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Thursday, February 14, 2019   Member Contractor Apprentices Hard at Work

WECA's marketing team recently visited two job sites staffed by our member contractors. Apprentices were hard at work learning the tricks-of-the-trade from their mentors. Check out the pictures below!
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Thursday, February 14, 2019   Mike Rowe Scholarship Open Through 3/28/19 - Tell Your Employees



For more scholarship info, click here: 

www.mikeroweworks.org/scholarship/
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Thursday, February 14, 2019   Seats filling fast, register now! BICSI low volt classes at WECA's Rancho Cordova HQ

WECA is a BICSI ATF


WECA is pleased to announce that BICSI will be holding the following classes at our Rancho Cordova headquarters for the first time in Spring 2019. 

Seats filling fast, register now!

IN101: BICSI Installer 1 Training Mar 25-29
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


IN225: BICSI Installer 2, Copper Training Apr 1-5
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


IN250: BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Apr 15-19
The 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


TE350: BICSI Technician Training Apr 29-May 3
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... Learn More

OSP102Applied Outside Plant Design May 20-24 & June 17-21
This course is designed to provide application-based knowledge of all aspects of the Outside Plant (OSP) installation process. During this course, students will apply what they have learned through a series of design exercises such as route design, selecting cables to be housed in the pathways... Learn More

PM102Applied Telecommunications Project Management Jun 10-14 
Proper project management is the foundation of any successful project. This course is designed to provide ICT professionals an opportunity to build on their existing project management skills while also exploring the steps and thought processes behind the basic principles and information necessary for managing a successful telecommunications project... Learn More

DC102Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices Jun 24-28
BICSI's DC102: Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices course is a five-day course that provides an in-depth review of best practices for designing data centers. In this course you will be introduced to various data center infrastructure systems. In addition, you will have an opportunity to apply what you have learned by engaging in case studies... Learn More


These classes are open to the public and we encourage interested WECA members to enroll early in order to secure seats. These classes are rarely offered in Northern California, and we encourage our members to take advantage of this convenient opportunity.


Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these courses and to enroll yourself or an employee, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search courses by location for "Rancho Cordova." 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, February 14, 2019   WECA Seeks Electrician Trainee/Continuing Education Instructor Supervisor

WECA's hiring an Assistant Instructor Supervisor for our ET/CE electrical training programs. The position is full-time and based out of our Northern California headquarters in Rancho Cordova, CA.


For more information, click here:
Electrician Trainee / Continuing Education Assistant Instructor Supervisor
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Thursday, February 14, 2019   Check out WECA's 2019 Six Flags Discounts!


Attention member contractors: WECA has partnered with Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in Concord, which means that you can purchase day and season passes at a discounted rate! You'll also be able to sign up for meal vouchers, and a "dolphin in water" interaction at a reduced price. 

Log in to our website and access your personal dashboard to download a flyer with discount codes and purchase instructions.
 

 
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Thursday, February 14, 2019   Learn More About Our Upcoming Outreach Events!

Watch for WECA's outreach team at the following events:
 

* 2/12 - Monterey Trails HS College and Career Fair
* 3/7 - Vista HS Job and Career Fair- San Diego
* 3/14 - Department of Rehabilitation San Joaquin Valley District's Apprenticeship Fair- Fresno
* 3/15 - Greater Sacramento Urban League Annual Job Fair
* 3/16 - Sacramento Youth Job & Resource Fair
* 3/21 -Trinity HS Career Presentation
* 3/22 - Antelope HS Career Fair
* 4/3 - Sheldon HS Career Fair
* 4/13 - Skilled Trades Job Fair- 5th Annual
* 4/17 - San Joaquin Academy
Read more >>


Friday, February 08, 2019   Opinion: Richard Markuson

Apprenticeship Growth 

The State Legislature --- at the behest of the State Building and Construction Trades Council --- passed AB 235 last year as an urgency measure. In the 16 days preceding the adjournment of the two-year session, Assemblymember Patrick O' Donnell's bill --- which originally added a minimum fund balance in the Public School System Stabilization Account (PSSSA) to the conditions that must be met for the cap on school district reserves to be triggered --- turned into a bill that dramatically altered the way new and innovative apprenticeship programs are approved by the State.
 
This massive re-altering of apprenticeship had a single after-hours hearing in the Assembly Labor Committee, which is chaired by now-Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. There was a plethora of union support for the bill, and support from a few organizations such as the Coalition for Adequate School Housing, who seek to curry favor with the building trades.
 
The measure was co-sponsored by the Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Apprenticeship Standards, but it was evident the State Building and Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) was in the lead. According to SBCTC, AB 235 "would authorize a bilateral method for the approval of apprenticeship programs by maintaining and reinforcing the existing process for the construction trades and firefighters programs, and establish a separate path for new and emerging industries interested in apprenticeship". AB 235 "provides the necessary flexibility to DAS to approve and support the development of new programs without interfering or disrupting the backbone of the apprenticeship system, which are the building and construction trades' programs." The only problem is, SBCTC didn't bother to ask their apprenticeship programs (or the firefighters) for their input --- and now AB 235 is driving the Joint Apprentice and Training Committees (JATC's) nuts.
 
The problem --- from the JATC's perspective --- is that new programs which are not identified as building trades are approved by the Chief of Apprenticeship after only a 30-day notice, in which the program's new proposed standards are posted on DAS's website. If no one complains, the Chief proceeds to approve and notifies the CAC at their next quarterly meeting.
 
To "protect" existing building trades programs, the chief cannot approve a new apprenticeship program that includes a substantial number of work processes covered by a program in the building and construction trades or firefighters, or approve the amendment of apprenticeship standards to include those work processes, unless either of the following applies:
(1) The program is in the building and construction trades or a firefighter program and subject to the rules and regulations of the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC) (in other words - subject to the "needs test") or;
(2) The CAC has granted consent to the approval of the program or the amendment to the apprenticeship standards. If no party files an objection with the chief to the approval of the proposed program or amendment alleging overlap of work processes under this subdivision, the chief shall not be required to seek the consent of the CAC prior to approving the program or amendment.
 
So, the big question is, "how many work processes constitute "substantial?" To the JATC's, one work process would constitute as being substantial if the complaints heard at a more than three-hour discussion at this week's CAC meeting is indicative. One program sponsored by West Hills Community College District proposed to add 10 new occupations to their instructional program in: Quality Assurance Technician, Pest Control Advisor, Irrigation Design Specialist, Farm Equipment Mechanic, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic, Industrial Welder, Industrial Electrical Technician, Plant Production Supervisor, Ag Business Sales Professional, and Human Resources Generalist. The Iron Workers objected to the Industrial Welder program even though it has a different O-Net code than any iron worker trade. Additionally, an apprentice in this program would not be approved for dispatch to a Public Works job because, in the view of many of the CAC members, the role of the CAC is to protect existing programs --- not to help facilitate the development of new and innovative apprenticeship opportunities.
 
Governor Newsom has stated he would like to see apprenticeships grow to over a half million from its current 80,000, but as long as he continues to pack the CAC with union officials, I doubt this will happen. Unions --- in the final analysis --- are out to protect their control, not to develop the economy.
Read more >>


Friday, February 08, 2019   What We're Reading

SCOTUS Watch -- "Ruth Bader Ginsburg was seen in public Monday. Conspiracy theorists still insist she's dead," by WaPo's Eli Rosenberg and Abby Ohlheiser: "Robert Barnes has been a reporter and editor at The Washington Post for more than 30 years. For the past 12, he has covered the Supreme Court. This week he experienced something he says was a first in his career: a storm of commentators, many anonymous, swarming his social media accounts and email inbox to tell him that something he saw with his own eyes and reported in The Post did not actually happen: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, alive and well, attending a performance about her life at a museum in Washington --- her first public appearance since she underwent cancer surgery in December. A falsehood has been spreading in dark corners of the Internet that Ginsburg is dead --- and in the hours after Barnes published his report, conspiracy theorists pelted him with their doubt-mongering." WaPo
 
California Class Actions and PAGA ("Pretty much All is Going to the Attorneys") Claims Continue to Overwhelm the State Much has been written about the huge jury verdicts that get handed out in California with alarming regularity and California's sustained number one ranking as the Top Judicial Hellhole in the nation. A corollary problem continues unabated: the prevalence of class actions and lawsuits under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Though California accounts for 12 percent of the population of the United States, currently more than 50 percent of all class actions in the country are filed here. Further, PAGA claims, which operate essentially like sloppy class actions with far fewer procedural hurdles for the plaintiff and far less oversight by judges, have flooded the courts since PAGA was enacted in 2004. Since then, more than 35,000 PAGA lawsuits have been filed and thousands more are filed each year against employers great and small. More
Read more >>


Friday, February 08, 2019   Updates

Newsom Appoints New CAC Members
 
Governor Newsom announced appointments to the CAC California Apprenticeship Council:
 
Yvonne de la Pena of Elk Grove, member since 2015. De la Pena is executive director of the California Firefighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee (JAC), a position she has held since 1999. She was assistant to the president for the California Professional Firefighters from 1986 to 1990. De la Pena is a Democrat.
 
Richard Harris of Villa Park, member since 2007. Harris has been the president of Residential Contractors Association since 1987. He held multiple positions at Wesseln Construction Company from 1965 to 1987, including general superintendent and apprentice carpenter. Harris is a Republican.
 
James Hussey of San Leandro, member since 2013. Hussey has been president of Marina Mechanical since 1990 and was chief operations officer at the Sheet Metal Workers' Local 104 Bay Area Industry Training Fund from 2010 to 2015. He was president of Bay Point Control Inc. from 1980 to 1990 and master electrician at the City of Concord Department of Leisure Services, Concord Pavilion from 1978 to 1980. Hussey was a service manager at Scatena York Company from 1977 to 1978 and at Marina Heating and Air Conditioning from 1972 to 1977. He is a member of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association. Hussey is a Republican.
 
