Active-duty service members have reached the halfway point of the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) HVAC-R Class 20 at Naval Station Norfolk.
At this point in their training, HVAC-R Class 20 students have learned the basic skills of heating and cooling system maintenance and obtained several industry-recognized skill certifications.
As the class progresses, they will work to earn more certifications and further develop their skills and industry knowledge.
UA VIP is a DOD Skillbridge Program designed to help active-duty service members smoothly transition back into civilian life with guaranteed job placement.
In their last six months of military commitment, any service member can apply for placement in the UA VIP program and begin on-base training in welding, fire suppression or HVAC-R.
UA VIP program locations and trades are currently conducted at select military installations, including:
- Camp Pendleton, California (Welding)
- Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (Welding and HVAC-R)
- Fort Carson, Colorado (Welding)
- Fort Cavazos, Texas (Welding)
- Camp Lejeune, North Carolina (Welding)
- Fort Campbell, Kentucky (Welding and Fire Suppression)
- Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (HVAC-R)
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Molina recently earned safety certifications in OSHA-30 and First Aid/CPR/AED.
Soon, he expects to earn HVAC-R industry-recognized certifications in EPA 608, GWP/A2L Refrigerant Safety and UA-51 Brazing.
Molina also received notification of his official placement into a UA-affiliated apprenticeship program with Pipefitters Local 211 in Houston. He will relocate once he graduates from UA VIP and transitions out of the military.
The UA apprenticeship program is a Department of Labor (DOL) registered apprenticeship program. As apprentices, future HVAC-R Class 20 graduates will continue to learn and improve their technical skills and industry knowledge. Through classroom instruction and hands-on training, these individuals will learn from experienced journeymen instructors while they earn a good living wage.
The UA VIP program recognizes the sacrifice, skills and dedication military members bring to the piping industry and wants to equip them with all the resources necessary to succeed.
If you are in your last six months of active service and ready to start planning your future, check out the UA VIP program to see if a pipe career is right for you.
A future career with the UA
Once HVAC-R Class 20 students graduate from the UA VIP program and transition out of the military, they will join a UA registered apprenticeship program and begin working for a UA signatory contractor, who will pay them a sustainable living wage. They will also earn excellent full-family medical benefits and retirement benefits including a 401(k) and pension.
UA signatory contractors are dedicated to ensuring safe working conditions for their technicians in accordance with industry safety standards.
Eventually, apprentices will become journeymen, which will open up a variety of career paths for themselves with a potential for further advancement in the HVAC-R industry.
Journeymen HVAC-R technicians can advance into many different roles, including foremen, estimators, superintendents or own their own business as UA signatory contractors.
Highly skilled and highly trained HVAC-R service technicians are in demand because they provide essential services for individuals, businesses, healthcare centers and other entities. Those interested in becoming a service technician can do so with peace of mind, knowing they have guaranteed job security.