Union Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians


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Fort Carson Welding Class to help soldiers transition to civilian life

Fort Carson Welding Class to help soldiers transition to civilian life

The United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Program Fort Carson Welding Class 17 is off to a great start with a new batch of active-duty transitioning military service members learning entry-level welding skills.

Fort Carson UA VIP Welding Instructor Jason Smith is excited to help this group refamiliarize themselves with civilian life.

“The process of learning how to weld teaches them patience, communication with civilians and how to deal with stress in a totally different way than they are accustomed to,” said Smith. “It trains them to become more of an individual putting forth an effort to achieve a goal because they want to instead of being ordered to.”

Although Smith knows that the 14 Army soldiers are up for the challenge, he still believes the course will be demanding.

“This class will do awesome,” said Smith. “I am expecting to see some dramatic ups and downs, as I don’t believe they realize what a challenge welding is.”

Active-duty transitioning military service members in the final months of their service can apply to the UA VIP Program to learn valuable in-demand skills.

The UA VIP Program is an 18-week Career Skills program, where active-duty transitioning military service members learn from accredited instructors in the classroom and in hands-on training sessions.

In addition to learning the skills of the trades, VIP Program participants will also earn industry certifications such as OSHA safety certifications and UA welding certifications, which help set them apart from their peers.

Upon successful completion of the UA VIP Program and transition out of the military, graduates are guaranteed job placement with a UA signatory contractor. UA contractors pay livable wages, provide great health insurance and offer retirement benefits like 401k plans and pensions.

This guaranteed job placement relieves the stress service members face when transitioning back to the civilian world, as a job with a UA signatory contractor provides stability for the service member and their family post military service.

Graduates of the program gain direct entry into the five-year UA apprenticeship program. As apprentices, graduates will continue to build on their piping industry skills. They will receive classroom instruction and on-the-job training from experienced journeymen. As they progress through the apprenticeship program, they will receive wage increases reflective of their progress.

Specialist Katie Spicer, who has no experience with a skilled trade, learned about the UA VIP program through the education center and is excited to be in the program.

“I have always been interested in pipefitting and welding,” she said.

The VIP Program has been supplying the UA with quality tradesmen and tradeswomen, who are prepared to learn and become highly trained and highly skilled journeymen.

For more information about the Fort Carson UA VIP Program, click here.