Purdue University's Technical Assistance Program over the next two months will train up to 100 United Steelworkers in sustainable, environmentally friendly workplace practices.
The training is funded through a $4.6 million Energy Training Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to the Institute for Career Development in Merrillville.
ICD, which partnered with the Blue Green Alliance to initiate the Purdue program, provides training for eligible members of the United Steelworkers. It emphasizes skills that members can use to enhance existing careers or take with them beyond steel mills, rubber plants and iron mines.
Based in Minneapolis, the alliance is a national partnership between labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.
The Steelworkers are partnering with ArcelorMittal USA to offer the training at three locations in northwest Indiana and one each in Cleveland and southeastern Pennsylvania.
"We all have a stake in increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions," said Leo W. Gerard, United Steelworkers international president. "The Steelworkers have been leading this charge for decades now. This training will enhance our highly skilled members' capacity and keep us at the forefront of the movement toward more environmentally sustainable practices."
Larry Fabina, USA energy team coordinator and manager for continuous improvement at ArcelorMittal, said: "This program will provide important training opportunities for steelworkers by arming them with the skills needed to make an impact at their worksites and succeed in today's competitive manufacturing sector.
"At ArcelorMittal, we are focused on producing safe, sustainable steel through a focus on safety, continuous improvement, quality, energy and environmental management. This program will help provide our workers with skills and knowledge required to deliver on this critical mission."
Through its energy efficiency and sustainability program, TAP has developed a five-day green enterprise curriculum for ICD. TAP will use classroom presentations, interactive simulations, case study analyses and implementation lessons to train participants in how to help an employer reduce environmental impact and improve competitiveness. Attendees will learn about topics such as solid and hazardous waste management, "green chemistry," and air, water and energy management.
"Sustainability is vital to the future of American industry," said Dave Snow, director of Purdue's Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Energy & Sustainability Center, a part of TAP. "By developing green enterprise skills, these Steelworkers will be prepared to contribute to that future."
ICD participants who complete the green enterprise course will receive a Purdue TAP Green Manufacturing Specialist Certificate. They also will be eligible to take the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Green Manufacturing Specialist Certificate exam.
"We view this training as being right in line with our mission of providing valuable educational opportunities to the Steelworker membership," said Jerry Evans, ICD executive director. "The grant from the Department of Labor has allowed us to expand the scope of our customary training and explore the possibilities in energy efficiency and to help train for the new green economy."