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  1. #21
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    Most shops back in the day asked for a journeyman or equidistant. So having 10 years could get you in and the union was quick to give you a card. I entered the big shop with less than ten years and when I made the time they gave me a card. Yes, I had 4 years of Smith Hughes machine shop vocational training that they did not give me credit for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bdubb0301 View Post
    I do the hiring for my company, while I will interview someone with a journeyman’s card, I tend to find the people that have them are not as good as the people that don’t with the same amount of experience. While apprenticeship programs are regulated by the state, it’s up to the company to train their people, and most fall short.
    This is absolutely the case in the United States anymore. And has nothing to do with whether someone has a journeyman's card or not.

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    Default The worth of a certificate, Worth it or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdj View Post
    Is there a way to get this journeyman's card or certification if you are not in the union.
    I have worked at the same shop for over 10 years.

    My shop may close down in the next few years, and I think I need this to get a job.

    How important is this certification and how can I get this as a non-union worker.
    I wish I was a union member but this shop doesn't have a union. I am on good terms with my boss so I can ask him to write me a letter explaining my skills and experience if this would help.

    How should I proceed??

    Thank you for any advice you may have.
    I started in the craft in Chicago job shops when I was 14 years old. I worked at all levels of the trade for 55 years. It is the work you can do and your skills. If you have faith in yourself you don't need a certificate. Go for it! I found that in one shop your a dog and in another your the greatest thing the since the chicken soup. All the best.

    Roger

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    Yes, my son, you have seen light. You are wise beyond your years. The union has far more to offer, far more than the independent machinists could ever give you. You have seen how the path of the independent machinist leads to nothing but petty misery and suffering. And for what? For nothing. Just inertia and ignorance prevents them from seeing the best path forward. It is a sign that you have some foresight, that you see the future and can glimpse where it lies: with the union. Do not allow the independent machinists to confuse you with their lies. They are spiteful and jealous and will try to turn you away from opportunities that they themselves have missed. They are bitter and their only solace is to ruin your future as well as their own. But I sense you know all this already and have started to make the right plans. Go forward with confidence and seize your rightful share of the power and wealth that the union will give you!

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    The easiest way to get into machining is to take a job at the lowest pay shop, even as just a machine loader, and work your way up the ladder likely taking ten years to become a lathe grinder of mill hand. some guys never get past the lowest job. some of these guys work up to a fine shop and make almost as much, sometimes more than the union shop.
    Lucky enough to get a union job right off one has to trudge through an apprenticeship for 4 years or so and learn math, blueprints, some skills along with hours on the job so being a shortcut to credentials.
    Getting a job at Boeing, Caterpillar or the like would be the berries of jobs but those spots are limited.
    Badmouthing Union jobs is foolish because union bargaining has raised the pay, safety, and benefits for all the guys in the tool trade.
    Agree there may be 5 or 8% of union guys who should have been given the boot, but many/most union guys are every bit as good as all the other guys.

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    When did the USA get away from really good apprenticeships, and what do the European's do so differently to make them so popular over there? I have recently watched NYCCNC's YouTube factory tours of both Hermle (in Germany) and Grob (German company in the USA) and all of them proudly showed off quite extensive apprenticeship programs.

    Recently my company was bidding on some custom machinery for the German market and I was blown away by how much better our competitor's equipment looked. Functionality wise I would say our stuff was ahead but craftsmanship wise our German competitors had us beat hands down! Later when I was on their website and saw them boasting about their apprenticeship program along with seeing some of the German factory tours on YouTube it all made a lot more sense. The difference in worker training on the factory floor between my place vs Germany is night and day!

    On a funny note I was relating the story to a coworker who spent two years working in Germany. He told me that apprenticeship programs are such a way of life over there. He went on to tell me of reading in the local paper of how the local prostitutes union was trying to start up a formal apprenticeship program for their whores! He swore he wasn't making it up and I kind of sort of believe him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adammil1 View Post
    When did the USA get away from really good apprenticeships,.
    I'd say late 80's.
    The increasing use of cnc played no small role in this.

