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Take a look at some of the newsworthy items for the VIP program.

VIP Graduates From Camp Lejeune Join the Ranks of UA Apprentices

VIP Graduates From Camp Lejeune Join the Ranks of UA Apprentices

The United Association’s (UA) second Veterans In Piping class assembled at the Paradise Point Officers’ Club at Camp Lejeune on April 9, 2014, to take part in a very special graduation ceremony. Brother Mike Cummings stated, “The UA Veterans in Piping program has trained over 700 veterans, including 275 Marines since its inception in 2008. UA General President Bill Hite is honored that Camp Lejeune has partnered with the UA and its contractors to provide meaningful careers for its most-deserving Marines. We look forward to training and guaranteeing employment to as many Marines at Camp Lejeune as we possibly can.”

Instructor Cummings also thanked Local 421 Business Manager Perry “Skip” Howard and Training Director John Scadini for their outstanding leadership and coordinated support of the program. He also noted that Sergeant Major Paul Berry and the entire staff of the Camp Lejeune Education Assistance Branch have been instrumental in ensuring the program’s success through their hands-on support.

Colonel Yori R. Escalante, Deputy Commander, USMC; Major General (Ret.) Matthew Caulfield, USMC, along with several UA dignitaries spoke at the graduation.

“The UA has been proud to welcome these fine individuals into our ranks. They are now part of the finest brotherhood and sisterhood in the world, and they are well on their way to a long and lucrative career.”
UA Director of Training Chris Haslinger

Brother Haslinger spoke of the opportunities that were afforded him through the UA. He started as an apprentice, became a journeyman, advanced to an instructor, and then his local’s training coordinator in Ohio, and today, he is the Director of Training for the entire organization. Along the way, Brother Haslinger stated that he was able to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree and then an MBA—all through the UA. He stated that this class of VIP graduates had “earned the right to be here.”

The graduates have all been placed and have affiliated with locals across the United States. Corporal Marcus Cattaruzza will move to Denver and join the apprenticeship at Local 208; Corporal Daniel Clarke will affiliate with Local 9 in Central New Jersey; Lance Corporal Gabriel DelValle is headed to Savannah, GA, with Local 188; Corporal Jared Ervin will be moving to Chattanooga, TN, with Local 43; Sergeant Nathan Foster is affiliating with Local 10 in Richmond, VA; Sergeant Damian Gilbert will be heading to Cumberland, MD, to Local 489; Corporal Drew Hinson will be headed to Kansas City, MO, with Local 533; Corporal Orry Kraczek is affiliating with Local 455 in St. Paul, MN; Corporal Carl Kupniewski will be heading to Local 602 in Washington, D.C.; Corporal Mark Smith will be moving to Florida and affiliating with Local 123 in Tampa; and Corporal Bobby Walsh will be affiliating with Local 630 in West Palm Beach, FL. Graduate Benjamin Davies is deciding what part of the country he would like to start his career in.

The UA is proud of this class of graduates, and we welcome you all into the fold!