Union Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians


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Traveling and working with new people thanks to the VIP Program

UA Veterans in Piping - Fort Hood welding

The United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Program is one way to unlock the ability to travel the country and work on projects that move America forward. 

Army Corporal. John Duffy liked this idea and now, after graduating from the VIP Welding program at Fort Hood, is working with a diverse group of tradesmen and tradeswomen on a large project. 

“Working in the UA is similar to being in the military in ways,” Duffy said. “You can travel a lot and work with a bunch of different people. On my current job, there are 1,000 people working from all over the country.”

John Duffy - UA VIPThe UA VIP Program is an 18-week Career Skills program, which equips active-duty transitioning military service members with the skills and knowledge necessary for an entry level career in the pipe trades. Open to all active-duty transitioning military service members, the VIP Program is offered at seven military installations, nationwide.

Now a second year apprentice with UA Local 495 in Cambridge, Ohio, Duffy is thankful for the VIP Program and how it helped ease the transition back into civilian life.

“The VIP Program helped me start working right after I got out of the military,” he said. “This made the transition smoother.”

Upon graduation from the VIP Program and successful transition out of the military, VIP graduates are guaranteed job placement with a UA signatory contractor in an agreed upon location. VIP graduates come into these positions with enough experience to be an asset to many contractors, who are experiencing a labor shortage.

Additionally, VIP graduates gain direct entry into the five-year UA registered apprenticeship program. As apprentices, the graduates will work to improve as tradesmen and tradeswomen. They train on-the-job, learning from experienced UA members and in the classroom from accredited instructors.

“As far as the benefits go, the pay is good starting out as a first year apprentice, you get medical health insurance,” Duffy said. “There’s plenty of room for advancement if you stand out over your peers.”

As apprentices, VIP graduates earn a livable wage and quality benefits that help them provide for themselves and their family. UA members are provided full family health insurance as well as a 401k plan and pension.

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