Service + Solidarity Spotlight: UA Member, Military Veteran Finds Solidarity with Membership in the Building Trades


Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Justin Baird is eager to learn and start working in the building trades. He said the solidarity that comes with being a member of United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 189 is a welcome part of the job. “I've always been interested in learning a new trade,” Baird said. “And the aspect of a brotherhood appealed to me the most due to the fraternity with my colleagues in the Army.” He took part in the UA’s Veterans in Piping program, an 18-month apprenticeship training course for veterans re-entering the civilian workforce.

As a second year apprentice with Local 189, Baird is thankful for the career he has and the tradesmen and tradeswomen he works alongside: “It’s still hard work, but at least you know you get to go home to your family at the end of the day….The brotherhood is amazing. There’s some really good people that will look out for you in the union.”