Derrick Kualapai of Pittsburg is a new member of the CAC. Kualapai has served as special representative of the States of California and Hawaii for the United Association since 2018. He was President at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 342 from 2004 to 2012. Kualapai is an executive board member of the California State Pipe Trades Council and a trustee on the Contra Costa County Building Trades Council. He is a graduate of the United Association's Certified Instructors Training program. Kualapai is a Democrat.
 
Louis Ontiveros of Riverside is a new member of the CAC. Ontiveros has served as director of training at Southwest Carpenters Training Trust since 2017. He was a team lead and executive board member of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Local 944 from 2002 to 2017. Ontiveros was an apprenticeship instructor at Southwest Carpenters Training Trust from 1998 to 1999. He served as a U.S. Marine from 1985 to 1993. Ontiveros is a Democrat.
 
Paul Von Berg of Newport Beach, member since 2011. Von Berg retired as executive vice president of Brutoco Engineering and Construction, where he worked from 1992 to 2012. He was director of West Coast operations at Park Construction from 1987 to 1992. Von Berg is registered without party preference.
 
Richard Zampa of Rodeo, member since 2018. Zampa has served as the California, Nevada and Arizona apprenticeship director at the California Field Ironworkers Apprenticeship & Training Program since 2005. He was an apprentice ironworker at the Ironworkers Apprenticeship Program from 1973 to 1976. Zampa is a member of Ironworkers Local 378. Zampa is a Democrat.
 
Two weeks
 
That's how much time is left for California lawmakers to introduce new bills this year. Legislators filed 747 bills as of today. There will be about 2,300 total bills for the 2019 session, meaning 1,600 more could be on the horizon in the next two weeks. Housing and wildfires will be at the top of the priority list, according to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro-Tem Toni Atkins.
Read more >>


Friday, February 01, 2019   BICSI offering low volt classes at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters in Spring 2019bicsi

WECA is a BICSI ATF


WECA is pleased to announce that BICSI will be holding the following classes at our Rancho Cordova headquarters in Spring 2019. 

IN101: BICSI Installer 1 Training Mar 25-29
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


IN225: BICSI Installer 2, Copper Training Apr 1-5
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


IN250: BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Apr 15-19
The 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


TE350: BICSI Technician Training Apr 29-May 3
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... Learn More

OSP102Applied Outside Plant Design May 20-24 & June 17-21
This course is designed to provide application-based knowledge of all aspects of the Outside Plant (OSP) installation process. During this course, students will apply what they have learned through a series of design exercises such as route design, selecting cables to be housed in the pathways... Learn More

PM102Applied Telecommunications Project Management Jun 10-14 
Proper project management is the foundation of any successful project. This course is designed to provide ICT professionals an opportunity to build on their existing project management skills while also exploring the steps and thought processes behind the basic principles and information necessary for managing a successful telecommunications project... Learn More

DC102Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices Jun 24-28
BICSI's DC102: Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices course is a five-day course that provides an in-depth review of best practices for designing data centers. In this course you will be introduced to various data center infrastructure systems. In addition, you will have an opportunity to apply what you have learned by engaging in case studies... Learn More


These classes are open to the public and we encourage interested WECA members to enroll early in order to secure seats. These classes are rarely offered in Northern California, and we encourage our members to take advantage of this convenient opportunity.


Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these courses and to enroll yourself or an employee, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search courses by location for "Rancho Cordova." 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 31, 2019   Employee Spotlight: Ralph Williams ralph Celebrating Five Years with WECA

Ralph Williams, WECA Client Services Specialist 


A Special Submission from Victor Jimenez, WECA Junior Client Services Specialist:
 
Meet Ralph Williams, WECA Client Services Specialist, who is proudly celebrating his 5-year anniversary with the company.  If you've ever been to our Rancho Cordova headquarters and training facility, you may have met--or at the very least heard--Ralph through the halls of the campus.  His personality and humor are grand, complimented by his determination to succeed at whatever task comes his way.
 
Born in Stockton but raised in Sacramento, Ralph graduated from Valley High School and then pursued his college education in Business Management. Ralph says that while as a student while he was known for his jokes, he also knew that when it was time to work, work is what needed to get done. It was that mentality and drive that allowed him to complete college and start working for WECA.
 
While Ralph had no direct personal experience with the electrical field, his father did. Ralph's father worked for many years as a journeyman, and he was the one who introduced Ralph to WECA. With a day-to-day task list of answering company emails and being the first line of contact for current and new students, Ralph continues to be a pillar of support for students training to become electricians through WECA. Having worked at WECA for the past 5 years, he's made a lasting impression on the staff and students. During this time, he's also gone above and beyond as a WECA employee; representing the company each year at the annual Rex Moore "Make A Wish" Golf Tournament, showing his support on behalf of WECA. But with all that hard work, Ralph also enjoys his time off, whether it's relaxing with his three kids or making some of his signature barbecue. 

Ralph says, "I love this company and the direction it's headed. Ever expanding and growing. I am blessed to have this job." On behalf of WECA's staff and its students alike, we would like to say congratulations to Ralph on his five-year anniversary, as we look forward to many more years to come.
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Thursday, January 31, 2019   New (Free) eBook from EC&M Magazine: A Lethal Combination: Real-World Examples of Why Electricity

EC&M magazine has published a new eBook focused on real-world examples of why electricity and water don't mix, which "takes readers through National Electrical Code revisions that affect these type of scenarios, presents the electrical theory behind the requirements, and allows electrical professionals to make more informed decisions about whether they are doing enough to protect the public from harm." Download for free after registration here.
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Thursday, January 31, 2019   WECA Seeks Qualified Night and Weekend Instructors! Earn extra money: The teaching schedule works wi


Download our hiring flyer to share with your employees
 
WECA is currently hiring part-time instructors for night and weekend classes!
 
Are you an experienced and knowledgeable electrical professional, with at least one of the following qualifications?
  • Certified Residential or General Electrician with at least 5 years in the trade?
  • Current C10 Contractors license with at least 5 years in the trade?
  • Electrical engineering degree with some electrical trade experience?
  • Vocational teaching degree with previous experience teaching electrical code and theory (will require further evaluation on WECA's part of your knowledge and qualifications)?
  • Retired Electrician with 10 years of experience (will require further evaluation on WECA's part of your knowledge and qualifications)?
  • Maintenance electrician with 10 years of experience (will require further evaluation on WECA's part of your knowledge and qualifications)?
  • Electrician working for a non-C10 contractor with 7 years of experience (will require further evaluation on WECA's part of your knowledge and qualifications)?
- Are you an excellent communicator? 
- Do you have a passion for teaching, explaining, and sharing your knowledge with others?
- Do you know how to use a computer?
- Would you like the opportunity to teach from your own home computer*, if you have the skills, equipment and an internet connection that meets WECA's requirements?
- Would you like to be paid a starting rate of $35 per hour, with regular evaluation for performance-based raises?
 
If you answered "yes" to the questions above, please email your resume and a letter of interest to hr@goweca.com.
 
*Partial list of requirements in order to be able to teach from home two nights per week from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.:
  • A quiet room containing all equipment needed to teach
  • Reliable, high speed internet connection
Computer Requirements:
 
Windows
  • 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft® Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1; At least 2 GB RAM
  • Additional requirements for RAM, OS, and browser
Mac OS
  • 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor for Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, and 10.9
  • Additional requirements for RAM, OS, and browser
Read more >>


Thursday, January 31, 2019   Get Your Tickets and Sponsorships for the 2019 WECEF Crab Feed and Board Installation Friday, March


Secure Your Tickets & Sponsorship Now!


Claws for a Cause

WECEF Crab Feed, Fundraiser, & 

WECA Board Installation


WHEN
Friday, March 15, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM


WHERE

WECA Headquarters - 3695 Bleckely St Rancho Cordova, CA 95655


Come out for a good cause this March! Join the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) for our annual fundraiser, crab feed, and board installation to support education and careers in the electrical and low voltage trades. 


Enjoy a delicious dinner of fresh Dungeness Crab, shrimp, and salad, congratulate recent WECEF scholarship winners, witness the installation of WECA's new board members, and mingle with your peers and industry professionals.
  • Dinner: $65/person

This fundraiser helps WECEF create more opportunities for student scholarships, materials, and improvements to WECA labs and classrooms, and the electrical industry. Consider a sponsorship at one of the following levels:
 
  • King Crab: $775 sponsorship
    • Includes 6 dinner tickets, reserved table, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites. 
 
  • Snow Crab: $550 sponsorship
    • Includes 4 dinner tickets, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites.
 
  • Blue Crab: $275 sponsorship
    • Includes 2 dinner tickets, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites.


Please consider the sponsorship opportunities and dinner tickets available at the link below, and thank you for your continued support of electrical and low voltage education.


Reserve your sponsorship packages and/or dinner tickets
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Thursday, January 24, 2019   Opinion: Richard Markuson

 

Richard Markuson

What Hath Voters Wrought?
 
For the pilots out there, or figure skaters for that matter, you may have heard the term "death spiral." For pilots, it is a downward, corkscrew-motion of a disabled aircraft which is irrecoverably headed for a crash. The insurance industry and as I mention, figure skating, also have death spirals. For my purposes today, the airplane analogy fits best (although, I can see a skit on Saturday Night Live that has President Trump and Speaker Pelosi in skating attire performing the routine, but I should have spared my faithful readers of that vision).
 
