Instructors working with United Association Veterans in Piping Program Camp Pendleton Welding Class 28 are pushing the group to achieve their goals as the class nears graduation.
There are 16 students in Welding Class 28, which is scheduled to graduate on Nov. 15. During the final classes of the free 18-week career-training program, participants are working hard to obtain welding certifications that will help them when they transition out of active military status.
Kelly Townsend Jr., a Marine and a member of Pendleton Welding Class 28, who along with five other classmates, recently took the UA 21 welding certification test. He is also working to obtain the UA 41 welding certification. These certifications are vital for UA VIP members, as they are needed when they enter the civilian workforce.
According to Townsend, the Instructors have a lot of experience, knowledge and intense motivation to share with Welding Class 28.
“They really know how to push you and keep you working hard toward your goals, while using different ways of teaching to maximize the short time we have to learn these skills,” Townsend said.
UA VIP Camp Pendleton Welding Class 28 Instructor Sean Ellis said his students are making the most of the training opportunities provided.
“This class works well as a group and are making great progress,” said Ellis.
The UA VIP Program is a free career-training program for active-duty transitioning military service members who are transitioning back into civilian life. At Camp Pendleton, the program teaches participants basic welding skills and guarantees them employment with a UA signatory contractor upon their transition out of the armed forces.
Graduates will also enter the UA’s five-year apprenticeship program, where they will undergo additional classroom instruction, as well as on-the-job training, to improve their industry knowledge and ensure they stay safe on the jobsite. As they move through the apprenticeship program, they receive wage increases to reflect their growing skillset.
After graduation, Townsend and his fellow classmates will know they can enter the civilian workforce with a guaranteed job that provides livable wages, good health insurance and quality retirement benefits such as a 401k plan and a pension.
Thanks to the UA VIP Program, Welding Class 28 members will not face the stress commonly experienced by transitioning military members when they return to civilian life.
Townsend is on schedule to transition out of the military on Dec. 21 and he is excited to join UA Local 342 in Concord, Calif.
“I have learned so much from the (time) we’ve been in class,” said Townsend. “I know every day spent in this program is a day that I am becoming better at welding and pipefitting.”
If you are a transitioning military service member, you can apply for this intensive 18-week program that is available on seven military bases across the country.
To learn more about Camp Pendleton UA VIP Program, click on this link and submit your contact information.