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UA Veterans in Piping (VIP) By UA Veterans in Piping (VIP) • March 1, 2019

UA VIP Success Story: Christopher Rogan

Army Corporal Christopher Rogan was in the first VIP Welding class held at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. He said that he had felt lucky to have been given the opportunity. Today, Chris is a fourth-year pipefitter apprentice with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 286 in Austin, TX, working for Young & Pratt Mechanical Contractors, and he couldn’t be happier.

Describing the VIP program and the instructors, he said "they were very patient and calm and would just talk everyone in our class through everything. Welding on pipe is very different than welding on cars. That’s easy. I found the class challenging. Some of the weld positioning was hard, but then it all just fell into place."

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Chris was working at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABI) at the time of this interview. Young & Pratt had been contracted to do all of the mechanical piping, plumbing,and sheet metal work at the new terminal. They were working on tying the mechanical piping from the existing central utility plant to the new terminal.

Talking about the work he had to do, Chris said, "I really like this job because I learn something new every day. It can even just be a different way of doing something or a different way to work around an obstacle." Continuing on about his work, he said "it was neat to be going to class and to bring those examples from the class into the field. We figured everything out by the book and by what was practical in the field. That was a really fun job."

Chris will turn out as a journeyman in one more year after he completes his training in Austin, TX where he currently lives with his girlfriend. He said, “If I was talking to another person who was interested in the VIP Welding program, I would definitely tell them to do their best to get into the program. It’s only becoming more and more competitive. Where else would you go if you wanted to work with your hands? Being part of the local union is a true brotherhood, even for guys who haven’t been in the military. Everyone is working toward the same goal.”

This United Association Veterans In Piping Success Story was originally printed in the CareerOps: Career Opportunities in Piping for Transitioning Veterans.