I wonder if American voters have inadvertently put US governance into a type of death spiral? Apparently frustrated with the Paul Ryan version of the House of Representatives, voters decided that handing the House to folks like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Nancy Pelosi would improve the US Governance model. Careful readers will obviously note that the "voters" in America (USA) would have preferred Hilary Clinton (to the tune of almost 3 million raw votes) and it was the process in the Constitution (Article 2§1 as amended by the 12th amendment) that vested in "electors" the obligation to pick a President. The Framers of the Constitution were wary of giving the people the power to directly elect the President. Some felt the citizenry too beholden to local interests, too easily duped by promises or shenanigans, or simply because a national election, in the time of oil lamps and quill pens, was just impractical. Thank the Lord we have been spared being "too easily duped by promises or shenanigans!"
 
But I have grave concerns that we are entering a political death spiral. President Trump seems fixated on building and reinforcing our Southern Border with Mexico and has, for the last month, been willing to withhold pay from over 800,000 Federal workers, many of whom have stayed on the job (thank goodness! Be sure to thank your "volunteer" TSA screener or air traffic controller or Coast Guardsman or Guardswoman next time you encounter them). This has frustrated both the Left, who quite frankly would not like anything emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and the Right, some of whom believe that the fixation or a "wall" diverts attention from broader, more important issues of border security, immigration, and trade.
 
And at this point, since both sides seem intent on ramping up the animosity between the two sides, how does it all end? Speaker Pelosi has made clear she will not spend even a dollar on a wall, and President Trump has expressed willingness to support an extended partial government shutdown. One idea floating around is that if the TSA or air traffic controllers were to engage in sustained massive job actions, thus severely impacting air travel, both sides would have to compromise. But the controllers have gone down that road before and may be unwilling to try again. Another scenario is that some emergency, natural or otherwise, will force the sides to compromise. A third is that with the 2020 elections right around the corner, some Senate Republicans could peel off and support a clean funding bill.
 
Only time will tell, but I just hope a resolution occurs soon, before the disabled aircraft hits the ground.
Read more >>


Thursday, January 24, 2019   Labor, Business & Employment Law Update

Union is not entitled to employer's tax cut savings information The NLRB's Office of General Counsel has issued an Advice Memorandum stating that an employer lawfully refused a union's information request regarding its tax cut savings during bargaining. More
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Thursday, January 24, 2019   What We're Reading

SCABBY Exterminated?: Striking unions may have to find a new mascot. While courts and the National Labor Relations Board have issued rulings protecting inflatables such as "Scabby the Rat," a several-foot-tall long-toothed sickly rat that frequently appears at union demonstrations, the NLRB's current general counsel, Peter Robb, is looking to "exterminate it," according to Bloomberg Law's Hassan Kanu. "GC hates the rat," a senior NLRB official told Hassan. Robb "wants to find it unlawful to picket, strike or handbill with the rat present." More
 
 
California State Senator bans use of 'he' and 'she' during committee hearings. Senate Judiciary Chair Hannah-Beth Jackson said last Thursday she was banning the use of "he" and "she" in hearings in her committee. Jackson, of Santa Barbara, said, "We are using the phrase 'they' and replacing other designations so that it's a gender-neutral designation of they. However, during Senate hearing, Jackson failed to adhere to the newly imposed rules when she referred to her elementary-school grammar teacher as "her" instead of "them." #doasisaynotasido
 
Storms add 580 billion gallons of water to California reservoirs Storms that soaked California during the first half of January did more than bring tons of snow to Sierra Nevada ski resorts. They also helped to significantly boost the state's water supplies. Over the three weeks from Jan. 1 until this Tuesday, 47 key reservoirs that state water officials closely monitor added 580 billion gallons of water - as much as roughly 9 million people use in a year, according to an analysis by the San Jose Mercury.
 
Union Representation Numbers Remain Low Once again, the percentage of private sector union-represented workers fell - to 6.4% in 2018, from 6.5% in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. More
Read more >>


Thursday, January 24, 2019   One More Month 

That's how much time is left for California lawmakers to introduce new bills this year. Legislators filed 392 bills by the end of last week. There will be about 2,300 total bills for the 2019 session, meaning 1,900 more could be on the horizon in the next four and a half weeks. Housing and wildfires will be at the top of the priority list, according to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro-Tem Toni Atkins.
 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 24, 2019   Join WECA on Jan. 29th for a Legislative Visit to the State Capitol with Speakers on Workforce Devel

This once-a-year event, jointly sponsored by WECA and PHCC, starts at the Masonic Lodge of Sacramento and continues on to the Capitol for contractors to tell the merit shop story. Talk with industry experts and regulators about current issues affecting your business and the industry. Topics will include PAGA lawsuits which have made providing flexible working conditions more difficult for California businesses. Instead of protecting workers, predatory trial lawyers take advantage of this law. Come speak with your legislative representatives about this law and other contractor legislation important to you. Register today and make plans to bring your voice and power to impact the issues that impact you and your business! For additional information, contact PHCC of CA at evp@caphcc.org. Download a registration form here.
Read more >>


Thursday, January 24, 2019   New PUC Commissioner

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his choice for the five-member California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates privately owned utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Genevieve Shiroma, described in a Newsom press release as a "longtime public servant," served 20 years on the Sacramento Municipal Utility District board ending a year ago where she spent all her time pushing the IBEW agenda. Her appointment comes as PG&E prepares to seek bankruptcy protection. They'll have a subservient member on the PUC which may be beneficial as they go through bankruptcy.
Read more >>


Wednesday, January 23, 2019   WECA Gains College Credit Recommendations for its Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprenticesh

 The Details

     WECA has a big announcement! Our Commercial and Residential Electrical apprenticeship programs have received college credit recommendations from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service).
 
     This benefit provides WECA commercial and residential electrical apprentices the ability to gain access to college credit for completion of either program by using credit recommendations set forth by NCCRS. While admissions and acceptance of transfer credit isn't guaranteed, more than 1,400 colleges and universities nationwide currently consider awarding credit based on NCCRS recommendations.
 
     "WECA is thrilled to extend this opportunity to our apprentices and graduates," says Terry Seabury, WECA Executive Director and CEO. "We know that some of our graduates choose to pursue additional higher education at traditional colleges and universities in fields such as construction management, and these college credit recommendations from NCCRS may allow them to receive substantial credits for the programs they've already completed at WECA. We view these NCCRS college credit recommendations as further evidence of the educational quality and vigor of our apprenticeship programs."
 
    "NCCRS is pleased to recommend college credit for WECA's commercial and residential electrical apprenticeship courses," NCCRS Director Lisa Sax Mahoney said. "Through our professional evaluations, we continue to support the recognition of high-quality workforce training programs delivered by qualified organizations across the country."
 
     NCCRS, founded in 1973 by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York, strives to increase access to higher education through recognition of non-collegiate learning. Using an academic peer review model, NCCRS conducts independent, third-party evaluations of courses and examinations to determine their comparability to college-level learning. Courses and examinations that meet appropriate standards receive college credit recommendations which are listed within CCRS Online, a web directory maintained by NCCRS.
 
Learn more about NCCRS and view their college credit recommendations for WECA at: http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors.

Using This Benefit: A Guide for our Apprentices and Graduates 

Q: Who is eligible?

A:
Any graduates of WECA's Commercial or Residential Electrical Apprenticeships since September of 2013. (NCCRS has granted eligibility going back five years, and evaluated WECA's programs in Autumn of 2018.)

Q: So WECA apprentice grads automatically have college credits?
A:  
No. NCCRS makes college credit recommendations. (From NCCRS:
A college credit recommendation is an academic advisement about the comparability of a learning experience to college-level instruction, such as undergraduate or graduate course work, the amount of credit that may be awarded, and areas where credit could apply. The credit recommendations are intended to guide college officials as they consider awarding credit to persons who have successfully completed NCCRS evaluated learning experiences. College credit recommendations are not actual college credit because the New York State Board of Regents does not award college credit. Through the results of the NCCRS evaluations, however, the Board of Regents encourages colleges and universities to consider accepting the credit recommendations.)

Q: How Does Acceptance of College Credit Recommendations work?
A:
It is up to the college or university to choose whether to grant college credits, how many, and in what subjects, for completion of a WECA program. NCCRS recommends specific credit amounts and subjects. College and university admissions departments should reference NCCRS' WECA listing at http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors for specific recommendations. NCCRS recommends up to 66 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Commerical program, and up to 40 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Residential program. 

Q: How Do WECA Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship Graduates Use This Benefit?
A: 
Apprentices grads should:
1. Identify the college or university they wish to ask to accept a credit recommendation from NCCRS for work completed at WECA. (A list of colleges and universities who have previously participated with NCCRS is here: http://www.nationalccrs.org/colleges-universities. Seeing a college or university on this list is a promising sign that they will consider NCCRS' recommendation, but is not a guarantee. Further, just because a college or university is not yet shown on the list does not mean the apprentice grad shouldn't request that they consider the credit recommendation.)
2. Work with their admissions advisor at their college or university of choice to learn the process for seeking college credits for their WECA Commercial or Residential program completion. The college or university may refer to this as their PLA (prior learning assessment) process or policy. The applicant should share NCCRS' WECA credit recommendation 
http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors with the decision-makers at their college or university.
3. Request a transcript from WECA as requested by their college or university. Email apregistrar@goweca.com with transcript requests.
4. If the applicant encounters problems with their transfer credit request, they can submit a Request for Assistance Form to NCCRS so that NCCRS can advocate on the applicant's behalf.

Q: What about Low Voltage Apprenticeship? Or the Electrician Trainee Program?
A: 
WECA plans to pursue college credit recommendations for its Low Voltage Apprenticeship program next year, so please stay tuned for more information on that. 

WECA is currently evaluating demand for college credit recommendations for its Electrician Trainee program.

Q: What if I still have questions?
A: Please call us at 1-877-444-9322 and we'll do our best to help you out.
Read more >>


Wednesday, January 23, 2019   BICSI to offer training classes at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters in Spring 2019

WECA is a BICSI ATF


WECA is pleased to announce that BICSI will be holding the following classes at our Rancho Cordova headquarters in Spring 2019. 

