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9. Pipeline of talented scientists and engineers

The future of our company depends on a strong pipeline of talented science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals. We need STEM workers to fill an ever increasing number of open positions. These employees will also be responsible for driving the product innovations that will lead to a more sustainable future.   

Why is this important to us?

Manufacturing in the United States faces a significant workforce challenge in the coming years. At ArcelorMittal, we know our aging workforce will retire and there will be a need for experienced workers to take their places. We need to hire, train and retain skilled workers to continue our mission to provide safe, sustainable steel for years to come.  

The commercial imperative

What kind of challenges do we face?

In the U.S., more than 50% of our employees are over the age of 50. As our employees retire, we need to ensure that their expertise is transferred to the next generation. However, the U.S. is currently facing a STEM skills gap. According to national STEM advocacy nonprofit, Change the Equation, between 2014 and 2024, the number of STEM jobs will grow 17 percent, as compared to 12 percent for non-STEM jobs. At the same time, the number of U.S. companies reporting difficulty in filling positions due to a lack of qualified STEM workers is dramatically increasing. 

What do we need to do?

We invest in the full continuum of the STEM education spectrum to ensure that students throughout the U.S. have access to STEM opportunities. In our communities we partner with local nonprofit organizations and schools to provide STEM experiences for youth. We partner with post-secondary institutions to engage and recruit talent through ArcelorMittal’s Steelworker for the Future® community college program. We additionally support colleges and universities with our Campus Partnership Program. To retain and further the development of our current workforce, we provide educational reimbursement and training programs. 

What is the potential to create value?

The workforce of tomorrow will have the opportunity to drive our technological innovations. This includes developing more sustainable production processes and developing new ways to use and re-use resources. We also want to work towards an increasingly diversified workforce.  

2016 Highlights



In 2016, ArcelorMittal committed 50 percent of our U.S. grantmaking to support STEM programming, surpassing our corporate goal of 40 percent.



ArcelorMittal provided 26,788 training hours for salaried employees and 717,243 training hours for hourly employees in 2016.



ArcelorMittal committed more than $1.1 million for tuition reimbursement for undergraduate and graduate programs for U.S. employees.


   During the summer of 2016, 136 interns worked in various roles at ArcelorMittal facilities across the country. ArcelorMittal hired and placed 70 new employees from out partner colleges and universities at our USA facilities during the year.

Case studies: Scientists and engineers

Taking campus partnerships to the next level

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At ArcelorMittal, we are looking for the best and brightest minds to help us transform the future of steel. To achieve this goal, we seek to develop and recruit professionals in engineering, finance, business management and other areas. We have created partnerships with nine accredited four-year colleges and universities focused on engineering and business programs. Through our Campus Partnership Program, ArcelorMittal USA focuses on equipping students with the skills needed to succeed in the global marketplace and increasing opportunities for women and minorities.

Our engagement with our partner schools is not limited to interviews and career fairs. In fact, throughout the school year, we aim to provide experiences and opportunities for college students who may be interested in a career in the steel industry.

Michigan Tech is one of our partner schools. In March of 2016, nearly 30 students from Michigan Tech travelled to Chicago and Northwest Indiana for a special program with ArcelorMittal. Joe Nowosad, lead recruiter for Michigan Tech and employee at Burns Harbor, explained, "We initiated this tour in conjunction with AIST and Michigan Tech in an effort to raise awareness of what the steel industry has to offer young engineers. We targeted first and second year engineering students to give them an opportunity to see what we do and how we make steel in the hopes that they will become natural ambassadors on campus and hopefully help us recruit future talent to our industry." 

The students boarded a bus from campus and visited the Museum of Science and Industry and toured our Indiana Harbor plant. They saw the hot strip mill, No. 2 steel producing, East finishing and No. 7 blast furnace. They then gathered for lunch where Bill Dalzotto, senior division manager, MEU at Indiana Harbor, presented to the students along with a peer panel composed of Michigan Tech graduates working for ArcelorMittal.

