Take a look at some of the newsworthy items for the VIP program.

Fort Campbell Welding Class 23 students learn where they will begin UA apprenticeship

Fort Campbell Welding Class 23 students have reached the halfway point of their advanced training in the UA VIP program. 

The UA VIP program is a DOD SkillBridge program designed to help active-duty service members smoothly transition into sustainable pipe trade careers. 

Since Class 23 started in March, these active-duty service members have been preparing to become future apprentices in the pipe trades. 

Students will continue to expand their knowledge of welding fundamentals thanks to journeymen instructors Chris Johnson and Michael Smith. Johnson and Smith teach students through hands-on training and classroom instruction. 

Welding Class 23 students will have the opportunity to learn oxy-fuel cutting and SMAW and GRAW welding on plates and pipes. They will also have the opportunity to receive certifications in SMAW and GTAW pipe welding before they graduate. 

Recently, Welding Class 23 students selected an agreed-upon UA Local Union in an area where they want to live and start their apprenticeship. 

Army Cpl. Cory Sanders will begin his UA apprenticeship close to his hometown of Clarksville. Tenn. Sanders will become a member of UA Local 572 in Nashville. 

Other Class 23 students will travel farther for their apprenticeships. Army Spc. Richard Gil will join UA Local 230 in San Diego, Calif., and Army Sgt. Ricky Berrios will join UA Local 41 in Montana. 

All graduates of Welding Class 23 will gain direct entry into a UA-registered apprenticeship program, where they will continue to learn and improve their welding skills. 

The UA VIP program offers accelerated training in welding, HVAC-R and fire suppression. Listed below are the seven military bases with the programs offered:

UA VIP offers guaranteed job placement 

Since it was created in 2008, the UA VIP program has helped thousands of U.S. service members find a financially stable and fulfilling career through the UA. 

The UA VIP program recognizes the dedication, sacrifice and skills military members bring to the piping industry and wants to equip them with all the resources necessary to succeed. 

Once Welding Class 23 students graduate from the program and transition out of the military, they will join a DOL-registered apprenticeship program and go to work for a UA signatory contractor. 

Welding Class 23 students will earn a livable wage, along with full-family healthcare and retirement benefits. Eventually, apprentices will top out and become experienced journeymen, which will open up more career paths with the potential for further advancement in the piping industry. 

The pipe trades industry needs individuals with strong hands-on problem-solving skills, and the UA VIP program is dedicated to fulfilling this need.