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VIP program provided Army Sgt. a direct path to a UA welding career

VIP program provided Army Sgt. a direct path to a UA welding career

The United Association Veterans in Piping program put Army Sgt. Joshua Schacht on a direct path to a career in the pipe trades after the military. Today, he is a journeyman with Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 184 and works on oil refineries and chemical plants.

When Schacht first learned about the UA VIP program, he found its hands-on approach to training to be highly intriguing. He began his training in Fort Campbell’s UA VIP Accelerated Welding Class 3 in 2016. Over the course of 18 weeks, he trained alongside a journeyman instructor through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on training. He learned basic welding skills and earned industry recognized certifications that helped his advancement into his new career.

“The UA VIP program was absolutely wonderful in preparing me for life after the military,” Schacht said.

The UA VIP program is a Career Skills Program (CSP) for transitioning active-duty service members. It provides them a guaranteed job after the military through a UA registered apprenticeship at an agreed upon location. The program offers training in welding, HVACR and fire sprinkler fitting at select military bases across the country.


A smooth transition to a civilian career

Upon completing his UA VIP training, Schacht transitioned out of the military and began a UA apprenticeship with Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 184 in Kentucky. He earned while he learned, and quickly qualified for quality healthcare for his family. He began earning a pension and a 401K for retirement. 

“My apprenticeship was a lot different from my experience in the military, but it went very smoothly with an easy transition,” Schacht said. “Right away, I went straight to work thanks to my Union Hall.”

Schacht turned out as a journeyman in 2019. Today, he works for Altstadt Plumbing on a variety of projects.

He would highly recommend the program to any transitioning active-duty service member looking for a good paying career after the military.

“If you like to work with your hands and don't mind hard physical work, look into the UA VIP program,” Schacht said. “The money in the pipe trades is fantastic, and the work is there if you want it.” 

Learn more about the training opportunities available through the UA VIP program