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VIP Camp Lejeune grads look forward to welding careers after military

United Association Veterans In Piping (VIP) Program Camp Lejeune grads look forward to welding careers after military

The graduates of Camp Lejeune Welding Class 22 have bright civilian careers on the horizon.

Thanks to the United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) program, the graduates will begin civilian welding careers in the pipe trades after they transition out of the military.

The UA VIP program is a Department of Defense (DoD) Skillbridge Program that guarantees transitioning active-duty service members with a good job after the military in the form of a UA registered apprenticeship.

Over the course of 18 weeks, the graduates trained alongside an experienced journeyman instructor through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training. They learned basic welding skills and most earned industry-recognized certifications that will propel their progress when they begin their apprenticeship training.

Students earned certifications in oxy-fuel cutting, SMAW plate welding, SPAW and GTAW pipe welding and SMAW pipe spooling.

The UA VIP program offers training opportunities in welding, HVAC and fire suppression. UA VIP training is available at seven military bases across the country

Transitioning active-duty service members are invited to apply for the UA VIP program during their last six months of enlistment.


A lucrative career in the piping industry

Once the graduates transition out of the military, they will begin a UA registered apprenticeship at an agreed-upon location. During their training, they will earn good union wages while they learn and quickly qualify for quality health insurance for their family. They will start earning a pension and a 401K for their retirement. As they progress through the program, they will receive raises and expand their skill set.

Once they complete their apprenticeship, they will become journeymen with numerous opportunities for career advancement. Some may go on to become foremen or superintendents or own their own business. Others may eventually become certified instructors, perhaps even for the UA VIP program. 

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