Sneak Peek: Titan-American Built Star Titan Gilroy Chats about the Made-in-China Bay Bridge

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Sep 10 2014 |
AAM President Scott Paul signs a copy of “ReMaking America” for “Titan-American Made” star Titan Gilroy at the IMTS convention in Chicago. | Photo by Taylor Garland

It’s almost time for the fall T.V. season, and the team at the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) can’t wait for the Oct. 24 premiere of Titan-American Built. The new reality show stars Titan Gilroy, a one-time boxer and convicted felon who turned his life around and now runs Titan America MFG, which produces intricate parts for aerospace companies and robotics makers.

Gilroy’s larger-than-life personality, coupled with his passion for all things Made in America, makes him perfect for television. AAM’s President Scott Paul got the chance to chat all things manufacturing with Titan via Skype, and in the clip below, explains the sad saga of the Made-in-China San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge:

Regular readers of Manufacture This know the story of the Bay Bridge all too well, of course. About 10 years ago, California officials went around federal Buy America laws and used state tax dollars to strike a deal with a firm in China — one that never built a bridge before, natch — to use imported steel to rebuild the bridge.

State officials thought they were saving money. Instead, the bridge ended up delayed and costing $400 million more than originally estimated. The worst part? There are major questions about the structural integrity of the now-finished bridge, and there’s even talk of a potential criminal investigation.

As Titan sums it up: “My skin crawls when I go over that bridge.”

It didn’t have to be that way, of course, as Scott tells Titan. There were several American-based firms on the West Coast who were prepared to do the work. That’s just what is happening in New York, where the Tappen Zee Bridge is being built with American workers and U.S. Steel.

It really is a Tale of Two Bridges.

Titan-American Built is scheduled to premiere at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Oct. 24 on MAVTV.