After the first year of college, Lou Christian began working as a shop boy for a local contractor in Springfield, Ore. He knew that he would need a regular paycheck in order to afford tuition at Lane Community College, where he was studying welding technology. Little did he know his experience on the job at such an early age earned him more than simply a paycheck. Lou worked alongside union plumbers and steamfitters who showed him how he can make a good career out of specialized construction work. Lou enrolled in the steamfitter apprenticeship two years later after completing his Associate of Science in Welding Technology Degree. His first job was at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., installing a heating system to a campus building. Lou started regularly attending Union Meetings after he was sworn in. He earned an Associate of Science in Apprenticeship Degree after completing his Steamfitter Apprenticeship. Lou had no idea what turns his newly started career that would span more than 40 years, allowing him to provide for his wife (Tina) and three children (Keith, Scott, and Alexis), and work to improve the union for generations of plumbers and steamfitters would take.
Lou has vast experience working on projects throughout the West Coast and in North Dakota, Utah, and Pennsylvania. His resume includes work on paper mills, medical facilities, oil modules, manufacturing plants, commercial controls, shipyards, water filtration plans, nuclear power plants, and even a space shuttle launch facility. To this day he continues working as a journeyman steamfitter for Hoffman Mechanical Corp.
After seeing the benefits the union had on him and his family first hand, Lou committed himself to continue the legacy by making the legacy even better for the next generation. Lou’s commitment to the movement and willingness to go the extra mile for his brothers and sisters made him an ideal choice for leadership positions. During his career, Lou has served as a member of the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC), Eboard, Vice President, President, Business Agent, Business Manager, Assistant Business Manager, and Trustee for Local 290. Also served as President of the Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council, Lane Coos Curry Douglas Building Trades Council, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Salem Building Trades Council. Lou has been trusted by so many because he is a tireless worker with a record that speaks for itself.
Lou’s strong work ethic can be attributed to the lessons he learned from his parents, his father was a union millwright at Weyerhaeuser and later a Minister, his mother was a school teacher. Both took great pride in their work and inspired Lou to do the same. The union tradition lives on in Lou’s family even today, as his son, Keith, forges his own path in the construction industry. Today, Keith works as a Journeyman Steamfitter.
In his free time, Lou enjoys spending time with his family and the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, and camping are all pastimes passed on to him by his grandfather who was a union-heavy construction carpenter superintendent.