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Local Union Hoping To Spark Welding Careers For Former Marines

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Aired 12/11/09

A local union is offering men and woman leaving the Marine Corps a chance to learn how to become welders. Organizers are hoping the program might spark some careers.

A local union is offering men and woman leaving the Marine Corps a chance to learn how to become welders. Organizers are hoping the program might spark some careers.

Members of the Veterans in Piping program at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 230 practice their welding skills.
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Above: Members of the Veterans in Piping program at Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 230 practice their welding skills.

San Diego’s Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 230 is already into the fourth class of its Veterans in Piping program. The union is offering Camp Pendleton Marines who are about to be discharged the chance to take part in a free accelerated welding program. Union Organizer Gary Sallis said many Marines don’t know what they’re going to do when they leave the military.

“Right now 750 Marines a month are leaving the Marines at Camp Pendleton," Sallis said. "We’re taking 16 of them every month as we can to try to train them to be welders. And this way, when they get all done, they have a career when they leave the military."

Sallis said there’s a demand for the trade. He said the US will be short 50,000 welders in the next 10 years. He said the Marines can also learn other trades such as plumbing and air-conditioning maintenance.

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