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Getting into a union or getting an internship or apprenticeship?

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  • Getting into a union or getting an internship or apprenticeship?

    Its kind of hard just coming straight out of my trade school and looking for an entry-level job in my field when no one wants to hire someone without a couple of years of job experience. I have had about eight months of hands on training, but not job training because I was still in school. What I'm asking you is if there was a way to rememdy this situation?

  • #2
    For starters, put yourself in the position of the company you want to work for. There's no doubt dumb bosses with all sorts of personal agendas, but most just want to make some money. How can you help them do that?
    Also, everyone hiring wants all the experience they can afford for that position. They may list experience as a requirement when they really mean it to be a desire. Regardless of what the ad says, try applying anyhow. If you're located where there is a big pool of qualified and experienced machinists, the companies will hire them. You'll need to make your skills or costs more attractive.
    BTW, I'm pretty sure most everyone on the list went through this for their first job. It doesn't make things easier, but you WILL get a job.
    Ron LaDow


    • #3

      Getting your foot in the door is hard anywhere these days regardless of job choice. If you can afford more school, and are still interested in machining consider taking courses on CNC operator and programming. These are skills comming into greater demand daily. If you produce any projects or parts keep them to show a prospective employer - answer questions honestly, letters from instructors can help (or not). Make sure you know how to use and care for the basic tools, learn how to read them properly. If you cannot measure a part, you will have a tough time getting a job.

      Expect to get the worst job in the shop (you have to start somewhere) and always do your absolute best. Never tell the boss he is full of BS, have respect for those that came before you, and listen and learn from everyone.

      Job hunting is tough, keep at it, do not get discouraged and believe in yourself. You will get the right job - do not give up!

      Good Luck Hunting...



      • #4
        When you go and ask for a job be as neat and plesant looking as possible,but don't over dress. Like looking for a machinest job, don't wear a suite and tie.

        When I was in school I had a professor that was personal supvisor for an oil co. He made the statement " during an interview if a person could not get by without a cigarette, he would not hire the person". Think about it,he has the job, you want,impress him.

        Keep going back every so often and talking to the person, even though there is no job,it shows interest.

        Hope I have not over stepped my self.
        Don\'t ask me to do a dam thing, I\'m retired.


        • #5
          tiffany -- In the last few months there have been several entry level machinist jobs advertised in north Texas (Dallas, Clarksville, Tyler) promising to train "qualified" applicants. You might consider changing locations if there is a glut of competition where you are.


          • #6
            Hi Tiffany, I appreciate your situation. It is hard to find work as a an entry level machinist especially in these hard times.
            In my local, everybody in the trade seems to be in the lay off or scale down mode.
            But don't get discouraged, keep looking, let the telephone do a lot of leg work for you, call some shops, see if they are hiring
            and ask if you can get an interview.
            Union shops may be another nut to crack,
            I have never had a union job, however I have
            worked for the same company for 23years and they have always treated me fair and right.
            If you can find a union shop, and get hired great!
            I also would watch the paper, and do a internet job search, and by all means go to the Machinists union, and tell them what you want. Ask if there any apprenticeships available.
            And finally, don't ask a potential employer if he has a position for a machinist. Say instead that you are looking for work, and if he hires you, do the very best work you can. Where I work, we have been going though a very slow time, the people I work for have been very gracious and
            kept us working. I see many guys standing around talking. They are the ones who came looking for a job. Then I see the ones who came looking for work, they are busy, When they run out of work to do, and can't find anything to do, they go to the boss and say
            I need some work to do. The work he gives them may be a bit out of their field, but they get work, and learn something new.
            NOW when layoff time comes around he will
            remember those who have worked hard, and those who have leached off the system, In my personal opinion, the worker has a better chance than the slacker.

            your friend, Jack

            [This message has been edited by gizmoid_52 (edited 11-23-2001).]


            • #7
              Hi Tiffany,

              The job market is tough right now, which is for sure. I got laid off from my hi-tech job a month ago, and the search has been rough. I assume that with Tiffany as a name that you are female? If this is the case, lets face it, your field is mostly men, and you need to exploit that advantage. Don't get me wrong, I am sure you measure up technically, and deserve the job as much as the next 'guy' with similar experience. However, if you have the opportunity to take advantage of entering a male dominated field, why not? Take advantage of your "minority" status. (Before anyone goes off on a political rant, this isn't about personal beliefs or what’s right or wrong, its about helping this person find a job)

              How can you take advantage of this? Find large companies that take government contracts. Because they take on these contracts they have to meet federal standards for all sorts of stuff, and that includes hiring practices.

              Also, go ahead and deal with relocation. The best jobs with the best companies will probably require relocating. Being open to relocation makes all the jobs in the world available.

              Some companies I would suggest are:

              Lockheed Martin
              United Airlines

              All of these companies handle billions in government contracts. Sure, most of them have done some huge layoffs, but lets not forget to exploit one last advantage. You are fresh out of school, and a hell of a lot cheaper than a person with 10 years experience. These massive companies need to hire "minorities" and they can afford you. Whatever you do, don't give up. Get on the Internet and send out resumes and letters till you can't see straight.

              Good luck,

              James Kilroy
              James Kilroy


              • #8
                I.m gonna asume your a girl and this is very good you are a minority point this out as it may help fill a quota. Just out of school everyone wants to start at the top of the heap being willing to do the crappy little jobs no one wants always scores points with the boss. Consider getting some experience in a job shop it anit GE but it pays the bills and gets you EXPERENCE. Good luck keep pluggin a good attitude will get you some altitude. Tom107


                • #9
                  You'll have to start at the bottom. Take a saw operators job in a small shop.
                  Be careful, measure twice, cut once.
                  In a small shop you will run out of work sawing.
                  The boss will set up a bridgeport and let you drill or mill in your spare time.
                  You have to gain the bosses confidence and make yourself more valuable at something other than the saw.
                  Few bosses will risk valuable equipment or materals on an unknown person.
                  If you can find an apprenticeship, thats the best. Apprenticeships are few and far between these days. Most apprenticeships have a long waiting list.

