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  1. #1
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    Getting Into Construction Work?

    A not-too-close-friend of mine wants to get into construction work, but he doesn't know anyone already in the business, so I am asking on his behalf, as I know there are a lot of construction-type people on here. [I wish I were asking for myself--I love construction, but with a really bad back that keeps me from lifting anything, unpredictable pain, etc--I thought I would live through his next whim and ask on his behalf.]

    So, I thought about it, and I don't know how you get into it. My brother-in-law was into construction for a few years simply because his best friend from high school was already into it, so he got into it that way. (He doesn't do it anymore, though--screwed off too much.)

    In a tiny town where I once lived, I responded to an ad in the printed newspaper for a construction job myself, had an on-site interview, and that is when I discovered that I couldn't do it as I hurt my back the first day helping haul out an old cast iron bathbub...but printed newspapers are old news these days.

    So, how do all these guys get into construction? My friend likes the idea of new house construction or road construction, so I told him I will see what I can find out.

    He isn't good with resources to find a new job, and I am not good at it either as I have haven't looked for a job in over 8 years now, so other than looking at want ads in the printed versions of newpapers of yesteryear, we are both clueless!

    The other issue is that, like me, he doesn't look like a big guy who can do a whole lot, but don't let physical impression fool you--how can he get past that when he is trying to get a very physical labor-oriented job, as I assume a construction foreman would look at him and giggle on the inside a bit while talking to him?

    Should he just visit construction crews doing work and go up to someone and ask how to be hired?

    Internet searches? Newpaper ads (do they stil exist)?

    I am talking about blue-collar-type work here for him, as opposed to my sister's husband who went to school for two years, joined a union, and the union finds him work in his specialty, for example.

    He thanks you in advance. (I was going to have him join the forum and ask himself, but he can't get himself to visit any webpages that aren't...well, I don't think he has ever used a computer, honestly.)

  2. #2
    ....gets the cheese Second Mouse's Avatar
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    I got a job framing a house once, because someone I knew knew someone who was working on a house and they needed another body. Once you get in, you can sometimes make friends with the carpenters, or equivalent, depending on what type of construction, and they might be able to help line something up for you when the current job finishes.

    At the time I got the framing job, construction was booming, and right now is such a tough time to find a job in that industry. I'd suggest he hit up home builders at their offices, or your suggestion for visiting construction sites couldn't hurt.

    I don't know if this will help, but you could try here: http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/cs...989772165.html, although most of the positions advertised at craigslist are looking for people with some experience>>>http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/lab/.

    Hope it works out for him.

  3. #3
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    tell him to hang out at the local Lowes/HomeDepot with a sign!
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  4. #4
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Look up all the local unions in the phone book and talk to them about apprenticeship programs OR if he sees a construction site, pull over the car or bike and ask them if they're hiring.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  5. #5
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that construction is not likely to be a growth industry for awhile. We (here in the US) are way overbuilt. Homes, commercial property, you name it.

    You may be able to get work in hope repair and what have you, but pure construction will be flat for awhile...
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  6. #6
    K2ProFlex baby! ilikebikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SonataInFSharp View Post

    So, how do all these guys get into construction?
    Its easy, all you need are ties with the mob and your in!
    You see, their morals, their code...it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve

  7. #7
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    My son recently lost his residential construction/insurance repair carpentry job. He reports the residential construction industry in Seattle is just dead. People are not selling houses, remodeling houses or buying new houses. He is thinking of going back to college. He got into the business through a friend.
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by apclassic9 View Post
    tell him to hang out at the local Lowes/HomeDepot with a sign!
    Si!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  9. #9
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    It's not construction but if he's looking for a good blue collar career, have him look into getting a wastewater treatment plant operators license. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos229.htm

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikebikes View Post
    Its easy, all you need are ties with the mob and your in!
    ......drug test and $3fiddy union entrance fee.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by trsidn View Post
    Keep in mind that construction is not likely to be a growth industry for awhile. We (here in the US) are way overbuilt. Homes, commercial property, you name it.

    You may be able to get work in hope repair and what have you, but pure construction will be flat for awhile...
    My "hopes"have been dashed.Can you repair me?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  12. #12
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Does he actually have an aptitude for the work? How about work ethic? Does he have some semblance of professional pride in craftsmanship? Has he studied the history of building techniques and have a working knowledge of the concepts? If not, he may not be of value to any crew beyond laborer.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  13. #13
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spry View Post
    My "hopes"have been dashed.Can you repair me?
    Start drinking heavily.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  14. #14
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    Does he actually have an aptitude for the work? How about work ethic? Does he have some semblance of professional pride in craftsmanship? Has he studied the history of building techniques and have a working knowledge of the concepts? If not, he may not be of value to any crew beyond laborer.
    Everybody starts out as a laborer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
    Your rights end where another poster's feelings begin.

  15. #15
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
    Everybody starts out as a laborer.
    Many remain there.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  16. #16
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    On a more serious note: if he has experience in the field, he can get out the yellow pages & cold-call contractors to see if any of them are hiring. If he has no experience, he might look into area Vocational Schools. If your local Vocational High Schools have space in their classes, they might fill them with adults (Building Trades, Masonry, HVAC, Electrcity, Plumbing), or they may have some classes JUST for adults. If not there, try the community colleges for the same sorts of programs. In WV, the instructors usually are able to hook motivated students up with steady work.

    If he HAS experience in the field, but there's no local work available, tell him to look further afar... I hear people are still building in New Orleans!

    Another possibility for him - the "clean up" end of things. There's a whole world of post-flood clean up & repair out there!
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the thoughts so far; I haven't seen him yet so I haven't had a chance to share these ideas with him!

  18. #18
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    Been in construction since 1972. My word of advice is stay in school. Things were great from 1990 until 2005. Then things went downhill fast and will never recover in my lifetime to where values once were.

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