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Longest-running party in Region steel industry returns

Milan Momcilovich, Robert Walker, John Schafer, Paul Carlson, Grady Gentles and Warren Kuehl organized the annual ArcelorMittal Machine Shop retirement party.

The longest-running party in the Region steel industry returns to the Halls of St. George in Schererville in November.

ArcelorMittal Machine Shop steelworkers and retirees will celebrate their 61st annual retirement party at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the banquet hall at 905 E. Joliet St. in Schererville. It's also the 101st anniversary of the machine shop at the former Inland Steel mill in East Chicago, which ArcelorMittal acquired when the domestic industry consolidated after the import crisis in the early 2000s.

"It is held to honor the service of the retiring personnel of the machine shop," organizer Milan Momcilovich said. "The yearly event is a gathering of approximately 70 retired and 20 active employees that share a similar dedication to keeping the party going. There is plenty of memorabilia for the men to reminisce of the good times and the bad and see themselves, as they were when they started their careers as young men providing for their families."

Momcilovich said machinists have a tough but rewarding career in an industry that continues to evolve.

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"There are many jobs that keep the steel business viable, but none more satisfying than completing a project that takes a wide variety of talents and expertise to complete," Momcilovich said. "There is no piece of machinery in the mill that these men have not repaired or improved on over the span of their careers, thus providing the satisfaction that comes with their job. The party survived through the years by a dedicated group of individuals that were intent on not letting this tradition end. There are many men to thank for keeping this party going for 60 years. I thank them for their passion and I know that there is self-satisfaction in doing something like this."

Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m.

Anyone interested in attending should contact Momcilovich at 219-924-4428 or 219-501-8066.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.