Steel

STEEL: Shipments strong to auto, appliance industries

Times Board of Economists - Report from Susan Zlajic, manager of government affairs at ArcelorMittal USA Inc.
2014-02-02T00:00:00Z 2014-02-02T11:36:10Z STEEL: Shipments strong to auto, appliance industriesJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
February 02, 2014 12:00 am  • 

The steel industry got a boost from strong car sales in 2013, which hopefully should continue into this year, said Susan Zlajic, manager of government affairs at ArcelorMittal USA Inc.

Shipments to the appliance industry also rose by 21.4 percent over 2012, she said.

ArcelorMittal's Northwest Indiana mill in East Chicago and Burns Harbor crank out a lot of steel for automakers and appliance manufacturers.

"Hopefully we've moving forward in a positive direction," Zlajic said. "We're seeing an uptick in the economy, such as in new home sales."

The Belgium-based company, which is the world's largest steelmaker, faces an industry-wide problem of an aging workforce. A lot of its employees are 50-years-old to 55-years-old, and will retire in the next five to seven years, Zlajic said.

ArcelorMittal has been trying to attract younger workers to replace the retiring employees.

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