Transitioning active duty service members have begun training in Fort Campbell’s Fire Suppression Class 13.
Over the next 118 days, VIP students will benefit from both hands-on training and classroom instruction delivered by certified journeyman instructors. This combined approach is geared toward helping the students earn industry-recognized certifications, giving them a leg up when they begin a DOL-registered apprenticeship program.
Army Sgt. Andy Morales did not have prior experience in the trades before the UA VIP program but that did not stop him.
Morales heard about the program at the Career Skills Program job fair at Fort Campbell. The benefits of joining a union are what initially attracted him to the program.
“My goals while in the VIP program are to learn the techniques and skills of the trade and eventually become more confident,” he said.
After he leaves the military and joins a UA apprenticeship program, his goals are to keep learning and gaining more experience.
VIP students can earn certificates in sprinkler hazard, boom life, forklift, OSHA safety and more. The training they receive will also cover mathematical education, basic rigging, and introductions to automatic sprinkler systems.
VIP student Spc. Dexter Clingan was told about the program by Curtis Amos.
“During my time in the VIP program, my goals are to learn the ins and outs of sprinkler fitting on construction sites,” Clingan said. “When I join a UA apprenticeship program, my goals are to establish myself and master the trade.”
The UA VIP program is a DOD Skillbridge program, that acknowledges the dedication, sacrifice and transferable skills of transitioning military members. The goal is to provide a stress-free transition to civilian life and provide an opportunity to pursue a rewarding career in the piping industry.
Transitioning active-duty service members are encouraged to apply for the UA VIP program.
Choose one of seven military installations that offer classes in either welding, HVACR or fire suppression:
- Camp Pendleton – Welding
- Camp Lejeune – Welding
- Fort Campbell – Fire Suppression and Welding
- Fort Carson – Welding
- Fort Cavazos – Welding
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord – HVACR and Welding
- Naval Station Norfolk – HVACR
UA VIP students graduate with job security
After successfully finishing the 118-day program, graduates of the UA VIP program will receive direct entry into a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program at an agreed-upon location.
As apprentices, individuals will engage in the earn-while-you-learn model, where UA apprentices receive competitive hourly wages while acquiring skills through classroom education and on-the-job training. Furthermore, they will become eligible for comprehensive full-family health care and retirement benefits.
After completing the apprenticeship program, UA VIP graduates will earn the title of journeymen in their chosen trade, unveiling a multitude of career paths for them to explore.