IN101:  BICSI Installer 1 Training Mar 25-29
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

IN225:  BICSI Installer 2, Copper Training Apr 1-5
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

IN250:  BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Apr 15-19
The 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

TE350:  BICSI Technician Training Apr 29-May 3
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... Learn More

OSP102:  Applied Outside Plant Design May 20-24  & June 17-21
This course is designed to provide application-based knowledge of all aspects of the Outside Plant (OSP) installation process. During this course, students will apply what they have learned through a series of design exercises such as route design, selecting cables to be housed in the pathways... Learn More

PM102:  Applied Telecommunications Project Management Jun 10-14 
Proper project management is the foundation of any successful project. This course is designed to provide ICT professionals an opportunity to build on their existing project management skills while also exploring the steps and thought processes behind the basic principles and information necessary for managing a successful telecommunications project... Learn More

DC102: Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices Jun 24-28
BICSI's DC102: Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices course is a five-day course that provides an in-depth review of best practices for designing data centers. In this course you will be introduced to various data center infrastructure systems. In addition, you will have an opportunity to apply what you have learned by engaging in case studies...  
Learn More 

These classes are open to the public and we encourage interested WECA students to enroll early in order to secure seats. These classes are rarely offered in Northern California, and we encourage you to take advantage of this convenient opportunity.
Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these courses and to enroll yourself or an employee, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search courses by location for "Rancho Cordova." 
Read more >>


Wednesday, January 23, 2019   Begin the New Year with a New Career!



Begin this new year with a new career by applying to one of WECA's three Apprenticeship Programs! Get paid to learn as you work to become a certified electrician or low voltage technician in as little as three years.


Check out more information about our Apprenticeship Programs:

Commercial
The Apprentice enrolled in the Commercial Inside Wireman Apprenticeship Program works under the direct supervision of a journeyman electrician installing electrical distribution centers, panel boards, sub panels, conduit systems, motor controls, lighting, fire alarms, and temporary wiring in commercial building.
  • 5-year commitment (Classroom & Paid On-The-Job Training)
  • A generous health & welfare plan that includes Anthem Blue Cross, Dental, Pension Plan, and Life Insurance.
  • Starting hourly base wages range from minimum wage to $22.00 or more depending on the type of work and location. Commercial apprentices can expect to earn between $17.00 and $45.00 or more per hour in their 5th year of apprenticeship depending on the type of work and location.
Residential
The Apprentice enrolled in the Residential Wireman Training Program works under the direct supervision of a journeyman electrician installing home and small apartment house wiring, which includes electrical service, installation of Romex and boxes, hooking up of ranges and other major appliances, receptacles, switches, lighting, electrical heat, and heat pumps.
  • 3-year commitment (Classroom & Paid On-The-Job Training)
  • Includes Fringe Benefit Package provided by Contractor.  Fringe benefits may include major medical or 401K or cash equivalent.
  • Starting hourly base wages range from minimum wage to $21.00 or more depending on the type of work and location. Residential apprentices can expect to earn between $12.20 and $31.00 or more per hour in their 3rd year of apprenticeship depending on the type of work and location.
Low Voltage (Sound and Communication Installer: Voice Data Video and Fire Life Safety)
The Apprentice enrolled in the Sound and Communication Installer (Voice/Data/Video) Training Program works under the supervision of a journeyman technician installing and testing, servicing and maintaining systems utilizing the transmission and/or transference of voice, sound, video and digital signals for commercial, education and security and entertainment purposes, as well as for fire, life, and safety.
  • 3-year commitment (Classroom & Paid On-The-Job Training)
  • Includes Fringe Benefit Package provided by Contractor.  Fringe benefits may include major medical or 401K or cash equivalent.
  • Starting hourly base wages range from minimum wage to $15.00 or more depending on the type of work and location. VDV apprentices can expect to earn between $14.00 and $25.00 or more per hour in their 3rd year of apprenticeship depending on the type of work and location.
Apply here!
Read more >>


Wednesday, January 23, 2019   WECA OSHA Courses

Journeymen and Electrician Trainees! Brush up on your safety skills with WECA's OSHA Courses. 


California OSHA 10-Hour Construction (10 hour course)
  • This 10-hour online California OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. It is specially designed to help keep California workers safe while obtaining their OSHA 10-Hour Card. 
OSHA 10 Construction (10 hour course)
  • This 10 hour online OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. It covers fewer topics than OSHA 30.
OSHA 10 Construction Spanish (10 hour course)
  • Este curso de 10 horas del socio de WECA, ClickSafety, es una versión en línea del exitoso programa de OSHA, cubriendo menos temas que el OSHA 30. La capacitación de OSHA en línea es una excelente forma de garantizar que ha recibido la formación adecuada en temas importantes de salud y seguridad en sus sitios de trabajo. 

OSHA 30 Construction (30 hour course)
  • This 30 hour online OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. 
Read more >>


Wednesday, January 23, 2019   WECA April-June Course Catalog - It's Time to Enroll!



It's that time again, WECAns! Time to watch your mailboxes for the April - June 2019 WECA course catalog. In it you'll find new courses for Electrician Trainees and Journeyman Continuing Education (including new solar and voice-data-video options), as well as all our classroom and online GetWired! and self-paced favorites. 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, any time. April - June 2019 courses now available--get your seat before classes fill up!
Read more >>


Thursday, January 17, 2019   Get Your Tickets and Sponsorships for the 2019 WECEF Crab Feed and Board Installation Friday, March


Secure Your Tickets & Sponsorship Now!


Claws for a Cause

WECEF Crab Feed, Fundraiser, & 

WECA Board Installation


WHEN
Friday, March 15, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM


WHERE

WECA Headquarters - 3695 Bleckely St Rancho Cordova, CA 95655


Come out for a good cause this March! Join the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) for our annual fundraiser, crab feed, and board installation to support education and careers in the electrical and low voltage trades. 


Enjoy a delicious dinner of fresh Dungeness Crab, shrimp, and salad, congratulate recent WECEF scholarship winners, witness the installation of WECA's new board members, and mingle with your peers and industry professionals.
  • Dinner: $65/person

This fundraiser helps WECEF create more opportunities for student scholarships, materials, and improvements to WECA labs and classrooms, and the electrical industry. Consider a sponsorship at one of the following levels:
 
  • King Crab: $775 sponsorship
    • Includes 6 dinner tickets, reserved table, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites. 
 
  • Snow Crab: $550 sponsorship
    • Includes 4 dinner tickets, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites.
 
  • Blue Crab: $275 sponsorship
    • Includes 2 dinner tickets, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites.


Please consider the sponsorship opportunities and dinner tickets available at the link below, and thank you for your continued support of electrical and low voltage education.


Reserve your sponsorship packages and/or dinner tickets
Read more >>


Thursday, January 17, 2019   ATTENTION WECA MEMBERS: IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION REGARDING YOUR DUES RESTATEMENTSdues

In approximately 3 weeks, you will  be receiving, via email, a WECA Dues Restatement form. Beginning this year, we are requesting that every WECA member complete and return a new Dues Restatement form. This is a new requirement, regardless of whether or not your dues categories have changed. 

Watch for the form to arrive in your inbox around February 1, 2019, and please return your completed form to WECA no later than March 1, 2019. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
Read more >>


Thursday, January 17, 2019   WECA OSHA Courses

Your Journeymen and Electrician Trainees can brush up on their safety skills with OSHA training. Four options among our online, self-paced courses! 
 


California OSHA 10-Hour Construction (10 hour course)
  • This 10-hour online California OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. It is specially designed to help keep California workers safe while obtaining their OSHA 10-Hour Card. 
OSHA 10 Construction (10 hour course)
  • This 10 hour online OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. It covers fewer topics than OSHA 30.
OSHA 10 Construction Spanish (10 hour course)
  • Este curso de 10 horas del socio de WECA, ClickSafety, es una versión en línea del exitoso programa de OSHA, cubriendo menos temas que el OSHA 30. La capacitación de OSHA en línea es una excelente forma de garantizar que ha recibido la formación adecuada en temas importantes de salud y seguridad en sus sitios de trabajo. 

OSHA 30 Construction (30 hour course)
  • This 30 hour online OSHA training from WECA partner ClickSafety is an excellent way to receive proper training on important safety and health matters at your work sites. 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 17, 2019   BICSI to offer training classes at WECA's Rancho Cordova headquarters in Spring 2019

WECA is a BICSI ATF


WECA is pleased to announce that BICSI will be holding the following classes at our Rancho Cordova headquarters in Spring 2019. 

IN101: BICSI Installer 1 Training Mar 25-29
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


IN225: BICSI Installer 2, Copper Training Apr 1-5
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


IN250: BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Apr 15-19
The 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


TE350: BICSI Technician Training Apr 29-May 3
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... Learn More

OSP102Applied Outside Plant Design May 20-24 & June 17-21
This course is designed to provide application-based knowledge of all aspects of the Outside Plant (OSP) installation process. During this course, students will apply what they have learned through a series of design exercises such as route design, selecting cables to be housed in the pathways... Learn More

PM102Applied Telecommunications Project Management Jun 10-14 
Proper project management is the foundation of any successful project. This course is designed to provide ICT professionals an opportunity to build on their existing project management skills while also exploring the steps and thought processes behind the basic principles and information necessary for managing a successful telecommunications project... Learn More

DC102Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices Jun 24-28
BICSI's DC102: Applied Data Center Design and Best Practices course is a five-day course that provides an in-depth review of best practices for designing data centers. In this course you will be introduced to various data center infrastructure systems. In addition, you will have an opportunity to apply what you have learned by engaging in case studies... Learn More


These classes are open to the public and we encourage interested WECA members to enroll early in order to secure seats. These classes are rarely offered in Northern California, and we encourage our members to take advantage of this convenient opportunity.


Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these courses and to enroll yourself or an employee, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search courses by location for "Rancho Cordova." 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 17, 2019   Join WECA on Jan. 29th for a Legislative Visit to the State Capitol with Speakers on Workforce Devel

Join us on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, for a one-day legislative conference with visits to the State Capitol, and featuring speakers on Workforce Development, Licensing, and Employment Issues. We hope to see you there! WECA members and their employees receive a discounted price on registration.
Download a Registration Form Here

 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 10, 2019   BICSI to offer classes at WECA HQ in Spring 2019. Installer 1, Installer 2 Copper, Installer 2 Optic

WECA is a BICSI ATF


WECA is pleased to announce that BISCI will be holding the following classes at our Rancho Cordova headquarters in Spring 2019. 

IN101: BICSI Installer 1 Training Mar 25-29
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


IN225: BICSI Installer 2, Copper Training Apr 1-5
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


IN250: BICSI Installer 2, Optical Fiber Training Apr 15-19
The 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


TE350: BICSI Technician Training Apr 29-May 3
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... Learn More


These classes are open to the public and we encourage interested WECA members to enroll early in order to secure seats. These classes are rarely offered in Northern California, and we encourage our members to take advantage of this convenient opportunity.


Registrations must be processed directly with BICSI. To learn more about these courses and to enroll yourself or an employee, click on the individual course links above, or visit www.bicsi.org and search courses by location for "Rancho Cordova." 
 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 10, 2019   Opinion: Richard Markuson

 

Richard Markuson

Newsom's Agenda
 
California will have a better picture today, when Governor Gavin Newsom releases his first budget, but he has tipped his hand, to a degree, with some of his staff appointments and signals of his policy objectives.
 
Newsom has released some key line items from the $200 billion-plus budget outline:
 
  • $1.8 billion for early childhood education and childcare.
  • $105 million (on top of $200 million approved last year) for wildfire prevention.
  • $40 million for a second year of free community college tuition for Californians.
  • An adjustment of the state trust fund reserve rules to extend California's paid family leave program beyond the current six weeks to as long as six months with partial pay for new parents.
  • $140 million to expand Medi-Cal coverage to young adults between 19 and 25 who are undocumented.
  • Subsidized premiums for Californians who can't afford health insurance, paid for by a reinstatement of the Obamacare penalty, in this state only, for those who choose not to be covered.
 
Not in the budget, but also an important health care piece, is an executive order directing the state's agencies, including the one that oversees Medi-Cal, to negotiate with prescription drug makers. The move will make California the nation's largest negotiator against pharmaceutical companies--and could prove a model for other states.
 
Also signaling his political tack are some of his staff appointments-- one in particular has California employers a little concerned.
 
Anthony Williams, who was special counsel to former California Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, is legislative secretary.
 
Ann O'Leary, chief of staff, former advisor to Hillary Clinton.
 
Ana Matosantos, Cabinet Secretary a Capitol veteran who had served stints as finance director under Schwarzenegger and Brown.
 
Angie Wei as his chief deputy cabinet secretary for policy development. Was chief of staff for the California Labor Federation, shaping policy on behalf of 2.1 million union workers.
 
As Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Julie A. Su, a California Labor Commissioner since 2011.
 
It is the Wei appointment that is causing some angst. The LA Times called Wei "a Capitol insider with deep ties to organized labor in California... As a legislative director and chief of staff at the California Labor Federation, Wei has represented more than 1,200 unions and 2.1 million workers in Capitol fights over a host of policy issues including drug pricing transparency and paid family leave." Wei also fought efforts last year to delay the Dynamex ruling that upended years of law and practice in deciding who is an employee and who can be considered an independent contractor. Labor and the Labor Federation was important to Newsom's election and it is natural that he would reward that support and Newsom has claimed to be a "business-friendly Democrat" which in some parts of the State would be a death sentence. But a review by The Sacramento Bee found Newsom "has shifted his positions to the left on issues ranging from sanctuary cities to high-speed rail and charter schools. Some of the changes have made him vulnerable to the critique that he's flip-flopped."
 
Only time will tell where the Newsom administration lands on the political spectrum but most in Sacramento agree he will veer further left than his predecessor.
Read more >>


Thursday, January 10, 2019   Labor, Business & Employment Law Update

Doing Business in LA? Living Wage Ordinance Updated. Any employer working with the city of Los Angeles should be aware of recent amendments to the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance, which lays out annual cash wage increases, time off and health benefits. More
 
Employer's Rounding Policy Complied with California Law AMN used a computer-based timekeeping system for all nonexempt employees, including plaintiffs/nurse recruiters. The timekeeping system rounded recruiters' punch times (both punch in and punch out) to the nearest 10-minute increment. To establish the proper hourly compensation, AMN converted each 10-minute increment to a decimal (to the nearest hundredth of a minute), totaled the number of hours (to the hundredth of a minute) and multiplied the total hours by the recruiter's hourly rate. AMN's expert labor economist testified that the rounding rule used by AMN was "neutral; in the long run, neither the employer nor the employee benefits from this policy." The trial court ruled that the rounding policy complied with California law, and the Court of Appeal affirmed. On similar grounds, the Court affirmed the trial court's summary adjudication in AMN's favor of plaintiffs' claims for unpaid meal and rest periods, wage statement violations, waiting time penalties, PAGA penalties, violation of the unfair competition law and for unreimbursed business expenses. Donohue v. AMN Servs., LLC, 2018 WL 6445360 (Cal. Ct. App. 2018)
 
California State Disability Insurance (SDI) Increases It's a new year, and California SDI benefits will be increasing. The SDI withholding rate continues to be 1.0% of wages. But, the taxable wage limit will increase from $114,967 to $118,371. For new SDI claims (whether for short-term disability benefits or paid family leave benefits) the maximum weekly benefit will increase from $1,216 to $1,252 a week. More
Read more >>


Thursday, January 10, 2019   Before leaving office, Governor Jerry Brown packed the California Apprenticeship Council with union

Susan Anderson, 66, of Fresno, has been reappointed to the California Apprenticeship Council, where she has served since 2013. Anderson served in several positions for the County of Fresno from 1989 to 2013, including District 2 supervisor, county clerk, registrar of voters and deputy district attorney. She was membership and marketing director at the Central Valley Young Men's Christian Association from 1973 to 1984 and a member of the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board from 2009 to 2012 and from 2002 to 2004. Anderson earned a Juris Doctor degree from the San Joaquin College of Law. Anderson is registered without party preference.
 
Christopher Christophersen Sr., 58, of Tracy, has been reappointed to the California Apprenticeship Council, where he has served since 2014. Christophersen has been business manager at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 Northern California since 2002. He was president of the Auto, Marine and Specialty Painters Local 1176 from 1998 to 2002 and an apprentice-journeyman at Forman Automotive Painter from 1980 to 1998. Christophersen is a Democrat.
 
Don Scott Gordon, 57, of Lake Forest, has been reappointed to the California Apprenticeship Council, where he has served since 2010. Gordon has been executive director of the Laborers Training and Retraining Trust for Southern California since 2001. He was operations manager at Hardy and Harper from 1996 to 2001 and district manager at the Associated General Contractors of California from 1994 to 1995. Gordon is a Democrat.
 
Larry Hopkins, 56, of Riverside, has been appointed to the California Apprenticeship Council. Hopkins has been director of training at Operating Engineers Training Trust since 2013. He is a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers. Hopkins is a Democrat.
 
Charles Martin, 46, of Los Angeles, has been reappointed to the California Apprenticeship Council, where he has served since 2013. Martin has been executive director at the Air Conditioning and Sheet Metal Association, Los Angeles and Kern County since 2014, executive director of the Finishing Contractors Association of Southern California since 2009 and executive director at the California Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association since 2005. He has been owner of Martin Consulting Services since 2005. Martin was a professional trustee at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 441 from 2007 to 2013, executive director of the California Landscape and Irrigation Council from 2007 to 2012 and vice president at McMorgan and Company from 2000 to 2005. He is a member of the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy Board of Governors. Martin is a Republican.
 
Frank J. Quintero, 72, of Glendale, has been reappointed to the California Apprenticeship Council, where he has served since 2013. Quintero has served in multiple positions for the City of Glendale since 2001, including mayor and city council member. He was director of the Alliance for Education from 1976 to 2002. Quintero is a member of the Orangeline Development Authority Board of Directors. He served on the California Workforce Investment Board from 1999 to 2010. Quintero is a Democrat.
 
Frank Schetter, 72, of Sacramento, has been appointed to the California Apprenticeship Council. Schetter has served as chief executive officer at Schetter Electric Inc. since 1983. He is a member of the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, Statewide Labor Management Committee of California, Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, American Subcontractors Association of California and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Schetter is registered without party preference.
 
Richard Zampa, 63, of Rodeo, has been appointed to the California Apprenticeship Council. Zampa has served as California, Nevada and Arizona apprenticeship director at the California Field Ironworkers Apprenticeship & Training Program since 2005. He was an apprentice ironworker at the Ironworkers Apprenticeship Program 1973 to 1976. Zampa is a member of Ironworkers Local 378. Zampa is a Democrat.
Read more >>


Thursday, January 10, 2019   What We're Reading

How a Strange Accusation Caught Fire and Took Down an Assembly Candidate: The woman who accused Republican Assembly candidate Phil Graham of battery just before the June primary admits she told one of his GOP rivals about her claim. Labor groups and a Mexican company amplified her charge even after authorities determined it never happened. More
 
 
Kaiser Hit By NLRB: The National Labor Relations Board charged Kaiser Permanente Friday with refusing to negotiate on a contract for 85,000 employees in seven states and D.C. The action grew out of a complaint filed by the Service Employees International Union in May. The healthcare company is required to respond to the unfair labor practices charge by Jan. 11. A hearing is scheduled for March 19 in California.
 
New Year, New Name: The 116th Congress convened last Thursday. Democratic control of the House means there's a new name for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce - it's once again called "Education and Labor."
 
