Union Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians


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

Spotlight: UA VIP welding students obtain multiple certifications


Recent graduates of the United Association Veteran’s in Piping Program (UA VIP) Fort Carson Welding Class 12 exceeded in their training and obtained multiple, in-demand industry certifications.

Caleb Burns, Dillon O’Neal, Charles Rainey, Lukas Smith and Hannah Wood all earned both the UA 21 and UA 100 welding certifications.

The UA 21 welding certification requires candidates to weld a 2-inch double extra strong pipe with 0.436-inch wall thickness, while completing the test in a 6G position without rotating or changing the height.

Once a welder passes all four positions of pipe welding and have bent their straps for those positions (1G rolled pipe, 2G horizontal, 5G stationary and 6G 45-degree test position), a welder becomes eligible to take the UA 100 test. To earn this certification, the welds must be 100 percent x-rayed and the welds made on four-inch schedule 80 (1/2” thick) pipe in the 2G horizontal position.

The UA VIP Program is a free, 18-week accelerated training program available to active-duty military service members who are preparing to transition out of the armed forces. Participants receive classroom instruction and perform hands-on training in a welding lab to prepare them for their five-year UA apprenticeship.

Many military members preparing to transition out of the military face an uncertain future because they do not know what to expect once they return to civilian life. These men and women often times struggle to find a good-paying job to support their family. However, the UA VIP Program eases the challenges of transitioning out of the armed forces by guaranteeing graduates direct placement into a job with a UA signatory contractor in an agreed upon geographical area.

Fort Carson - Welding Class 12

The graduates of Fort Carson Welding Class 12 excelled through the course of the training program and upon successful transition out of the military, will begin their careers within the United Association. Furthermore, they have all been accepted into five-year UA apprenticeship programs with a UA Local in their geographical region.

Burns will begin his apprenticeship with Local 208 in Denver, while O’Neal joins Local 322 in Winslow, N.J. Rainey and Wood both entered into the Local 441 Wichita, Kan. apprenticeship program. Smith will join the UA apprenticeship class with Local 296 in Boise, Idaho.

The UA VIP Program was created to decrease the number of unemployed veterans. By providing free pipe trades training to transitioning active-duty service members, the UA VIP Program also helps fill the lack of skilled members in the pipe trades.

Learn more about the different pipe trade training available to transitioning active-duty service members through the UA VIP Program.