FromMilitary Brotherhood toUnion Brotherhood Career Opportunities in Piping for Transitioning Veterans | Fall/Winter 2017 Kyle McCulley 7 fourth-year apprentice who graduated from the VIP Welding Program at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). He was in the same unit as Scott Williamson (see page 12), and they were deployed to Afghanistan together. Upon Scott’s recommendation, Kyle applied for the program and got in. Because he was originally from southern California, San Jose was Kyle’s first choice when it came to continuing with an appren- ticeship program to become a pipefitter. “I loved the program,” he said. “I did a lot of welding processes that I’d never done before. I’m currently working for United Mechanical, and we are working at Broadcom Corporation’s new cam- pus. I’ve been installing carbon steel in all four of the buildings. I’ve been doing a lot of rigging and welding. Working with carbon steel is my favorite so far. I really like that there is a lot of on-the-job training with this program. ey don’t just stick you in a classroom. I think it’s so much better when the classroom stuff applies to the on-the-job stuff, which is what happens here. You learn real- life scenarios and how you would handle those sce- narios. Getting into the JBLM program was very competitive. I think there were 200 applicants for 12 positions. I’m still in the Army Reserves, and everyone has been great when I have to take time off to fulfill those obligations. I feel lucky that I found this program. It will be the perfect career for my family and me.” “The VIPs are willing to work hard and learn more. Their work ethic is unmatched. They hardly ever miss a day. They never complain. They are never late, ever. Every- thing you would hope for in apprentices, they are. On this job, Kyle is willing to do whatever is asked of him.” – Margarita Reese Pipefitter Job Steward United Mechanical Local Union 393, San Jose, CA Margarita Reese is a 19-year memberof Local 393, San Jose, CA. She’s very involved with her local and was the first female President. “My husband is the Recording Secretary and is on the Joint Apprentice Training Committee, so as a family, we are pretty involved in the local union,” she said. “I became a pipefitter because I love working with my hands. I love making things. I like to drive by something and say, ‘I had a hand in building that.’ Both my husband and I worked at the San Francisco 49ers stadium, so that was pretty cool.” Being a Local 393 member has afforded Sister Reese and her family a first-class lifestyle. “I own two houses and several cars,” she said. “For women, the stigma of pursuing construction work as a career is slowly going away, as more and more women understand the benefits of union membership.” Kyle McCulley is a