The United Association Veterans in Piping Program has resumed training to help prepare active-duty transitioning service members for careers in the pipe trades.
Earlier this year, UA VIP was forced to postpone or cancel classes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The temporary pause allowed program administrators to prepare a reopening plan to help ensure the safety of class participants and instructors.
Among the noticeable changes will be smaller classes, online instruction and 14 weeks of in-person training, with rigorous safety guidelines.
Under this plan, UA VIP training will begin only if the state and/or region in which the program operates meets the following criteria 30 days before a scheduled class is set to begin:
- A downward trend of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period
- A downward trajectory of COVID-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period,
- A downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period or a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests).
In states and/or regions with a rebound or an outbreak, hands-on VIP training will be placed on hold until the above criteria is met.
When a state/region meets the criteria for a class to begin, UA VIP will start with four weeks of online learning, where participants will learn about safety and gain basic industry knowledge, which will be used throughout the remainder of the course.. Once this portion of the class is complete, students will then receive 14 weeks of hands-on, in-person training.
Other safety procedures have been put into place to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
- All personnel will have their temperature taken prior to entering the VIP training site. Individuals with temperature readings above 100 degrees will be denied entry into the VIP training site and will not be remitted without a doctor’s release. Anyone who feels sick should stay home.
- All instructors and students will be provided three procedural facemasks, which will be worn at all times during training hours. If possible, facemasks will be taken home and cleaned daily.
- All Instructors and students will wash their hands prior to work starting and after returning from breaks and or lunch.
- All Instructors and students will be provided with disposable gloves, which will always be worn during training hours.
- All Instructors and students will always maintain a minimum of six feet of space with no bodily contact during training.
- All welding students will have an empty welding booth separating them from the next student.
- Other than restrooms, common areas will be closed. Breaks will be conducted with six feet of space between all personnel
The UA VIP Program is a free 18-week Career Skills program, which is designed to prepare active-duty transitioning military service members for a career in the pipe trades. Through online instruction and hands-on activity, participants will gain entry-level industry skills.
Upon successful completion of the VIP Program and transition out of the military, graduates will go to work for a UA signatory contractor in an agreed upon location almost anywhere in the country. Once they begin work, they will earn a good, livable wage and receive excellent full-family health insurance and great retirement benefits including a 401k and a pension.
In addition to job placement, VIP graduates are also granted direct entry into the five-year UA registered apprenticeship program. During this apprenticeship, VIP graduates will build upon their already impressive skillset, as they work towards becoming a journeyman.
To learn more about the UA VIP Program and all of the installments offering the Program, click here.