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

UA VIP Camp Lejeune Welding Class 25 reaches halfway mark

The active-duty service members of Camp Lejeune Welding Class 25 have reached the halfway point of the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program. 

At this point in their training, Welding Class 25 students have started learning the basic skills of welding and are on their way to obtaining several industry-recognized certifications. 

As the class progresses, students will complete the training for those certifications as they further develop their skills and industry knowledge. 

UA VIP is a DOD SkillBridge program designed to help active-duty service members smoothly transition back into civilian life with guaranteed job placement. 

Marine Cpl. Jacob Mlocki was encouraged by a friend to apply for the UA VIP program and he is grateful that he did. 

“The program is structured very well,” he said. “They definitely have a crawl, walk, run mentality to make sure you understand what you’re doing before they move you on.”

After transitioning from the military, Mlocki will begin his UA apprenticeship program at Pipeliners Local 798 in Tulsa, Okla.

Marine Cpl. Gunner Linn is also a Welding Class 25 member. He described his time in the UA VIP program as “amazing.”

Linn was interested in learning how to weld and after researching the program and looking at the website, he liked what he saw. 

“Anyone thinking about applying to join the UA VIP program should do it,” he said. “I would tell them about all the good things that come along with it.”

After he graduates and transitions out of the military, Linn will begin his apprenticeship at Steamfitters Pipefitters Local 455 in St. Paul, Minn. 

UA VIP graduates are guaranteed direct entry into a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program with the UA at an agreed-upon location nationwide. 

Any service member can apply for placement in the UA VIP program and begin on-base training in welding, fire suppression or HVAC-R during their last six months of military commitment. 

The UA VIP program is offered at the following military installations:

A future with the UA 

After Welding Class 25 students graduate from the UA VIP program and transition out of the military, they will join a UA registered apprenticeship program where they will begin working for a UA signatory contractor. 

While working as an apprentice, VIP graduates will be paid a livable wage and will qualify for medical benefits for not only themselves but for their families. They will also earn retirement benefits including a 401(k) and pension.

As apprentices, the Welding Class 25 graduates will continue to learn and improve their technical skills and industry knowledge through classroom instruction and on-the-job training. 

The UA VIP program recognizes the sacrifice, skills and dedication military members bring to the piping industry and wants to equip them with the resources necessary to succeed in a civilian career. 

If you or someone you know is in their last six months of active duty service, consider applying for the UA VIP program today.