Another US Department of Transportation Departure: Geoff Burr, Elaine Chao's chief of staff, is leaving after almost two years. His deputy, Todd Inman, is expected to take on the role. Burr was an aide to Chao when she headed the Department of Labor, and advised her during the nomination process for her current job. Prior to joining the Trump Administration Burr was at ABC and was being vetted to be a DOL when Andrew Puzder was the nominee to be Secretary.
 
The Perils of Politics in the California Workplace: Though the election is over, politics continue to boil water coolers in workplaces across California. So, while employers presumably know that they must provide employees with time off to vote, they also must recognize that their employees' political rights are not confined to the polling place. More
Read more >>


Wednesday, January 09, 2019   WECA Gains College Credit Recommendations for its Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprenticesh

The Details

     WECA has a big announcement! Our Commercial and Residential Electrical apprenticeship programs have received college credit recommendations from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service).
 
     This benefit provides WECA commercial and residential electrical apprentices the ability to gain access to college credit for completion of either program by using credit recommendations set forth by NCCRS. While admissions and acceptance of transfer credit isn't guaranteed, more than 1,400 colleges and universities nationwide currently consider awarding credit based on NCCRS recommendations.
 
     "WECA is thrilled to extend this opportunity to our apprentices and graduates," says Terry Seabury, WECA Executive Director and CEO. "We know that some of our graduates choose to pursue additional higher education at traditional colleges and universities in fields such as construction management, and these college credit recommendations from NCCRS may allow them to receive substantial credits for the programs they've already completed at WECA. We view these NCCRS college credit recommendations as further evidence of the educational quality and vigor of our apprenticeship programs."
 
    "NCCRS is pleased to recommend college credit for WECA's commercial and residential electrical apprenticeship courses," NCCRS Director Lisa Sax Mahoney said. "Through our professional evaluations, we continue to support the recognition of high-quality workforce training programs delivered by qualified organizations across the country."
 
     NCCRS, founded in 1973 by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York, strives to increase access to higher education through recognition of non-collegiate learning. Using an academic peer review model, NCCRS conducts independent, third-party evaluations of courses and examinations to determine their comparability to college-level learning. Courses and examinations that meet appropriate standards receive college credit recommendations which are listed within CCRS Online, a web directory maintained by NCCRS.
 
Learn more about NCCRS and view their college credit recommendations for WECA at: http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors.

Using This Benefit: A Guide for our Apprentices and Graduates 

Q: Who is eligible?
A:
Any graduates of WECA's Commercial or Residential Electrical Apprenticeships since September of 2013. (NCCRS has granted eligibility going back five years, and evaluated WECA's programs in Autumn of 2018.)

Q: So WECA apprentice grads automatically have college credits?
A:  
No. NCCRS makes college credit recommendations. (From NCCRS:
A college credit recommendation is an academic advisement about the comparability of a learning experience to college-level instruction, such as undergraduate or graduate course work, the amount of credit that may be awarded, and areas where credit could apply. The credit recommendations are intended to guide college officials as they consider awarding credit to persons who have successfully completed NCCRS evaluated learning experiences. College credit recommendations are not actual college credit because the New York State Board of Regents does not award college credit. Through the results of the NCCRS evaluations, however, the Board of Regents encourages colleges and universities to consider accepting the credit recommendations.)

Q: How Does Acceptance of College Credit Recommendations work?
A:
It is up to the college or university to choose whether to grant college credits, how many, and in what subjects, for completion of a WECA program. NCCRS recommends specific credit amounts and subjects. College and university admissions departments should reference NCCRS' WECA listing at http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors for specific recommendations. NCCRS recommends up to 66 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Commerical program, and up to 40 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Residential program. 

Q: How Do WECA Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship Graduates Use This Benefit?
A: Apprentices grads should:
1. Identify the college or university they wish to ask to accept a credit recommendation from NCCRS for work completed at WECA. (A list of colleges and universities who have previously participated with NCCRS is here: http://www.nationalccrs.org/colleges-universities. Seeing a college or university on this list is a promising sign that they will consider NCCRS' recommendation, but is not a guarantee. Further, just because a college or university is not yet shown on the list does not mean the apprentice grad shouldn't request that they consider the credit recommendation.)
2. Work with their admissions advisor at their college or university of choice to learn the process for seeking college credits for their WECA Commercial or Residential program completion. The college or university may refer to this as their PLA (prior learning assessment) process or policy. The applicant should share NCCRS' WECA credit recommendation 
http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors with the decision-makers at their college or university.
3. Request a transcript from WECA as requested by their college or university. Email apregistrar@goweca.com with transcript requests.
4. If the applicant encounters problems with their transfer credit request, they can submit a Request for Assistance Form to NCCRS so that NCCRS can advocate on the applicant's behalf.

Q: What about Low Voltage Apprenticeship? Or the Electrician Trainee Program?
A: 
WECA plans to pursue college credit recommendations for its Low Voltage Apprenticeship program next year, so please stay tuned for more information on that. 

WECA is currently evaluating demand for college credit recommendations for its Electrician Trainee program.

Q: What if I still have questions?
A: Please call us at 1-877-444-9322 and we'll do our best to help you out.
Read more >>


Wednesday, January 09, 2019   WECA Gains College Credit Recommendations for its Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprenticesh

The Details

     WECA has a big announcement! Our Commercial and Residential Electrical apprenticeship programs have received college credit recommendations from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service).
 
     This benefit provides WECA commercial and residential electrical apprentices the ability to gain access to college credit for completion of either program by using credit recommendations set forth by NCCRS. While admissions and acceptance of transfer credit isn't guaranteed, more than 1,400 colleges and universities nationwide currently consider awarding credit based on NCCRS recommendations.
 
     "WECA is thrilled to extend this opportunity to our apprentices and graduates," says Terry Seabury, WECA Executive Director and CEO. "We know that some of our graduates choose to pursue additional higher education at traditional colleges and universities in fields such as construction management, and these college credit recommendations from NCCRS may allow them to receive substantial credits for the programs they've already completed at WECA. We view these NCCRS college credit recommendations as further evidence of the educational quality and vigor of our apprenticeship programs."
 
    "NCCRS is pleased to recommend college credit for WECA's commercial and residential electrical apprenticeship courses," NCCRS Director Lisa Sax Mahoney said. "Through our professional evaluations, we continue to support the recognition of high-quality workforce training programs delivered by qualified organizations across the country."
 
     NCCRS, founded in 1973 by the Board of Regents of The University of the State of New York, strives to increase access to higher education through recognition of non-collegiate learning. Using an academic peer review model, NCCRS conducts independent, third-party evaluations of courses and examinations to determine their comparability to college-level learning. Courses and examinations that meet appropriate standards receive college credit recommendations which are listed within CCRS Online, a web directory maintained by NCCRS.
 
Learn more about NCCRS and view their college credit recommendations for WECA at: http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors.

Using This Benefit: A Guide for our Apprentices and Graduates 

Q: Who is eligible?
A:
Any graduates of WECA's Commercial or Residential Electrical Apprenticeships since September of 2013. (NCCRS has granted eligibility going back five years, and evaluated WECA's programs in Autumn of 2018.)

Q: So WECA apprentice grads automatically have college credits?
A:  
No. NCCRS makes college credit recommendations. (From NCCRS:
A college credit recommendation is an academic advisement about the comparability of a learning experience to college-level instruction, such as undergraduate or graduate course work, the amount of credit that may be awarded, and areas where credit could apply. The credit recommendations are intended to guide college officials as they consider awarding credit to persons who have successfully completed NCCRS evaluated learning experiences. College credit recommendations are not actual college credit because the New York State Board of Regents does not award college credit. Through the results of the NCCRS evaluations, however, the Board of Regents encourages colleges and universities to consider accepting the credit recommendations.)

Q: How Does Acceptance of College Credit Recommendations work?
A:
It is up to the college or university to choose whether to grant college credits, how many, and in what subjects, for completion of a WECA program. NCCRS recommends specific credit amounts and subjects. College and university admissions departments should reference NCCRS' WECA listing at http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors for specific recommendations. NCCRS recommends up to 66 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Commerical program, and up to 40 semester credit hours for completion of WECA's Residential program. 

Q: How Do WECA Commercial and Residential Electrical Apprenticeship Graduates Use This Benefit?
A: Apprentices grads should:
1. Identify the college or university they wish to ask to accept a credit recommendation from NCCRS for work completed at WECA. (A list of colleges and universities who have previously participated with NCCRS is here: http://www.nationalccrs.org/colleges-universities. Seeing a college or university on this list is a promising sign that they will consider NCCRS' recommendation, but is not a guarantee. Further, just because a college or university is not yet shown on the list does not mean the apprentice grad shouldn't request that they consider the credit recommendation.)
2. Work with their admissions advisor at their college or university of choice to learn the process for seeking college credits for their WECA Commercial or Residential program completion. The college or university may refer to this as their PLA (prior learning assessment) process or policy. The applicant should share NCCRS' WECA credit recommendation 
http://www.nationalccrs.org/organizations/western-electrical-contractors with the decision-makers at their college or university.
3. Request a transcript from WECA as requested by their college or university. Email apregistrar@goweca.com with transcript requests.
4. If the applicant encounters problems with their transfer credit request, they can submit a Request for Assistance Form to NCCRS so that NCCRS can advocate on the applicant's behalf.

Q: What about Low Voltage Apprenticeship? Or the Electrician Trainee Program?
A: 
WECA plans to pursue college credit recommendations for its Low Voltage Apprenticeship program next year, so please stay tuned for more information on that. 

WECA is currently evaluating demand for college credit recommendations for its Electrician Trainee program.

Q: What if I still have questions?
A: Please call us at 1-877-444-9322 and we'll do our best to help you out.
Read more >>


Tuesday, January 08, 2019   It's Time for the 2019 WECEF Claws for a Cause Fundraiser and Crab Feed!

