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VIP Graduates from Camp Pendleton

In partnership with the U.S. Military, the United Association developed the Veterans in Piping (VIP) program.  Established in 2008 to help Veterans transition into civilian life it has now evolved into one of the most highly praised active-duty military transition programs (DOD Skillbridge).  It is open to all branches of the military with job training in Welding, HVACR and Fire Suppression.  The program is 118 days long and is offered at military bases nationwide at no cost to the participant.  The VIP program "equips transitioning active-duty service members with hands-on training, industry-recognized certifications and educational resources to develop the skills required to be successful in the UA registered apprenticeship program, which ultimately leads to productive and rewarding careers in the mechanical construction industry."  Each branch's requirements and application for DOD Skillbridge programs are different.  Check in with your Chain of Command for specifics.
Learn More about the VIP program:
Frequently Asked Questions
CareerOps Magazine - Read about the successes of those who have completed the VIP program.
Participating Bases

VIP Member Assistance Program (MAP) - Equipping VIPs with the skills needed for successful careers, while also prioritizing their mental health and well-being, ensuring they emerge as resilient, skilled and mentally empowered leaders in their fields


During your military career, you have acquired a distinct blend of discipline and hands-on training that could pave a way for a thriving career in the piping trades.   Much like the Veterans in Piping (VIP) program our apprenticeship program offers paid on-the-job training along with classroom instruction.  Our apprenticeship comes at no cost to the apprentice.  Furthermore, Veterans in our apprenticeship program can use their GI Bill benefit and receive a tax-free stipend.  The Post-9/11 GI Bill stipend is the equivalent of the Monthly Housing Allowance (MHA) of an E-5 with dependents, which is paid in addition to their on-the-job training wages. 

Akin to being in the military a career in the piping trades can offer similar work atmosphere.  All union building trades offer highly structured organizations, with a chain of command.  Often workers will work in teams fostering camaraderie. The sense of unity is strengthened by being part of the UA Local 393 community.

393 Members at San Jose Veterans Day Parade


California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet)

"To serve and honor all California Veterans by connecting them and their families with their earned benefits through education, advocacy and direct services."

Quick Links

San Jose Vet Center

"Vet Centers are small, non-medical, counseling centers conveniently located in your community.  They're staffed by highly trained counselors and team members dedicated to seeing you through the challenges that come with managing life during and after the military.  Whether you come in for one-on-one counseling or to participate in a group session, at Vet Centers you can form social connections, try new things, and build a support systems with people who understand you and want to help you succeed."

Main Location:
5855 Silver Creek Valley Place

Third Floor 3A 

San Jose, CA 95138
Call: 408-574-9200

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Veterans Crisis Line

"24/7, confidential crisis support for Veterans and their loved ones."

Call: 988 then press 1

Text: 838255

Online Chat Available at

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