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

JBLM Welding Class 28 graduates ready for civilian careers

The United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Joint Base Lewis-McChord Welding Class 28 students graduated in early September. 

These graduates will soon begin new and fulfilling civilian careers in the pipefitting industry after transitioning out of the military. 

JBLM Welding Instructor Jeremy Rood was impressed with the student's progress in the program and even allowed them to grade each other's work in a friendly competition. 

“The last few weeks, my students have been learning basic pipefitting skills, and they all completed their projects this week,” he said. “The class decided what they wanted the projects to be graded on, then they individually graded each other’s projects.” 

The first and second-place winners received tools donated to the program from Milwaukee Tools, a proud supporter of the UA VIP program. 

As a DOD Skillbridge Program, UA VIP is designed to help transitioning active-duty service members find their calling in the welding, HVAC-R or fire suppression industries. The opportunities after the UA VIP program are endless. 

The program provides transitioning active-duty service members the skills and basic education to find a successful civilian career in the pipe trades. 

JBLM class 28 Welding graduates obtained industry-recognized certifications in oxy-fuel cutting, SMAW plate welding, SPAW and GTAW pipe welding and SMAW pipe spooling.  

The UA VIP program is available at seven military bases with nine different programs.

Beginning a civilian career 

Students who graduate from the UA VIP Program are rewarded for their investment with guaranteed job placement and direct entrance into a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program. 

As new UA members, there are numerous opportunities for career progression. Starting as an apprentice, the UA provides classroom and on-the-job training to grow and develop apprentices into highly skilled journey-level workers. 

Once an apprentice tops out of the apprenticeship program and becomes a journeyman, the career pathway expands. Journeymen can become foremen, superintendents, UA officers, business owners or an instructor.

Transitioning active-duty service members from all branches of the service are welcome to apply for the UA VIP program.