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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    7
    Hi, im certain this kinda thing gets discussed here alot but here goes again anyways.
    Im a 39 year old factory worker who just lost the same job of 16 years to outsourcing. All ive known all my life is working in a factory, the same factory. I am sitting here at home now after 3 weeks on unemployment not knowing what the hell to do with myself. I have a job offer at another factory, they took me on a tour of the place and i just about puked - i couldnt wait to get out the door for some reason, i really dont know why. I turned it down. The idea of going back into another factory, working another 10 years then having it pull out again....well.
    I have thought of going to school for some new trade but i just dont know what. I qualify for free schooling through some federal program called TAA. HVAC seems interesting, but i dont know anyone firsthand who does this kind of work to ask advice on. Im looking for a career where i can feel safe that its not gonna go away. I know any company can fold but so many factories are doing this these days.
    My questions are, For someone who goes to school for HVAC, graduates and all how hard is it to get a job in this field afterwards? And what on average do new guys with schooling make? I am 39, is that too old to start thinking of getting into this kind of work? Ive never done it before but consider myself somewhat mechanically skilled. I know alot of this can vary, but any help or advice would be apreciated.
    Good news as i said i can go to school pretty much for free. Bad news is i havent been inside of a classroom since i got out of high school so i know thats gonna be a change. Also i have no kids, no wife so thats less to worry about in a sense.
    One last question, im in the Dayton, Ohio area. Anyone know of any good place to go for training in the field?
    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Virginia Beach,Va
    Posts
    12
    Hey justdave
    I know exactly what your going through.I worked in tire retreading plants for 14 years making a living.Company was sold and they started flinging people off,so they could hire people for six dollars an hour leess than i was making to do the same job.That happend back in 2001.I've been taking HVAC at my local community college for about two years(two nights a week)and have about a year left for my certifcation.
    You need a plan.Contact your local community college and talk to a counsler they'll give you a course cataloge etc. You'll have to take an assesment test.I had to take a semester of English and pre alegbra.Community college is not at all like high school and in night classes everyone are mostly the same age you are(I,m 42)Community College isn't Havard/Yale it's for working class people.It's also tax deductable.
    I decided to take HVAC when I realised that thier's stupider people than me out there doing it making good money.I hope this message helps,check lower down in the job discussion posts for Tidewater Va student job hunting ,those messages may help a little.Talk to you later.
    ZCB



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,400
    Originally posted by justdave
    .... Im looking for a career where i can feel safe that its not gonna go away. I know any company can fold but so many factories are doing this these days.
    There is no factory job that can't be lost to cheap foreign labor and non-existant labor & environmental laws.

    However, the installation & service of HVAC systems CANNOT be imported.

    Those are skills that will always need local people.

    Also, design of the system to match a particular situation will always demand local attention.

    Your age is not a detriment to employment, if you are willing to work. You will need to take a long look at wages in your area.

    Especially starting wages. Some are ridiculously low.
    Be sure you can afford the time it will take to work your way up the "experience ladder".

    Good luck.





  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    Hummmmmm... just had to look and see if he WAS working for General Motors. Think we may see a lot of them in here looking for advice soon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    7

    LOL no im not a GM guy but i certainly know how those poor guys feel.
    Anyways thanks for all the advice, i am going to check out a couple schools tomorrow to see what kind of info i can get and maybe even call a couple local companies to see if i can get info out of them on how much they pay new guys. Im not looking to make a killing off the bat, i just want to make a fresh start in a new career and work my way up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    381
    Hey justdave,
    I live in the Dayton ohio area, I went to a local vocational
    school and got my certificate there. When I came out of it I felt there was a lot more I needed so the last year Ive been going to Sinclair (im sure you know of it). I really like it there. Im glad I did the vocational thing too they seem to do more hands on but Sinclair teaches in more professional way because there at a college level. More book work and less hands on. Im 53 years old, a younger guy coming out of a vocational school could get on with a company and get the rest of his training thru them by working with a seasoned pro but at my age most companys wont take you on to train and I couldnt afford the pay cut from what Im making now.( im a machinist by trade). So thats why im going on to college to get some extra schooling and I will be going up to Sidney ohio this summer to Copeland to take in some of there seminar training that they offer. Also take note, there maybe more job opportunities in this field but it is a lot more harder work than you probably have encountered at the factory and the hours can be 24/7. very rare to find 9-5 type job here.
    Just read all the post on here and you will see a lot of people complanning about the screwed up hours they work.

    Good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    7

    Smile

    Thanks for the info Kritic, Sinclair is the main place ive been checking into for schooling. I am really eager to get this thing in motion now.I am waiting on a counselor to get in touch with me from there, hopefully he/she will call sometime today and can help me get things going.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    381
    call and ask for Jim Eller he is the main guy over the program there. Has a lot of good info and is a great teacher.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Near Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,317
    Originally posted by bwal2
    However, the installation & service of HVAC systems CANNOT be imported.

    Those are skills that will always need local people.

    Also, design of the system to match a particular situation will always demand local attention.

    Your age is not a detriment to employment, if you are willing to work. You will need to take a long look at wages in your area.

    Especially starting wages. Some are ridiculously low.
    Be sure you can afford the time it will take to work your way up the "experience ladder".

    Good luck.
    Have you noticed the influx of immigrants in the trades lateley? Plenty of Eastern Europeans doing HVAC and electrical in my area, most for much less than any legit, much less union, shop can compete with.

    The outsourcing is coming here.

    Residential shops in my area do not want people over a certain age.
    Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance

    "There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too little.
    When you pay too much, you lose a little money -- that is all. When you pay too little, you may lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.

    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot -- it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."

    John Ruskin


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    chicago suburbs
    Posts
    4,422
    dave...just a question. were you in a union at the factory? if so what concessions did the company want from you or did they just want to outsource your job? you should check the local unions. good luck in your endeavors.
    FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    7
    Originally posted by tinner73
    dave...just a question. were you in a union at the factory? if so what concessions did the company want from you or did they just want to outsource your job? you should check the local unions. good luck in your endeavors.
    Yes, we were part of the steelworkers union. As far as concessions, they didnt ask for any. Just called a meeting with our local union officials, told us they were closing the plant and moving to Mexico - no questions asked, no deals no second chance. We had heard rumors this was coming, plus they gave us like a 8th month notice so it gave everyone time to prepare at least.
    Best part is from what i have heard the plant in Mexico is falling on its butt, they are losing money like mad on this deal.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    7

    Smile

    Just a little bit of a update on my situation for anyone interested. I got enrolled today in schooling for HVAC so their is no looking back now! I start school January 3rd and am really looking foward to it. I know this is gonna be a big change from what ive done in the past but i think im ready for the challenge. Once again, thanks to everyone for the advice and when i get stuck on my homework i will stop by to get you people to help me out!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    381
    Hey JustDave,

    What classes and what day or nights are you taking, may be we will be in a class together?

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