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Old 04-16-2011, 09:02 AM   #1
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I passed the aptitude test and went to the interview for the local 531 Michigan city, Indiana last year and didn't get in. I asked the training coordinator what I could do to get in and he said take a class and try a re-interview. so the whole year off I have taken a NEC course and Basic electricity course along with taking computer fundamentals and algebra while working 48 hours a week. Also I have a 4.0 in all classes. They asked me give 3 reasons why I want this. Tell me of an experience when I worked with 3 or more people on a project. Tell me of a time when someone got on my nerves and what is my biggest achievement. I wanted to know what can I do and how good are my chances this year. I want this bad and I feel I am perfect for the program with my own transportation, good credit, no criminal background and I'm honest and reliable. I just need 1 chance to show them.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:07 AM   #2
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Probably has less to do with you at the moment, and more to do with the overall work situation in your area.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:12 AM   #3
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I feel more prepared now I didn't know anything about electricity like now when they asked the questions all i could relate to was where I work Ive been there for 4 years ever since I graduated. We make racing tires too which has nothing to do with electricity. I do remember the training coordinator saying i didnt have any experience. I looked at one of thier newsletters and they are getting raises and have work lined up with nipsco all winter .
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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I looked at one of thier newsletters and they are getting raises and have work lined up with nipsco all winter .
Yeah, but newsletters are supposed to be full of happy good news.

With all the people out of work, they can pick the cream of the crop. Don't let that discourage you, though. Keep trying if it's really what you want to do. Have you thought about getting some kind of tradecraft job to get a little experience under your belt, so you can eliminate that objection?
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:23 AM   #5
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well I graduated 07 and started this job 07 till present. I have asked around local electrical companies like personally owned. They wont hire me without experience. this is wierd to me because I cant work without experience and I can't get experience without work haha. I'm just praying they let me in the apprenticeship program if not I guess I'll be working where I'm at for five years and trying a third year to get into union but I'll have my industrial certificate done by then that will be cool.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:37 PM   #6
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I passed the aptitude test and went to the interview for the local 531 Michigan city, Indiana last year and didn't get in. I asked the training coordinator what I could do to get in and he said take a class and try a re-interview. so the whole year off I have taken a NEC course and Basic electricity course along with taking computer fundamentals and algebra while working 48 hours a week. Also I have a 4.0 in all classes. They asked me give 3 reasons why I want this. Tell me of an experience when I worked with 3 or more people on a project. Tell me of a time when someone got on my nerves and what is my biggest achievement. I wanted to know what can I do and how good are my chances this year. I want this bad and I feel I am perfect for the program with my own transportation, good credit, no criminal background and I'm honest and reliable. I just need 1 chance to show them.

Lets cut the BS and let you know how to really get in. You need to get a referral letter from a contractor. AKA..know someone. They just go through the interview process and tell you to take classes to cover their own asses for their acceptance procedures. How do you get a referral letter? You need to try to get some type of job working for them. The most common i've seen is truck/delivery driver. Those kids always get hired on...With no classes or experience!

FYI. Telling you to get work experience is another BS response. The apprenticeship is meant for people with no experience and as a first year you have tons of time to learn what you are doing because you are mostly running material and helping JW's. What i've seen is people who know people get in over others NO MATTER WHAT. They could be complete idiots or people with no experience and they will get in over people who have the experience, motivation, and the education.

Last edited by henderson14; 04-19-2011 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:07 PM   #7
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Ya that sounds pretty realistic, which sucks for me. I just got the letter to take the interview for the second year and they gave me a brochure on tips with the interview which they didn't give me last year. We will see I hope this works out it will suck to have to try a third time and maybe a 4th. Well... what about a letter of recomendation from my basic electricity professor? Will that work and should I bring it into the interview with the letter in hand or have him mail it? What do guys think?

Last edited by [email protected]; 04-20-2011 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Forgot to say something.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:26 PM   #8
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Ya that sounds pretty realistic, which sucks for me. I just got the letter to take the interview for the second year and they gave me a brochure on tips with the interview which they didn't give me last year. We will see I hope this works out it will suck to have to try a third time and maybe a 4th. Well... what about a letter of recomendation from my basic electricity professor? Will that work and should I bring it into the interview with the letter in hand or have him mail it? What do guys think?

