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.
Hopefully I made the right choice