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Hundreds Line Up For Chance To Become Plumber’s Apprentice

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Hundreds of people lined up Monday outside a plumbers union in Long Island City for a chance to become an apprentice.

Some have camped outside Plumbers Local Union 1  overnight – some have been there longer – hoping to get an application.

Some have pitched tents on the rain-soaked sidewalks, 1010 WINS’ John Montone reported.

It was a sea of umbrellas on a rainy morning, but for those lined up hoping to get a new job a little bad weather could not dampen their spirits.

Hundreds Line Up For Chance To Be Plumber's Apprentice

1010 WINS' John Montone reports

The union is handing out 1,000 applications. They’ll consider 100 applications from that pool.

As CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes reported, the white pieces of paper are among the hottest tickets in town.

“Waking up, sun just beating down on you. Sweating. Oh my God, it was bad,” Spencer Bilello said.

Bilello arrived on Friday, for his chance to grab an application. The Oyster Bay resident already works in the plumbing field and said that this is an amazing opportunity.

“This is a quick path to a great job, like a career, so it was definitely worth it,” he said.

The union gave out 1,000 applications for its 5-year apprenticeship program, of those applicants only 100 will be accepted. The union does this about every two years.

“There’s a full benefit package, there’s a pension, health benefits. These jobs are getting harder and harder to get, so this is why there’s a big demand for this,” Arthur Klock, Director of Training, said.

Alexa Pace told CBS 2’s Grymes that she is headed to college, but was waiting on line as part of a backup plan.

“I love it when women go into male dominated fields,” Pace said.

After sleeping on the sidewalk all weekend, many people were wet, exhausted, and eager to get home, but for Frankie Pangallo from Port Jefferson, it was all worth it.

“It was long. I got a parking ticket. My legs are killing me, I slept in a beach chair. I need a homemade meal from mom,” he said.

The long wait is just the beginning of the process. All of the job seekers will have to turn in their applications by August, before going through an aptitude test and an interview. The applicants will then be ranked and called in for jobs over the next two years, depending on their number.

At the end of the 5-year apprenticeship those in the program will also get an associate’s degree.

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