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

UA VIP Camp Pendleton Welding Class 43 begins

On May 13, the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program welcomed another class of transitioning active-duty service members to begin training for a civilian career in the pipe trades. 

Journeymen instructors Jason Culkin and David Ramirez will teach the students in Camp Pendleton Welding Class 43 through classroom instruction and hands-on training. 

UA VIP is a DOD SkillBridge program created to help active-duty service members smoothly transition out of the military and into civilian life. 

Marine Sgt. Brandon Leasau discovered the UA VIP program after attending a career fair while he was stationed at Camp Pendleton. 

Leasau was immediately attracted to the program because of the guaranteed job placement and the potential to work in a high-paying field. 

“While I’m in the VIP program my goals are to network with other like-minded individuals while learning a new skill to support my family,” Leasau said. “I also want to learn what it’s like in the civilian sector as I make my transition out of the Marines.”

Leasau is looking forward to learning something new and exciting. 

“When I start my UA apprenticeship program I hope I am able to support my family and have a great time while doing it,” he said.

Marine Cpl. Khristopher Meadows came across the UA VIP program on the Skillbridge website. He liked that the program was geared toward transitioning active-duty service members and how it teaches them to be successful. 

Meadows’ goals while in the program are to learn the basic welding techniques necessary to be successful and earn as many certifications as possible. 

“My goal is to become a journeyman and continue up the chain in the welding and pipefitting line of work,” Meadows said. 

The UA VIP program offers training in welding, HVAC-R and fire suppression at the following seven military bases:

Start a pipe trades career with UA VIP

After graduating from the UA VIP program and transitioning out of the military, students will be placed into a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program at an agreed-upon location with guaranteed job placement. 

While working as apprentices, VIP graduates will earn a livable wage and receive comprehensive benefits such as healthcare and retirement benefits. 

As apprentices continue to learn the fundamentals of the trade, they will qualify for regular wage increases. 

After completing the apprenticeship program, VIP graduates will become UA journeymen. Achieving journeyman status will open up doors to even more opportunities for career advancement. 

All active-duty members in their last six months of service are encouraged to visit the UA VIP website for more information.