WEIRTON - Mark Glyptis knows some will never be satisfied with the status of the ArcelorMittal Weirton steel plant, as the facility now employs less than one-tenth of the 11,000 people who once worked there.
However, the United Steelworkers of America Local 2911 president is proud to report the company recently hired 34 new workers to help finish tin products - such as soup and vegetable cans - at the mill, once famously known as Weirton Steel.
"We've had 34 new workers start here over the past few weeks. It's because we have an increased order book right now," said Glyptis. "There are a lot of younger guys, but it is a mix. It is an exciting time here."
Photo by Casey Junkins
Mark Glyptis, United Steelworkers of America Local 2911 president, believes ArcelorMittal Weirton’s hiring of 34 new workers is a sign of hope for the local economy.
After the new employees completed their mandatory training period, Glyptis said workers jumped right into their new jobs.
"I know a lot of people will never be satisfied because they think things should be the way they used to be. I know a lot of people suffered a lot when we lost our fully integrated steel mill," Glyptis acknowledged. "But we have to move on and keep going with what we have. Our tin products, and our workers, can compete with anybody in the world."
Because ArcelorMittal has no intention of ever restarting Weirton's once roaring blast furnace, BOP Caster and other ends of the mill, Glyptis said the company is very interested in selling the unused property.
"ArcelorMittal has clearly stated that they are only interested in the tin facility. If it is not used to make tin, they don't want it," he emphasized.
Therefore, the efforts to sell some or all of the 1,700 acres of industrial property for the creation of what Glyptis terms "family-supporting jobs."
"This site is perfect for a lot of huge companies that may want to build here," Glyptis said, noting the current natural gas rush and the associated operations may play a role in such development. "You have water access, highway access, railway access, and are very close to (Pittsburgh) International Airport."