Steelworker for the Future is a two-and-a-half-year cooperative work-study program that will prepare students for high-tech, well-paying manufacturing careers.
"As more men and women near retirement age, many manufacturers like ArcelorMittal, will lose skilled workers," said Eric Hague, vice president and general manager, ArcelorMittal Cleveland. "The Steelworker for the Future program will help ensure that we have a prepared, skilled workforce in the future, allowing us to continue to compete in the global marketplace and produce safe, sustainable steel. We are proud to partner with Tri-C on this important initiative."
"From the college's perspective and from my perspective", said John Gajewski, Executive Director of Manufacturing Programs at Cuyahoga Community College. "If you're an 18-year-old high school graduate, for example, you invest two - two and a half years, you emerge with an associate's degree, you emerge with experience, and you have a great opportunity for placement in an in demand profession."
Students enrolled in the program will take a total of four semesters of predetermined classes that prepare them in either electrical or mechanical disciplines. They will also get paid internships at ArcelorMittal where they can see how what they learn is applied in the steel industry. Many students will graduate debt-free.
"The average cost of this program for the entire two years of college, four semesters, is between $7,000 and $9,000," said Mark Langbehn, Manager of Hourly Employee Training for ArcelorMittal USA.
"We're going to pay that young man and that young lady more than that in their internships, to pay for their full college education, which they can take home to mom and dad and say 'Hey, I'm not coming out of college with a whole lot of student loans or things of that nature.'"
The program is available to high school and college students, as well as veterans.
Steelworker for the Future is scheduled to begin for this year's fall semester. The Tri-C expects about 20 students for the first class, with approximately 20 additional students for each following year.