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Season 4, Episode 227

Guaranteed opportunities for transitioning military members in UA VIP



Guest Name:

Mike Hazard

Guest Website:


Guest Social Media:





Supportive Documents:

Program Manager for the United Association’s Veterans in Piping program, Mike Hazard, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about his journey to the VIP program. Hazard discussed the early days and struggles to get the program running and what the program offers to active-duty participants. 

Hazard grew up with a family of UA members and joined the trades right out of high school. During his time with the UA, he decided to enlist in the Navy and serve his country. Following his service, Hazard returned to UA and a life in the trades. Hazard often shares his story to help reinforce that the U.S. military needs to provide viable options to transition to civilian life in the trades. 

Hazard’s experience is why he leads the UA VIP program. During his time with the program, he’s helped 3,150 veterans transition to a new life in the trades. He took over when the program was created in 2008, and lots of the processes have changed. But the most important change was ensuring the classes took place on several partner military bases. In 2010, the program was shut down due to rules about training for programs outside of the military. Once the Hire Our Heroes legislation was passed, the program resumed with training taking place on military bases, ensuring the best route for success.

In addition to addressing veteran unemployment, the UA VIP Program was created to address a growing shortage in the construction industry of skilled workers and it is truly something that works, Hazard said. Program participants earn certifications and direct entry into solid private-sector jobs with good pay and benefits in a United Association apprenticeship. Every program graduate is guaranteed a start date with great pay at a participant's chosen location. This is a promise Hazard made to all the military leaders and participants in the program, and to this date, he stands true to his word for all the 3,150 participants in the program so far. 

Hear more from Hazard on the UA VIP program and it’s benefits in the episode above.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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