While some veterans struggle to transition into meaningful careers, the United Association is working to help prepare active-duty transitioning military service members for a career in the pipe trades.
This Memorial Day, UA Veterans in Piping Program Administrator Mike Hazard joined the AWF Union Podcast to detail the VIP Program, explain how it helps service members transition back to civilian life and more.
What is the UA VIP Program?
Hazard began the segment introducing the VIP Program. It is an 18-week program designed to equip transitioning active-duty military service members with the necessary skills for an entry level career in the pipe trades.
While in the program, service members learn in a classroom and in real world situations in a lab. They learn the proper techniques for their chosen pipe trade using the tools and material of the trade.
After graduating from the program and transitioning out of the military, VIP graduates are placed with a UA signatory contractor and gain direct entry into the UA apprenticeship program.
Why is the UA VIP Program important?
The UA VIP Program is important because it addresses two needs at once. First, it provides soon to be veterans with a pipeline to a family-supporting job. Simultaneously, it helps fill a void being created in the pipe trades. As older tradesmen and tradeswomen retire, their positions aren’t being filled with fresh talent.
Hazard identified other reasons why the program is important. An issue being addressed is veteran suicide. Money is annually allocated to researching the cause and developing resources.
One way to reduce veteran suicide is helping service members prepare for and find a good paying job. The VIP Program works to achieve this exact goal, working with the UA to ensure they receive quality training and earn benefits, a livable wage and more.