Members of the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program Naval Station Norfolk HVAC-R Class 10 were afforded a unique opportunity to see their work in practice, when they were invited to tour a part of the Portsmouth Naval Hospital.
The Portsmouth Naval Hospital is located across the Lafayette and Elizabeth Rivers from Naval Station Norfolk. HVAC-R Class 10 participants made the short trek across the river and received an opportunity to learn first-hand about the hospital’s heating and cooling generation and distribution systems.
Lead HVAC-R instructor Marvin Donnell was pleased with the opportunity given to Class 10 members.
“HVAC-R Class 10 got to see first hand how all the components they have been learning about all come into play,” Donnell said.
Past the midpoint of the 18-week Skillbridge program, students in Class 10 are working to improve their piping industry knowledge and become proficient in their newly found HVAC-R skillset, as they finish out the remainder of their service at Naval Station Norfolk.
Navy Petty Officer Second Class Curtis Pavlik is pleased with the UA VIP program and the potential career that awaits him.
“College was fed to our generation for years and years,” Pavlik said. “Now the USA is lacking people with actual skills to build this country.”
The UA VIP program is open to all transitioning active-duty military service members. It provides them with the opportunity to use 18 weeks of their service to learn skills that will eventually allow them to provide for their families once they successfully transition out of the military. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates are guaranteed job placement with a UA signatory contractor in an agreed upon geographic location, which pays them a good, livable wage.
In addition to guaranteed employment in the civilian world, UA VIP graduates also gain direct entry into the UA’s five-year apprenticeship program. During this five-year apprenticeship program, graduates will work side by side with seasoned journeymen and learn on-the-job skills. Additionally, apprentices receive a classroom education from qualified instructors.
As apprentices progress their careers, they earn wage increases corresponding with their advancement through the program. UA apprentices also earn great benefits, such as family healthcare and retirement benefits including a 401k plan and a pension.
To learn more about the HVAC-R program at Naval Station Norfolk, click here.