOUs should redesign their workforce programs to better align, leverage, and develop influence over California's main training and education institutions.

3)          The IOUs should create a program to increase opportunities for workers from disadvantaged communities to enter rewarding careers in energy efficiency.

Read that last recommendation again: The IOUs should create a program to increase opportunities for workers from disadvantaged communities to enter rewarding careers in energy efficiency. Does requiring a 60 percent graduation from an apprenticeship program help workers from disadvantaged communities to enter rewarding careers in energy efficiency or does it lock in building trades workers to perform the majority of the $7.5 billion EE work?
 
The bill was approved by the committee, but not without some limiting amendments and some self-serving comments by members of the committee, like Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance). Muratsuchi - who over the course of four elections has received over $800,000 from construction unions - said he'd vote for any bill that ensured more union construction jobs.
 
In the end, that $7-plus billion in energy efficiency work is too big a prize to leave on the table. Not only that, but a few $800,000 contributions here and there result in a pretty decent return on investment - especially when the money comes from dues and industry advancement contributions, whose ultimate source is the wallet of every California taxpayer!
Read more >>


Thursday, July 11, 2019   Special Event Notice

WECA members with an interest in workers compensation may want to attend the below event. WECA is not a sponsor, but members are welcome to attend and are encouraged to consider contributing to this cause. 

Courtesy of Workers' Compensation Action Network

 

 

Workers' Compensation Action Network Town Hall and Summit
FEATURING

Stephen Wagstaffe
San Mateo County District Attorney

Teena Barton
Senior Fraud Investigator, ICW Group

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

Angelica's

863 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

JOIN US FOR LUNCH!
  • Come to a riveting, free Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Workers' Compensation Action Network, and featuring San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe who will highlight how the county is aggressively pursuing workers' comp fraud prosecutions. 
  • Also presenting is nationally recognized expert in the insurance industry and law enforcement, Teena Barton, who is a Major Case Special Investigator in a workers' comp fraud investigation unit with ICW Group. She will share stories of how injured workers are used for profit and how recruitment firms receive illegal kickbacks for referrals to hospitals, doctors and ancillary medical service providers, essentially "using people like ATMs". She will discuss her own expertise as well as the case of Sean O'Keefe, a convicted workers' compensation attorney serving 13 months in federal prison for his involvement in a $200 million scheme built around recruitment referrals and kickbacks to use injured workers for fraudulent billing.
  • Jerry Azevedo with the Workers' Compensation Action Network (WCAN) will provide an update on the status of the workers' comp system in California and activity in the State Capitol. We will also hear from YOU, business owners, who can share your workers' comp experiences with the District Attorney.
  • WCAN is a broad-based, statewide coalition that has successfully fought for reforms to provide state and local officials more tools to combat workers' compensation fraud to help meet the dual goals of stable costs for employers and higher benefits for injured workers. In recent years, state lawmakers enacted several pieces of legislation designed to improve system efficiency, reduce conflict and legislation, and stem abuses by service providers. These reforms are delivering higher benefits to California workers while stabilizing employer costs. Despite these reforms, California's system remains one of the most costly and litigious in the nation and vulnerable to evolving forms of fraud and abuse.
  • Complimentary lunch will be provided. 

  •  Why Crack Down on Workers' Comp Fraud?
  • Fraud hurts both employers and injured workers. It inflates employer costs, clogs the injured workers' compensation court and administrative systems, delays the resolution of claims, diverts limited system resources, and exploits injured workers who do not receive the medical care needed to properly heal from their injuries. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 03, 2019   Opportunity Knocks: Calling All WECA Member Contractors to Bid on Statewide Walgreens Project



WECA is pleased to announce our partnership with our newest industry partner, ProGroup Contracting. ProGroup, based in New Bedford, MA, is a national painting and renovation company focused on servicing commercial properties across the United States. Our partnership not only marks ProGroup's expansion into California, but also its first large scale contract in California - the renovation of an initial 32 Walgreens drugstores statewide, with more to come.
To achieve this, ProGroup must build a network of contractors throughout California. Thus, ProGroup has opened its open-program bidding process to WECA member contractors - an opportunity that WECA Executive Director and CEO Terry Seabury calls "tremendous". 
We strongly encourage our member contractors to take advantage of this great opportunity to build their portfolio and garner increased recognition within the electrical and contracting industries. 

