Former Army Specialist and United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) graduate Zachary Botnick believes the UA VIP Program at Fort Campbell mentally prepared him for transitioning from a military career into a civilian career.
Many veterans struggle to find a meaningful career after transitioning out into the civilian world. Botnick says the VIP Program helped him immensely.
“This program allowed me to get out of the military mindset and into the real world mindset,” Botnick said. “By using my work ethic from the military and applying it to the VIP Program, I was able to learn a trade that can serve as a career.”
The VIP Program is an 18-week Career Skills program that equips active-duty transitioning military service members with entry level pipe trades skills. The program is free of charge and is open to all active-duty transitioning military service members. It is offered at seven military installations, nationwide.
Now a UA Local 9 apprentice, Botnick is thankful for the opportunity afforded to him by the UA VIP Program.
“The VIP Program showed me there is a life outside the military,” he said. “You can set yourself up for success with great benefits and great pay with overtime at a union of your choosing anywhere in the U.S.”
Upon graduation from the program and transition out of the military, VIP graduates are guaranteed job placement with a UA signatory contractor. In this new position, VIP graduates earn a livable wage and great benefits that extend to their family.
Not only do VIP graduates earn job placement, they also gain direct entry into the five-year UA registered apprenticeship program. As they complete this apprenticeship program, VIP graduates work full-time alongside skilled, seasoned UA members. On-the-job training is supplemented by classroom instruction from industry professionals.
UA membership gives VIP graduates access to great benefits, including full-family health insurance and retirement benefits such as a 401k and a pension.
To learn more about the UA VIP Program at Fort Campbell, please click here.
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Video and Photo Gallery
Take a look at everything the VIP program is doing for our returning veterans — through videos and photos.
Pipefitters Local 455, St. Paul, MN, Apprentice David Adams (VIP graduate, Wisconsin Welding Class 2) is pictured on the job working for Pioneer Piping, Incorporated (PPI) at the Flint Hills Refinery in MN.
Camp Pendleton VIP Graduate turned out as Journeyman and makes a life in Butte, MT, with Local 41.
Orry graduated on April 9, 2015 and affiliated with UA Local 455, St. Paul, MN.
Sgt. Jerry Heneha, A Battery, 1st Battalion, 31st Field Artillery, puts together a valve system in preparation for his final week of the United Association's Veterans in Piping program at the Industrial Training Complex Photo Credit: Ms. Marie Berberea (TRADOC)
Fort Sill's inaugural Sprinkler Fitter class began on 2 March 2015.
SFC Michael Olsen and 1SG William Davidson presented their instructors Louis Purcella and Micah Tyler with a momentum from the class.
SGT Howard Nash is headed to Harrisburg, PA, to affiliate with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 520.
Gail Pilecki was so proud of her son, SGT Jeremy Pilecki, on graduation day. SGT Pilecki will make his home in Houston, affiliating with Pipefitters Local 211.
1SG William Davidson gave the graduate testimonial. He will remain with his family in Waco, TX, affiliating with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529 in Waco, TX.
SFC Michael Olsen and his wife, Amanda, will remain in the area, affiliating with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 529 in Waco, TX.
Alysa and SPC Chad Eberle will be heading to San Antonio, TX, with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 142.
SGT Lawrence Beller, his wife, Brittney, and daughter, Nahla, will be making Houston, TX, their home, affiliating with Pipefitters Local 211.
Mouse over thumbnails to view larger videos and photos or view entire Gallery.