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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12
    i live in northwest indiana. im currently in hvac school, and i was wondering how to get into an apprentice position with a local union? any help would be appreciated. thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    10
    So tell me gritch, which Ivy Tech Campus are you attending? I can tell you right now that you won't find too much luck getting into a union in Northwest Indiana. I attended Ivy Tech for almost a year and received actual "hands-on" experience at school maybe 5 times in that whole time. And that was after completeing 75% of the entire course. If you are going to Ivy tech, take my advice and just drop out now and go apply at Klawinski's on Route 30 in Schererville. I was hired there, but turned it down due to my own reasons. But you will learn more in 1 week in the field than you will learn after 6 months of school. TRUST ME ON THIS!!! DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID. Don't waste all that time and money on a sub-standard education. If you don't believe me, then just ask your teachers how much experience they have in the field themselves. You'll be shocked.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12
    im going to the one in valpo. are u in a union? do u think Klawinskis might actually hire me? ivy tech is paying for my schooling. do u think i should still drop out? any help would be appreciated. thanks for responding.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    10
    I also attended Ivy Tech in Valpo. I sat and listened to Bill Williams Bullsh*t me about how we would go out into the field and get to work on stuff. Or how we would get so much hands-on work while learning the theory side of everything else. Well, after my second semester ended and the only real hands-on learning we got during that semester was about 2 days on learning how to braze copper (which by the way Bill never once came out into the shop to show us what to do and one of the students got into a very heated argument with him over it), I soon realized that Ivy Tech is the WORST possible way to learn this field. I even completed half of my third semester and I had 3 hvac classes at the time and after 8 weeks of NO HANDS ON AT ALL IN THE THIRD OUT OF FOUR SEMESTERS AND ONLY HAVING TWO HVAC CLASSES LEFT AFTERWARDS AND ONE OF THEM WAS HEAT-LOSS AND GAIN WHERE YOU GET NO HANDS ON AT ALL, I said that's it!! Who are your teachers? I can tell you something about most of them and as far as Bill is concerned, he was in management at the steel mills from what one of my instructors told me and i'm not sure if Bill has ever even worked in the field at all. One of my teachers was an airline pilot before he started teaching hvac at Ivy Tech. Bill only hires guys that have degrees in something. Ask him yourself. It doesn't matter what they have one in, just as long as they do. I guess in his mind, if they have a degree in marine biology, then they are qualified to teach the HVAC industry. Watch and see how many of your other classmates can miss 12 out of 16 classes and still pass the class. I had one guy tell me that he only showed up for only 2 out of 11 classes during the summer semester and still got a B for the class. It's a joke. Hell, this last semester I finally had enough and decided to drop out and I missed 8 out of 16 classes in one class and I still passed. What a joke this school is. So it went like this- I spent 10 months in school, completed about 75% of the program, and got maybe 13 actual hands on days in the shop and 10 days of that was making duct work. As far as if Klawinski's will hire you, I can't say, but you'd have a much better chance in the field just trying to learn through them than wasting your time in that joke of a school. Klawinski's even encouraged me in so many words to just drop out and work for them. Give them a try. You WILL be much better off for it. I can't with a clear mind recommend that school to anyone (unless I hated them and wanted to see them waste their time and gas money). Oh, one last thing. Did you ask Bill yet if he knew if any places were hiring? He won't tell you if any hvac companies are hiring because he knows after working one day in the field, you will quit his program because you will figure out that Ivy Tech doesn't teach you anything tangible that you can actually use and you could learn more in one week in the field than in the entire program Ivy Tech offers.

    [Edited by what316 on 05-19-2004 at 02:04 AM]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12
    what do u do for work now? are u still in the hvac business? ill try to find work somewhere, and see about school. thanks for the advice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    10
    No, I don't work in the hvac field. After being on sites like this one over the last year and doing my own networking with people in the local hvac industry here in Northwest Indiana, I've learned that this is a very un-secure job field to get into unless you move to where it is warm all of the time like Florida. I've been told by many in the field that people can go longer without a working furnace than they can with a broken air conditioner. You know yourself that it wasn't too cold this last winter here, but our humidity during the spring and summer can be unbearable without a/c. I have a family and can't just up and move to another state like Florida without it being a major ordeal. I haven't seen too many job offers on this site that would make me feel comfortable making the move down south anyway. Like I said to you before, you are the one who must decide what is best for you. I just can't stand to see someone trying to get a "quality" education from Ivy Tech without being warned first from someone who has seen and experienced the b.s that they tell their students first hand.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    161
    I would have to dis-agree with you about this being an un-secure field. I attended WestSide Inst of Tech in Cleveland for 18 mos, many instructors had no real field experience, like you mention. But the basics and theory I learned really helped with that first position in the field. Have been in a tech for 15+ years, grown into commercial HVAC/energy managment/controls also and I can basically go anywhere I wish to work.

