Approximately 2 million of our nation’s veterans have served since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The unemployment rate for those veterans tops 10 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 have an unemployment rate of more than 21 percent, twice that of the veterans who served in the same era but are older, ages 25 to 34.
The United Association (UA) VIP Program is a 720-hour training course, developed to assist members of the military in transitioning to civilian life and careers after their successful military service. Camp Pendleton’s participants in the UA Program will graduate as second-year union apprentices. The UA has outfitted two mobile training units at Camp Pendleton, where the graduating class of Marines received 16 weeks of accelerated welding instruction, including two weeks of career and lifestyle transitioning. According to Mike Arndt, Training Director of the UA, “The UA VIP program will create lifelong career opportunities for these dedicated veterans.” “Camp Pendleton thought this pilot program was a great opportunity to assist our Marines transitioning to civilian life after their successful military service,” said Brian Ballard, Operations Officer, Marine and Family Services, Camp Pendleton. “Marines who are mechanically inclined and desire to be a certified tradesperson are great candidates for this program.”