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Fort Cavazos Welding Class 26 reaches mid-way point of UA VIP training

Students in the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Fort Cavazos Welding Class 26 are officially halfway through their advanced welding training. 

The UA VIP program is a DOD SkillBridge program, created to assist active-duty service members as they transition out of the military and into rewarding civilian careers in the pipe trades. 

Active-duty military members in their last six months of service can apply for the UA VIP program and begin training in welding, fire suppression or HVACR. 

With about nine weeks left, Class 26 students have an understanding of the fundamentals of welding. They are learning from experienced journeyman instructors through hands-on training and classroom instruction.

Army Sgt. Zackery Collins is grateful for the UA VIP program and the instructors who take extra time to help students who have no experience welding. 

Collins had prior welding experience before joining the UA VIP program and wanted to begin a welding career after leaving the military. After he graduates and transitions out of the military, he will begin his apprenticeship with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529 in Waco, Texas.

Army Sgt. Evan Van Houten knew he wanted to learn a trade after he left the military and has learned more than he thought he knew about unions. 

“Personally, I think the UA VIP program is great because there is enough class to get a basic grasp for the hands-on portion,” he said. “I have learned a lot. This is definitely going to give me a leg up for my income and family upon Expiration Term of Service.”

After transitioning out of the military, Van Houten will begin his apprenticeship program at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 286 in Austin, Texas.

Other students in the class will begin their apprenticeships in other parts of Texas, Nevada, Tennessee, Colorado and New York.

Become a UA member today 

Since 2008, the UA VIP has helped thousands of service members smoothly transition back to civilian life with a rewarding career where they can earn good wages and benefits. 

After Welding Class 26 students graduate from the UA VIP program and transition out of the military, they will join a DOL-registered apprenticeship program and begin working for a UA signatory contractor. 

UA VIP graduates will make a livable wage and qualify for full-family medical benefits and retirement benefits including a 401K and pension while working as an apprentice. 

After topping out, apprentices will become journeymen which will open even more doors for further career advancement. 

Any active-duty service member planning to transition out of the military looking for guaranteed job security is encouraged to apply for the UA VIP program today.