Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16fabrication shop where she is currently working. She said, “I walked in and knew this was exactly what I wanted. For me, I would like to become a master at one trade, welding, instead of becoming a ‘Jane of all trades.’ I had a really warm welcome. I’ve done stick and MIG welds since I’ve been here. e instructors at 636 are very passionate about what they do. ey told me it was their mis- sion to make me the best, most employable welder out there. “I love the idea of traveling,” Tess continued. “e notion of going on the road, and taking my job with me, is just so great. I have family in Canada, and once I turn out as a journeyworker, I would love to try to get some jobs in Canada. It’s a long road, and I’ve had some hardships, but it has been worth every minute.” e VIP Welding program is not the only program that is succeeding. Lead VIP HVACR instructor at JBLM (at the time), William McLaurin, said, “We are boasting 100 percent job placement. ere have been a few hiccups here and there where a person might not work on day one, but by day two and three that person is off and thriving and going on to his or her particular location. A lot of times a minor delay has to do with the particular state. e states have their own mandates for licensing, and the student just has to get the license for that particular area— then it is off and running. I get a lot of feedback from the former students, and they are working, and they are absolutely loving it.” “People who have a military background tend to like these careers,” VIP Welding Instructor at Local 58 Aaron Schultz concluded. “It’s not nec- essarily a desk job. It’s hands-on. So if that’s some- thing you like to do, then I can’t think of a better job than this—where you can actually see some- thing tangible at the end of the day. You can say, ‘I built that,’ and can take pride in it.” Career Opportunities in Piping for Transitioning Veterans | Fall/Winter 2015 “Having the credentials is so important. You have to want to learn. The more you learn about the HVACR systems, the more you will be able to gain those credentials, and people will want to have you join their company.” – John Cote John Cote Joint Base Lewis-McChord HVACR Class 03, third-year apprentice Tess Biesecker Joint Base Lewis-McChord Welding Class 01, second-year apprentice 9