Union Plumbers, Fitters, Welders and Service Technicians


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VIP graduate seeks to become the best VIP member possible

UA VIP Program - Fort Hood welding

Before leaving the military, many active-duty transitioning military service members seek ways to build a skillset, which they can take with them to the civilian world in order to start a career.

Current United Association Veterans in Piping student and Army Sergeant Geoffery Lovan is excited to grow into the best UA member possible.

“I have always wanted to learn how to weld,” Lovan said. “I’m excited to learn the trade and become the best the UA has to offer.”

The UA VIP Program is an 18-week Skillbridge program dedicated to training active-duty transitioning military service members for a career in the pipe trades. The men and women enrolled in UA VIP train in practical, hands-on lab exercises and in the classroom, with a targeted curriculum.

For Lovan, applying for the VIP Program at Fort Hood was a no brainer. The benefits offered by the UA are enticing and many people are beginning to notice the abundance of work for those with welding skills.

“The benefits are the same as the service,” he said. “I wanted to learn how to fit pipe and realized I love to weld.”

Upon graduating from the VIP Program, Lovan is guaranteed a job with a UA signatory contractor in an agreed upon location nationwide. The VIP Program has proven beneficial to both UA VIP graduates and UA contractors, who need work-ready tradesmen and tradeswomen, as a significant percentage of the construction workforce retires at a faster rate than people learning the trade.

VIP graduates do not stop learning after graduating from the program, as these graduates gain direct entry into the five-year UA apprenticeship program. During their apprenticeship, VIP graduates will learn on-the-job from experienced UA members and in the classroom from accredited instructors, while they work towards becoming UA journeymen.

The benefits of being a UA member are plentiful. In addition to earning a livable wage, UA members are afforded full-family health insurance. They also get scheduled raises, a 401k and contribute to their pension plan.

If you would like to learn more about the UA VIP welding program at Fort Hood, please click here.