www.ua.org Follow us on Twitter @UAPipeTrades and “like” our United Association Facebook page The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA), affiliated with the national building trades, represents nearly 346,000 plumbers, pipefitters, sprinkler fitters and service technicians in North America. And … The UA’s Veterans in Piping® (VIP®) program is an award-winning program that offers high- quality skills training and jobs in the pipe trades industry to active-duty military personnel who are preparing to leave the service. The United Association established the program in 2008 as a means of addressing two important issues: 1. A growing shortage in the construction indus- try of skilled workers due to the combined effects of an aging workforce, increased demand, and lack of skills training for youth; and 2. Despite the fact that U.S. veterans are disciplined and highly trainable, they continue to experience an exceedingly high unemployment rate upon transitioning from the military. We are here to combat that. www.uavip.org How Does the VIP Program Work? Participants are selected for accelerated 18-week programs in welding/pipefitting, fire sprinkler fitting, or as service technicians for the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) sector—all fields experiencing an increased demand for skilled workers. Training is completed while on active duty prior to transitioning out of the service. Participants also earn industry-recognized certifications as part of their education. Upon graduation, every VIP par- ticipant is offered the opportunity to direct entry into the UA’s apprenticeship program, lead- ing to lifelong career options. All training is paid for entirely by the UA and its industry partners at NO cost to participants. "To be truthful, this is actually the first program that I've heard of that has been able to do this," Tramayne L. Meeks, VIP program liaison and education technician at Staff Sgt. Glenn H. English Jr. Army Education Center, Fort Campbell, said. "If soldiers are accepted into the pro- gram, they need only bring their positive attitudes and can-do spirit. Everything else is pro- vided for them, including a job." and Then? An apprenticeship is a mixture of classroom instruction and on-the-job training, and you can also earn college credit while you’re going through the apprenticeship program. It is like a col- lege, because as a VIP graduate you will receive advanced instruction preparing you for your career. But unlike a college, you will earn while you learn, meaning you will get paid while “on the job.” A typical apprenticeship lasts five years, but VIP graduates usually enter at a higher level and complete their training in less time. Five years might seem like a long time, but re- member you are working and earning a living. We continue to train you so that you are highly employable. That is our goal—to give you the skills to have a successful lifelong career as a piping professional. am I Eligible? The VIP program is open to military personnel preparing to leave the service and currently sta- tioned at a participating base (see index on page 15 for participating bases and contact infor- mation). You must be 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and be physically capable of performing work. “I wanted a field that would teach me along the way. I knew that this would be a good career transition.” - Myles Curtis, Fort Campbell, KY, VIP graduate, welding class 02 The UA provides all training and placement resources without any costs to the government or service member! Careerops What is the UA? 4