Friday, September 30, 2011

another example of just how bad Oregon sucks

Robins Commentary --

As people who know me and who know my history, know that I have spent the majority of my life working as an electronics technician ranging from component level electronic repair to high-speed manufacturing and robotic equipment.

Of course in the Eugene area to my knowledge we do not have that much manufacturing going on in order to apply for a job in my particular field so I have to start searching outside of the area such as Portland.

Recently, I discovered a job that was fairly similar to my last job working for a international company that closed in 2003 and I was thinking, "hey, I think I could apply for this."

One little problem...

This job requires in Oregon LME license.

Okay sure... so I go to the state of Oregon website and look up what a LME license is and it turns out just like when I used to own my own business that it is a Catch-22 scenario.

In other words... you could have 50 years of experience from another state, degrees up the yang and still not be eligible to take the test for the LME license.

The license requires the completion of a two-year apprenticeship and/or have worked and can show at least 4000 hours in a "licensed and qualified" facility.

In a way I can understand previous requirement however, I feel that if you have the experience such as myself that you should be able to challenge the test.

By the way... even though I have over 4000 hours of experience, apparently, according to the state of Oregon the company that I worked for "technically" was not following the law as far as licensing so my experience does not qualify.

Oh yes, to add to the frustration, I called the states of Arizona and Nevada and found out that they have no such requirements and both basically said, "come on down!"

Personally, (and also based on my dealings with the state) I think that Oregon needs to lighten up a little bit with the license requirements especially in this recession because they are definitely limiting access to living wage jobs.

While the representative from the state of Oregon commented that I could go through a two-year apprenticeship program in order to get the license... that may be easier said than done.


Blogger Ten Mile Island said...

As an employer, if I hired you to work for me, wouldn't that mean I felt you had the skills for the job?

12:46 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

that is correct... however, in some industries such in the area of manufacturing technicians which I was for eight years the state of Oregon's regulations "technically" prevents me from getting work in that field.

I ran into the same issue when I used to own a business doing VCR repair which at the time required a special endorsement to a TV license.

I was repairing an average of 75 VCRs a week and obviously needed to hire additional help. Unfortunately, because of the licensing restrictions I was unable to find any qualified candidates which is unfortunate, because I did have some very qualified applicants and could've taken a chance and just hired them... however, the state inspector literally would stop by twice a year to make sure that I was in compliance. (The inspector worked part-time for the state and full-time as a teacher in Beaverton so I could always count on him showing up during school break)

Then Oregon Governor Kitzhaber in my opinion one of the few good things he has done removed the licensing requirements for TV/VCR repair stating that the such regulation is not necessary for the protection of consumers as a marketplace will determine who stays in business and who doesn't.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All you need is proof of experience of at least 8000 hours if its in another state. I just moved from Alaska and was able to take the test after verification of my experience. You just have to do they leg work and they will work with you. OREGON is AWESOME.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

anonymous -- I just noticed that blogger didn't post your comments because it thought it was spam... I do apologize for that as it is one of flaws with this new system that I have no control over.

That being said... I'm glad that you think that Oregon is awesome and congratulations that you were able to convince them to take the test. I have eight years which is the equivalent to 16,000 hours and they refused to let me take the test.

But see that's the problem... Oregon is one of the few states that actually requires the types of requirements that I am aware of

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a licensed Hvac contractor and have been for over 2 years. as of July 2011 I am no longer allowed to install thermostats wire heat pumps or a/c units unless I obtain a LME. I can not afford to close my doors and go through a 2 year apprenticeship. So I totally understand your frustration! The only thing Oregon is accomplishing is for contractors to forgo the whole permit process in able to make a fair living. or costing the home owner an additional $500 for an electrician who by the way has no idea how to wire an hvac system.. I also love Oregon but not the chicken shit union politics!!! do yourselves a favor and check out who the CCB really is your going to be amazed! They are the ones holding small businesses hostage with their union lobbyists. Open your eyes Oregonians Yours truly, Native Oregonian

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so did you ever find a way to take the test? I am currently in the act of getting the signatures that I need from MN, my last place of employment. I am looking for some form of practice test so that I don't go in blind for my LME.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

sometimes the state that you're in will have practiced test materials are of these recommendations and study guides.

In Oregon, I believe it's an open book test.

The other way of doing it is to try to get hired on with the company that has a journeyman who can sponsor you as an apprentice.

But again things are different from state to state so the best thing I would recommend is go to your state website as they should have information on the topic.

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just contact Katrina Cloud at Portland Community College at their Swan Island location. She is the apprenticeship administrator and can guide you to a business who is already a qualified training facility who is looking to hire new apprentices or can help you with registering your employer as one. It is hard work, but something that might be worthwhile doing.

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