The United Association had the first nationally registered joint apprenticeship program in the United States, dating to 1936. An Apprenticeship is a serious and vigorous undertaking: Kentucky Pipe Trades Association apprentices must work the same hours as journeyworkers, plus attend classes. This can be a highly rewarding career path for an individual who is motivated to learn the piping trade and become an active member of a proud and noble Kentucky Pipe Trades Association union.
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When an applicant is accepted into a Kentucky Pipe Trades Association Local Union apprenticeship program, it is similar to receiving a tuition-free scholarship. While learning the trade, they also work for a contractor and earn wages to help support their families.
Individuals who enter our five-year apprenticeship program are part of a select group of women and men motivated to learn a complex and challenging trade while upholding the ideals of trade unionism. All applicants are evaluated on the same basis, without regard to race, sex, national origin or religious affiliation.
Kentucky Pipe Trades Association apprentices learn through both classroom and on-the-job training in what is considered to be the best construction industry apprentice program in the world. The five-year apprenticeship period is divided into one-year segments, each of which includes on-the-job training and related classroom instruction. All Kentucky Pipe Trades Association apprentices receive a strong general education background in the trade, with core courses in basics such as mathematics, mechanical drafting, and related science. At an appropriate juncture, apprentices can choose a specific curriculum with the goal of becoming a plumber, pipefitter, sprinkler fitter, or service technician in the air conditioning/refrigeration field.
The curriculum of the apprenticeship program has been assessed by the American Council on Education and other organizations and colleges so an apprentice can complete an associate of arts or associate of science degree simultaneously with journey-level credentials in the craft of their choice.
One thing makes the UA training program so successful is the joint partnership between labor and management. All training programs are run through local joint training committees in specific cities or regions.