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

Naval Station Norfolk Class 20 graduates ready for careers as HVAC-R Service Techs

Students in the UA VIP Naval Station Norfolk HVAC-R Class 20 graduated on Oct. 26. 

During their time in the United Association Veterans In Piping (UA VIP) program, students learned the skills necessary to begin a rewarding career in the heating and cooling service industry. 

After they transition out of the military, the graduates will soon start their civilian careers as HVAC-R technicians. 

The UA VIP program is a DOD SkillBridge program that was created to help active-duty military members in the last six months of service prepare for a new civilian career.

The students were taught by experienced UA journeymen how to install and maintain heating, cooling and refrigeration systems in residential, commercial and industrial areas. 

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class, Christian Simpkins is thankful for the opportunities the UA VIP program provided him with and called the program a “blessing.”

“The UA VIP program was a great experience of learning the fundamentals of the trade,” he said. “I will begin to work this upcoming week.”

Class 20 graduates have the opportunity to earn industry certifications in HVAC refrigeration, UA 51 brazing, EPA 608, OSHA and more. 

“The program exposed us to many different areas in the HVAC field,” Simpkins said. “I knew when I was leaving the military that this field was what I wanted to do for a living. I am looking forward to working hard and finishing my apprenticeship.”

Graduates leave the military and start a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship at an agreed-upon location where they will continue to learn and earn more certifications alongside journeymen instructors. 

Since 2008, the UA VIP program has helped thousands of transitioning military service members begin financially stable rewarding civilian careers in the pipe trades.

The UA VIP program offers accelerated training in welding, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) and fire suppression. Listed below is a list of military bases with VIP programs: 

The start of a rewarding career

After graduating from the UA VIP program, students are guaranteed job placement and direct entrance into a UA-registered apprenticeship program. 

Apprentices will earn good wages while they continue to master their trade both in the classroom and on the jobsite. Students will qualify for quality health insurance and start contributing to a pension and a 401K for their retirement. 

As they progress through the program and expand their skill set, apprentice pay gradually increases. 

If you are or know a transitioning active-duty service member, please consider applying for the UA VIP program during your last six months of service for a rewarding, life-long civilian career.