Proposed Orange electrical licensing ...

Proposed Orange electrical licensing law has little opposition

There are 40 comments on the Mid-Hudson News story from Jul 22, 2006, titled Proposed Orange electrical licensing law has little opposition. In it, Mid-Hudson News reports that:

Electricians, contractors and a trade association official Friday asked questions of a committee of the Orange County Legislature that is exploring the possibility of creating a countywide electrical licensing ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Mid-Hudson News.

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Brian G

Olivebridge, NY

#23 Jan 14, 2008
Hands wrote:
TOugh on those who can't meet the requirements. That's why the license is there! We want to weed out the incompetent hackers and make the profession accountable for itself. As for analyzing the statistics, that's brilliant. How can you do that when all the electricians in the county are unlicensed? We have no license! How could you ever track unlicensed electricians anyway? Ridiculous. Just some 3rd rate electricians trying to avoid being held responsible for their actions. Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too!
Spoken like a true union member who is trying to cut out a legitimate businessman. If you review the qualifications required on the Orange County Government web site, it appears that what they are concerned with is years in the trade(also known in union speak as (paying your dues) not actual knowledge. If you can pass the test you should qualify for the license. 7 years as a wire rat does not make you a "master electrican."
Don

AOL

#24 Mar 7, 2008
Does anyone know the current status of the Orange County License Law for Electricians?
Crystal Ball

Utica, NY

#25 Mar 11, 2008
Coming soon:

A few attys. around Goshen are buzzing about an investigation into an 80s-90s County Court Judge that took bribes for lenience. Judge "Piano" would arrange thru a Vails Gate interest to do the deal. About $5k and Judge Piano would play wonderful music from his bench.

Two defendants were brothers... one paid his way out, and made an audio recording of the go-between guy and himself discussing the deal. Brother 1 got 1-1/3 to 4, the other brother that didn't "play ball" got out just a while ago.

The brother that bought freedom died around 2005-6 we're told, and the brother that just came home found this tape and discussed it with his brothers wife and children,(whom were aware of this from the now deceased brother's apparently oft repeated telling of the story) and they have retained an Albany Atty and are working to get this into the daylight.
!!
A few of the names involved are known to us all.
What a wild spring this is going to be
Crystal Ball

Utica, NY

#26 Mar 11, 2008
Coming soon:

A few attys. around Goshen are buzzing about an investigation into an 80s-90s County Court Judge that took bribes for lenience. Judge "Piano" would arrange thru a Vails Gate interest to do the deal. About $5k and Judge Piano would play wonderful music from his bench.

Two defendants were brothers... one paid his way out, and made an audio recording of the go-between guy and himself discussing the deal. Brother 1 got 1-1/3 to 4, the other brother that didn't "play ball" got out just a while ago.

The brother that bought freedom died around 2005-6 we're told, and the brother that just came home found this tape and discussed it with his brothers wife and children,(whom were aware of this from the now deceased brother's apparently oft repeated telling of the story) and they have retained an Albany Atty and are working to get this into the daylight.
!!
A few of the names involved are known to us all.
What a wild spring this is going to be a wild spring!
Jeff Glanstein

South Ozone Park, NY

#27 Mar 25, 2008
Jim, you may be right occasionally an idiot gets "through the cracks." The goal of licensing is to minimize the size of those "cracks" so that the licensee is most probable to have the expertise required to perform the job properly and safely. Thus leaving the customer with a safer product than if an unqualified person did the job. The goal is to protect persons and property.
A person scores 70% on a licensing test and passes. What about the other 30% he is weak on? This taken into account some places (Town of Hempstead, Oysterbay, Nassau) require 85% passing. I think the 85% is a very fair. Looking at the breakdown of their test if you score 84% it technically means that you are weak in two areas. That is not leaving a person and their property safe.
Steve

AOL

#28 Apr 1, 2008
The licensing is a win win for everybody. That means the consumer, the contractor,the customer as well as the workers in the trade. It puts all of us contractors on a level playing field. The consumer is protected because they know that they are hiring somebody who has passed a test that shows at least some level of competence & knowledge. It also assures the customer that the contractor has all of the proper insurance coverages to protect the property as well as there family if anything should happen. I am a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Putnam, Westchester, New Jersey & Beacon. I have sat for 3 tests so far. Even with my current Licenses, I too will have to sit for yet another exam in Orange. I'm not happy about it, but I do believe it is for the protection of the consumer. It also puts everyone on a level playing field. How can you compete with an electrician working out of the trunk of his wifes mini-van that has no insurance, no employees & does not pay taxes- you can't. You will have to explain to your employees that you cannot afford to give them health insurance or any other benefits because the prices are driven down so low that you just can't afford it because of the illegal un-insured handyman working on the side for a little extra cash. If you truley are a qualified electrician & this is how you make a living, pick up the books & start studying as I will have to do again. If you are angry because this is your side job, go work your real job & let the pros handle it. There is always the alternative to start a legite business, get your license, get your insurance, get your tools & truck & try your hand at it. Hopefully you will run a profitable honest business. Maybe you can even afford to pay your employees what they deserve & give them the benefits they deserve. Not many small business's can & that is sad.
andrew jenks

