Army Corporal Matthew Kauhn attributes his current and future success in his civilian life to the experiences and skills he learned in the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Program.
“The VIP Program is the reason for my success after getting out of the military,” Kauhn said.
The UA VIP Program is an 18-week SkillBridge program crafted to prepare active-duty transitioning military service members for an entry-level position in the pipe trades through hands-on training and classroom instruction. The VIP Program is offered at seven military installations, nationwide.
In his new career as an HVAC-R technician and member of UA Local 469 located in Phoenix, Arizona, Kauhn believes the VIP Program has prepared him for this career.
“The UA VIP did a great job of training us,” Kauhn said. “Everything I have encountered so far was taught to me by the VIP.”
After graduating from the VIP Program and transitioning out of the military, VIP graduates are provided job placement with a UA signatory contractor in an agreed upon location, nationwide. While working for these contractors, VIP graduates earn a livable wage and receive quality fringe benefits.
The VIP Program and job placement sets active-duty transitioning military service members up for a quality career.
“The VIP Program set me up with all of the certifications and training I needed to be able to successfully go to work after the military,” said Kauhn. “I was prepared, instead of sitting in limbo wondering what I was going to do to provide for my family.”
In addition to job placement, all VIP graduates gain direct entry to the United Association’s 5-year registered apprenticeship program. Here they will build on their skillset, as they work alongside experienced UA members and learn from accredited instructors in the classroom.
During this apprenticeship and thereafter, VIP graduates will be able to comfortably provide for their families. UA members earn a livable wage, with scheduled pay raises. They also receive quality fringe benefits such as full-family health insurance and retirement benefits like a 401k plan and pension.
If you would like to learn more about the UA VIP Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, please click here.
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Video and Photo Gallery
Take a look at everything the VIP program is doing for our returning veterans — through videos and photos.
Pipefitters Local 455, St. Paul, MN, Apprentice David Adams (VIP graduate, Wisconsin Welding Class 2) is pictured on the job working for Pioneer Piping, Incorporated (PPI) at the Flint Hills Refinery in MN.
Camp Pendleton VIP Graduate turned out as Journeyman and makes a life in Butte, MT, with Local 41.
Orry graduated on April 9, 2015 and affiliated with UA Local 455, St. Paul, MN.
Sgt. Jerry Heneha, A Battery, 1st Battalion, 31st Field Artillery, puts together a valve system in preparation for his final week of the United Association's Veterans in Piping program at the Industrial Training Complex Photo Credit: Ms. Marie Berberea (TRADOC)
Fort Sill's inaugural Sprinkler Fitter class began on 2 March 2015.
SFC Michael Olsen and 1SG William Davidson presented their instructors Louis Purcella and Micah Tyler with a momentum from the class.
SGT Howard Nash is headed to Harrisburg, PA, to affiliate with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 520.
Gail Pilecki was so proud of her son, SGT Jeremy Pilecki, on graduation day. SGT Pilecki will make his home in Houston, affiliating with Pipefitters Local 211.
1SG William Davidson gave the graduate testimonial. He will remain with his family in Waco, TX, affiliating with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529 in Waco, TX.
SFC Michael Olsen and his wife, Amanda, will remain in the area, affiliating with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529 in Waco, TX.
Alysa and SPC Chad Eberle will be heading to San Antonio, TX, with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 142.
SGT Lawrence Beller, his wife, Brittney, and daughter, Nahla, will be making Houston, TX, their home, affiliating with Pipefitters Local 211.
Mouse over thumbnails to view larger videos and photos or view entire Gallery.