Peter Suneson, ProGroup Contracting's Vice President of Client Integration and Training, states that "the 32 contracted locations only represent the first wave of conversions" and that "both the retail and hospitality industries are driving us to bid future work across the entire state".
And upon successful completion, Walgreens will 'most likely' move forward and utilize ProGroup Contracting's Services at every Walgreens location in California and the rest of the United States, according to Suneson. 
Interested WECA member contractors should take note of the following:
  • Jobs will average about $5,000 per location
  • The project start date(s) are to be determined. However:
    • Work will commence Mondays through Wednesdays
    • The first wave of work will run into September, 2019
  • WECA member contractors doing business in the general vicinity of more than one contracted Walgreens location may submit and secure bids for more than one job/location.
To submit bids or learn more about the project(s), WECA member contractors may contact ProGroup at the following:

Peter Suneson, Vice President of Client Integration and Training, ProGroup Contracting

peter@progroupcontracting.com
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 03, 2019   California Sexual Harassment Legislation Update from WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP



Content provided courtesy of WECA Industry Partner Cook Brown, LLP

"Clean Up" Legislation Gives Employers Another Year to Implement New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

by Regina Agopian & Lisa Ryan of Cook Brown, LLP

In response to widespread confusion about the timing of California's expanded sexual harassment training requirements, the California Legislature has introduced a "clean up" measure to last year's Senate Bill 1343. That bill mandated employers to provide one hour of harassment training to non-supervisory employees. It also extended the two-hour supervisory training to employers with just five or more employees.

The new legislation, SB 778, now extends the deadline for employers to provide anti-harassment training for non-supervisory employees from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. Most importantly, SB 778 clarifies that employers need not provide training again in 2019 when they already provided supervisory training in 2018. But SB 778 also allows covered employers who have provided anti-harassment training to an employee in 2019 to wait two full years before providing refresher training to those trained employees.

What Does this Mean for Employers?

Learn more here
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 03, 2019   Help Your Journeymen Fulfill Their 32-hour Continuing Education Requirement - for just $150


Help your journeymen fulfill their continuing education requirement with WECA's Perfect Sizing, Faultless Solar, Voice Data Video Exam Prep, and Fire Life Safety Exam Prep class packages. 

The four packages - each consisting of a 32-hour online class that fulfills the full 32 hours renewal requirement - are available to WECA member contractors and their journeymen at the special price of $150 each for the month of July only

So act fast and snap up the deal before it's gone for good at 11:59 PM PST July 31st
Only employees of WECA member contractors are eligible for this deal. 
 
To get the discount, these courses must be ordered by phone, mail, fax, email, or walk-in, so we can confirm employment with a WECA member contractor. These discounts are not available through online enrollmentQuickest way: call us at 1-877-444-9322!
Read more >>


Wednesday, July 03, 2019   Behind the Scenes at WECA: LowVolt Apprentices

A quick peek behind the scenes at your apprentices in the WECA labs: Low Voltage Apprentices spent an afternoon last week fusion splicing single and ribbon fiber optic cables, which are used in server rooms to transmit large amounts of high speed data. 
 
Low Voltage Rancho Labs
 
Low Voltage Rancho Labs
 
Low Voltage Rancho Labs
Read more >>


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

WECA graduations do not mark beginnings, nor ends. Rather, they are exciting milestones on already distinguished journeys.

And WECA's Northern California graduation ceremony - held at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters on Saturday, June 8th - was no different. The halls of WECA bustled with graduates and their loved ones and reverberated with love and support.

"I was glad to see so many family and friends at the graduation," said Jimmie Slemp, Lead Instructor and graduation emcee. "Graduating from these programs is not easy, so to have that continued support from your loved ones is important."

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

The evening began with a lively cocktail hour featuring delicious appetizers from Hannibal's Catering and drinks poured by WECA's Curtis Hicks and Audra Jamieson, and then segued into a heartfelt ceremony emceed by Slemp.
Highlights of the graduation ceremony included:
  • Spotlights on WECA member contractors who were contributing sponsors to the graduation celebration, as well as special guests like Chris Nelson of Bergelectric, Jay Taylor of Vasko Electric, and Nora Carlton from the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship
  • An inspiring speech from Windell Pascascio, Jr. - alumni of the WECA Class of 2013, and current WECA member contractor
  • Presentation of awards to the 20 graduating apprentices who completed their entire Apprenticeship while maintaining all of their discipline points
  • Presentation of diplomas by apprenticeship instructors Zach Wallace, Steve Kappes, John Arias, James Hall, and Lakeal Morris
  • Ideal Industries raffle hosted by current Ideal Industries representative and former WECA instructor Ned Johns
One of the focal points of the ceremony - aside from the presentation of awards and diplomas - was Pascascio, Jr.'s rousing speech. Pascascio, Jr. - a Belizean native who has worked in the electrical industry since he was 16 years old - detailed his journey to success and dispensed sage advice in his speech.
"My WECA apprenticeship years were exciting; I worked with Valley Unique Electric through my five years of the program before working with Rex Moore as a project manager for two years," said Pascascio, Jr. "Then I received my C10 license in 2016 and started my own business."
Pascascio, Jr. continued, stating, "Our first WECA apprentice will start their apprenticeship later this year, so I'm proud of that. And I want to take this moment to encourage everyone out there who has plans to eventually own their own electrical contracting business - you can do it."
Then Pascascio, Jr. rounded out his speech by saying, "I remember riding my bicycle with my tools in my backpack doing residential work and now I'm here today [as an electrical contractor], so if I can make it happen, any of you guys can make it happen."
And then the evening ended on a poignant note - provided by none other than emcee Slemp.
"I don't have tears in my eyes - it's just allergies," Slemp joked.
Slemp then added, "But seriously, I will miss some of these guys. This is one of the things I love about my job - being able to train apprentices to become electricians, and then watch them go out and succeed." 