AOL

#29 Sep 24, 2008
for those of you against the licensing law you are probably worried that you cant pass the test. I say if cant then you dont need to be in the trade.Yes it does level the playing feild for all,and if you do your research you would also find that it is very probable that it would raise the standard of living in your area for the electrical industry.That goes for both union and non-union. From my experience with talking to electricians from all over the states ,unions sometimes benifit in the beginning because of their background and education,which makes it more easy to obtain the license.Good luck and i hope it passes.
Aaron

United States

#30 Jan 25, 2009
Even with a license, consumers will still depend on the reputation and name of the contractor; that is just good sense and judgement. Having a license does not guarantee success, either. Many very skilled tradesmen are terrible businessmen.
All of this is irrelevant to the discussion, however. A test & licensing to prove competency is not a bad thing for anyone; it benefits both consumers, tradesmen, and businesses.
I do, however, disagree with fees charged yearly in order to maintain Master Plumbing & Master Electrical licenses. Our company spends $3,000 yearly to maintain licenses just so we can work within an hour radius of our shop. This aspect is ridiculous. New York should simply have a statewide license for Electrical & Plumbing, separate from NYC. NYC has and always will be treated like a separate entity. The testing for each county is done by the same independent agencies anyway, so this would not be difficult. I understand that each municipality wants to make their revenue, I will not hold this against them; it should, however, not be charged to the tradesman, but rather, be added in to the consumer permitting process. Rather then every county requiring $500 per year in license maintenance fees, they could lower this to no more then $150. The rest could be obtained by slight increases in permit costs.
Alternatively,$500 yearly is not unreasonable, if it were a state wide (excluding NYC) license.
A third option, would be to require each county, to reciprocate with other counties; this would reduce the cost for companies, and spur competition, which is good for consumers.
Yes, it would seem that revenue would go down for the county, but again, this is not an issue, if they were to simply obtain this revenue, spread within the permitting process, rather then on the backs of individual license holders.
Aaron

United States

#31 Jan 25, 2009
My last bone; there is no reasonable, NY State accepted method, that we as business owners can use to mentor and administer an apprenticeship program. We have an in house apprenticeship program, but because we are non-union, it doesn't count. There is a way that it can be accepted, if the employee wishes to take accredited courses, separate from work, but again, this is jumping through excessive hoops.
Since Orange county wishes to levi such fees, I think it only reasonably, that they take the lead using some of those dollars for education. It wouldn't even have to cost a dime: simply allow small non-union businesses, to administer their own apprenticeship program. This would provide, and set the bar for on going education, starting at the grass roots. This would certainly benefit worker's wages, as well as consumers.
It would operate this way:
Any license holding company (plumbing or electrical), would have to write up, and provide a basic apprenticeship program, based on minimum county provided guidelines for consistency.
All employees under the program, would be registered with the county as an "Apprentice" for a nominal $10 fee. After that, all course work, training, etc. would have to be maintained and filed in house with that particular company with copies to the Apprentice. This file would have regular reviews of the competency of the employee, with training given, in house practical & written tests given, and skills ratings. Again, this should all be in-house, rather then creating unnecessary bureaucracy. The county could require yearly re-registration with another $10, with a progress report given by the employer, but nothing more then this.
A point system would be instituted, that the Apprentice would work towards for becoming a Journeyman. This would be determined by the county. Points would be awarded for the following: OJT- years working in the trade; Accredited class room time; Accredited correspondence courses; CEC- continuing education credits often given for many trades oriented classes available; perhaps, the county would provide a yearly practical work shop with a test (not required, but for a fee of course) where further points could be obtained.
The total aggregation of points, would eventually lead to the Apprentice being qualified to take a county sponsored Journeyman test. The fee for this, should be no more then $150, and anyone getting the points, should be allowed to take the test for Journeyman. The yearly fee to maintain the Journeyman license, should be no more then $50 with the requirement of continuing education credits being posted each year to maintain the license.
The in-house apprenticeship program would continue, once the Apprentice becomes a Journeyman. The Journeyman would be allowed to work towards becoming a Master. Again, a much higher, aggregate of points would be needed to qualify. Once those points are met, the Journeyman would go through the normal process already being set up to become a Master. Once a Master, continuing education credits should be a part of the maintenance of holding a Master license.
The above, if administered in an open and flexible way, will open many opportunities to small businesses and employees. It will provide a way for real mentoring within the industry. It will provide a way for real training within companies, provided in a substantive and dignified way. It will raise the status quo, quality, pride, and workmanship of the trades. It will give employees something to work for that can be measured. It will give employers, a means to quantify hires, and qualify employees. This is a win opportunity for all, and MUST be done.
Aaron

United States

#32 Jan 25, 2009
Even with a license, consumers will still depend on the reputation and name of the contractor; that is just good sense and judgement. Having a license does not guarantee success, either. Many very skilled tradesmen are terrible businessmen.