    Europe has been different on apprenticeships even before this and perhaps forever in the past.
    Getting on a apprenticeship in the 80's was hard, now it is just about impossible and luck.
    One big difference here and across the pond is the number of apprenticeships offered by a company.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by adammil1 View Post
    When did the USA get away from really good apprenticeships, and what do the European's do so differently to make them so popular over there? I have recently watched NYCCNC's YouTube factory tours of both Hermle (in Germany) and Grob (German company in the USA) and all of them proudly showed off quite extensive apprenticeship programs.
    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I'd say late 80's.
    The increasing use of cnc played no small role in this.
    Companies in the US these days only want to hire people who already have the training they want, none of them want to foot the bill. If they do have to do any training it will be the absolute bare minimum to do whatever they want. Plus once you do get to the point where you have been there a number of years you become more of a cost liability to them where they look to replace you with a cheaper trainee. All part of the USA's short term gains bullshit at the cost of longevity.

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    All these companies have a hard time finding qualified machinists I wonder why? Maybe because all of our young people are told "you need a college degree". LMAO. I know someone who has a master's degree in English Lit and makes less that me by a long shot. I don't have a degree. MOST people you talk to think the machining trade isn't a "real" profession, or is dirty and grimy and you don't make shit for wages (can be true!). Hell most people don't even know what machining is in general. I grew up in shops and thus I know machining. I started as a shop hand, running deliveries from the waterjet shop, black oxide shop, sweeping floors, basic sawing etc. Nothing complicated. I knew how to read a drawing. That gained me my next job with an extra $1/hr because I wasn't a fucking idiot and could read a print. CNC mill operator...then i did setups, then I started programming, then i was managing 4 other machinists. That shop took a chance on me and it paid off for both parties. I scrapped some high dollar projects, but I also made them a shitload of $$$. Most companies just aren't willing to do that, though.

    Fast forward, I busted my ass and spent countless hours reading and learning. I'm the guy that reads tooling catalogues for fun. And now I run my own shop and get to tell other people what to do and make the coolest shit... ZERO formal training. I teach the kids getting engineering degrees how to machine. Ha, that's ironic isn't it?

    In the end my point is - union or non union, no one actually wants to put in the hours to train someone who will just jump ship for an extra $1/hr at the first chance. This creates a self-fulfilling cycle where shops can't find good workers because no one is training good workers, thus creating no good workers. IF companies incentivized staying by offering COMPETITIVE wages and a true path of growth and advancement, things might change. Companies like Grob US and Hermle are doing that, but that isn't like a Ford or a GM doing it. We need this to SCALE.

    I got lucky and fell into a trade that I like. Alot of people don't even know where to get started and it sucks. I know there are technical colleges and what not, but that is like 10% of the whole equation. It isn't strictly limited to machining, kids aren't taught that there are alternatives to 4yr colleges. Part of the problem is the "old timer" strategy of siloing knowledge and information in their brain instead of documenting it and passing it on down the chain to the newbs. Manufacturing in the United States cannot survive without a massive injection of training capital and government spending. I wonder if Biden's infrastructure bill will help.

    My "self-created" path is not something scalable. I got lucky. We need real investment, and we need companies to treat employees as assets instead of liabilities. Across all industries, not just manufacturing.

    /end rant
    Last edited by metalmadness; 03-29-2021 at 08:38 PM.

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  14. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdj View Post
    Is there a way to get this journeyman's card or certification if you are not in the union.
    I have worked at the same shop for over 10 years.

    My shop may close down in the next few years, and I think I need this to get a job.

    How important is this certification and how can I get this as a non-union worker.
    I wish I was a union member but this shop doesn't have a union. I am on good terms with my boss so I can ask him to write me a letter explaining my skills and experience if this would help.

    How should I proceed??

    Thank you for any advice you may have.
    The card is for people who successfully completed an apprenticeship...ONLY. Maybe you can buy one on Aliexpress?
    Anyway, the American machinists never had enough sense to protect their unions, so for the most part, they lost them, their benefits, their pay, their pensions and their pride. And, when they lost them, they lost the need for journeyman's cards. Rarely do you see anyone requiring a card, or people with any skill, for that matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pops2004 View Post
    I’ve been a machinist since I was 16. I’m now 74 and the world has really changed in all those years. What I was in high school in the early 1960’s they taught metal shop, wood shop, electronics and several other trades. Now days these trade classes aren’t even offered in high school. If they are offered it’s very hard to take them.

