Tyler Pipe Opening Doors To Workers' Families

Tyler Pipe has spent more than 60 million dollars to improve both environmental and safety issues and now they want to show it off.

It's been a year since Tyler Pipe plead guilty to violating the Federal Clean Air Act. Paying more than 4.5 million dollars in fines.  This weekend, the company is opening their doors for the first time in more than 30 years.

A few employees who have worked there for decades who can now show their families where they work.

"It's hard work sometimes but not all of the time. Every job has it's goods and bad and ups and downs, its more goods than bads," says Ross Caldwell Junior. Caldwell has been working at Tyler Pipe for more than 20 years. He's a production manager whose job entails working with massive machinery and hot metal.

Ross's father, Ross Caldwell Senior understands firsthand what his son does for a living. That's because he has worked at Tyler Pipe for more than 40 years.

"I really enjoy working with him at times. Even though I wanted to fire him one time," says Ross Caldwell Senior. Both father and son are glad Tyler Pipe is allowing their family members to see inside the plant.

"I think it's a good idea for them to come out here and see the changes we have made out here at the plant for the safety of our employees and better for the environment," says Ross Junior.

"We have been here in Smith County and a part of the economy and we want to show off some of our improvements that we have done. We have put in 10 of millions of dollars of environmental, health and safety controls and we want to show that off," says Kent Brown, Assistant Manager of Tyler Pipe's North Plant.

If you haven't noticed, there is no longer steam coming from Tyler Pipe. Brown says that's due to new equipment. "It's about 14 million dollars worth of equipment installed over the past 2 years. It cleans up an admissions before it goes into the atmosphere," says Brown.

Both Ross Junior and Senior hope to ease some of their families concerns by touring the plant. "Knowing that they have made a lot of safety issues made it better for us to work out here," says Ross Caldwell Junior.

After 70 years in business, Tyler Pipe wants to show the community, they want to be around for the next 70.

Tyler Pipe is open for tours on Saturday to community leaders, neighbors and family members of their employees. Commissioner Hampton will read a resolution making Saturday Tyler Pipe day.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com