Transitioning active-duty service member Army Sgt. Warren Gellings and his fellow classmates recently began the United Association Veterans In Piping (UA VIP) program fire suppression training at Fort Campbell.
Over the course of the next 18 weeks Class 12 participants will receive hands-on training and classroom instruction from certified journeyman instructors as they earn industry-recognized certifications and acceptance into a UA registered apprenticeship program.
“My goal while in the UA VIP program is to learn as much as possible in order to be a valuable asset to the UA,” said Gellings.
Class 12 students can earn certifications in boom lift, sprinkler hazard, forklift, and OSHA safety. Their training will encompass mathematical education, basic rigging, and introductions to automatic sprinkler systems.
“I anticipate the UA VIP program will teach me the valuable skills I need to succeed in this growing world that is reliant on physical labor and hard work,” Gellings said.
The UA VIP program is a DOD Skillbridge program that recognizes military veterans' dedication, sacrifice and skills that transfer to a career in the piping industry.
“I was initially attracted to the program for its guaranteed job placement, pay, job progression and job satisfaction,” said Gellings.
If you are a transitioning active-duty service member in your last six months of service, you should apply to the UA VIP program and ensure a financially stable career after your time in the military.
Upon applying to the UA VIP program, you can choose from seven military installations with various training in select trades:
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord - HVAC and welding
- Camp Pendleton - welding
- Fort Carson - welding
- Fort Cavazos - welding
- Camp Lejeune - welding.
- Fort Campbell - fire suppression and welding
- Naval Station Norfolk - HVAC
Graduates learning moves to UA apprenticeship program.
After successfully completing 18 weeks of training at one of the locations above, UA VIP graduates will join a UA-affiliated apprenticeship program of their choice.
As an apprentice, they will participate in the earn-while-you-learn model, as UA-affiliated apprentices earn good hourly wages while learning the trade in the classroom and on the job. They will also quickly qualify for quality full-family health care and retirement benefits including a 401k and pension plan.
Upon completing the apprenticeship program, UA VIP graduates will become journeymen in their trade, opening up a wide variety of career options.
The UA VIP program has the proper tools and support systems to help veterans smoothly transition into civilian life.