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Old 04-30-2019, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Getting into an IBEW Apprenticeship

Hello everybody. I'm trying to get into an IBEW apprenticeship program here in Los Angeles, but I have no experience. I've interviewed with three different locals and wasn't accepted into any of them. I'm wondering what is the best thing for me to do -- go to school or get some experience?
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:44 PM   #2
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The IBEW apprenticeship program is not expecting you to have any prior electrical experience or schooling, so that's not the reason they didn't accept you.
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:56 PM   #3
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Do these locals have material handlers? That’s a good door in... also, I’ve worked non union and union... why not just go non union and continue to apply, I can ALMOST guarantee if you go non union and then apply, you’ll be ranked top 25. Non union isn’t that bad, worst case scenario, you spend 4yrs non union and then organize in.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:32 AM   #4
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Thanks LawnGuyLandSparky and cwsims84 for the insight. I can't go for a non-union apprenticeship right now, because I'm still on the wait list for that. They do have something called the "CW [construction worker] program", which might be like being a material handler like you mentioned, so I guess I'll give that a shot.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:13 AM   #5
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Don't feel bad, back in the early 90's I was rejected" by local 11 because, and I quote, "I didn't have any family in the union". I had around 15 years experience, and was doing industrial new construction, and maintenance electrical. They spun me right at the door. It was a different time for unions back then. A few years after that local 477 welcomed me with open arms. Even put me in the advanced apprenticeship program. But I had around 20 years experience by then. Bottom line, get some experience, and try again.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:17 AM   #6
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Don't feel bad, back in the early 90's I was rejected" by local 11 because, and I quote, "I didn't have any family in the union". I had around 15 years experience, and was doing industrial new construction, and maintenance electrical. They spun me right at the door. It was a different time for unions back then. A few years after that local 477 welcomed me with open arms. Even put me in the advanced apprenticeship program. But I had around 20 years experience by then. Bottom line, get some experience, and try again.
joebanana, do you have any advice on how to get experience? All the jobs on indeed seem to be asking for people with experience.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:32 AM   #7
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joebanana, do you have any advice on how to get experience? All the jobs on indeed seem to be asking for people with experience.
The CW/CE program is a recent development union-wise. It's a dual function program, in that it provides a foot in the door for the inexperienced, and cheap labor for the signatories. I'm not real familiar with the inner workings of the program, but after so many hours you can go right into the apprenticeship. And, there seem to be an abundance of them on projects. Talk to an organizer about it.
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:55 AM   #8
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the cw/ce program is a recent development union-wise. It's a dual function program, in that it provides a foot in the door for the inexperienced, and cheap labor for the signatories. I'm not real familiar with the inner workings of the program, but after so many hours you can go right into the apprenticeship. And, there seem to be an abundance of them on projects. Talk to an organizer about it.
thank you.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:09 PM   #9
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Do the CW if you can.. I've applied before a few times to different locals with no success. Moved to my current local, got working about two months back as a CW and applied for apprenticeship. Just got the info for the orientation at the end of the month.

It seems there is some animosity toward the CW but of you show interest in the trade and are working towards the apprenticeship you'll be treated fine.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:39 PM   #10
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What you need is a "Father In law" or a "Brother In law" or volunteer for a Democrat committeeman, to work the polls or phone bank or the like.
Here in Saint Louis, Missouri we have Local-2, which did this. Local-2 imported a guy from Czechoslovakia. This young man only had one thing going for him. His sister was married to a guy down at the hall, that's it. He had to be taught how to read, right, speak English and how to drive in the US, then try for his CDL. His apprenticeship started back in 2013. A time when other guys where bailing out of Saint Louis all together, because there was no work anywhere for them. Back in 2014, this import apprentice complained that I and my guys weren't using the out riggers on our 40' basket/bucket truck. His journey approached me and asked me why we weren't using the "outriggers". I looked at the truck, then I looked back at him and said; "The reason where not using the outriggers is because that truck DOESN'T HAVE ANY and if it did, we would be using them". At this point you could have heard a sharpie drop onto US Hwy-67 going underneath Runway 11-29. That's when the j-man threw the apprent. under the bus, said he wasn't sure how he's going to work out. And, told me the story of how that dummy got in. I asked, what's wrong with allowing someone local to come in and do an apprenticeship. The j-man turned and walked away. FPN, if an employer wants to hire an employees son, grandson, nephew no problems with that. But when that employer is forced to take someone they don't want and not allowed to hire you, what's that called? There's a name for it, but can't seem to remember.

If you don't have "Nepotism" available to you, you are wasting your time. FPN; also, be aware that hours/years worked as a "second class" citizen do NOT count towards any retirement/health care benefits. Something else you won't be told either.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by joebanana View Post
Don't feel bad, back in the early 90's I was rejected" by local 11 because, and I quote, "I didn't have any family in the union". I had around 15 years experience, and was doing industrial new construction, and maintenance electrical. They spun me right at the door. It was a different time for unions back then. A few years after that local 477 welcomed me with open arms. Even put me in the advanced apprenticeship program. But I had around 20 years experience by then. Bottom line, get some experience, and try again.

