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Interviews For Coveted Insulation Apprenticeships Begin In Long Island City

Hopefuls Waited In Line For Days Just To Get An Application
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(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

johnslattery John Slattery
John Slattery is an Emmy Award-winning general assignment reporter for...
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They are among the most coveted jobs anywhere and they come with union security and excellent pay, along with the chance to practice a skill.

In this tough economy, however, the competition for a mere 10 union jobs in Long Island City would make your head spin.

The highly sought-after position is a mechanic’s apprentice to work in commercial insulation.  Interviews for the jobs began on Monday.

Competition is so fierce, last month more than 200 people showed up at a union hall just to wait for an application. The line was cut off at 150. Of the 139 who returned the papers, was Crystal Rosario, who waited in line for two days.

“I was determined to do this,” she told CBS 2′s John Slattery.

Ray Hanley, 26, was also hoping to land one of the training positions. He is a college graduate and waited in line for three days.

“I come from a blue-collar, working family, and I want to be able to make a good living for myself, provide for a family and be able work hard though at the same time,” Hanley said.

Jose Herrera, married with one child, also applied and expects to be laid off from his current position.

“I would have no job. So, definitely, I need a job like this,” Herrera said.

Starting pay for the job is $34 per hour and after four years, it jumps to $84 an hour.

“You wish you could give everybody a job who comes in here, but there aren’t many jobs to be had,” said Dave Soika of Insulators Local 12.

The decision on which 10 people to hire will be made at the end of August.

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