Secure Your Tickets & Sponsorship Now!
Claws for a Cause
 WECEF Crab Feed & Fundraiser
 
WHEN
WHERE
WECA Headquarters - 3695 Bleckely St Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
Come out for a good cause this March! Join the Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) for our annual fundraiser and crab feed to support education and careers in the electrical and low voltage trades. 
Enjoy a delicious dinner of fresh Dungeness Crab, shrimp, and salad, congratulate recent WECEF scholarship winners, witness the installation of WECA's new board members, and mingle with your peers and industry professionals.
  • Dinner: $65/person
This fundraiser helps WECEF create more opportunities for student scholarships, materials, and improvements to WECA labs and classrooms, and the electrical industry. Consider a sponsorship at one of the following levels:
  • King Crab: $775 sponsorship
    • Includes 6 dinner tickets, reserved table, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites. 
  • Snow Crab: $550 sponsorship
    • Includes 4 dinner tickets, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites.
  • Blue Crab: $275 sponsorship
    • Includes 2 dinner tickets, acknowledgement from the podium, newsletter & social media recognition, announcement on WECA and WECEF websites. 
Please consider the sponsorship opportunities and dinner tickets available at the link below, and thank you for your continued support of electrical and low voltage education.
Reserve your sponsorship packages and/or dinner tickets
Read more >>


Thursday, January 03, 2019   WECA wishes you a Happy New Year!

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Thursday, January 03, 2019   New Contracting Laws Started January 1, 2019 laws

A message from the California Contractors State License Board: 

December 28,2018
CSLB #18-17

New Contracting Laws Kick into Gear on January 1, 2019

SACRAMENTO - The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is providing a summary of new construction related laws that will go into effect with the coming of the new year. 


Senate Bill (SB) 721 establishes requirements for inspecting and repairing "exterior elevated elements," which includes decks and balconies, for buildings with three or more multi-family dwelling units. Additionally, it establishes reporting and repair requirements, including time frames, if it is found repairs are needed. 


This bill also specifies who can complete the inspections and repairs - such as "A" General Engineering, "B" General Building, and C-5 Framing and Rough Carpentry contractor license classifications, if specified experience requirements are met. Also, this bill provides for application of civil penalties if building owners violate the requirements. (Chapter 445, Statutes of 2018)


SB 981 removes the restriction on delivering or installing a water treatment device sold through a home solicitation contract during the consumer's "three-day right to rescind" from the date the contract is signed. Instead, this bill allows for the installation to take place during that time period. 


If the consumer subsequently withdraws the contract within the three-day period, the seller is responsible for the costs to remove the device and/or any material and to return the property to its same condition prior to the contract. (Chapter 932, Statutes of 2018)


SB 1042 authorizes CSLB's registrar to "settle" less egregious administrative citations prior to an administrative hearing using an informal citation resolution process. The informal process is not subject to the Administrative Procedure Act and the person cited would not surrender their right to request an administrative hearing. (Chapter 110, Statutes of 2018)

SB 1087 is a follow-up to AB 1284 (Dababneh, Statutes of 2017), which required the licensing and regulation of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program administrators by the Department of Business Oversight (DBO). Among other things, SB 1087 makes it unlawful to begin work under a home improvement contract if the property owner was not ultimately approved for the PACE financing applied for. (Chapter 798, Statutes of 2018)


SB 1465 requires contractors and insurers to report to CSLB any final civil judgments, settlements, or arbitration awards involving damage claims over $1,000,000 for construction defects in multi-family rental residential structures that meet specified criteria. (Chapter 514, Statutes of 2018)


Assembly Bill (AB) 2138 - Effective July 1, 2020, this bill prohibits an applicant from being denied a license solely because he or she has been convicted of specified crimes. It also authorizes a board to deny a license based on a conviction if it occurred within seven years from the date of application, regardless of the following: 

* Incarceration status;

* If the crime is substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the license;

* If the conviction requires California sex offender registration; and 

* If the conviction is a financial felony crime directly and adversely related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the license. 


This bill also prohibits license denial if the applicant was pardoned, shows rehabilitation, or if the conviction was dismissed, and prohibits denial based on an arrest that resulted in anything other than a conviction. 


Boards will also be prohibited from requiring an applicant to provide his or her criminal history and requires boards to produce annual reports about applicants with a criminal background to the Legislature and for public posting. (Chapter 995, Statutes of 2018)

AB 2371 provides that before CSLB revises a landscaping contractor examination, it must confer with specified entities to determine if any updates or revisions to the exam are needed to reflect new and emerging landscape irrigation efficiency practices. (Chapter 867, Statutes of 2018)


AB 2705 increases the statute of limitations from one year to two years during which an unlicensed contractor can be prosecuted for failing to obtain workers' compensation insurance for their employees. (Chapter 323, Statutes of 2018)


AB 3126 eliminates the option of a cash deposit with CSLB in lieu of a contractor license bond, bond of qualifying individual, or disciplinary bond to prevent contractors from removing bond funds from their private accounts and leaving no funds payable to a consumer following a valid claim against a bond. Contractors may also submit a cashier's check. (Chapter 925, Statutes of 2018)
Read more >>


Thursday, January 03, 2019   Bah Humbug! The New Year Brings New Penalties for Skilled & Trained Workforce Violationscookbrown by


This Content Courtesy of Carrie Bushman, Partner at Cook Brown, LLP:

As many public works contractors are aware, over the last several years, California has adopted skilled and trained workforce requirements which mandate that contractors working on specific types of projects employ a certain percentage of apprenticeship program graduates for those working in an apprenticeable occupation.  Among others, the primary projects which include skilled and trained workforce requirements are:
  • School District (K-12) Design Build > $1 Million
  • School District (K-12) Lease Leaseback
  • Local Agency & other Specified State Agency Design Build > $1 Million
  • LAUSD Best Value > $1 Million
  • Alameda, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Solano & Yuba County    Best Value ≥ $1 Million
The only workers who can be employed on these projects are apprentices who are currently registered in a state approved apprenticeship program and "skilled journeypersons" who are either apprenticeship program graduates or have worked enough hours in their trade to meet the on the job training requirements of a state approved apprenticeship program in that trade; however, a certain percentage of the skilled journeypersons working on these projects must be apprenticeship program graduates.  Read more here
Read more >>


Thursday, January 03, 2019   Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) Announces Scholarship OpportunityWECEF P

Please share with your employees!

For students enrolled in a WECA Apprenticeship program, Electrician Trainee program, or Journeyman-level continuing education classes.
 
Application Deadline: January 15, 2019
 
The Western Electrical Contractors Education Foundation (WECEF) is pleased to announce it is again offering a scholarship program for students enrolled as an Apprentice, Electrician Trainee, or a Journeyman taking continuing education courses with WECA.
 
The WECEF Scholarship is intended to assist students whose career pursuits are in the electrical or low voltage fields and to help them in continuing their education with WECA.
 
Scholarships will be awarded in amounts ranging from $200 to $500 per successful applicant and are to be used for the cost of books, tools, fees, and/or tuition.
 
Awarded scholarships are at the sole discretion of the WECEF Board of Directors and contingent upon the applicant's ability to meet the eligibility and application requirements noted in the application form.
 
Apprentices and students can learn more and download the application form at the following link, or contact 877-444-9322 for more information.
 
Download Scholarship Application
 
Application Deadline:
January 15, 2019
 
Applications and all required documents must be received by 5:00PM on January 15, 2019.
 

Email all materials to  lsipes@goweca.com . 
 
OR
 
Mail to: 
WECEF Scholarship Program
3695 Bleckeley Street
Mather Commerce Center
Rancho Cordova, CA 95655
Read more >>


Thursday, January 03, 2019   Join WECA on Jan. 29th for a Legislative Visit to the State Capitol with Speakers on Workforce Devel

Join us on Tuesday, January 29, 2019, for a one-day legislative conference with visits to the State Capitol, and featuring speakers on Workforce Development, Licensing, and Employment Issues. We hope to see you there! WECA members and their employees receive a discounted price on registration.
Download a Registration Form Here

 
Read more >>


Thursday, January 03, 2019   Need New Employees for the New Year?newemployees

For Member Contractors Seeking Qualified WECA-Trained Applicants.



The WECA Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board



Try WECA's Electrical and Low Voltage Industry Job Board, which 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. 
This is a free, no-obligation service open to all workers seeking employment in the electrical and low voltage industry. WECA's purpose in providing this service is to help our Member Contractors find the qualified workers they need. 
 
 Post a job today!

OR, Consider the WECA Student Referral Service


What is this Service?

A free job referral service that introduces our current ET, Journeymen, and WECA Graduate job seekers to Member Contractors in order to help meet their staffing needs. It's included with your membership!


Who does this benefit?

Everyone! WECA Member Contractors are referred qualified, WECA-trained applicants to help meet their staffing needs. And WECA Students, Journeymen, and Graduates get valuable job referrals. 


How does this differ from the WECA Job Board?

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


This service provides additional customer service by having WECA staff supply you with hands-on referrals. In other words, we take some of the hard work off your plate. 


The Student Referral Service refers more experienced employees to you, and you hire them directly.


