The United Association’s Veterans In Piping program will train 16 National Guard members to become welders through an 18-week course.

The United Association has partnered with the National Guard, Work Source and Washington State Veterans Affairs to train 16 Guard Members to become welders through an 18-week program. This concentrated fast-track program is provided at no cost to the veterans.

According to the UA, the unemployment rate for newly discharged veterans is close to three times higher than the rate of non-veterans in the same age group (ages 22-24). The organization believes this program offers much-needed careers for returning members of the military. In addition, the training fills another important need – quality recruits to fill in for retiring welders/pipefitters. Recent data shows that need will continue to grow.

Successful completion of the 18-week training program will lead to direct entry into an apprenticeship program with up to one year of credit toward the five-year apprenticeship. The veterans will receive a living wage during the training and apprenticeship phase and can receive an income of more than $40/hour, including benefits upon successful completion of an apprenticeship.

According to UA General President William Hite, the UA has made an annual commitment of more than $140 million to training, with a goal of 50,000 apprentices in training this year, creating an infrastructure of mobile training facilities, online studies, accelerated training and other educational options.