South Texas Delegation Builds Partnership Northern China

TIANJIN, China (Kiii News) - Within the next year, a new Chinese steel mill near Gregory will begin producing finished pipe for the domestic oil and gas industry.

Because this is an industry that does not yet exist in South Texas, the plant will initially need hundreds of properly trained workers, and then there will need to be a procedure in place to keep those trained workers coming.

That is why a group of top educators from Corpus Christi, along with Kiii News Anchor Joe Gazin, traveled to China this week.

The idea is to come up with the most efficient means of recruiting and training personnel, taking advantage of our existing colleges and training centers. That was the main purpose of the trip, which included Del Mar College President Mark Escamilla, Craft Training Center President Anne Matula, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Vice President Luis Cifuentes, and Del Mar College's Lenora Keas.

They all went to northern China, where there were opportunities to tour the company's main pipe-making facility in Tianjin, and to share ideas for bringing in the specialized workforce in the most efficient way.

What both sides seem to understand is that there is a real opportunity to get a better understanding of an entirely different culture. While no one underestimates the divides and disagreements, or minimizes the very real financial disputes between our two countries, there does seem to be an experiment underway involving our community in South Texas and the large and respected pipe-making company in northern China.

It is a willingness to put aside the differences and concentrate on the things we have in common; to stress friendship and cooperation and working toward a common goal.

The South Texas delegation is now off to the capital city of Bejing, about two hours from Tianjin by bus, to experience more of the sights and culture of China.


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