United Association Veterans In Piping (UA VIP) program Fort Campbell Welding Class 22 students have reached the halfway mark of their advanced welding training.
With nine weeks down and about nine weeks to go, these active-duty service members have been diligently training to become future apprentices in the pipe trades, after they transition out of the military.
The UA VIP program is a DOD SkillBridge Program, designed to help active-duty service members smoothly transition into a supportive civilian career.
After transitioning out of the military, VIP graduates will be placed in a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program at an agreed-upon location.
Many transitioning active duty members, like Army Staff Sgt. Conner Jetton, have found the UA VIP program to be the perfect solution to finding a new career while transitioning out of the military.
“I have learned more in this short period of time than I thought possible,” he said. “It is truly an amazing opportunity for transitioning service members.”
Jetton knew he wanted a job where he wouldn’t be sitting in a cubicle. He wanted to start a career where he would be using his hands and have opportunities for career advancement.
“The UA VIP program stood out to me because it isn’t a program that just gives you some certification and sends you on your way. It is a pathway into something bigger and gives you an opportunity at an apprenticeship that is sought after by many,” Jetton said.
The guaranteed job placement is what makes the UA VIP program stand out to many transitioning military members who are figuring out what their future will entail once they leave the military.
Army Sgt., Jonathan Kittle, joined the UA VIP program because out of all the programs he found, it offered the best opportunities and a guaranteed job once he left the Army.
Kittle is excited to start his UA apprenticeship and aspires to become a better tradesman through his apprenticeship training.
Listed below are the seven military bases across the country that offer the UA VIP program:
- Camp Pendleton
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord
- Fort Carson
- Fort Cavazos
- Camp Lejeune
- Fort Campbell
- Naval Station Norfolk
What the UA VIP program provides for transitioning active-duty service members
For 118 days, Fort Campbell Welding Class 22 students will learn the fundamentals of welding through classroom instruction and hands-on training.
Upon completion of the VIP program, graduates will gain direct entry into a UA-registered apprenticeship program, where they will continue to learn and improve their piping industry skills.
While in the five-year apprenticeship program, students will earn competitive wages and quickly become eligible for comprehensive health insurance for not only themselves but for their whole family.
Eventually, apprentices will top out and become journeymen which opens up a variety of career paths with further advancement in the pipe trades.
Any active duty service member planning to transition from the military is encouraged to explore the possibilities the UA VIP program offers on our website.