Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Vacuworx Grows along with Tulsa Pipeline Expo

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Vacuworx Grows along with Tulsa Pipeline Expo

Article excerpt

Four years ago, Vacuworx Global was marking its 10th anniversary and company President Bill Solomon believed there was opportunity to create a pipeline trade show to mark the event.

"But we were going 100 miles an hour - we were too busy working to plan a show," Solomon said, recalling early 2009.

While the nation was in a full-blown recession, the oil and gas sector in general and the pipeline business specifically were growing by leaps and bounds as the demand for pipe was strong.

"By the time we realized we needed to get something done and get our act together, we figured it was going to be November before we could get an event together - who wants to come to Tulsa at Thanksgiving?" Solomon said, recalling the discussion.

So, company officials worked even harder to be able to put on a show by the end of August.

Solomon has been a driver in founding and promoting the Tulsa Pipeline Expo.

The fifth Tulsa Pipeline Expo is Aug. 26-28 at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. The expo will include a trade show, professional development opportunities, industry speakers, a golf tournament and a dinner to benefit the Eagle Gift Foundation.

Just as the trade event has grown over the past four years, so has Vacuworx Global. The Tulsa-based company, which owns a vacuum- lifting system called Vaculift Inc., has benefited from the growth in the pipeline industry. The company makes equipment capable of lifting steel pipe without damaging the sensitive coating.

The manufacturer has doubled the number of employees, sales volume and production, said Solomon.

"And, we expect to double again in the next three years," Solomon said.

Solomon has been a driver in founding and promoting the Tulsa Pipeline Expo. The fifth expo is Aug. 26-28 at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.

Today the company has 45 employees, but by the end of the year Solomon expects to have 60 employees on the payroll. Over the next 12 to 15 months, Vacuworx could grow to employ more than 80 employees.

Solomon has led the company to expand manufacturing space in east Tulsa. The company operates at a 60,000-square-foot site and looks at expanding by another 100,000 square feet in the near future. …

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