                  Good Luck
                  Kap Pullen


                  • #10

                    I'm new to this website but I have been impressed by the willingness, eagerness of its participants to share helpful knowledge.
                    One of the most successful means of finding jobs is through networking. Therefore, I would suggest that you inform us of the area in which you are seeking employment. The greater the number of persons that are aware of your need the greater the chance of finding the job. From recent personal experience of others, stay away from CNC shops, poor pay and very limited job experiences/opportunities (you are just a parts loader). A job in a job shop where you will receive a variety of shop work is far more useful for your future in this trade.

                    Remember that regardless of the current bleak aspect of the job market-there is always a job waiting to be filled. Recently a friend who was looking for work just picked up the phonebook and began going thru the machine shop listings. Found two jobs right away. Shop owners were desperate for help. And this in the Silicon Valley area that is currently so depressed. So, keep trying friend, good luck.


                    • #11
                      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tiffany Finks:
                      Its kind of hard just coming straight out of my trade school and looking for an entry-level job in my field when no one wants to hire someone without a couple of years of job experience. I have had about eight months of hands on training, but not job training because I was still in school. What I'm asking you is if there was a way to rememdy this situation?</font>
                      Yes, the American trade system is a joke! I learned welding on the job by a friendly enough, but very demanding GERMAN patternmaker, trained in BERLIN, post WWII. He told me when HIS apprenticeship (the old European guild system) was over he had a job set up for life. One catch though, he said he could never own his own house there, so he came to the USA in 1960.// You need to knock on a lot of doors, actually door to door, DON'T GET DISCOURAGED! Get yourself a phonebook and business directories, go to the library for help, ask a reference librarian, most all my jobs were from newspaper ads. STAY AWAY FROM AGENCIES! If you want to work, do quality work, be there every day, don't do drugs, and work cheap enough to get your foot in the door, and be willing to pick up a broom if they ask you, you won't have any problems.// When I go to an interview, I am dressed in clean work clothes, READY TO WORK!, tool box in the car, and I tell them too, when they ask me, "When can you start," I say, "Immediately!"// It's a numbers game, kind of like playing the lottery. Just apply to a whole lot of companies. If I had to start over again, I'd find a jobbing shop, great place to learn. Better to go to an area where there is a lot of competition for skilled jobs, like Hackensack, NJ or around Patterson or Newark, NJ or St. Louis, you need to go to big industrial cities like Los Angelis ( I hear tell, you can change jobs once a week, there are so many shops in L.A.). Another route is the US NAVY, but get it guaranteed in writing, THEIRS, before you sign yours---the Rating is called Machinery Repairman, six years of solid experience.// Anyway, once in the job, stay a few years, buy yourself a mess of tools and a big toolbox with HANDLES on it, when the time comes to ask for more money and more opportunity, if they say NO---move on to the next job, that's how I did it.// Remember this, if you want it bad enough, you will find a way to accomplish it. (An old fart engineer told me that once, I thought he was nuts. But you know, he was exactly correct!). Now I am almost an old fart, wife says I already am!



                      • #12
                        Not "old fart" -- "elder statesman"!

                        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


                        • #13
                          Ben Franklin wrote a book called "Fart Proudly", and as a "elder statesman", I always do - share with your friends!

                          (sorry - could not help myself ;-) )


                          • #14
                            Hello Tiffany,

                            In my reply to your entry I should have specified that the reason that my friend was able to immediately pick up two job offers was that he had MANUAL SKILLS. CNC operators are a dime a dozen. This is why even a very modest position (at modest pay) in JOB shops that will familiarize you with a fuller view of the trade will be more rewarding.

                            After reading the "elder statesmens" comments I ask this question, Do you really wish to become involved with such uncouth rabble as these typical machinist types?


                            • #15
                              FROM A TEACHER IN THE FIELD

                              here is some advise. #1, what state are you from? In New Hampshire, there are programs offered through the state employment services that get people into internships, apprenticeships, and other things. I treach people from all fields. I also try to get my students into internships (called co-ops)during their training time. Check your state employment services.

                              #2, Check around, internet, other. Does your state have a machinist association? NH does, and it offers a "MECH TECH" program for people like you. This program is acually used in many states. Works on this principal. You are hired on in the MECH TECH program, you are rotated through 4 to 8 different shops in four years, work full time, have bennies, and at night you take classes through the local community colleges or other training facilities (I am one). At the end of four years, you have work experience, a valid certificate, and a degree in the field to boot. Three of my students have done this, they make more than I do (grumble). Feel free to start with the New Hampshire Machining Association on the web, e-mail them, and see if they might know of a machinist assn in your state.

                              #3. Check your local voc-tech - either HS or Post Secondary. Talk with the guidance personell, placement office, or the metals instructors, There are so many job offers for too few students. Being one of these teachers, if you came wandering into my shop, i would be on the horn getting our name out as a live one, and looking forward to your company helping pay for more training, and having a very willing student!!!!.

                              #4 - Check the NIMS ( web site to find certified schools, and call or visit them. each NIMS certified school has to have a group of companies helping in sponsoring them, read NETWORKING!!!!! read INTEREST IN TRAINING AND GOOD INTERESTED PEOPLE!!!!!

                              In spite of a recession, the jobs are still there!!! Just a few suggestions.

                              Please feel free to write with more info., I can see what I can help find out

                              CCBW, MAH