And there's another plus, the unions pay for all the training.
"You don't have to have experience in heavy equipment, to be accepted into our program. We look for trainability, people that are enthused about learning," said Allen Nelson, of the International Union of Operator Engineers Local 132.
Business is booming at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 132 training center in Ravenswood, because West Virginia is on the verge of thousands of new jobs. Many workers now in training are needed for the road bond initiative, and oil and gas pipeline construction.
"Now's the time to get in because the work's here. And you can make a lot of money. And it's a really good thing for West Virginia. It's going to … make our economy grow," said James Garrett, a Heavy Equipment Operator.
The apprenticeship program is especially interested in training military veterans, and women like Samantha Kelley.
"I've always been around equipment and I got into the apprenticeship because I really didn't know where I wanted to go with my life. I think that if you don't mind being outdoors and getting your hands dirty, then it would be the job for you," Kelley, a Journeyman Heavy Equipment Operator, told local news station WOWK.
And there's another plus, the unions pay for all the training. "You incur no debt whatsoever. We invest into the apprentice," said Allen Nelson, of the IUOE.
If you are interested in checking out West Virginia jobs or apprenticeships, contact the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 132 in Ravenswood, WV. More info at http://wvapprenticeships.com.