News

AND HAPPENINGS WITH VIP

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

Fort Carson Graduates 10th Welding Class

Sep 8, 2017 12:04:14 PM

For members of the United Association Veterans in Piping Program at Fort Carson, the rigorous welding course is about to pay off. 

On Aug. 31, 11 students graduated from the 10th UA VIP Welding Class Fort Carson. One graduate came from the Air Force, while the others were enlisted in the Army.

Welding Class 10 began on May 1 and following intensive hands-on training and classroom education, the 11 members are now looking ahead to life after they are discharged from the service.

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Catching Up With Brian Kirby, A UA VIP Graduate

Jan 24, 2017 4:01:58 PM

After serving his country for 13 years in the United States Army, Brian Kirby was ready to transition to civilian life and decided the best way to prepare for his future outside of the Armed Services was with the United Association (UA) Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program.

With the United Association (UA) Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program, transitioning military members prepare to leave the service with sought after skills that can lead to lifelong careers in the increasingly in-demand pipe trades. Through 18-week accelerated courses – provided free of cost on military bases across the country – UA VIP participants earn industry-recognized certifications and direct entry into stable private-sector jobs with good pay and benefits. Department of Defense funds are not required to make this program work; the UA International Training Fund pays for the education and trains the departing service members. Additionally, 100 percent of the men and women who graduate from the UA VIP Program are placed into a 5-year apprenticeship program with the UA where they train for a career, not just a job.

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UA VIP Graduate Shares His Story at Helmets to Hardhats Luncheon

Dec 8, 2016 4:07:46 PM

Akini Celestine, a graduate of the United Associations (UA) Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program and a member of UA Local 1 in New York City, recently spoke at a Helmets to Hardhats Luncheon.  He detailed his decision to apply to the UA VIP Program, his life as a unionized worker, and the less than common path he took to find himself among the men and women of the United States Army.   His speech, in its entirety, is below. 

“My name is Akini Celestine. I am a third-year apprentice at the United Association Plumbers Local 1 and concurrently serve as a sergeant in the Army Reserve. Originally born in the tiny tropical island of Grenada, I moved to the United States at the young age of 19 to pursue a better life.

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UA VIP Graduate Todd Secor

Nov 4, 2016 9:52:50 AM

Veteran unemployment numbers are consistently higher than that of the general population.  It’s a disappointing thought; after defending our freedom, the men and women of the armed forces may not have a career to come back to, or a paycheck to support themselves or their loved ones.


With the United Association (UA) Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program, transitioning military members prepare to leave the service with sought after skills that can lead to lifelong careers in the increasingly in-demand pipe trades. Through 18-week accelerated courses - provided free of cost on military bases across the country – UA VIP participants earn industry-recognized certifications and direct entry into stable private-sector jobs with good pay and benefits. Department of Defense funds are not required to make this program work; the UA International Training Fund pays for the education and trains the departing service members.

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SPC William Northrop, UA VIP Graduate

Nov 1, 2016 3:27:33 PM

There’s no shortage of success among the graduates of the United Association (UA) Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program.

During the program, transitioning military members prepare to leave the service with sought after skills that can lead to lifelong careers in the increasingly in-demand pipe trades. Through 18-week accelerated courses - provided free of cost on military bases across the country – UA VIP participants earn industry-recognized certifications and direct entry into stable private-sector jobs with good pay and benefits. Department of Defense funds are not required to make this program work; the UA International Training Fund pays for the education and trains the departing service members.

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Army Specialist Peddy and Sergent Tamayo Graduate from UA VIP Program at Fort Campbell

Jun 14, 2016 10:37:14 AM

Two women are among the 19 Fort Campbell Soldiers who graduated from the United Association’s Veterans in Piping program (UA VIP) on June 2, an important first for the program at the Kentucky base.

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From Soldiers to welders – UA program trains for new careers at Fort Campbell

Mar 6, 2015 1:52:00 AM

Soldiers transitioning out of the Army can face a degree of uncertainty about future career endeavors – and the means necessary to get started on a path in the civilian sector. Members of the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, formerly the Army Career Alumni Program, work closely with these Soldiers to help the planning process go as smoothly as possible. Simultaneously, they work with educational and employment programs  in the private sector, looking to find organizations eager to provide a leg-up to transitioning Veterans.

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Catching Up with Three VIP Graduates One Year Later

Feb 2, 2015 2:06:00 AM

“I love my job!” exclaimed Willie Nazario, who has been on the job for one year working for Olson Plumbing and Heating in Colorado Springs, CO, in Olson’s piping fabrication facility. Willie was in the inaugural Veterans in Piping® (VIP®) class at Plumbers, Pipefitters and HVAC Service Technicians Local 58 in Colorado Springs. He was a Sergeant in the Army based at Fort Carson and was deployed twice to Iraq as an Army Combat Medic.

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SMA Chandler visits Lewis-McChord, learns about job placement pilot program

Jul 29, 2014 2:42:00 AM

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (July 28, 2014) -- As the Army begins efforts to downsize, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler has met hundreds of Soldiers like Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Copeland.

For years, Copeland has been told where to be, when to be there and what to wear. For this, he's received a steady paycheck, deposited into his account every two weeks. But as his career comes to a close, all that goes away. For Copeland and many like him, life on the outside can look a little frightening.

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International Representative Dave Posey Meets with Fifth-Year Apprentice Dan Swanson

Feb 21, 2014 3:12:00 AM

International Representative (TN and KY) Dave Posey proudly stands with Veterans In Piping (VIP) fifth-year apprentice Dan Swanson who is currently working for Bechtel on the construction of Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar Unit 2 Nuclear Power Plant project. Watts Bar Unit 2 will be the first new U.S. commercial reactor of the 21st century and is located in Spring City in southeastern Tennessee. Brother Swanson, who is a member of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 43 in Chattanooga, TN, was a graduate of the Army VIP 2009 class that took place at Local 26, Western Washington.

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For Base Commanders

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The VIP Program has been a lifesaver for our famil

“The VIP Program has been a lifesaver for our family.”