Concordia man meets President Trump at pipeline training center in Texas
On April 10, 2019, President Donald Trump traveled to Texas to sign two executive orders to speed pipeline construction and to boost the domestic oil and gas industry. Mr. Trump chose the International Union of Operating Engineers Training Center in Crosby, Texas, for the event. While there, he toured the facility.
Long-time Concordia resident Terry Hemme has worked on natural gas pipelines since 1981. He travels all over the United States to do this work. He currently works as a Pipeline Instructor at the IUOE Training Center from October to June every year.
During the President’s visit to Texas, Hemme had the opportunity to shake the President’s hand and speak with him.
“He wanted to know what we do at the facility,” Hemme said. “We told him we train people on pipeline equipment so they can lay pipeline quicker, and safer, than non-union contractors.”
Hemme said he found the President to be very easy to talk to.
“He was very down-to-earth. He mentioned that he had run heavy equipment in his younger days … a bulldozer I think is what he said,” Hemme said. “We didn’t get to talk to him too long. He had to get inside and let the meeting get started.”
During his speech, Hemme remembers, Mr. Trump said he was glad to be there with the pipeline workers, and that the President and his words were received warmly by those gathered.
One of Hemme’s students spoke during the event, sharing how the executive orders signed that day would help him and his family as he learns more about the work he does and moves forward into the pipeline industry.
“It was clear that Mr. Trump was there to help us get along with our work,” Hemme said.
When not teaching at the center, Hemme works on pipeline jobs around the nation. He is trained in many different pipeline jobs, and while working the pipeline works as a foreman, an engineer, or a bending operator.
Mr. Trump started his day in San Antonio before traveling to Crosby to talk with at the training center, which was packed with energy executives pipeline workers. During his visit, he focused on his administration’s efforts to reduce delays in pipeline construction and to roll back federal rules that prevent liquefied natural gas shipments by rail. He told the crowd of about 300 that … “the era of job-killing regulations is over.”