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JBLM Welding Class 29 reaches the midpoint of its training program

As the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Program's JBLM Welding Class 29 reaches its midpoint, the students have begun deciding where they will begin their future civilian careers. 

The UA VIP Program is a DOD Skillbridge program, that prepares active-duty service members for careers in the piping industry after they transition out. 

By joining the UA VIP Program during their final six months of military commitment, the students in JBLM Welding Class 29 are learning welding techniques, which are critical to succeed in their civilian careers.

Embracing the classroom and beyond

Army Sgt. Paul Wojey has been impressed by the focused approach to learning welding techniques he has experienced so far.

"The class is down to business with no filler," Wojey said. 

Army Sgt. Fidow Soa has also found the welding training to be challenging.

"Every day, there's something new to learn," Soa said.

The total package: Benefits of the UA VIP Program

What sets the UA VIP Program apart? According to Wojey, it’s the comprehensive pay and benefits package that awaits after he transitions out of the military. 

Soa and the other JBLM Class 29 classmates are gaining welding experience through both hands-on training and classroom instruction. 

"The knowledge given out in class and the shop is super useful," Soa said.

When they graduate from Class 29 and transition out of the military, both Wojey and Soa plan to begin their civilian careers in the apprenticeship program in Western Washington State at UA Local 26

Begin a rewarding career with the UA

The UA VIP program is designed to help transitioning active-duty service members smoothly transition out of the military and into rewarding civilian careers in the pipe trades. 

After transitioning out of the military and graduating from the program, VIP students will be placed into a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program at an agreed-upon location. 

Once in their apprenticeship, VIP graduates will work for a UA signatory contractor, where they will earn a livable wage and quickly receive full-family healthcare and retirement benefits. 

Eventually, apprentices top out and become experienced journeymen in their preferred trade, which opens up more career paths with potential further advancement. 

All active-duty military members in their last six months of service are encouraged to apply for the UA VIP program.