Jennifer enjoys nothing more than traveling across the wilds of Minnesota, whether it’s hiking with her family on the weekends or meeting people all across the state for her job as Community Engagement Manager. An employee of Enbridge, she has worked with communities from Buffalo, New York all the way through North Dakota, building relationships with the people who reside near pipeline routes.
Pipeline operators are required to notify landowners near their proposed or current pipeline routes about their plans, any changes in operations and any issues that may come up while the line is in operation, but for Jennifer the work is more than that – it’s about the people she meets along the way. A typical day for Jennifer might have her talking to local public officials or attending meetings of the local Rotary or Lions Club. She says, “We want the communities to know that we’re there, our employees are there, and we want to be able to support the communities that are supporting us.”
Operators also often work with local nonprofits to invest in and support the communities where they operate. That means grants for their ‘Safe Communities’ program which specifically supports emergency responders or investing in the local food bank and workforce development. For one community in Michigan, her company was able to identify a local need and secure a grant to meet that need because of the relationships they built within the community. “[They were] so excited to be having the construction crews coming into town – they put bags together for the workers that had coupons and flyers for all of the local businesses and held their big summer fair right downtown [with] a ‘Welcome Pipeliners’ tent.”
Learn more about the industry-wide goal of community and public engagement throughout a pipeline’s life cycle.