Union Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians


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

Strong civilian career opportunities attract students to VIP Program

UA Veterans in Piping - Fort Campbell

A current student in the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Program believes he will have an abundance of work for years to come, putting him in a better position than many individuals pursuing degrees at various colleges and universities.

“I decided to join the UA VIP Program for job security,” said Army Sergeant Jerrell Drew. “There will always be a need for welders. Therefore, as long as I maintain my competence, I will always have work.”Jerrell Drew - UA VIP

The UA VIP Program is an 18-week Career Skills program designed to equip active-duty transitioning military service members with the skills needed for an entry-level career in the pipe trades. VIP participants learn through hands-on work in a lab as well as classroom instruction.

SGT Drew said he has become comfortable in the welding program at Fort Carson. The UA VIP instructors have helped him at every turn.

“I am adjusting to the program very well,” he said. “The instructors have clear and accurate information that helps me understand all of the material provided.”

Once VIP participants graduate from the program and successfully transition out of the military, they are guaranteed job placement with a UA signatory contractor. This helps fill the void left by an aging, retiring pipe trades workforce, while providing employment to veterans.

In addition to job placement, VIP graduates gain direct entry to the five-year UA registered apprenticeship program. During this apprenticeship program, VIP graduates build on their skillset as they work toward becoming a journeyman.

As apprentices, VIP graduates earn a livable wage with scheduled increases as they progress through the apprenticeship program. Additionally, UA members earn full-family health insurance and retirement benefits, such as a 401k and pension.

The wages, job placement and quality of the VIP Program is ultimately what convinced Drew to learn more and eventually give the VIP Program a shot.

“The representative that I spoke with ultimately convinced me to try the UA VIP Program out above the rest,” Drew said. “I weighed all known pros and cons of each class, as well as placement opportunities and decided that the UA VIP Program aligned closest to what I wanted and needed.”

To learn more about the UA VIP Program at Fort Carson, please click here.