Ohio Local 1943 Members to Play Key Role in Cleveland-Cliffs’ Transition to Green Energy Thanks to Landmark Federal Funding

Mar 26, 2024 | Politics & Legislative News

Cleveland-Cliffs in Middletown, Ohio, has received up to $500 million in federal funding for improvements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in energy-intensive industries. The company plans to create 170 permanent jobs and 1,200 temporary union construction jobs while also preserving the site’s existing 2,500 jobs, which includes 2,000 IAM Local 1943 members.

The funding, which comes as part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, would provide Cleveland-Cliffs Steel, America’s largest flat-rolled steel producer, to retire a blast furnace and replace it with two electric furnaces. 

IAM Local 1943 members will play a crucial role in carrying out projects that would enable the facility to use natural gas as fuel, thereby reducing the current carbon intensity of ironmaking by more than 50%. The facility could also potentially switch to a combination of natural gas and clean hydrogen, or entirely clean hydrogen, which would bring down the current carbon intensity of ironmaking by over 90%.

“The IAM applauds this historic Department of Energy grant awarded to Cleveland-Cliffs under President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “The recognition is a tribute to IAM Local 1943 members’ dedication and expertise, the backbone of Cleveland Cliffs’ success. This DOE grant from the Inflation Reduction Act is a win for American manufacturing and sustainability. The IAM commends U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s commitment and the Biden-Harris Administration’s support for a stronger domestic steel industry.”

The initiative aims to support the creation of good-paying union jobs, revitalize industrial communities, and strengthen the nation’s manufacturing competitiveness.

“I applaud the members at IAM Local 1943,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “This award will benefit Ohio’s working families for years to come. The IAM is proud to stand with our members as we continue strengthening the American workforce and promoting sustainability.”

The plant aims to reduce carbon emissions and become one of the world’s most advanced, lowest greenhouse gas-emitting iron and steel facilities.

“IAM Local 1943 members at Cleveland-Cliffs Middletown Works have fueled steel production for more than 100 years, powering essential products nationwide,” said IAM Local 1943 President and Directing Business Representative Shawn Coffey. “We are excited that this DOE grant validates our members’ hard work and commitment to driving our nation’s economy, and will help us continue making steel in Middletown, Ohio for 100 more. IAM Local Lodge 1943 would like to thank Cleveland Cliffs for their commitment to our members and the community of Middletown. I would also like to thank our elected officials, the DOE, and everyone involved for the hard work and dedication that they have put in to make this happen.”

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited Cleveland-Cliffs Steel in Middletown, Ohio, to make the announcement and share how this investment can help Ohio’s working families. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) had urged the U.S. Energy Department to approve the funding.

“This partnership will ensure that IAM steelworkers in Middletown remain at the forefront of the global steel industry,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. “This is why we passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act – to ensure Ohio manufacturing continues to lead the world in the technologies that will drive our economy for decades to come. The Cleveland-Cliffs Middletown Works plant will support growing industries in Ohio while creating good-paying jobs, and ensuring that Ohio remains a national leader in manufacturing and innovation.”


Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Twitter

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