President tours Chatham Steel, meets workers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

President tours Chatham Steel, meets workers

The Tenenbaum family with the President Obama (Source: Nancy Tenenbaum) The Tenenbaum family with the President Obama (Source: Nancy Tenenbaum)

By Tim Guidera - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It was a typical Tuesday morning at  Chatham Steel. But by early afternoon the company and its workers were sharing a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"It was absolutely an honor to have the President of the United States come visit our company,'' said Chatham Steel president Bert Tennenbaum, whose company was chosen to be part of the tour of small businesses President Obama made during his visit to Savannah today. "It's something you don't even put on a list of things you want to do in your life because you never expect it to happen.''

The expectations of Chatham Steel employees were exceeded shortly after 1:30, when the President pulled into the plant and greeted every employee personally. He also took pictures with workers and toured the facility that produces custom steel parts.

"It seemed as if he felt honored to be invited here,'' said plant worker Victor Johnson. "But the honor was all ours.''

Security was tight but both shifts of workers from the plant were on hand for the visit, roughly 120 people including the executive offices.

Every employee had the pleasure of shaking the president's hand and Chatham Steel president Bert Tenenbaum had a private conversation with the president, focusing largely on healthcare and Chatham Steel's progressive wellness plan.

The entire visit took about 25 minutes but the impressions of everyone there will last quite a while.

"I've got to tell you, it was an experience I've never had before and probably never will have again," said Tenenbaum. "Clearly, it was absolutely an honor to have the President of the United States here and I am especially happy for the people who work here."

Obama visited Chatham Steel after speaking at Savannah Tech about creating jobs and growing the economy.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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