Our partnership with Colorado School of Mines (CSM) also illustrates our commitment to developing a pipeline of talented scientists and engineers. CSM’s “The Outlet” is a student-run lab where students can work on personal projects, finish lab experiments outside of class or meet to work on group assignments. ArcelorMittal was a significant donor in the creation of the lab which was officially opened in April 2016.

“ArcelorMittal is very pleased to help Colorado School of Mines electrical engineering students,” said Al Barsophy, chief technical officer at ArcelorMittal USA. “We equipped The Outlet to help students expand their knowledge and increase their ability to think openly.” 

“The lab can meet any electrical hardware needs that a student may have,” explained Stephanie Claussen, Colorado School of Mines teaching associate professor. “In addition to the comfy chairs and social area, it has oscilloscopes, power meters, signal generators and a collection of components.”

The Outlet is the latest in the continuing expansion of student-made spaces on the Mines campus. The lab is designed to be open 24/7 to all students and will be managed by both student and faculty advisory committees.

Our partnership began with Colorado School of Mines shortly after the Arcelor and Mittal merger. Since then, we have hired 29 Mines graduates. 

“This type of relationship is incredibly valuable and we are committed to maintaining it throughout challenging business cycles,” said Morgan Hewitt, representative, talent acquisition and development, ArcelorMittal USA. “Through labs like this and summer internships, ArcelorMittal introduces students to practical applications of their classroom instruction. Graduates who are hired can hit the ground running, already familiar with the company, our products and our culture.”

Programs like these support ArcelorMittal’s efforts to develop and recruit talented individuals who are critical to the future of our industry. 
Steel and robotics go hand in hand

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At ArcelorMittal, robots are often an integral part of the steelmaking process.  From processing samples in the chem lab, to completing hazardous tasks at the zinc pot, robots are a reliable, efficient, and safe alternative.  At the zinc pot, for example, robots drag the dross across the top of the molten zinc instead of humans. Given the extreme heat of the molten material, there is a high potential for splashing. Having robots handle the drossing process eliminates the human risk. Additionally, robots can be used to remotely control peck lifters which handle very heavy loads that would otherwise require operators working in very close proximity to these loads.  With the loads often in tight locations, pinch points are a big hazard. With robots controlling the lifters instead, operators stay out of harm’s way. 

These are just a few examples of how robots are used to enhance safety and streamline processes at ArcelorMittal. With the automation industry in full swing, engineers are constantly innovating new robotics. But just as important as having cost-efficient robots that often eliminate safety hazards is having enough qualified humans to oversee and maintain these robots.

As part of our effort to develop a pipeline of talented scientists and engineers for tomorrow, we support numerous robotics programs in the communities where we operate. One such example is Safe Harbor in Michigan City, an organization that has sponsored a robotics team at the high school level for the past five years and two robotics teams for 5th and 6th graders over the past four years. In 2016, ArcelorMittal played a major role in expanding Safe Harbor’s reach, providing funding for the organization to offer a robotics team at the middle school level and three new teams at the elementary level for third and fourth graders.

At the recent kickoff for the 2017 annual First Robotics competition, John Mengel, vice president and general manager of Burns Harbor, addressed Safe Harbor robotics teams and other regional clubs. Mengel recalled that, as a kid, growing up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he loved taking things apart to see how they worked, and joking, “sometimes not so good at putting them back together.” Yet, after attending Penn State University, he was hired by Bethlehem Steel for the Burns Harbor facility as a maintenance engineer, “to take things apart and put them back together.”

“Manufacturing products is a noble activity,” said Mengel. “It’s the basis of advancing society’s standard of living and truly becomes the basis for any economy’s wealth creation.  Our salvation is the creativity that America inspires, which drives productivity and yield benefits through improved processes, today most notably, automation and robotics. 

AcelorMittal is highly committed to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives and we gladly support local STEM initiatives such as robotics clubs. The skills and experiences these students are exposed to may pique their interest in the steel industry, and we need a talented pipeline to drive our company into the future.

VIDEO: Supporting robotics in Michigan City