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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone

I am from Utah. I recently applied at the local 354 IBEW. Passed the test and took the interview. I wasn't accepted even though interview seemed to go well and scored well (according to dave kingery who i spoke to) but when I called I was informed it was due to lack of work and they informed me I was on the list to begin and when work picked up later on I would most likely be given a call. I was wondering if this sounds right or they were just trying to make me feel better.:laughing:

I am really wanting to become an electrician but in all honesty I rather due to do it through a union based program. If anyone is in the local IBEW and could let me know what job outlook is looking like I would be greatly appreciative. Glad to be here and hope to start work soon and learn from you guys!:thumbup:
 

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Not familiar with your area but what happened is not unsual. You state you are on the list to be called for work so that sounds like you have been accepted BUT like they said, slow work.

Bus. Mgr. - Fin. Sec.: Richard Kingery
that's the top o' the heap.

according to their website:


Posted: February 15, 2008
Salt Lake City, Utah (i,mt,rts,&spa).

Work has slowed down, we will not be needing any travelers until the spring
Apparently they were not pulling your leg. Hang on for a bit. Keep checking in with them to see how the work pic is going before you go another direction.
 

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It happens...
Get the schooling thing started....did you ask if they were sending you Aug/Sept.?

The work thing will happen when there is work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Like I said the letter I received said I wasn't accepted, but when I spoke to the head he said they normally would have accepted me but due to lack of work they hadn't so when/if work picked up they would give me a call. So maybe on the "waiting to be accepted 'list'" haha.

I called again about a month after that and they said they were still trying to get some of the original apprentices back to work and when they did that they would be calling people off the 'list.'

I guess I am just confused at this point.
 

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Ok, now it makes sense to me. It happens in our local sometimes as well.

They determine the number of newbies by the need calculated. So what happens is, that number gets brought in and starts work and school as usual. Then, they have a second round list of sorts where if work does allow and the need presents itself, they will take in more apprentices.

Don;t give up hope but don;t starve waiting either. Keep in contact and let them know you are still interested.

One thing to note. When there was somebody here that wanted in and had trouble getting in the fromt door, if they went and worked for a non-union contractor for a period of time, the organizer would "organize" them in and they would be put in the apprentice program. Kind of a back door way in but it usually worked.
 

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So What now?

Are you gonna just wait? Or perhaps get a job with an Electrical contractor and start to learn?

Every little bit helps. You want to learn the TRADE or you don't.

It is a career, not a job. unless you want it to be.:thumbsup:
 

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Ok, now it makes sense to me. It happens in our local sometimes as well.

They determine the number of newbies by the need calculated. but it .

And for those testing (or about to), It has been rumored that they scale the scores, dependinng on the need for workers.
So don't be surprised if you fail. No work no license.

Uncle Sam at his best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh yeah I had forgot to mention that he said they had not taken ANYONE into the apprenticeship in the last few months when I spoke to them after the interview hence why they would normally have taken me but the work load dictated otherwise. I currently have a job and am fine with staying at it til whenever.

I have my reasons for wanting to go union and I want to make this a career. So I rather hold out for the best possible situation for myself so it turns out career oriented and not just another 'job'. I feel like I could go non union but it wouldn't suit me to what I want in a career so I would most likely feel like I would want something different as far as things like pension, wage (I know union doesn't ALWAYS make better), benefits, etc. I am interested in the trade but at the same time I am trying to look out for myself at the same time. I don't want to sound lame about it but just trying to get my point across I guess.:thumbup:
 

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Dave has been running the JATC for ages, Rich is his boy and our new BA(was pres. for many years prior) Dave's other boy is a 3rd year on our job(kinda pompous). When you call try asking for Carl first, he's much better at divulging info and cares about the guys more.
Early December a lot of very big projects wound down which put over 40 apprentices on the list in a short time. Our project took 4 off the list a couple weeks ago who had all been out of work for 6-8 weeks.
So it's slowly starting back up, but of course won't get real strong till mid spring. This is the first time we've had surplus apprentices in 3 years, but there's a lot of real big projects on the horizon(other guys could ramble em off to you) that should carry on another 5 years.
I problem I see is that they hired so aggressively for quite awhile (in October 45% of apprentices were first years). So I think they really scraped the bottom of the barrell, but once a guy's in he's taken care of until he really screws up to get himself tossed out.
The process is long to bring guys in, but they don't interview if they're not going to be needing guys. So just sit tight, bug em every few weeks if you like, but expect a call probably May or June I'd say. And if it helps I'd much rather start in summer than winter.

-joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks a lot Joe and everyone that has posted so far! A lot of great info. If you guys have any directions you could point me in to learn more before I get on a job or just anything to add I would love to hear it. I have been roaming the board trying to read up on a lot of stuff about peoples experiences and just anything technical I can.
 

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33 on the hire list of 100 is good(most the others probably have experience/schooling, are older, or know someone). When they call they'll schedule an orientation and then ask how soon you can quit your current job after that you're in for 5 years, then earn the respect to go wherever you want in the country to work, pick up and leave a contractor for no reason other than the wind was blowing the wrong way and leave no hard feelings, and best of all to treat every new apprentice like a piece of garbage, hahaha.

The schooling is the best you can get and if you enjoy math and science you'll eat up every bit of it and be completely amazed at times by how oddly complex this electrical stuff is that people take for granted every day.

