National Apprenticeship Week is Nov. 8 through Nov. 14 and helps to educate people from all walks of life about the benefits of a registered apprenticeship program and the meaningful careers into which they can lead.
Navy veteran and United Association Veterans in Piping (UA VIP) Administrator Mike Hazard joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss his background in the pipe trades, the Navy, his involvement with the VIP Program and more.
Getting involved with the United Association
Hazard grew up knowing his career path would involve the Navy in one form or another because many members of his family served in the Navy. Following in the footsteps of his father, he spent a year working in the pipe trades before enlisting in the Navy, where he worked in aviation and as a rescue swimmer.
When it came time to transition out of the Navy, Hazard said he faced many of the issues other veterans face, but he knew he could go back to the pipe trades and find a career. Upon returning to the civilian world, he completed the five-year UA apprenticeship program and began instructing apprentices.
Leading the United Association Veterans in Piping
Hazard spent years honing his skill and working his up through the UA.
Eventually, he was named the administrator of the UA VIP Program, where he helps active-duty transitioning military service members make the transition from the armed forces into a pipe trades career.
The UA VIP Program is an 18-week pre apprenticeship program designed to prepare transitioning service members for a career in the pipe trades.
Since many military jobs do not translate to civilian careers the VIP Program teaches them entry level pipe trades skills. They train in the classroom and in a lab to simulate jobsite tasks.
While students are learning the skills, Hazard works behind the scenes helping the soon-to-be graduates. The men and women who complete the UA VIP Program are guaranteed job placement with a UA signatory contractor and direct entry to the UA apprenticeship program in an agreed upon area.
He said these team oriented trades careers are attractive to veterans and the UA comradery is an added bonus. The careers provide a livable wage and quality benefits as well.