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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    79

    Associated Builders & Contractors apprenticeships - who has done one?

    So, I just turned down a job offer, because I got another one. Both were in the 'install help' category, and frankly I had to take one or the other because entry-level options around here have gone from slim and are quickly approaching none.

    Anyway, part of the second job offer is advancement into a sponsored Associated Builders and Contractors HVAC apprenticeship (it's a merit shop, obviously) if I perform well/want further the career with the company/don't burn down the houses I'm installing in, etc.

    I'm curious... the national and state ABC websites have some useful information, but if anyone here who has done one of these wanted to weigh in, I'd certainly appreciate it. How do they differ from, say, a UA apprenticeship?

    I've been trying to search for this here at the board. But, 'ABC' 'Associated' 'Builders' etc aren't exactly narrow search terms, or ones the board won't drop as being too common, lol.

    If this should have gone into general discussion or somewhere else, just move it please.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I didn't just take the position just for the apprenticeship possibility. There were other factors too:

    Place I will be working for:
    * Been around since the mid 1970s. Very established.
    * $12/hr start for field help, plus actual benefits, insurance etc.
    * Interviewed by the son and daughter of the company owner, very professional interviews. Son actually did start in the field before entering the office.
    * Large - about 150 employees, big facility, covers a lot of the state, etc.
    * Takes safety, quality control, etc very seriously.
    * Properly trained employees (apprenticeships, etc.)
    * Lots of work. Big contracts for new constructions, service, etc. Not having to scrabble at upselling homeowners for every $$$ they make.
    * Community service and charity work. H for H, etc.

    Place I passed on:
    * Has been around for about 5 minutes.
    * Piecework/sales place that hires whatever they can find, sends them through 2-3 classes and puts them in the install truck. Then throws them into servicesales.
    * Wanted me to sign a two year employment contract saying I wouldn't work for anyone else if I left/was fired before two years. Judging by the regularity and variety of their job listings...they're not good at retaining people.
    * $9/hr for help, almost no benefits of any kind. For anybody at the company.
    * Trucks have *nothing* on them. Not even a f*cking ladder. And if what you've stocked your truck with gets stolen, you're on the hook.
    * Interviewed by a greasy used-car-salesman tech. After the interview was done I seriously made sure my wallet was still there. Let's just say I'd keep him away from my sister.
    * Their website and facebook pages proudly feature work they didn't do...with the company logo badly photoshopped onto the trucks, etc.
    * Goodman

    Hopefully I made the right choice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190
    You accepted a job for someone who has a heart (H4H) AND believes in apprenticeship?
    Sounds like a first class bunch to me. Good luck with what sounds like a career,
    not just a J-O-B Be patient, things don't just happen overnight
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Baltimore MD and Ridgebury PA
    Posts
    542
    I recently completed an apprenticeship program sponsored by ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) in Maryland. In our region it is actually a joint program between ACCA and ABC with ABC handling most of the administration. In Maryland, at the completion of the Journeyman's program (a 4 year program) and 8000 hours of documented OJT (On the Job Training) you automatically you get your state Journeyman's license.

    Class time here averages about 2-3 hours in the evening 2 days per week during the Fall and Spring semesters. The program was pretty good overall but there were some things that could have been improved... like more 'lab' time. I have heard that in other regions of this state the program is more vigorous with weekly labs.

    Regardless, I would certainly take advantage of any training offered, especially if your employer is offering to reimburse you for the classes when you successfully pass them. That being said, I would recommend you take advantage of the program even if they didn't offer to reimburse you.

    As an aside, you may want to see if the program is approved in your state as it is in Maryland but even if it isn't it is likely worth taking.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    131
    I turned down an entry level sheet metal "labor position" and tomrow i have another interview for a similar position of installing and helping a sheet metal mechanic. Most places wont just apprentice you out of the gate. They will either have u as a co op student or a laborer the reason being a guy told me is he gets to test the person out for cheap. So if you work hard and hold your own you will get your apprenticeship. But if your useless chances are they will keep you as a labourer or just let you go. But once you prove worthy and get signed up your golden.

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