Has that changed? Certainly not around here, for locals 1 and 2.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:45 PM   #12
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What you need is a "Father In law" or a "Brother In law" or volunteer for a Democrat committeeman, to work the polls or phone bank or the like.
Here in Saint Louis, Missouri we have Local-2, which did this. Local-2 imported a guy from Czechoslovakia. This young man only had one thing going for him. His sister was married to a guy down at the hall, that's it. He had to be taught how to read, right, speak English and how to drive in the US, then try for his CDL. His apprenticeship started back in 2013. A time when other guys where bailing out of Saint Louis all together, because there was no work anywhere for them. Back in 2014, this import apprentice complained that I and my guys weren't using the out riggers on our 40' basket/bucket truck. His journey approached me and asked me why we weren't using the "outriggers". I looked at the truck, then I looked back at him and said; "The reason where not using the outriggers is because that truck DOESN'T HAVE ANY and if it did, we would be using them". At this point you could have heard a sharpie drop onto US Hwy-67 going underneath Runway 11-29. That's when the j-man threw the apprent. under the bus, said he wasn't sure how he's going to work out. And, told me the story of how that dummy got in. I asked, what's wrong with allowing someone local to come in and do an apprenticeship. The j-man turned and walked away. FPN, if an employer wants to hire an employees son, grandson, nephew no problems with that. But when that employer is forced to take someone they don't want and not allowed to hire you, what's that called? There's a name for it, but can't seem to remember.

If you don't have "Nepotism" available to you, you are wasting your time. FPN; also, be aware that hours/years worked as a "second class" citizen do NOT count towards any retirement/health care benefits. Something else you won't be told either.
Here in Dallas anybody can join the IBEW. It's like open shop but with better pay.

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Old 06-12-2019, 06:52 PM   #13
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Here in Dallas anybody can join the IBEW. It's like open shop but with better pay.

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Do the hours/years worked go towards retirement pension/health care benefits?
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:59 PM   #14
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Do the hours/years worked go towards retirement pension/health care benefits?
Yup. Last I checked it was about $2.50 towards pension and $5.50 for health insurance. Probably a bit higher now.

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:01 PM   #15
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Yup. Last I checked it was about $2.50 towards pension and $5.50 for health insurance. Probably a bit higher now.

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My Total package here in Portland when I was still working for the man was $86hr(including all the bull**** the company pays to the union that doesn’t mean ****) main benefits being $49hr on the check, $13hr towards pensions and $10hr towards health benefits
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:29 PM   #16
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Yup. Last I checked it was about $2.50 towards pension and $5.50 for health insurance. Probably a bit higher now.

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My bad for not being more specific. Do the hours/years count if you don't have an IBEW Journeyman's card. This is what is known as "second class citizenship" inside a 2-tier club.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:47 PM   #17
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My bad for not being more specific. Do the hours/years count if you don't have an IBEW Journeyman's card. This is what is known as "second class citizenship" inside a 2-tier club.
Our CE and CWs qualify for the pension, but not the annuity.

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Old 06-21-2019, 09:32 PM   #18
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Has that changed? Certainly not around here, for locals 1 and 2.
I would like to think so, but......some locals are just more accepting than others, I suspect. I've noticed a few of the apprentices I've worked with lately have family in the local.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:15 PM   #19
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Hello everybody. I'm trying to get into an IBEW apprenticeship program here in Los Angeles, but I have no experience. I've interviewed with three different locals and wasn't accepted into any of them. I'm wondering what is the best thing for me to do -- go to school or get some experience?
Unions in LA are no joke, my buddy was lucky enough to have his dad be able to get him in the CW union, I asked if he could help me out since we played lacrosse together and he told me it doesn't work like that. I just interviewed with my local here in Virginia, there seems to be a more welcoming environment in medium level rural areas when I compare that to places out west that I have lived like LA and SF California. I know that's not what a guy from LA wants to hear.
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Old 06-21-2019, 10:32 PM   #20
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What you need is a "Father In law" or a "Brother In law" or volunteer for a Democrat committeeman, to work the polls or phone bank or the like.
Here in Saint Louis, Missouri we have Local-2, which did this. Local-2 imported a guy from Czechoslovakia. This young man only had one thing going for him. His sister was married to a guy down at the hall, that's it. He had to be taught how to read, right, speak English and how to drive in the US, then try for his CDL. His apprenticeship started back in 2013. A time when other guys where bailing out of Saint Louis all together, because there was no work anywhere for them. Back in 2014, this import apprentice complained that I and my guys weren't using the out riggers on our 40' basket/bucket truck. His journey approached me and asked me why we weren't using the "outriggers". I looked at the truck, then I looked back at him and said; "The reason where not using the outriggers is because that truck DOESN'T HAVE ANY and if it did, we would be using them". At this point you could have heard a sharpie drop onto US Hwy-67 going underneath Runway 11-29. That's when the j-man threw the apprent. under the bus, said he wasn't sure how he's going to work out. And, told me the story of how that dummy got in. I asked, what's wrong with allowing someone local to come in and do an apprenticeship. The j-man turned and walked away. FPN, if an employer wants to hire an employees son, grandson, nephew no problems with that. But when that employer is forced to take someone they don't want and not allowed to hire you, what's that called? There's a name for it, but can't seem to remember.

If you don't have "Nepotism" available to you, you are wasting your time. FPN; also, be aware that hours/years worked as a "second class" citizen do NOT count towards any retirement/health care benefits. Something else you won't be told either.
Where did you begin your career? I take it not the IBEW? The local I have experience with seems honest to me. They are probably considered good 'ole boys but that's how it is where I live. I crossed paths with four end of year one apprentices before my interview (think that went well btw) and they didn't seem to have any apparent nepotism working in their favor. That being said, I want to be an electrician before I want to be a union member so any info about good beginner gigs would help me out. Thanks for sharing that story
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