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UA Veterans in Piping (VIP) By UA Veterans in Piping (VIP) • November 2, 2018

UA VIP Success Story: Phillip Bonpua

Phillip Bonpua served six years in the Army, but after missing some key moments in the life of his newborn baby, he decided it was time to return to civilian life.

“I deployed to Afghanistan a month after my first child was born,” said Bonpua, who served in the Army as a SPC 15P Aviation Operations Specialist. “It was during that time I decided that I didn't want to miss out on anymore important family milestones.”

After making this life-changing decision, SPC Bonpua made the most of the time he was given to prepare for his transition by applying to the United Association Veterans in Piping Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

“My unit was completely supportive in my decision to transition, from my first line supervisor, all the way up to my Battalion Command Sergeant Major and Commander, and (they) ensured I had the time to get my affairs in order,” said SPC Bonpua.

UA VIP - Phillip BonpuaHe was accepted into the UA VIP free 18-week accelerated career-training program, which guarantees graduates a good paying job with a United Association signatory contractor once they return to civilian life.

In April, SPC Bonpua graduated from UA VIP Program JBLM HVAC-R Class 17. After officially transitioning out of the military, he took his new HVAC-R skillset and education and went to work in the Sacramento, Calif. area for Johnson Controls. In addition to his new job, Bonpua joined UA Local 447 as a first-year apprentice.

“I’d recommend the VIP program to anyone who wants to bring their work ethic from the military into the civilian workforce,” said Bonpua. “It is a great way to make a living, and I get to be home more often with my family.”

During the VIP program, Bonpua earned OSHA 30, UA 51, EPA 608 and R410A certifications, which are important certifications he needs to do his job, which provides him with a livable wage, excellent health insurance and retirement benefits.

As he works his way through his apprenticeship, Bonpua will receive raises reflective of his increasing skillset.

If you want to learn more about the UA VIP Program at JBLM, including how you can become a future success story, click here to submit your contact information.