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

UA VIP JBLM Welding Class 29 begins

The United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program welcomes another class of transitioning active-duty service members ready to start preparing for a rewarding civilian career in the pipe trades.  

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Welding Class 29 is underway. The students have begun hands-on training and classroom instruction to prepare for future civilian careers. 

On Sept. 26, service members began the UA VIP Welding program. UA VIP is a DoD SkillBridge program designed to help active-duty service members transition from to a new civilian career in the pipe trades.

Welding Class 29 student and Army Spc. Christian Ramirez found out about the UA VIP program through the Soldier For Life-Transition Assistance Program (SFL-TAP), which provides transition and employment assistance to soldiers and their family members transitioning from active duty to civilian. 

Thanks to SFL-TAP, Ramirez found a career training program he felt was best for him.

Many students have set goals for themselves to achieve prior to finishing the program, and Ramirez's goal was to soak up everything the UA VIP program can offer him. 

“My goal is to learn as much as I can so I can make a career out of this by the time I get out of the military,” he said.

Other students in the program are ready to start earning piping industry-recognized certifications. 

“My goal for the program is to get as many certifications as possible and obtain a lot of experience in the trades,” said Army Spc. Isaiah Williams. 

As a Welding Class 29 student, Williams and his classmates can receive certifications in oxy-fuel cutting, SMAW plate welding, SPAW and GTAW pipe welding and SMAW pipe spooling. They will also learn how to accurately read blueprints and measure, cut and weld pieces of material. 

Men and women with military backgrounds bring valuable skills and experiences into the piping industry that UA signatory contractors highly value. 

Active-duty transitioning service members can apply to any of the following installations:

What a career in the UA can do for you

Upon graduating from the UA VIP program and transitioning out of the military, students will immediately be placed into a DOL-registered UA apprenticeship program with a guaranteed job. 

As a member of the UA, the opportunities for career progression are extensive. Graduates who complete the apprenticeship program will become journeymen, opening up excellent career paths for themselves with great potential for further advancement. 

Journeymen in the pipe trades can become foremen, superintendents, instructors, UA signatory contractors, business owners or even a UA-officer or organizer. 

As apprentices train to become journeymen welders, they will earn steady pay while they learn the fundamentals of the trades with regular wage hikes as their skills grow. 

Active-duty service members looking to their future careers in the trades are highly encouraged to apply to the UA VIP program.