To receive referrals from WECA's Student Referral Service, please contact Ana Lopez, WECA ET/CE Program Manager, at alopez@goweca.com or 1-877-444-9322.
Read more >>


Thursday, January 03, 2019   Updates to WECA Student Handbook Released

WECA has released an updated version of its Student Handbook. Some changes include:
  • Course Tuition Refund & Transfer Policy (Page 16) - Effective for Classes Starting April 1, 2019 or After*
  • Class Attendance Requirements (Page 17)
  • Class Participation Policy (Page 18)
  • Grade Disputes (Page 20)
View the updated handbook here
Read more >>


Thursday, January 03, 2019   Save the Date for the 2019 WECEF Crab Feed!crab Friday, March 15, 2019 at WECA HQ in Rancho Cordova

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Thursday, December 27, 2018   Labor, Business & Employment Law Update

Insurers should prepare for high volume and high cost over the next decade. Because nothing says recovery like a lawsuit, after devastating wildfires throughout California in recent years, a flurry of reconstruction will create an increase in construction-defect claims affecting the liability-insurance market for years to come. More
 
Proposed IRS Regulations Affecting 401(k) and 403(b) Plans. Paul Hamburger, co-chair of Proskauer's Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group, and associate Steven Einhorn discuss the recently proposed IRS regulations addressing the hardship withdrawal rules affecting 401(k) and 403(b) plans. They discuss challenging questions employers and administrators face as they work through the new requirements, which include the elimination of the six-month contribution suspension for participants who take a hardship withdrawal and how many plans will need to be amended as a result of these new proposed regulations. More
 
California Snapshot: Seven questions employers should ask in 2019 If you have the right answers, you may survive 2019.  More
 
Cutting Employee Hours to Avoid ACA Requirements Costs Employer $7.4 MillionIn response to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) 30-hour threshold for employee coverage, many employers, including retailers and restaurants, considered cutting employee hours to avoid offering health insurance. At that time, legal advisors cautioned that changing employee schedules to reduce the number of full-time employees and avoid ACA liability might violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Dave & Buster's' recent $7.4 million proposed settlement with a class of employees whose hours were cut should serve as a cautionary reminder to employers who have cut or who are considering cutting employee hours to avoid the ACA employer mandate. Employers should be aware that additional litigation is likely.  More
 
Under ERISA, Ignorance Is Bliss in the 9th Circuit. In Sulyma v. Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that having access to documents disclosing an alleged breach of fiduciary duty is not sufficient to trigger the three-year statute of limitations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) if the plaintiff does not have actual knowledge of the alleged breach. The takeaway is that the 9th Circuit's decision will make it more difficult for defendants to prove that a participant had actual knowledge of an alleged breach of fiduciary duty sufficient to trigger the three-year statute of limitations. Participants, in effect, can simply deny that they read or understood disclosures that were sent to them, regardless of the nature or substance of those disclosures. For purposes of ERISA's statute of limitations, ignorance truly appears to be bliss, at least in the 9th Circuit. More
 
And the Waiting Continues ... NLRB Extends Comment Period on Joint Employer Rule Once Again In September 2018, the NLRB released its new proposed rule regarding the joint employer standard. The NLRB extended the comment period twice since the release of the new proposed rule. Comments are now due on or before January 14, 2019. The number of comments submitted is 25,543 and counting.

California appellate court rules that Dynamex test applies only to wage order claims A California appellate court has ruled that the California Supreme Court's recent decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc v Superior Court, which established a new test for determining whether to classify workers as independent contractors, is limited to claims under the Industrial Welfare Commission's wage orders. In Garcia v Border Transportation Group, LLC, the plaintiff taxi driver sued the defendant taxi company alleging various wage and hour claims under the California Labor Code and California's Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Order 9. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff's claims, concluding that the plaintiff was an independent contractor who simply leased a taxi from the defendant. After the California Supreme Court's employee-friendly decision in Dynamex, there has been some uncertainty about whether the Dynamex test applies to Labor Code claims as well as wage order claims. The Court of Appeal's decision in Garcia suggests that Dynamex may have a more limited impact than employers initially feared. Of course this distinction may disappear when the California Legislature takes up AB 5 (Gonzalez D-San Diego) that states the intent of the Legislature to include provisions within this bill would codify the decision in the Dynamex case and clarify its application--and by clarify she means to have it apply generally to any challenge to status of employment.
Read more >>


Thursday, December 27, 2018   Public Works Registration

Public Works Registration
Beginning June 1, 2019, contractors will have the option to renew their annual public works registration for up to three years at a time (paying the $400 per year fee). The Labor Commissioner is able to assess public works contractors penalties of up to $8,000--in addition to any penalty or registration fee--for failure to register. Awarding agencies are also subject to penalties of $100 a day, up to a maximum of $10,000, for hiring an unregistered contractor to perform work on a public works project. A contractor that hires an unregistered subcontractor is also subject to penalties of up to $10,000. Contractors who work exclusively on small public works projects are not required to register as a public works contractor or file electronic certified payroll reports for those projects. Contractors are still required to maintain certified payroll records on a continuous basis, and provide them to the Labor Commissioner's Office upon request. Additionally, awarding agencies are not required to submit the notice of contract award through DIR's PWC-100 system on projects that fall within the small project exemption. The small project exemption applies for all public works projects that do not exceed:
  • $25,000 for new construction, alteration, installation, demolition or repair
  • $15,000 for maintenance
More information is here.
Read more >>


Thursday, December 27, 2018   2019 Legislative Visit Day - Tuesday, January 29, 2019

This once-a-year event, jointly sponsored by WECA and PHCC, starts at the Masonic Lodge of Sacramento and continues on to the Capitol for contractors to tell the merit shop story. Talk with industry experts and regulators about current issues affecting your business and the industry. Topics will include PAGA lawsuits which have made providing flexible working conditions more difficult for California businesses. Instead of protecting workers, predatory trial lawyers take advantage of this law. Come speak with your legislative representatives about this law and other contractor legislation important to you. Register today and make plans to bring your voice and power to impact the issues that impact you and your business! For additional information, contact PHCC of CA at evp@caphcc.org. Download a registration form here.
Read more >>


Thursday, December 27, 2018   What We're Reading

5th Circuit: General contractor can be cited for subcontractor violations. A U.S. Appeals Court judge for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans has ruled that OSHA can cite general contractors for violations--even if that contractor's own direct employees are not affected--for subcontractor safety violations. The ruling came after Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta requested that the 5th Circuit review an OSHA administrative court decision that said a general contractor could only be cited for safety threats to its own employees. While this decision is not binding on California Courts, contractors should pay close attention to this trend--and it is reasonable to expect legislation to be introduced in California this year to create a statutory obligation for GCs to insure worker safety. More
 
When CEQA Gets Ugly: 3rd District Holds That Lay Public Opinion Supports Fair Argument That Project May Have Significant Aesthetic Effect Requiring EIR. In a published opinion filed December 17, 2018, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment granting a writ setting aside El Dorado County's approval of, and related Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for, construction of a Dollar General Store in the "quaint" downtown area of unincorporated Georgetown, a Gold Rush-era "hamlet" designated as a State Historical Landmark. The Court held that lay public commentary on nontechnical issues concerning the project's size and general appearance constituted substantial evidence supporting a fair argument that the project may have significant aesthetic impacts, and thus required an EIR, notwithstanding County's findings that the project complied with its Historic Design Guide. The Court also held County's failure to make explicit findings in the record on alleged credibility and foundation issues precluded its "manufacturing after-the-fact findings" to justify its dismissal of the public comments on the ground that they did not constitute "substantial evidence." More
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Thursday, December 27, 2018   Opinion: Richard Markuson

 

Does "Master Electrician" Sound Like a Good Idea?
 
The California Pool & Spa Association (CPSA) is contemplating a legislative proposal to establish an advanced (or master) certification program for swimming pool (C-53) contractors. The proposal would:
  1. Require that Contractor State License Board (CSLB) establish a voluntary "advanced" or "master" certification program for C-53 swimming pool contractors.
  2. Require that CSLB identify in statute the association or organization that would provide the certification training.
  3. Require that CSLB establish education and training standards for pool and spa contractors.
  4. Require that CSLB provide a continuing education requirement as a prerequisite to a licensee maintaining the certification.
  5. Prohibit a licensee that does not hold an advanced certification from advertising that they do.
 
The Board was, to put it mildly, skeptical that CSLB should go down the path of embracing and, more importantly, endorsing the notion that the state should play a role in what is, arguably, a purely association activity. They noted three laws or policies that would control any activity pursued by CPSA:
 
  • B&P §101.6 that sets the floor (or ceiling?) for state regulation: to set minimum qualifications and levels of competency for regulated professions.
  • B&P §166 that provides that if any DCA board/bureau requires continuing education programs for licensees, such a program be developed by regulations promulgated by the DCA director (not individual boards).
  • A unanimous board action in September 2012, to oppose requiring licensees to complete a continuing education requirement.
 
The State has a mixed record of approving and rejecting continuing education (CE) mandates. In addition to the requirement in the Labor Code that electricians obtain CE, some professions have state-mandated requirements, and some have been rejected (you can reach your own conclusion if $ome $pecial interest groups are morespecial than others).
 
In their letter of support CPSA observed:
 
Swimming pool and spa industry leaders believe there is substantial amount of substandard pool and spa construction in California by licensed swimming pool contractors. The California Pool and Spa Association (CPSA) believes that in many cases the C-53 licensing examination does not adequately validate the competency of a contractor to construct swimming pools, spas or hot tubs and that a more extensive education and training component is necessary to adequately equip swimming pool contractors to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the public and protect the interests of consumers.
The C-53 license examination contains few details regarding construction practices, and construction standards. In addition, the licensing examination is only given at contractor's entrance into the contracting field. Once a contractor passes the examination, the exam does nothing to inform him or her of changes in the laws, practices or standards in the profession. On the other hand, industry certification classes provide much greater detail and furnish contractors a substantive set of knowledge, skills, and abilities to construct, install, renovate, and repair pools and spas at the highest level.
 
As I mentioned, the CSLB was reluctant to endorse the proposal but took no action--citing a desire to address the issue if and when a bill is introduced in the Legislature.
 
But it caused me to consider if a "Master Electrical Contractor" Certification awarded by WECA would be a marketing advantage for WECA members (and other C-10/C-7 contractors) who sought the certification. Share your thoughts with me.
 
Oh, and Happy New Year!
Read more >>