Veterans in Piping


The Veterans in Piping program commenced in Lacey, WA in 2008 with the Washington State National Guard at Camp Murray. Later, it expanded to Veterans nation-wide. With passage of The Veteran Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act, November 2011, and the subsequent passing of Public Law 112-56, the Department of Defense and Homeland Security have the authority to permit participation in apprenticeship programs for transitioning service members. This has allowed the UA VIP program to train active duty transitioning service members on US Military installations. Since 2008 a total of 1,763 transitioning service members have been trained through the UA VIP Program.
The UA VIP program began at Joint Base Lewis McChord on January 14, 2013, which offers 18-weeks of accelerated welding and HVACR training. After successful completion of the 18-week training program, graduates are placed directly into apprenticeship careers in the piping industry.  The United Association facilitates a direct-hand off into its nationally recognized 5-year apprenticeship program at a local union nation-wide.  This guarantees the service member a living wage, future job training, full health and retirement benefits and a promising career upon transition from the military.
Veterans in Piping graduates are paid approximately 50% of journeymen in their skilled trade for the geographic area where they work, with regular salary increases until journey-level status is obtained. In addition, Veterans in Piping graduates earn college credit for the training and upon completion of their 4-year apprenticeship, have an opportunity to earn additional college credits toward an Associate’s Degree at no cost.  The United Association Veterans in Piping program bridges the gap between transition from military service directly into skilled-trade employment.  Throughout the training, these service members have built upon their military training and experience to further develop their skills for the high-demand piping industry. The United Association Veterans in Piping program helps fill a nationwide need for skilled labor in the workforce and provides a positive re-entry into civilian life for those who have served their country.

VIP Instructors


Jeremy Rood

Welding Instructor

Jeremy  began his career as a student in the Veterans In Piping (VIP) program in 2009.Mr. Rood served in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Infantryman and deployed multiple times around the world. He took the honor of becoming a full-time VIP instructor in 2016 to help others start a new rewarding career after the military.


Dave Gibson

HVAC/R Instructor

David has been a HVAC/R Technician with Local 32 and the United Association for over 20 years.  He studied HVAC/R at Wenatchee Valley College.  David, is a Refrigeration Field Serviceman; whose duties include, Start-Up Technician, HVAC installer, HVAC Service Technician.  David is a Retired Chief of the United States Navy Seabees.