10 Questions for Francisco Govea

Hispanic Heritage Month>





Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!  To celebrate, we’re sharing interviews with Hispanic leaders from across Northwest Pipe Company, as they discuss their experiences and consider what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them. 

Francsico Govea with Water Transmission Pipe
Francisco Govea, Quality Assurance Manager in SLRC, Mexico


10 Questions for Francisco Govea

Francisco has been honing his pipe-making skills for 30 years. Today, he combines his vast industry expertise with dedication, commitment, and leadership, overseeing the Quality Assurance department at our manufacturing plant in San Luis Río Colorado (SLRC), Mexico.

1. What is your job title and how long have you been with Northwest Pipe Company?

My job title is Quality Assurance Manager. I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, and with Northwest Pipe Company since the acquisition of Ameron in 2018.

2. Describe the journey leading to your current position?

I began working as an entry-level helper in the ring department at the Ameron plant in South Gate, California. I then became a Welder and Fitter/Layout person at the Etiwanda Plant. Here, I introduced CAD to our design process for the different configurations of elbows, reducers, and specials in our fittings department. I also contributed as a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) when necessary.

With the closure of the Ameron plant in California, I was part of the support group easing the transition of operations to the SLRC, Mexico facility, working in the fittings department and as a CWI. My opportunity could not come at a better time. In 2018, two of our Quality Control Supervisors departed, and with my expanded knowledge and hardened skills as an inspector, I was able to fill the supervisor vacancy.

3. What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

The most exciting thing about my job is the challenge of learning a new skill.

4. Name two things that always brighten your day— one at work and one outside of work?

At work, it’s the positive results of problem-solving as a team with the rest of the departments. Outside of work, the one thing that brightens my day more than anything is my Grandkids and being able to communicate virtually with them.

5. The theme of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month is Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. How does this theme of resilience and hope resonate with you?

I’m proud that our influence, achievements, and culture are being recognized as a contribution to our system, where we can seek better opportunities to best serve our country.

6. Which current or historical figure of Hispanic Heritage do you admire most for their leadership, contributions, or service to others and why?

I admire everyone who, with honor and courage in all aspects, serves in the formation of this country. One of them is Oscar de la Hoya, who, with his dedication, commitment, and discipline, won the Olympic gold medal and later became an illustrious world champion. In memory of his mom, he gives to his community, helping through his foundation women with cancer, premature children, and young people pursuing a college degree.

7. Name someone in your life who inspires you and why?

The person who inspired me to change my life as a young man, to pursue a career, and to build a home is my wife.

8. What advice do you have for individuals entering your profession?

All the skills you learn are how you will secure your job. Be humble, respectful, and take advantage of any advice from those who know the trade and are willing to help you. With your dedication, sacrifice, and effort, life brings you to the place you deserve in due time.

9. Are there any family traditions significant to you in celebrating your heritage?

Yes, September 16th is Mexico Independence Day, which we celebrate with a BBQ weekend.

10. What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month means a pause in daily life to meditate and remember our history, origin, and customs, as well as to celebrate our recognition as part of the culture of this country.