 
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Donors for Making the NorCal Class of 2019 Graduation Great!

The gracious support we've received from our sponsors means a lot to us - and our graduates, of course!
Our sponsors helped to make our graduates' graduation day memorable, and for that, we cannot thank them enough.
 


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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From all of us here at WECA - congratulations, Mark! We're excited to see what the future brings to the next generation of Mendenhall Electric.
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Come Support the WECA Southern California Graduating Class of 2019!

diploma_grad_cap.jpg

One graduation down, one more to go!

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

Class of 2019 SoCal Graduation

Saturday, July 13th

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


Faulkner Winery

40620 Calle Contento

Temecula, CA 92591

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

As always, thank you for your continued support of electrical and low voltage education, and we look forward to seeing you!  
 
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division Announces New Website for Wage Determination Data

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


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

Features of the new beta.SAM.gov website include:
  • Search-based structure: Users may search for a variety of information including specific Davis-Bacon Act and McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act wage determinations.
  • Learning Center with tutorial videos, tools, and other information to familiarize users with the new site.
    • Ability to filter and search for content in the Learning Center. Users will find links to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Code of Federal Regulations citations for specific subjects via a Cross Index page for Contractor Labor Standards.
    • The site features more FAR Supplements and other acquisition regulations than WDOL.gov.
    • A Transition Quick Start Guide will be available soon.
  • Create an account: By creating a beta.SAM.gov account, users may access certain features of the system only available to account holders. For example, users will have the option to:
    • Save previous searches.
    • Start or modify a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    • "Follow" specific wage determinations and receive email alerts when changes or modifications are published.
      • Users will determine what to follow and the frequency of email alerts.
  • Timeline and history of changes to wage determinations.
Support for the wage determinations in beta.SAM.gov will continue to be provided by the Federal Service Desk.
Employers can find compliance assistance resources from the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division at www.dol.gov/WHD/foremployers.htm. 
Additional compliance assistance resources and answers to common questions regarding federal labor laws can be found at www.Employer.gov. 
Read more >>


Thursday, June 20, 2019   Get an Up-Close Look at WECA's Low Voltage Apprenticeship Program

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

Are you - or is one of your employees, or someone you know -  interested in fire alarm systems, security systems, intrusion detection systems, CCTV systems, access control systems, audio systems, nurse call systems, and basic electrical systems?
Then a WECA low voltage apprenticeship - culminating in a multi-faceted, fast-paced, and competitive career as a low voltage technician - is a great choice!
Our three-year apprenticeship program prepares low voltage apprentices for successful careers in the industry through applying their learning and knowledge directly to their real-life job duties. 
Apprentices enrolled in our low voltage apprenticeship program also receive the following:
  • classroom and paid on-the-job training
  • fringe benefit packages provided by their contractor (which may include major medical, a 401k, or cash equivalent per the contractor's discretion)
  • hourly wages starting from minimum wage to $22 base per hour and increasing to between $14-$34 per hour by their third year of apprenticeship
Interested? Here's how to start a low voltage apprenticeship journey today:

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


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

Courtesy of Workers' Compensation Action Network
 

Workers' Compensation Action Network Town Hall and Summit

FEATURING

Stephen Wagstaffe
San Mateo County District Attorney

Teena Barton
Senior Fraud Investigator, ICW Group

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

Angelica's

863 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"I don't have tears in my eyes - it's just allergies," Slemp joked.
 
Slemp then added, "But seriously, I will miss some of these guys. This is one of the things I love about my job - being able to train apprentices to become electricians, and then watch them go out and succeed."
 
Read more >>


Wednesday, June 19, 2019   Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors and Donors for Making the NorCal Class of 2019 Graduation Great!

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

Notice from our health insurance provider, Anthem Blue Cross

Background

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

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

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

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

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

Questions?

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

Implementation

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

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

Not sure if you are using your most recent card?

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

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

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

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

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

RXBIN: 020099
RXPCN: WG

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