The United Association Veterans in Piping Program hosted a graduation event for its 17 students from Fort Carson Welding Class 13 on Oct. 18.
The special ceremony took place a week prior to the final class, but allowed Fort Carson CSM Mack to attend and speak to the program’s 17 graduates. During the ceremony, the class also heard from UA VIP consultant, Retired Major General Andy Aadland.
"Class 13 has been a joy to work with, as all of them are really solid people,” said Fort Carson instructor Jason Smith. “They are hardworking, dedicated individuals who are going to make the UA, as well as America, a great place to work and live.”
“The VIP Program provides entrance into an apprenticeship program, and the skills and experience gained during the program will be a valuable asset while pursuing my journeyman’s certification,” said Fort Carson UA VIP Sergeant Micah Staley. “I would recommend UA VIP to anyone that wants to learn a craft and is willing to work hard to gain the skills necess
The UA VIP Program is a free, 18-week career-training program open to active-duty transitioning military service members. UA VIP prepares them to begin successful and rewarding careers in the piping industry, once they complete their military service.ary to succeed.”
As of Oct. 1, 17 students had earned 12 UA welding certifications. An additional test date will result in additional certifications earned by program participants.
The welding certifications will come in handy, as graduates are guaranteed jobs with UA signatory contractors in an agreed upon geographical location once they transition out of the military.
In addition to a job that pays livable wages and provides excellent health insurance, a 401k and pension, UA VIP graduates will also enter a five-year UA apprenticeship program. As an apprentice, they will receive on-the-job training and classroom instruction to increase their skillset and OSHA safety certifications. As they progress through their apprenticeship, UA graduates will receive wage increases to match their new skills.
Military service members who are beginning to prepare for their transition out of the military can apply for the UA VIP Program on seven military bases across the country.