It couldn't hurt, but is not at all equal to a contractor letter. A letter from a contractor is important because the contractors are the unions employers and if they want a certain person to work for them, the local needs to keep them happy. If you are extremely desperate you could try to forge a letter from a contractor if you can get a hold or make a company letterhead. You would also need to know the name of a superintendent or something. They would never call them.
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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Lets cut the BS and let you know how to really get in. You need to get a referral letter from a contractor. AKA..know someone. They just go through the interview process and tell you to take classes to cover their own asses for their acceptance procedures. How do you get a referral letter? You need to try to get some type of job working for them. The most common i've seen is truck/delivery driver. Those kids always get hired on...With no classes or experience!

FYI. Telling you to get work experience is another BS response. The apprenticeship is meant for people with no experience and as a first year you have tons of time to learn what you are doing because you are mostly running material and helping JW's. What i've seen is people who know people get in over others NO MATTER WHAT. They could be complete idiots or people with no experience and they will get in over people who have the experience, motivation, and the education.
Oh bull, I went in with zero experience, knew nobody, DO NOT LISTEN to this BS where you have to know somebody and have experience stuff.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:35 PM   #10
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Oh bull, I went in with zero experience, knew nobody, DO NOT LISTEN to this BS where you have to know somebody and have experience stuff.

Well there are always the exceptions. You might be the 1 out of 10 guys that gets in the honest way. But with work how it is today, there aren't enough excess spots open for guys like you to get in.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:20 PM   #11
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Well there are always the exceptions. You might be the 1 out of 10 guys that gets in the honest way. But with work how it is today, there aren't enough excess spots open for guys like you to get in.
Are you union? Do you know from experience, the only thing I can think of that would keep you out is messing up the interview, being a criminal, or you did something to piss them off before.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:42 PM   #12
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Are you union? Do you know from experience, the only thing I can think of that would keep you out is messing up the interview, being a criminal, or you did something to piss them off before.

While I do not agree with his methods, (forging a letter). Having an edge (dad, uncle, neighbor) never hurts. The more weight you have on your side the better the chances of getting in.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:30 PM   #13
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Are you union? Do you know from experience, the only thing I can think of that would keep you out is messing up the interview, being a criminal, or you did something to piss them off before.

I am union and have experience with multiple locals. While I was trying to get in I had friends in and they told me pretty much everyone knew someone. I've also had other people tell me the same before I got in. My brother also had the same experiences. He was in a technical program through his high school for electricians. Some of the kids in his class were at the top and had teacher recommendations and still didn't get in while others did because they knew someone. Local 134 in Chicago is one of the few that doesn't discriminate as much because they had some lawsuit and changed the way they let people in.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:04 PM   #14
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Experience counts. Especially if it's in the construction trades. The competition is fierce. If you are lucky, one in 10 applicants get into the apprenticeship. Sometimes it's 1 in 20 or 1 in 30. Someone who has actually worked on a construction job or worked within the electrical industry will score better than someone who hasn't, if all other things are equal.

Taking classes helps, but it's not the ticket to getting in. Most applicants have some classes related to the trade.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:08 PM   #15
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If you are extremely desperate you could try to forge a letter from a contractor if you can get a hold or make a company letterhead. You would also need to know the name of a superintendent or something. They would never call them.
Would you want to work with someone who forged a letter of recommendation? What does that say about the integrity of the applicant?

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Old 04-21-2011, 10:23 PM   #16
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Would you want to work with someone who forged a letter of recommendation? What does that say about the integrity of the applicant?

What about the integrity of the local? Why should someone have to forge a letter to get in. Shouldn't they be judged by more relevant factors other than nepotism?
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:13 AM   #17
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What about the integrity of the local? Why should someone have to forge a letter to get in. Shouldn't they be judged by more relevant factors other than nepotism?

Grandma use to say, two wrongs do not make a right.
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:42 AM   #18
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What about the integrity of the local? Why should someone have to forge a letter to get in. Shouldn't they be judged by more relevant factors other than nepotism?
I would have to agree with Brian on this, just because you deem the system corrupt, that in itself will not give you the right to be unethical and put yourself in a lower standard.As an unknown, it may sound unfair but maybe a referral from someone within the IBEW will carry more weight than from someone who has not helped the IBEW in any way?
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:01 AM   #19
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I would have to agree with Brian on this, just because you deem the system corrupt, that in itself will not give you the right to be unethical and put yourself in a lower standard.As an unknown, it may sound unfair but maybe a referral from someone within the IBEW will carry more weight than from someone who has not helped the IBEW in any way?

WE agree, we agree....SHAKE MY HAND BROTHER!.....

I am not a liar, or maybe HATE to be caught in a lie. I did LIE to get in the trade, you had to be 18 I was 17 at the time I got my first job. I was worried sick someone would find out until the day I turned 18. Then I fessed up. Just could not carry that burden.
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