    Gritch:

    I dont know much about the IVy school, but I would stay in school and possibly work for a contractor while your attending school if you have time, I did. You continue to learn and try to be the best, you will have no problems whatsoever in this field. Learn Basic Energy Managment, Indoor Air Quality and keep informed in the digital control arena. HVAC is not just plain ole furnaces and air-conditioners unless thats all you want it to mean, HVAC/Energy Managment etc.. can be extreemly rewarding.

    A note on unions: I will tread carefully here.

    Unions are great in many ways, but if you are sharp a union is not a must , merit shops can be great too. If you are a sharp fellow, an union apprenticeship may slow you down/hold you back. Then again, if you want to learn the right way, you cant go wrong w/a union apprenticeship.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Orange County CA
    Posts
    1,084
    I worked for 15 years without a union. With that knowledge gained, the union reps in the supply houses were constantly bugging me to come over.I eventually did.

    It's tough when you are first getting started. Nobody wants you. I'd get basic understanding of the refrigeration/AC process,then find a job and apply it.

    No matter how much book learnin' you got,years in sevice is what will really count.

    I worked with an ex teacher...he was dumb as hell, but he could quote all kinds of useless theories and formulas.
    At times it was nice to have a walking refrigeration book to talk to, but I would find myself following him on callbacks.

    Not the case with all teachers...just my input.

    In the field since '87

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12
    thanks for your help guys. im going to stick with school, because at least ill have a degree, if nothing else. im just wondering if it would be good to get into an apprenticeship of some kind, or just find a job and learn from that? im not sure what my best course of action is? ive been trying to find an hvac job for a few months now, and some have been promising. i just have to wait for a month or so for a guy to get promoted, then ill be hired. im just not sure about up and quitting school. thanks for ur help guys, i really appreciate it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    10
    Hey Gritch!!! Let me ask you something. How many classes have you taken at Ivy Tech so far? I'll bet you've either just started, or have yet to start at all. But referring to what someone said a few posts back, Ivy Tech doesn't teach you anything but the useless formulas and things that you'll never use in the field. You will see this for yourself when Bill throws that useless Bullsh*t formula at you about how many B.T.U's it takes to melt a 20 pound block of ice at 10 degrees Farenheight into 212 degree steam. You won't hook up a set of manifold gauges to ANY hvac systems at all the first 10 to 11 months your in school, but boy you sure will go over that stupid useless formula at least 50 times. I talked to a guy in the field once and asked him if his company was doing any hiring for someone like myself who was in school. He asked me what I was learning and when I told him what I was learning, he laughed at me. I swear to you, this guy actually laughed at me and told me to come see him when I got some actual field experience. The bottom line is that I warned you about Ivy Tech. It's so ironic in the fact that guys on this site were telling me the same exact thing about Ivy Tech when I first started, but I was the stupid one for defending it and now I'm warning you. You'll see for yourself, trust me!!! If you don't believe me, then do me a favor. The next time you see Bill Williams, ask him to help you get your foot in the door somewhere. I guarantee you he won't help you, or he'll tell you that you're not even close to being ready to work in the field, EVEN AS A GRUNT LABORER!!! Ask most of the guys in the field who have attended Ivy Tech and you'll see that the Ivy Tech Degree, (or certificate) isn't worth the paper it's printed on. But hey, it's your wasted time and money, not mine. I learned, let's see if you learn too.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12
    hey what. i have about another year left of school. im not worried about the money, because i dont pay a dime. i just feel that ive already gone half way so i might as well finish it up. your right in the fact that most of the teachers dont know anything. it was either ivy tech, or eti. dont think i dont appreciate ur help. thank for responding.

  12. #12
    Back to the original subject. How to get into union?
    Contact the office of the local in your jurisdiction to see if they are taking applications for apprenticeships,if so apply.
    Having a 2-year degree wont hurt you. If you know someone who belongs to union, that can help you in the consideraton process. Hope this helps w/original question. Good luck.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Grand Cayman Island
    Posts
    134

    Cool

    You can call tne local union and see if any companies are looking for apprentices. Generally the company will have to sponsor you in the union and you will be able work only for them. You will not be able to change jobs while you are an apprentice for them without their permission.
    The union will probably give you credit for two years, and maybe as much as three on your five year apprentice program. You will have to go to school for the union at least two nights a week for the remainder of the apprentice program.
    Generally this is a good school and the hands on training you get at work will help in the learning process.
    Good luck
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]merken1[/FONT]

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