Cleveland Inspection, one of the companies inspecting the Enbridge pipeline, has hired five Osages among the 30 workers who will work on its inspection team.
"Now the pipeline will not only be built by Osages, it will be inspected by Osages," said pipeline consultant Rod Hartness.
According to Harold "Racer" Hutchens, chief inspector for Cleveland Inspection, the Osages hired will be involved in pressure testing, welding inspecting, right-of-way inspecting, ditch inspecting and string-of-pipe inspecting.
Those hired by Cleveland Inspection were Doug Whitehorn, George Carter, Steve Tisdale, Martin Miles and Trona Walls.
Jason Howell, also hired, is married to an Osage and has Osage children.
Some of those hired, such as George Carter, have previous experience in pipeline inspection.
More pipeline jobs are on the horizon, according to Phillip Wallace. The business representative for Union 798 told a group of students being trained for the Enbridge pipeline project that he expected the next two years to be busy in the pipeline industry.
The Keystone project with TransCanada, set to begin, pending President Obama’s approval, will go from Kay County to Cushing, Oklahoma, Hartness said.
To meet the continuing demand after the Enbridge project, the Osage Nation hopes to partner with Cleveland Inspection to create a training class specifically to prepare pipeline inspectors for the job, officials say.