Union Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians


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Student enjoys UA VIP welding class

UA Veterans in Piping - Camp Lejeune welding

As he works toward transitioning out of the military and into a civilian career, current United Association Veterans in Piping Program student and Marine Corporal Brandon Sortman said he loves learning about welding through the UA VIP Program at Camp Lejeune.

“My experience in the class has been unbelievable,” Sortman said. “I definitely love every day of class.”

The UA VIP Program is an 18-week Skillbridge program with a curriculum that aims to prepare active-duty transitioning military service members for an entry-level career in the pipe trades. The VIP Program offers a combination of hands-on and classroom instruction in state-of-the-art labs.

VIP - Brandon Sortman
Now close to transitioning back into civilian life, Sortman is adjusting well to the classroom and is looking forward to his future career.

“I adjusted very well and the structure is outstanding,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back to my love and passion for welding.”

UA VIP graduates are guaranteed a job with a UA signatory contractor in an agreed upon location after they graduate from the program and successfully transition out of the armed forces.

In addition to job placement, VIP graduates gain direct entry into the five-year UA apprenticeship program. During their apprenticeship, VIP graduates hone their skills in the classroom while learning from accredited instructors and also on the jobsite working alongside experienced UA members.

Transitioning out of the military, VIP graduates will find the benefits and wage package similar to what they were earning. However, wages grow as an apprentice progresses. In addition to great wages, the benefits package includes full-family health insurance and retirement benefits, such as a 401k plan and pension.

Sortman has goals he would like to achieve when he becomes a UA member, but the progress starts in the VIP Program.

“I am excited to be the best welder and pipefitter possible,” he said. “Anyone should apply for this program, it will change your life.”

If you would like more information about the UA VIP Program at Camp Lejeune, please click here.