North American Oil & Gas Pipelines

MAY 2018

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines covers the news shaping the business of oil and gas pipeline construction and maintenance in North America, including pipeline installation methods, integrity management innovations and managerial strategies.

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Page 20 of 43 MAY 2 018 | North American Oil & Gas Pipelines 21 found another way to give back. "During that time, we would have a dinner," he says. "I had the guys in the shop make little oil derricks to use as centerpieces at dinner, and it just clicked in my mind. I announced that each centerpiece is available, with an opening bid of $100. We'll take the highest bid at each table and raise money for charity." That's how the Eagle Gift Foundation was formed. The nonprofit organization raises money to promote educational programs to protect vulnerable children and adults and lend a helping hand to those who are down on their luck. "If you want be part of something bigger than you, then why don't you start with your own backyard, the local community," Solomon says. "It doesn't always take money. Sometimes it just takes time. Go lend a hand. If we're having success, then how can we make the local economy better? The more vibrant our local economy, the better we all are." Celebrating 20 Years With Vacuworx entering its 20th year in business this month, Solomon reflects on how the company has grown. "We started with two, me and my wife," he says. "We didn't know what we could afford, so we rented a small facility and contracted out a lot of work. I did a lot of work myself. Eventually, we moved into a 10,000-sq ft building, and we were able to hire a few employees a few years into it. Now, we're in a 100,000-sq ft space, with 48 employees in the United States. But I still feel like a new kid on the block." He feels humbled by the customers who have returned again and again for Vacuworx products. If imitation is the best form of flattery, Solomon can look around and see his impact in the other companies that have entered the vacuum lifting space. "Other competitors try to mimic what we do," he says. "That just means we have to continue to innovate and get better." Vacuworx also continues to grow. The company is currently hiring more people, and it soon will be opening the new Vacuworx Technology Institute, which will expand training capabilities and foster new product development. "I know there are a lot of people interested in developing the workforce," Solomon says. "This will allow us to bring all those resources together so that we're not all trying to recreate the same wheel." Meanwhile, Vacuworx is expanding its market footprint. On April 18, the company announced a partnership with Ditch Witch to distribute its vacuum lifting machines on a global scale. Despite all the growth and expansion since 1999, the core of Vacuworx's business remains the pipeline industry. "I see the pipeline market as an excellent one to be in for years to come," Solomon says. "Energy is going to be an important factor for growth of communities throughout the world, and it's still going to be oil and gas. There are many communities in need of rehabilitation, and that will mean new opportunity for pipelines. I see this year being strong and robust, and I'm pleased that the current administration believes in the strength of the industry as being important for the overall health of the country." Bradley Kramer is managing editor of North American Oil & Gas Pipelines . Contact him at .

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