Military Veterans

The United Association (UA) of Journeyworkers and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry has partnered with the US Military to create the UA Veterans in Piping (VIP) Program. This program provides National Guard military members and returning veterans with 18 weeks of accelerated training in the pipe trades including 6 weeks of classroom instruction combined with 12 weeks of on-the-job training. The Veterans in Piping Program can provide a positive re-entry into civilian life with the opportunity of a long-term lucrative career opportunity within the pipe trades. The UA and Wisconsin Pipe Trades have been training qualified pipe tradesman longer than anyone else in the piping industry. The UA has the most comprehensive training programs available in the industry today, including five-year apprenticeship programs, extensive Journeyworker training, organized instructor training, and certification programs.

The VIP program is only available to qualified U.S. Military National Guard members and Veterans; to qualify, you must be serving or have served in the U.S. Military and been Honorably Discharged from the National Guard or Active Duty.

Go from National Security to job security in just 18 weeks. The first six weeks is job-related classroom training at various local unions around the state; during this time, you will be training for 40 hours each week, Monday through Thursday for 10 hours each day (4-10 schedule). Training topics include:

  • UA History/Standard of Excellence 
  • Construction Safety/OSHA 10 
  • Pipe Trades Mathematics I & II 
  • First Aid/CPR 
  • Use & Care of Tools 
  • Pipe, Fittings, Valves, and Supports 
  • Pipe Joining I & II 
  • Crane Signaling/Basic Rigging 
  • Introduction to Welding and Oxy-Fuel Cutting 

After the six-week classroom training, you are hired in an entry-level Pre-Apprentice or Metal Trades position for the remaining 12-weeks.  The goal is to be awarded an Apprenticeship when the Program is complete; occasionally, contractors extend the Program for participants if additional time is needed to evaluate Apprenticeship readiness.   

 There are no costs to Veterans for the VIP training program. All funding for the VIP Program is provided by the UA’s International Training Fund, The Wisconsin Pipe Trades, The State of Wisconsin, and many statewide sponsors.  However, the first six weeks of classroom training is not paid time, so you will not receive a paycheck.  You will receive a $150.00 gift card per week.  Your hotel is reserved and paid for; you receive continental breakfast and lunch is covered at no expense to you on the four days you have classroom training during the week.  Transportation is not provided.  For the remaining 12-weeks, all expenses are to be covered by you, but you earn a paycheck. 

Local 400 Member, Paul Anderson, participated in the Program; learn more about Paul’s experience by clicking here.

 Local 400 is partnered with the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Wisconsin Pipe Trades; to apply for the VIP Program, contact Darrel Cappetta with the DWD, 608-266-5373, darrel.cappetta@dwd.wisconsin.gov.   

 Eligibility for military education benefits during the Apprenticeship Program is dependent on a few external factors (i.e. discharge status, tenure, etc.).  Contact Sebastian Walters, Veterans Program Specialist at Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, 608-261-8771, sebastian.walters@dva.wisconsin.gov, or your Local VA Office for additional details. 

You can also contact Doug Dokey, UA Local 400 Business Agent, for more information at (920) 462-0408.