The graduates of Fort Hood Welding Class 23 are prepared to begin their new rewarding civilian careers in the pipe trades.
It’s all thanks to the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program. The UA VIP program is a DOD Skillbridge program designed for active-duty service members ready to transition out of the military.
Upon transition, graduates are guaranteed direct entry to a 5-year UA registered apprenticeship program at an agreed-upon location nationwide.
For 18 weeks, VIP students have learned the foundational pipe trade skills introduced to them by experienced journeyman instructors necessary to pursue a successful civilian career. Journeyman instructors teach students through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training.
Students from Welding Class 23 have obtained industry-recognized certifications in oxy-fuel cutting, SMAW plate welding, SPAW and GTAW pipe welding and SMAW pipe spooling.
Graduates from the UA VIP program have the opportunity to work in many different environments and in all types of positions.
The beginnings of a great welding career with the UA
During their apprenticeship training, the VIP graduates will earn good union wages while they learn and quickly qualify for quality health insurance for their families. They also start earning a pension and a 401K for their retirements. Their pay gradually increases as they progress through the apprenticeship program and expand their skill sets.
Once you become a UA member the opportunities for career progression are endless. Starting as an apprentice, the UA provides numerous training opportunities to grow and develop into a highly skilled journey-level worker.
Once an apprentice tops out of the apprenticeship program and becomes a journeyman, they open up an excellent career pathway with the potential to do even more in the piping industry.
Become a foreman, superintendent, UA signatory contractor/business owner, UA officer or UA organizer—or embrace the opportunity to help prepare the next generation of skilled tradespeople by becoming a UA instructor.
Transitioning active-duty service members are welcome to apply for the UA VIP program during their last six months of military service.
The UA VIP program offers career training in welding, HVACR or fire suppression.
There are currently nine programs operating at seven locations nationwide, serving all branches of the military. Service members stationed at outside installations are highly encouraged to apply for the UA VIP program at one of the following locations:
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord offers training in welding and HVAC
- Camp Pendleton offers training in welding
- Fort Carson offers training in welding
- Fort Hood offers training in welding
- Camp Lejeune offers training in welding
- Fort Campbell offers training in welding and fire suppression
- Naval Station Norfolk offers training in HVAC