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Camp Pendleton Welding Class 42 halfway through UA VIP program

The UA VIP students in Camp Pendleton Welding Class 42 are halfway through their accelerated welding training.

UA VIP is a DOD SkillBridge program designed to help active-duty service members transition from the military into civilian life with guaranteed job placement. 

At this point in their training, Welding Class 42 students have started the process of selecting what UA Local Union they will join and start their DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program.

Marine Cpl. Mason Luther had nothing but positive things to say about the UA VIP program. 

“The instructors do a great job in the classroom and with hands-on training,” he said.” They make it easy to follow along and learn.”

Luther added that the instructors are very knowledgeable and want to see their students succeed. He said he has already learned more than he thought possible and expects to learn even more during his apprenticeship.

After transitioning from the military, Luther will join UA Local 469 in Phoenix, Ariz. 

Navy Seaman Jasmine Willis said she is adjusting well to the VIP program and likes how the class is structured. She was drawn to the UA VIP program because of the opportunities the program offers.

“I’m loving the class so far and learning how to weld has been pretty awesome,” she said. “It’s challenging and fun.”

The students of Welding Class 42 will not only join a Local Union, but they will gain direct entry into the UA-registered apprenticeship program, where they will continue to learn and improve their piping industry skills. 

Active-duty military members in their last six months of service can qualify for placement in the UA VIP program to train in welding, HVAC-R or fire suppression.

Career advancement in the UA

After Welding Class 42 students graduate from the program and transition out of the military, they will join a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program and work for a UA signatory contractor where they will earn a livable wage along with comprehensive healthcare and retirement benefits.

Once apprentices top out, they will become experienced journeymen which opens up excellent career opportunities with the potential for further advancement in the piping industry.

In the pipe trades, journeymen can become foremen, superintendents, UA signatory contractors, business owners or UA instructors.

In the construction industry, pipefitting is one of the most reliable trades because many industries rely on industrial piping systems to function properly. 

If you or someone you know are in the last six months of military service, consider applying for the UA VIP program.