Regardless of their previous experience level, the students in Fort Campbell’s Welding Class 19 will soon learn key foundational welding skills that will help them begin a civilian career in the pipe trades after the military.
It is all part of the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program, a Career Skills program for transitioning military service members.
Though some of the students have never held a welding torch before, they will learn basic welding skills over the course of 18 weeks alongside an experienced journeyman instructor. The training involves a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training. In addition to basic skills, the students will earn industry-recognized certifications such as oxy fuel cutting, shielded metal arc plate welding, shielded metal arc welding and tungsten inert gas pipe welding and shielded metal arc pipe spooling (SMAW).
The UA VIP program provides transitioning active duty service members with a guaranteed job through a UA-registered apprenticeship after leaving the military. Active duty military members are invited to apply to the UA VIP program during the last six months of their enlistment period. Training takes place on base and is considered part of each student’s military service.
Training is offered in welding, HVACR and fire sprinkler fitting at select military bases across the country.
A direct path to a UA apprenticeship and a great career
After the Class 19 students complete their UA VIP training and transition out of the military, they will begin a UA registered apprenticeship at an agreed upon location. During their apprenticeship, they will earn good union pay and quickly qualify for quality healthcare for their family. They will start earning a pension and a 401K for retirement.
When they complete their apprenticeship, they will become journeymen and enjoy a good paying career in a field that is in high demand.