In this video, you can hear about the personal story of someone who is starting a career as a mason.
- My name is Benjamin Gilmore, I'm a fourth term apprentice with Local 48. So I knew about it through Bridget Quinn, from IBEW. She would come down to Benson, and do little, kind of show us what was going on, and see the class, and just talk about the apprenticeship, and also, Benson was really good at getting us out for career days, so I actually came to the training center of Local 48, when I was still in high school. So I was very exposed to it at a early age. At Benson, you get a transfer through all the different majors, and so I did manufacturing, I did a little bit of construction, and I settled on really liking electrical, so I kind of stuck with it, and I made it my major at Benson. And then when I was at Benson my junior year, I actually got a job at Precision Castparts as a youth apprentice, so I basically followed around some of the maintenance electricians at Precision, and that's where I really learned that I truly enjoyed this, 'cause I did that for almost a year and a half before I joined this apprenticeship, and it really just cemented in me that I really like this, I enjoy getting up and going to work, I enjoy getting paid for it. The thing I like most, especially being an apprentice, is just learning the tricks of the trade, learning all the different materials and then applying it, and having that happen very regularly. So you are constantly learning all the aspects of the trade, and then applying it very shortly after, and then you just get really good at just learning and applying, learning and applying, learning and applying these skills that you're constantly acquiring. Ooh, you know what? Back last winter, I was working outside, we were working and setting up some trailers for PSU, the college, downtown, since they're remodeling one of their buildings. So underneath these trailers, we had to run PVC pipe. The trailer's maybe about that high off the ground, so I was elected to be the one to go underneath and string all this pipe together. I had to glue the PVC pipe on, slam them together, set my supports, and continue on, and I had to do this all on like a little dolly. And it was winter, it was very cold, it had just rained, I was in a windbreaker, and I didn't really have great gloves on, so I was under there, and I had to, like, go over the floor, and I was getting covered with silt and stuff that had just collected under the trailers, and I was cold. And then, I got out, and I finally finished it, and I said, I'm going to lunch, 'cause I wanted something hot. And I went to go to lunch, and I got food that I thought was going to be hot, and it wasn't hot, it was very cold. I was very upset, and I went back out into the cold, and then I had to finish doing that. So that was not a happy day, just because I was super cold, I was super dirty. It got done, I made sure to finish it that day, I didn't want to have to go back and do it again. So we made sure I got it done, but I was not very happy at the end of that day, I was so ready to go home. But, you know, I survived, and I went there the rest of, for the project, and we finished it. If getting sweaty isn't really your thing, not going to work. There's a lot of stuff that we do which is very labor intensive, a lot of heavy bending, like bending larger pipes is very, it can be very hard, so that takes a lot of effort. If you don't work well with teams, that's not going to work. If you're very, very, very independent, it's not going to work very well, 'cause it's all meshing with a whole bunch of people of different trades, and different people in your own contractor, or in your own job site, you'll be buddied up a lot of the time with a tool buddy, or apprentices with journeymen, I'm always working with journeymen and somebody else. So if you're not really someone who can deal with other people's personality traits that you're not so, that you don't like as much, and you can't really sweep that aside and that really gets to you, and you're more of a very independent person, that might not be the best, but again, once you become an apprentice and you get out, you can also be more independent, if you join like a van. So there is other ways around it if you are a little more independent, but generally speaking, if you're someone who doesn't work well with others, it's not going to be very, very nice for you, yeah. So compared to my friends, being in a career, being in a program where I work 40 hours a week and get paid very well, I have a lot more of a financial cushion. I have, you know, I'm able to make a lot more money at my younger age, so I have a lot more money saved up to go do things like maybe buy a house, and feel more comfortable about maybe taking out a certain loan to get something else, or, you know, I can travel and feel good about it, and not really be pinched about it. I feel like I'm on my tracks, and they seem like they're still trying to find theirs. I was just looking for a rental house, me and my friends, and we would go over to the landlord's house, and they're like, oh, what do you do? I'm an electrician, and they're like, "Oh, really?" They'd all get really excited, and then I'd have to tell them, well, no, I mean, I can't do that for you, but I can-- here's a number to somebody, you know. But everybody, everybody would go, "Oh, you're an electrician! You're an electrician!" Like they'd light up, like a little light bulb, trying to-- "Well, I have so much stuff I want to get done." So there's work everywhere, there's work in the big industries, there's work in residential, there's one man, one man in a van going out and just going to people's houses work, it's everywhere. If you want work in the electrical field and you have a license or you have the drive to get a license, you can step right in easy right now. I'm very happy with the decision I made. It's worked out very well. I feel very satisfied in my life, very satisfied in my career. I've been able to go out and do all the things I wanted to do. I'm learning, I'm not being bored, I'm actually excited to get up to go to work. 90 percent of the time. Ten percent of the time, you know, it could be raining, cold, or I just don't really want to get up 'cause I'm tired, you know, it's Monday. But 90 percent of the time, I'm very excited to get up to go to work, and I truly enjoy it. Like, I'm one of those people where people are like, oh, I have to go back to work, I'm not like that. I like getting up and going to work. It's fun, it's enjoyable, and I really can't imagine what I would be doing, I can't imagine doing anything else that'd be as satisfying right now, so I'm very happy with the decision I made.