For participants in Welding Class 22 at Camp Lejeune, life’s about to get more exciting.
The students will learn to weld and gain other related skills to set them on solid footing for when they begin careers in the pipe trades after transitioning out of the military.
The free, 18-week accelerated program for transitioning active-duty service members is part of the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program. The program was created to address a growing shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry. It’s also a way of thanking members of the military for their hard work, dedication and service to our country.
Similar VIP training and placement programs are being held at military installations throughout the country.
Through a combination of classroom instruction and welding lab training, transitioning active-duty service members learn from a certified journeyman instructor.
They earn industry-recognized certifications and gain direct entry into solid private-sector jobs with good pay and great benefits.
In preparation for a union apprenticeship
After they complete the program and transition out of the military, participants will enter a UA union of their choice. There are hundreds of options to choose from. Some will choose go-to destinations like Colorado, California or Texas; others will choose to be close to their hometowns.
Once assigned, they will begin a UA apprenticeship, earning good pay, quality healthcare for their families and retirement benefits. Pay gradually increases as they progress through the program.
Upon completion of their apprenticeship, they become full fledged journeymen with all the rights and privileges of the trade.
It all begins with the UA VIP program, which these members began during their last few months in the military.
Are you ready? Students are selected for the program through an interview process.