Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) graduate Jerome Griego hopes other active-duty transitioning service members will look into the VIP Program for a seamless transition into a new career.
“It is a great opportunity to learn or expand your skills and knowledge,” Griego said. “It also helps with time management because you personally don’t have to hunt down a job.”
The UA VIP Program is an 18-week Career Skills Program that teaches active-duty transitioning military service members entry-level pipe trades skills during the final weeks of their service. It is a free program open to all active-duty transitioning military service members and is offered at seven military installations throughout the country.
After leaving Camp Lejeune and becoming an apprentice with UA Local 421, Griego is able to acknowledge he made a successful, smooth transition into a new career.
“It is an awesome program that will ease the fears and stress that come with transitioning,” Griego said.
He said he is also happy he did not have to spend time searching for a job.
“The fact that a lot of time was saved not having to look for a job,” Griego said. “I could spend time in other areas.”
Upon successful completion of the VIP Program and transition out of the military, graduates are guaranteed job placement with a UA signatory contractor in an agreed upon location. As apprentices, the VIP graduates earn a livable wage and quality fringe benefits.
Additionally, VIP graduates gain direct entry into the five-year UA registered apprenticeship program. While apprentices, the VIP graduates will continue building on their skillset through classroom training from accredited instructors and on-the-job training as they work alongside experienced, skilled UA members.
While apprentices and as skilled UA members, VIP graduates earn a family-supporting wage and full-family health insurance. They also earn retirement benefits such as a 401k and pension.
To learn more about the UA VIP Program at Camp Lejeune, click here.