All of this is irrelevant to the discussion, however. A test to prove competency is not a bad thing for anyone; it benefits both consumers & tradesmen.

I do, however, disagree with fees charged yearly in order to maintain Master Plumbing & Master Electrical licenses. Our company spends $3,000 yearly to maintain licenses just so we can work within an hour radius of our shop. This aspect is ridiculous. New York should simply have a statewide license for Electrical & Plumbing, separate from NYC. NYC has and always will be treated like a separate entity. The testing for each county is done by the same independent agencies anyway, so this would not be difficult. I understand that each municipality wants to make their revenue, I will not hold this against them; it should, however, not be charged to the tradesman, but rather, be added in to the consumer permitting process. Rather then every county requiring $500 per year in license maintenance fees, they could lower this to no more then $150. The rest could be obtained by slight increases in permit costs.

Alternatively,$500 yearly is not unreasonable, if it were a state wide (excluding NYC) license.

A third option, would be to require each county, to reciprocate with other counties; this would reduce the cost for companies, and spur competition, which is good for consumers.

Yes, it would seem that revenue would go down for the county, but again, this is not an issue, if they were to simply obtain this revenue, spread within the permitting process, rather then on the backs of individual license holders.
At Kyle

United States

#33 Jan 25, 2009
If you learned to spell, you might have more credibility. This is why they want to license electricians. Study, pass the test, and move on. Some basic competency is needed.
Aaron

United States

#34 Jan 25, 2009
I Agree both with Brian G. and Hands.
Years on the job itself does not necessarily qualify someone- though after 7 years, you should have learned something! I guess that's what the test proves.... did you learn anything?
I think the real crux of the matter- a flexible (non-union) Apprenticeship program that incorporates an aggregate of Time, CEC's, School, and Employer given Skills ratings should be used.
This would allow a tradesman to simply qualify by Time, or if he's smart and motivated, a combination.
Maybe one guy (or gal) needs 10 years of experience to qualify... another can qualify in two years with schooling & brilliance... and so forth.
Jeff Glanstein

AOL

#35 Feb 9, 2009
Well guys, take a look at two proposed licensing laws. A00810 and A00588. These are Statewide, voluntary licensing for electricians and plumbers respectively. This is a beginning at making statewide licensing a reality.
jervis guy

Troy, NY

#36 Feb 10, 2009
and im sick and tired of these damn lids on coffee cups. if you cant drink your coffee without spillin it, THAN YOU SHOULDNT BE DRIVIN WITH IT!!!
Wayne

Stone Ridge, NY

#37 May 26, 2009
Is this law now in effect?
Joe

Brentwood, NY

#38 Aug 3, 2009
Who ever is in charge of this are liars! My electrician proved he has been in business in OC for over 15 yrs and they still are making him take the test. All they want is their $500, they don't even give courses like NJ does every 3 yrs. This is a joke and just another way to make $, they don't care about the consumer or the guy try to make a living and supporting his family. This whole damn country has gone down the tubes.....
coydog

Goshen, NY

#39 Apr 24, 2010
Since obtaining an electrical license in Orange County requires absurd qualifications and cost double New York City's fee the "good ol boys" that were given it under the grandfather clause are able to charge insane rates. So my question is "What dose the financially challenged homeowner with a house full of dangerous wiring do? Maybe put of the repairs and hope his home doesn't burn with his family in it?". I am a heating contractor and fully believe in licensing but in this case (much like Middletown's Plumbing License) it is being used to create mini-monopolies
JBraffett

Dunellen, NJ

#40 Jun 16, 2010
Are their prior tests to review or study material besides NEC code or do you go in cold. How is the test set up,# of questions, mulitple choice, essay?
John Schaefer

Suffern, NY

#41 May 16, 2011
My wifes friend who lives in Goshen wanted me to help her husband install a transfer switch and panel, which would be powered by a portable generator.I told her that would be impossible because you would need a license to perform that work. A few weeks later she informed me that a license wasn't needed. I currently live in Suffern where a license is required,I have lived in North Carolina and louisiana where licenses are required also. I'd like to know if there's another place in tne United States that an electrical license isn't required! I still can't believe that you don't need a license in Orange County N.Y. to do electrical work!!!
Rick Chilcott

Suffern, NY

#42 May 16, 2011
No License,Orange County is like a 3rd. world country!

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