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Some good news for the valley

There has been very little positive to report for several months now, as we continue to look for ways to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were encouraged, though, about Wednesday’s announcement from ArcelorMittal.

That’s when we learned that the global steel giant had hired 18 workers for its Weirton plant.

Those employees will fill vacancies that had been created through retirements and will allow the facility’s tin-making operation to run at full capacity.

Output from the plant is needed to help meet the increased demand for items that come in cans, according to Mark Glyptis, president of United Steelworkers Local 2911. Since more people have been forced to stay at home during the last four months, they have been using more items that come from cans, everything from food to disinfectant sprays.

For now, the new workers are going through safety training, Glyptis said, to help them navigate their way through the industrial setting. Their addition, he added, means that about 800 people, including management employees, are working at the facility. Glyptis expects more workers to be hired before the end of the year.

All of that is important for what’s left of the area’s steel industry, especially since the news comes about a week after it was learned that JSW Steel in Mingo Junction, was planning a temporary closure of its facility, a move that would affect 160 workers.

Much of what was once the Weirton Steel Corp. is now gone, but the company’s legacy remains critical, as its present owner, ArcelorMittal, has shown again. The product that is in such high demand now always was important to the facility, so much so that those driving into the city were once greeted by signs that read “Welcome to Weirton, home of the mighty tin can.”

This week’s news is good for the Tri-State Area’s economy right now and, we hope, signals a good trend for the future.

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