Thanks to the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program, the graduates of Fort
Hood Welding Class 21 stand on the brink of new careers in the civilian world.
The graduates are guaranteed a civilian job with good pay and benefits once they transition out
of the military.
The UA VIP program is a Career Skills Program (CSP) that prepares transitioning active-duty
service members for good paying careers in the pipe trades.
Over the course of 18 weeks, the students learned to weld alongside an experienced
journeyman instructor. Some had never before held a welding torch, but gained foundational
welding skills through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training. They
earned industry recognized certifications that advanced their skills and will later serve to
accelerate their careers.
The students learned oxy fuel cutting, SMAW plate welding, SPAW and GTAW pipe welding
and SMAW pipe spooling.
Transitioning active-duty service members are eligible to apply to the UA VIP program during
their last 18 months of enlistment. Training is available in welding, HVACR and fire sprinkler
fitting at select military bases across the country.
A direct path to a pipe trades apprenticeship
Once the graduates transition out of the military, they will go on to begin a UA registered
apprenticeship at an agreed upon location. The Class 21 students plan to join UA Local Unions
in New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.
During their training, they will earn good union pay and will quickly qualify for quality healthcare
for their families. They will start earning a pension and a 401K for their retirement.
Once they complete their apprenticeships, they will become journeymen with numerous
opportunities for advancement. Some will continue to work for signatory union contractors or
start their own businesses. Some may even become UA VIP journeyman instructors and
introduce others to the trade.
Thanks to the UA VIP program, the students gain entry into a lucrative civilian career that has a
high demand for jobs.
Learn more about UA VIP welding opportunities available at Fort Hood.