    My son was in high school in the 90’s and wanted to take metal shop. He went to one of the few schools that still had shop classes. He was told by his counselor that he was to smart to take shop classes. The school only has those classes for kids who have such bad grades they won’t graduate. They figure if they put those kids in shop classes they will get a decent grade and will maybe get a diploma.

    I used to be the foreman at a machine shop and did the hiring. It’s hard to find anyone that wants to do any crafts and actually cares about what they are doing and takes pride in their work. Kids today just want to sit in front of a computer screen all day and get their paycheck.

    I finally got fed up trying to find descent help and went ahead and retired. I have a small machine shop here at home and take on small jobs to augment my social security check which doesn’t go far today. Seems like I’m working more now than I was when I had a “real job”.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    yup the schools for the last 50 years have made it look like if you use your hands to make a living then your a loser now there's one union we could do with out the teachers union they have poisoned this country to the point of no return but hey that's what liberals do with there humanization

  16. #32
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    Shops around here are so hard up for decent guys, that journeyman's card is the last question they ask during an interview.

  17. #33
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    I may add... even the state-level technical colleges vary wildly. Within my own state, the school I went to (in hindsight) was poorly equipped both in equipment, tooling and teaching. 150 miles away (nearer to the capital) is a school of the same branding with a vastly better equipped, tooled and taught machining course.

    I have a “Machinist I” diploma (when does one get a Machinist II?) that for a while I was proud of. Then we hired graduates from the same school with the same diploma that never should have passed high school. So short of getting me my first job, that diploma that I have framed somewhere is worthless.

    Greed, settling for “good enough” and a lack of pride in your work combine to make a bad storm for American workers and businesses. Maybe it will change as folks realize it? We’ll see. Not that I’m anybody, just my take as an American skilled trades worker.

  18. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmadness View Post
    All these companies have a hard time finding qualified machinists I wonder why? Maybe because all of our young people are told "you need a college degree". LMAO. I know someone who has a master's degree in English Lit and makes less that me by a long shot. I don't have a degree. MOST people you talk to think the machining trade isn't a "real" profession, or is dirty and grimy and you don't make shit for wages (can be true!). Hell most people don't even know what machining is in general. I grew up in shops and thus I know machining. I started as a shop hand, running deliveries from the waterjet shop, black oxide shop, sweeping floors, basic sawing etc. Nothing complicated. I knew how to read a drawing. That gained me my next job with an extra $1/hr because I wasn't a fucking idiot and could read a print. CNC mill operator...then i did setups, then I started programming, then i was managing 4 other machinists. That shop took a chance on me and it paid off for both parties. I scrapped some high dollar projects, but I also made them a shitload of $$$. Most companies just aren't willing to do that, though.

    Fast forward, I busted my ass and spent countless hours reading and learning. I'm the guy that reads tooling catalogues for fun. And now I run my own shop and get to tell other people what to do and make the coolest shit... ZERO formal training. I teach the kids getting engineering degrees how to machine. Ha, that's ironic isn't it?

    In the end my point is - union or non union, no one actually wants to put in the hours to train someone who will just jump ship for an extra $1/hr at the first chance. This creates a self-fulfilling cycle where shops can't find good workers because no one is training good workers, thus creating no good workers. IF companies incentivized staying by offering COMPETITIVE wages and a true path of growth and advancement, things might change. Companies like Grob US and Hermle are doing that, but that isn't like a Ford or a GM doing it. We need this to SCALE.

    I got lucky and fell into a trade that I like. Alot of people don't even know where to get started and it sucks. I know there are technical colleges and what not, but that is like 10% of the whole equation. It isn't strictly limited to machining, kids aren't taught that there are alternatives to 4yr colleges. Part of the problem is the "old timer" strategy of siloing knowledge and information in their brain instead of documenting it and passing it on down the chain to the newbs. Manufacturing in the United States cannot survive without a massive injection of training capital and government spending. I wonder if Biden's infrastructure bill will help.

    My "self-created" path is not something scalable. I got lucky. We need real investment, and we need companies to treat employees as assets instead of liabilities. Across all industries, not just manufacturing.

    /end rant
    A few years ago we started paying for guys to take some machining classes at the local community college. Like Henry Ford said "The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay"


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