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Want job security, benefits and great pay? Learn a skilled trade

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While most of his friends headed for college after high school, Port Jefferson Station, NY, resident Todd Hentschel Jr. worked nights stocking dairy at the local ShopRite.

“I absolutely hated it,” he said.

But, at 19, he hadn’t decided what he wanted to do next. That is, until he spoke to a friend of his father’s, a man who worked as a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor.

“He told me about his union’s apprentice program — where I could get paid as I learned a trade — then asked me if I was interested,” said Hentschel. “I told him, ‘Absolutely.’ ”

The United Service Workers Union (USWU) program is five years long and requires working five days per week in addition to attending evening classes twice per week.

“It was [a] solid core,” said Hentschel.

But, it was time well spent. Not only does Hentschel like solving problems across the variety of the work that’s involved, but his total compensation package as well.

Hentschel became interested in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) work after a discussion with his father's friend.
Hentschel became interested in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) work after a discussion with his father’s friend.
Stephen Yang

“I’m one of the few blue-collar workers among my friends, and I’d say I’m in the best position,” said Hentschel.

At 28, Hentschel is now certified in HVAC and has Environmental Protection Agency and health and safety certification. He’s currently working as an HVAC service technician with SavMor Mechanical in Ronkonkoma, L.I., where he receives substantial raises (about 20 percent to start), paid retirement, major medical and optical benefits and much more each year. He’s already invested in home ownership.

“Tell me where you can get all of that and be paid as you learn,” said Brian Keating, director of the USWU’s Joint Apprenticeship Training Center in Bohemia, NY.

Hentschel’s choice to work in the trade is the tip of a trend that has accelerated throughout the COVID-19 era. According to experts, there are several forces at work making it attractive. They range from the number of opportunities created by retiring baby boomers, to the fact that trade jobs have proven to be less prone to the layoffs observed in other professions during the pandemic.

Hentschel has been able to invest in home ownership - at 28 years old - due to his position.
Hentschel has been able to invest in home ownership – at 28 years old – due to his position.
Stephen Yang

“The [COVID-19] unemployment lifted a veil on the skilled trades industry and allowed for a number of misconceptions to be dispelled,” said Mary Kelly, president and CEO of the non-union affiliated StrataTech Education Group. “Although we witnessed an overwhelming number of businesses shuttering their doors, skilled trades professionals were highly sought-after and deemed essential.”

That’s something that you don’t have to tell Brooklyn native Faith Tarver. The 34-year-old spent 15 years building a career in the fast-food industry and was led to believe that she was on a management track. “But in 2020, they let me go,” she said.

Tarver then saw a TV commercial for Tulsa Welding School owned by StrataTech. She took down the information, filled out the application, applied for financial aid and started to learn the trade out of Jacksonville, Fla., not long after.

“It was a struggle,” she said, noting that she had to repeat one course and work part-time to earn spending money, plus she had to pay $21,000 in tuition and fees. But, when she graduated, there was a job offer waiting. In August, Tarver started a job at Tenneco in Harrisonburg, Va., where she now welds pipes and hangers. She made $40,000 in her first year.

An outside image of Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx, where Todd Hentschel works as an HVAC apprentice.
An outside image of Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx, where Todd Hentschel works as an HVAC apprentice.
Stephen Yang

There’s no lack of decent work in the trades in New York City, according to Jackie Mallon, First Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

“New York City drives a lot of union projects,” she said. “Consider that there are around 142,000 union workers in construction alone in New York. These are good middle-class jobs.”

There are some basic qualifications for union apprenticeship programs that vary from a high school diploma and basic math skills to the ability to pass physical tests. Any local resident can put their name on an apprenticeship list — but they may have to pass a basic interview, the purpose of which is to determine if they are genuinely interested in the profession.

Unionized workers like Todd Hentschel earn 11.2 percent more in wages compared to wages of non-unionized workers, according to a study.
Unionized workers like Todd Hentschel earn 11.2 percent more in wages compared to wages of non-unionized workers, according to a study.
Stephen Yang

A quicker way in is through one of the city’s pre-apprenticeship programs. These offer direct entry into apprenticeships in the skilled trades. While you don’t earn money while you attend, you’re almost guaranteed a paid apprenticeship when you complete the program. “There’s an agreement between the city and contractors,” said Mallon. “We aim to train a diversity of people and make those good jobs available to New Yorkers,” she added.

According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, unionized workers earn on average 11.2 percent more in wages than nonunionized workers in the same industry and occupation with similar education and experience. Unionized black workers, for example, are paid 13.7 percent more than their nonunionized peers, while unionized Hispanic workers are paid 20.1 percent more.

Additionally, 94 percent of workers covered by a union contract have access to employer-sponsored health benefits, compared with just 68 percent of nonunion workers. Not only that, but 91 percent of union workers covered by a union contract have access to paid sick days, compared with 73 percent of nonunion workers.

On top of those benefits, both Hentschel and Tarver love their jobs.

“Becoming a welder changed my life,” said Tarver.

LOCAL RESOURCES
• The Department of Labor in New York: DOL.NY.gov
• New York City’s pre-apprenticeship program and free training in the industrial or construction fields: www1.NYC.gov
• Fee-based training programs are listed at FindMyTradeSchool.com

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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