The school is not paid in full as I've heard it is in some locals, but the 'J-dubs' give a dollar an hour toward apprentice training (paid by contractor actually), so it is far cheaper than going the CC route. Currently 250 a semester and average 250/year for books. It's backed by Ogden/Weber ATC which is right out your back door if you wanted to go for your AA, or even further (tuition would be paid).

We do day school with our local, which is odd for a non-working man friendly state, but it's better suited for 1 local covering the entire state. But it means that every 6 weeks roughly you'd take a week off work (collect unemployment) and attend 30 hours of school. Taking that week off was nice the first couple years, but then as work got easier and school got harder it kinda sucked. But the teachers are great(they're electricians too) and catching up with all the others guys in class that you may have worked with or some that you may never work with is always nice, after all; it's all about the Brotherhood
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah I worded the school being free a little off I meant free as compared to like 2000 a semester for tuition at some colleges + books haha. I remember reading about the 7 weeks on the job then 1 week off for school deal. Sounds like it could be a nice way to keep things changing up.

And yes I can't wait to have my balls busted every day by the journeymen and pretty much every one at the work site. :laughing: I guess I understand and support seniority at a job and it does really weed out the guys that don't want to be there or are just looking as electrician as another job and not a career.

I can't express how excited I am to get into work. Hopefully its sooner then later but I won't hold my breath either. I remember when I talked to dave and he told me it would probably be a few months I just thought to myself haha I guess this him saying "Welcome to union life. Now get on the bench with everyone else.":laughing:
 

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I have to chime in here. I was a union pipe fitter for 10 years and come from a strong union family. My father was a charter member from his hall and in his day actually had fist fights on the right of way over job conditions. After I got married I had to stop living in motels and travelling so I settled down and took some adult education courses. I started working in a friends family electrical business (non-union) and progressed from there. Eventually I worked up to the point (later for other contractors) where I was running large commercial and industrial jobs. I knew I wanted to either start my own business or join the union. I made 2 trips to interview at the local hall and both times was treated like a total newb/outsider. They wanted to start me out as a journeyman in training and pay me like an apprentice and have me attend JATC school. They also told me of one of thier recent "successes" who I knew from a contractor we had both worked for in the past. I said , yeah I knew the guy and didn't think much of him. (6 months later that "success" was arrested for knocking down old ladies and taking their purses for crack money) Long story short I'm working for myself with no regrets. It's common knowledge in my area that it's not what you know, but who you **** in the hall that gets you work.
My advice, get cracking with the work and if the union is in the cards for you, you can join anytime. Good luck with whatever you do.

BTW, I guess this is my hello. I'm an elecrical contractor; been in business for 6 years for myself and by myself.
 

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My advice, get cracking with the work and if the union is in the cards for you, you can join anytime. Good luck with whatever you do.

BTW, I guess this is my hello. I'm an elecrical contractor; been in business for 6 years for myself and by myself.
Hello and welcome Sandman.
I must agree with the idea that nonunion experience is still experience, and that is what you will need.
I also went the nonunion route early on and after making journeyman decided I liked the maintenance role
better than construction.
My nonunion job gave me more than enough skill to become a trouble shooter
and has kept me fully employed for the past 40 years. The last 30 have been in union factorys.
If nothing else my nonunion days make me appreciate the union more.:)
 

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I have to chime in here. I was a union pipe fitter for 10 years and come from a strong union family. My father was a charter member from his hall and in his day actually had fist fights on the right of way over job conditions. After I got married I had to stop living in motels and travelling so I settled down and took some adult education courses. I started working in a friends family electrical business (non-union) and progressed from there. Eventually I worked up to the point (later for other contractors) where I was running large commercial and industrial jobs. I knew I wanted to either start my own business or join the union. I made 2 trips to interview at the local hall and both times was treated like a total newb/outsider. They wanted to start me out as a journeyman in training and pay me like an apprentice and have me attend JATC school. They also told me of one of thier recent "successes" who I knew from a contractor we had both worked for in the past. I said , yeah I knew the guy and didn't think much of him. (6 months later that "success" was arrested for knocking down old ladies and taking their purses for crack money) Long story short I'm working for myself with no regrets. It's common knowledge in my area that it's not what you know, but who you **** in the hall that gets you work.
My advice, get cracking with the work and if the union is in the cards for you, you can join anytime. Good luck with whatever you do.

BTW, I guess this is my hello. I'm an elecrical contractor; been in business for 6 years for myself and by myself.
If the union is in the cards for the OP, he cannot just "join anytime." If that were the case, there'd be few if any nonunion electricians. In your case, you progressed through the ranks of nonunion work and then decided to become either a contractor OR join the union... I'll bet it was about that time you began worrying about your future and wanted more than your current situation could offer?
 

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If the union is in the cards for the OP, he cannot just "join anytime." If that were the case, there'd be few if any nonunion electricians. In your case, you progressed through the ranks of nonunion work and then decided to become either a contractor OR join the union... I'll bet it was about that time you began worrying about your future and wanted more than your current situation could offer?
That would presume that almost all non-union electricians are wanting and/or waiting to join. I don't think that's the case. And I made a career change decision becase most of the small to medium shops were going out of business (including the one I was working at) and only large union shops or single dba'ers were left.
 
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