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Hundreds Line Up In Queens For Chance At Job As Ironworker

(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of people lined up in Queens Saturday for a chance at one of fifty jobs as an ironworker.

Men and women, desperate to find a job in a tough economy, are vying for a position that could eventually pay up to $100,000 a year.

Some of the applicants told CBS 2′s John Schriffen that in spite of their education levels they could not find work elsewhere.

“I have two degrees in business and I’m here.  I graduated from Monroe College in 2010 and I havent been able to find a job in my field,” said one woman.

The group has spent a week sleeping on the street outside of Ironworkers Local Union 46 in Queens, in anticipation of Monday morning. On Monday five-hundred applications will be handed out. There are fifty apprentice jobs available that pay $18 an hour.

Queens resident Densmore Doman told CBS 2 that even with a place on-line the odds are stacked against most applicants. Applicants are given a bracelet identifying their place in the line.

“It’s not even a guarantee that you will get it.  You only guaranteed to get an application because you got a band that gave you a number,” he said.

Those who are hired will enter a training pipeline that could lead to a job paying anywhere from seventy to one hundred-fifty-thousand dollars.

To guarantee his place in line twenty-seven year old Matthew Cox showed up first.

“Packed up the cooler, the grill, the camping bag, the tent, I was out the door.  Came down in the pouring rain,” he said.

Applicants are given bathroom breaks, and some of them have gone home to shower. The week-long wait adds to an already tense interview process.

“We believe in meeting the prospective clients and seeing if they really want to be a part of this organization. Naturally we had hoped they wouldn’t be lining up a week early just to get an application,” explained Kevin Kelly, a spokesman for the Metallic Lathers & Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46.

Even though all five-hundred bracelets have been given out some applicants have already been eliminated from the process for missing the daily roll call, this has prompted others to line up and take their places.

To land a job with the Union, applicants must have a high school degree, pass a drug test, and be physically able to perform the work.

Do you know anybody who has lined up for a chance at the job? Let us know in our comments section below…