Well, I've been looking for part-time work in the HVAC/R industry but I've found that almost all of the shops (commercial/industrial refrigeration) that I want to work at are union. I've asked around and it seems that Kansas City is a strong union town, so I'll have a tough time finding work in what I want to do somewhere else.
I'm working full-time now in an unrelated field and was going to work part-time to learn the trade (and make more money). Well, I've decided to go down to the local union and apply for their apprenticeship program. But, I've found it extremely difficult to find info about this, or any, union.
All I know is I found out what union controls the jobs, where it's located, when to show up and what documentation to bring. I don't know how the program works, if I have any chance of making it in, if there's a waiting list, if you have to have someone in the union reccomend you as an "unofficial" prerequisite, if I will just be able to train for HVAC/R or if I'll have to train for everything that falls under "pipefitting", or really anything. So I am just going to show up with my documents and see what happens.
But I think if it pays enough to support my family (and I'd sure like to know how much it pays, but can't find out) and I get in then I'll seriously consider it - just need to find out more info. Oh, and I know it's a five year program.
Can anybody give me some advice? Anything from what should I wear (I'm assuming clean-cut work clothes and not dress clothes) to what I should expect to how the heck this apprenticeship works.
Oh, and if anyone can tell me what "the approved Standards and Selection Procedure of the Joint Apprenticeship Commitee for the trades" is or where I might find them, I'd be grateful. This is the only reference the union website makes toward what to expect.
Anyone who's interested in seeing the website, it's: http://www.local533.com/training
So basically, I have no clue what I'm doing, so if you all have any advice, I could sure use it. I'm excited about getting into this field and really interested, just trying to figure out how.
If its like anything here in PA where Local 420 is the union lots of luck. Ive been in the trade 17 years as a non-union tech. I have tried 3 times to join the union, once at the beginning of my carrer and once as recently as 2003 with no luck. Resumes are ignored, phone calls are useless. I passed their tests and made it thru interveiws when I was trying to get an apprenticeship, but was never called. I have even had breakfast with a BA. They wanted me to interview with some small companys and a couple of companys with bad raps,Ive been in the trade too long for that bull. I know people who have made it in with 2 yrs experience because they knew someone. I have given up. I am happy as a non union member and my wages are above B mechanic rate, but yes I do not have a pension and yes I do have to pay a small amount towards my healthcare. I do have a prettty decent 401K that company puts in 5% of yearly gross wages. Dont give up yet, keep trying, ask around and swamp them with your resumes and phone calls, maybe you will get lucky. Find out who your BA is try to get a meeting with him.
PS I dont think you will find part time work in this field.
[Edited by hvac69 on 07-03-2004 at 08:10 AM]
Aaaaah, you're obviously living in one of "those" areas. Unfortunatelly every union local has it's own employer contracts and operating procedures. As we've discussed on other posts in regards to the unions, every one is different in positive and negative ways. From my own experience as management of a union shop, if the union is unable to provide us with skilled journeymen I can hire whoever I like and then the individual applies for memebership with the union. I always have the option to hire classified employees, not real union memebers but have to pay into some of the union funds. Apprentices however can be hired at anytime and then join the union, provided that there aren't too many on the bench awaiting a job. In service we have quite the shortage of skilled people so when we find an apprentice applicant that has the natural mechanical ability and desire we snatch him/her up as quickly as we can. Big difference between a mechanic and a technician. My advice is to find a company that has a union shop and apply for an apprentice position, just like any other job, keep after it, you still have to sell yourself. My last two apprentices I actually stole from field crews and brought into service. Their foremen saw their potential and as soon as I had an opening we transferred them to service.