Demystifying Pantex for Amarillo leaders
About 50 local business leaders made the second of their two annual trips out to Pantex recently, getting the chance to go tour the plant that remains a mystery for some many local residents.
The organization that arranged for the trip, Leadership Amarillo and Canyon, has been going strong for almost 40 years, providing tours of businesses and industries throughout the region for 10 months out of the year.
Amarillo and Canyon business leaders in front of a replica of the first atomic bomb, Fat Man.
They kicked off the tour hearing from Pantex Site Manager Michelle Reichert followed by the history of the plant by Interim Historian Monty Schoenhals. Then the group loaded up in their tour bus and drove over to a replica of the first atomic bomb, dubbed “Fat Man,” where they got a group picture.
Over lunch, those on the tour say being out here and seeing this first hand helps remove the cloud of mystery that seems to hang over Pantex for most residents.
Jeremy Roark, Director of Surgical services at Baptist St. Anthony’s Hospital says, “I get to put something physical with what you hear about in regard to Pantex. I overhear people talking about Pantex who come into BSA, and being here, gives us an association … it’s more of a reality than a mystery."
Technical Program coordinator for Amarillo College, Jerry Terry, agrees. “Being on the tour demystifies Pantex. It’s good to come out here and allows it to be something real for us.”
And if all goes according to plan, the next group of 50 new business leaders from the area should be touring their way through the front gate in about 6 months, excited to learn more about the plant.