The mission of the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program is to empower transitioning active-duty service members to land civilian careers with the UA in the pipe trades.
The program’s whole purpose is to make the transition to civilian life easier. After they graduate from the program and transition out of the military, UA VIP program participants are guaranteed job placement in a UA registered apprenticeship program.
The UA VIP program has received a $50,000 tool grant and recognition to help pursue its mission. The tools will be used to improve equipment VIP training facilities that are located at seven military installations nationwide.
The United Association Veterans in Piping program has been named an Inaugural Stanley Black & Decker Makers Grant Recipient. It is one of 86 organizations that were selected to receive grants to support trade workforce development initiatives in the construction and manufacturing sectors.
“We’re honored to have been chosen as an Inaugural Stanley Black & Decker Makers Grant Recipient,” said Mike Hazard, UA VIP Program Administrator and UA ITF Training Specialist. “These tools will help us change the lives of those who served our country and help them transition to civilian life. Thanks to this grant, we can provide service members with a direct path to a good paying career in the pipe trades.”
Initiated in 2021, the Global Impact Challenge grant program will award up to $25 million in grant funding over the next five years to nonprofits that are supporting trade workforce development. The first grant applications were submitted in October, with 240 nonprofits applying for funding.
“Stanley Black & Decker is immensely proud to support the United Association Veterans in Piping program as they work to skill and reskill the next generation of trade professionals,” said Diane Cantello, Vice President of Social Impact for Stanley Black & Decker. “Currently in the U.S., there are an estimated 650,000 open construction jobs and 10 million unfilled manufacturing jobs globally. Our purpose is to support ‘Those Who Make the World,’ and being able to fund educational programs and non-profits that are revitalizing trade careers directly connects to our core mission. Thanks to this year’s Makers Grant Recipients, together we will be one step closer to closing the trade skills gap.”
About UA VIP: A direct path to a civilian career in the pipe trades
The UA VIP program is a DoD SkillBridge program for transitioning active-duty service members. The program provides free accelerated training in one of three disciplines: welding, HVACR and fire sprinkler fitting.
Over the course of 18 weeks, UA VIP participants learn through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training alongside an experienced journeyman instructor. They learn basic construction skills in the pipe trades and earn industry recognized certifications that put them ahead of their peers and propel their progression when they later begin UA registered apprenticeships after the military.
The UA VIP program is offered to active-duty military transitioning service members from all branches of the Armed Forces. Service members are selected through an application and interview process. VIP students participate in the 18-week training during the last 180 days of their active-duty military service.
After UA VIP participants graduate from the program and transition out of the military, they join UA registered apprenticeships at an agreed upon location nationwide. As they train, they will earn good union pay, with gradual pay raises as they progress through the program and increase their skill set. They quickly become eligible for quality healthcare for their families and start earning a pension and a 401K for their retirement.
The UA VIP program doesn’t just prepare transitioning active-duty service members for a job. It is the beginning of a good paying career that has numerous opportunities for expansion.