At 9 a.m. on Monday morning, the New York City District Council of Carpenters union will give out 750 applications (500 for actual carpenters, and 250 for dock builders and floor installers) for its apprenticeship program, which is designed to lead to that increasingly rare New York City resource: a steady labor job with benefits. (NBC New York claims that working members of the union can earn up to $99 an hour.) Because this only happens once every two years, the most determined employment seekers began queuing up outside 395 Hudson Street on Saturday, many with tents, folding chairs, and other gear to make the wait slightly more comfortable. CBS 2 reports that the line “stretched a few city blocks Sunday night and was still growing,” despite tonight’s expected rain.
“I don’t care if it snows. I’m here,” said Jahkeem Ashton, who said he was willing to brave the elements for the chance at “more money, more options.” “It’s tough, no showers, you’re sitting here all day, walking around,” Nicholas Foreman told WABC. “But you know what, the end result is the pot of gold, which is to get my name on that ticket so I can get called for an interview, and to really show the dedication, because I’ve been here all week.” (He secured his spot at the very front of the line by arriving last Monday.) Unfortunately, a person’s place in line doesn’t really matter, as long as they’re among the first 750 to get in the door — and even if they are, all they’ll get is the opportunity to apply for a position. Still, it seems like anyone willing to spend the weekend on the sidewalk for a potential job should at least be able to indicate that somewhere on the application.