Steelworker for the future
Posted on 13.12.11 by
The Steelworker for the Future programme, for young people who want a career in the steel industry, offers a unique opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’.
Steel is in the cars we drive, in the buildings where we live and work, and in the tools and machines we use everyday. The steel industry and its products have evolved to successfully meet the needs of different generations, as the tagline for ArcelorMittal’s Steelworker for the Future programme reads ‘this is not your grandfather’s steel industry’.
The average age of a steelworker working for ArcelorMittal in the US is around 57 years. Our training programme, whose first students graduated in November 2011, is changing that. “As more men and women near retirement age, many manufacturers like ArcelorMittal will lose skilled workers,” says Eric Hauge, vice president and general manager at ArcelorMittal Cleveland. “Steelworker for the Future will help ensure that we have a skilled workforce in the future, allowing us to continue to compete in the global marketplace and produce safe, sustainable steel.”
Trainees study for an Associate in Applied Sciences degree while also spending time on site, combining academic and practical learning. The programme includes four semesters (two years) of classroom training at a participating institution and up to 24 weeks (six months) of on-site training at ArcelorMittal. The pilot programme was launched in 2008 with Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana and Prairie State College in Illinois in the US. ArcelorMittal hired 18 of the 23 graduates. This 78% successful recruitment rate is higher than some of the Tier 1 universities around the world.
Andrew Sweeney, one of the proud graduates of the class of 2010 at Prairie State, shares his experience: “I was working in residential electrical work when I learned about the opportunity to become a steelworker. At Prairie State, I gained valuable classroom and practical experience that prepared me for work in a steel mill.
Through my internship at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor, the hands-on training and support from co-workers gave me the skills and confidence I needed to do the job well and safely. I recognise that I could have explored opportunities elsewhere, but the work and the people convinced me that ArcelorMittal was the right choice for me. Today, I work as a maintenance technician for electrical at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor.”
In collaboration with the United Steelworkers union, ArcelorMittal Cleveland and Lakeland Community College, the programme has now been launched in Ohio and is open for applicants who hold a high-school diploma.
To find out more about the six participating institutions and to apply, visit www.steelworkerforthefuture.com