Following 18 weeks of intensive training, 16 Marines from Camp Pendleton are better prepared to enter civilian life and find meaningful employment after completing the United Association (UA) Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program.
To ease the transition back into civilian life, the UA established the VIP Program to better equip military service members preparing to leave the service with sought after skills that can lead to lifelong careers in the increasingly in-demand pipe trades. Through an 18-week accelerated course, participants earn industry-recognized certifications and direct entry into stable private-sector jobs with good pay and benefits.
In addition to veteran unemployment, the UA VIP Program was created to address a growing shortage in the construction industry of skilled workers due to the combined effects of an aging workforce, increased demand and a lack of skills training for younger members of the building trades.
The 23rd UA VIP welding class at Camp Pendleton began on August 8, 2016, and is set to graduate on December 15. The ceremony is being held at the Marine Memorial Golf Course aboard Camp Pendleton. From the UA’s Training Department, Training Specialist Mike Hazard is the emcee of the ceremony. Major Jeffery D. Loop, the Executive Officer for Lt. Col. S. N. Deputy, the Commanding Officer of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 is the Keynote Speaker. Major General Retired Matt Caulfield will also be a guest speaker and VIP graduate Corporal Elisabeth Groves will be giving a student testimony.