Hundreds of would-be carpenters lined up on Hudson Street in the West Village Monday for a chance to be part of the NYC District Council of Carpenters Union.
The union offers the application process for its coveted apprenticeship and training program every two years but applicants have to fill out a lottery card first.
Many apprentice hopefuls have been camped out for days with tents, coolers, and sleeping bags.
"I have a job. I worked for a township, they promised me full time, full time, full time, and now all of a sudden the budget, the budget, the budget and they just told me they're not gonna give me full time so I decided to come down here and stick it out," said Gina Giuliano, an apprenticeship hopeful.
These guys build buildings, they build bridges, they build stadiums. I'm not gonna play in a stadium but I can build one for ya," said James Cavanaugh, an apprenticeship hopeful.
There are only 750 applications available; 500 for carpenters, 150 for dock builders and 100 for floor coverers.
"The way the lottery works is you put your name in and once every couple of months I'll pull cards with their names and we'll call them in and then they start the application process," said Carpenters Union Director of Training Elly Spicer.
The process of signing up took only a few minutes. And the applicants were relieved to be done with the process and head back home with dreams of a better life ahead.
"To know that I am going to go home and lay on a bed with a dog I feel very good," said Nicholas Foreman an apprenticeship hopeful.
Applicants will find out in the mail if they were accepted into the program, a process that can take anywhere from 24 hours up to two years.