The Veterans in Piping program at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune focuses on helping active-duty military personnel transition to civilian careers.
The program teaches pipefitting and welding, preparing Marines for apprenticeships in those fields.
“These people deserve an opportunity because they have chosen to serve our country,” said David Porter, VIP instructor. “But it’s really a win-win situation because they’re exactly the kind of people we want to work with side by side anyway.”
Marines are competitive by nature and always want to be the best, said Sgt. Cody Lemons, a student in the program.
“I think the guys in this class, that graduate from this program, they are just that one step ahead of some of the other people coming off the street in the civilian sector,” Lemons said. “They just have that work ethic. They’re willing to get the job done, no matter what.”
Lemons praised instructors for putting in the time and effort to make the students the best they can be.
For its work, VIP was named the 2020 Outstanding Registered Pre-Apprenticeship Program by ApprenticeshipNC.
Porter said he was confident the program would be worthy of the award. “I believe in what we’re doing, and I know the quality results we’re getting.”