As students in Joint Base Lewis-McChord Welding Class 26 begin their United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) training, they are attending more than just a class. They are planting the seeds for a great civilian career after they transition out of the military.
The UA VIP program is a Career Skills Program (CSP) that teaches transitioning active-duty service members foundational skills to begin civilian careers in the pipe trades.
Over the course of 18 weeks, transitioning active-duty service members will train alongside experienced journeyman instructors through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on experience. The classes are provided free of charge and are considered part of the UA VIP student’s military duties.
The students will learn basic welding skills as well as earn industry recognized certifications that will propel their civilian careers. The students will learn oxy fuel cutting, SMAW plate welding, SPAW and GTAW pipe welding and SMAW pipe spooling.
Transitioning active-duty service members are eligible to apply to the UA VIP program during their last 18 months of service. Training takes place at select military bases across the country.
The UA VIP program offers training in welding, HVACR and fire sprinkler fitting.
Learn highly specialized skills with great job demand
The UA VIP program prepares transitioning active-duty service members for a great future with a career in the construction industry.
Upon graduating from the UA VIP program and transitioning out of the military, the Class 26 students will go on to join a UA registered apprenticeship at an agreed upon location. As they train, they will earn good union pay, including annual pay raises as they progress through the program and expand their skill set. They will quickly become eligible for quality healthcare for their family. They will immediately start earning a pension and a 401K for their retirement.
Once they complete their apprenticeship, they become journeymen with great advancement potential. Some may become foremen, superintendents or instructors helping others start careers in the pipe trades.
The UA VIP program provides them guaranteed job placement in a career where new talent is badly needed. Many journeymen have reached retirement age. The UA VIP program helps fill this gap by providing transitioning active-duty service members with a viable career where their skills are in high demand.