Open or Closed shops are required to both use the Davis Bacon rates on a job specifying the scale. I’ve bid various projects which specified the DB rates be used, not just Federal jobs.I'm not in the trades but I have to keep up with pay scales. The one thing I have heard is they like federally funded jobs because those jobs have to use the Davis Bacon Wage Act prevailing wage and it is higher than the open shops, at least here in San Antonio.
There is alot of good information and advice in this thread. Not just for the apprenticeship program but in general, show up, be attentive, work hard, etc.
I'm going to throw out a different option. Learn what you can in the trades, how to read the plans, what it takes to buld and install those systems. Then in 5 to 10 years look into cost estimating. Three of my best hires have been from the plumbing, hvac and electrical trades. Two of them are still with me and they teach me something new every week.
You can't train give-a-snot or work ethic. Last kid I hired was a SPONGE and would soak up anything I was willing to teach him. Like @Axxe55 said: first to show up, last to leave, and always look for something to do - especially if it's something that will make life easier for those above you. Conversely, spend your time on your cell phone with your girlfriend and you'll be the first out the door.
A few old sayings that have brought me my success in life:
- You're either on your way up or you're on your way out
- Do what you said you'd do, before you said you'd do it
- Always deliver more than expected
- The job is going to get done - you get to decide if it's done by you or your replacement