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“A century of steelmaking has come to an end,” says Kamenetz

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz released this statement following the sale of the Sparrows Point cold mill (first reported locally by The Brew last night).

“Today we face the difficult reality that more than a century of steelmaking as we know it has come to an end in Baltimore County. We all have fought hard to prevent this day.

“The entire community feels the emotional and financial impact, whether you are a former RG Steel or Bethlehem Steel worker, a retiree living in Turner Station, or a business owner in Dundalk.

“I personally want to thank Joe Rosel, president of the Steelworkers Local 9477, for his efforts over the past 18 months. He is angry and has a right to be angry. No one has worked harder to save the steel industry here than Joe.

“I am confident that Sparrows Point will again be a vibrant job center, with new 21st Century businesses and 21st Century jobs. The work of Baltimore County’s Sparrows Point Partnership is critical as we look forward to opportunities to bring advanced manufacturing, clean energy, logistics, and port related uses to this historic industrial peninsula. In Baltimore County we are tough. We may get knocked down, but we always get back up.

“Baltimore County is deploying $1.8 million in federal grants to support steelworkers and their families. We have set up a dedicated Steelworker Assistance Unit and hired seven full-time specialists to provide direct, one-on-one help to steelworkers.

“I urge all former RG Steel workers to visit the Eastpoint Workforce Center and apply immediately for federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits. We do not want any steelworkers to miss out on valuable federal assistance because they missed a critical application deadline.”

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NOTE: Former RG Steel employees must apply for federal Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) assistance no later than 26 weeks after a layoff. For some workers, the deadline is in December. TAA benefits for eligible steelworkers include job training, extended unemployment benefits, relocation assistance and other assistance.

The Steelworker Assistance Unit has been opened at the Eastpoint Workforce Development Center, 7930 Eastern Blvd., Essex, 410-288-9050. Additional information can be found at www.baltimorecountymd.gov/steel.

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  • Closedbusinessowner

    Mr. Kamenetz, What help do you offer my business that had to close because of all the money RG Steel owed us? We were a contracting company. We have to sell our home to pay our business line of credit. What retraining and extended benefits do we get?

    • My2Cents69

      He is only offering his BEST WISHES. That’s all he has.

      When he said “I am confident that Sparrows Point will again be a vibrant job center, with new 21st Century businesses and 21st Century jobs.”  that’s just a really, really, long way of saying Walmart. There might be a McDonalds in there too.

    • Walter

      Just go to the Baltimore Sun and you can see the video of Senator Barb explaining why steelworkers are entitled to retraining and benefits. Why? Because she explains how Bethlehem Steel built everything from National Beer Cans, the Chesapeake and Golden Gate Bridges, Liberty Ships, Artillery gun barrels, toasters, and other items to protect America during WWII. Sparrows Point is the arsenal of freedom and without Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point America would not have the domestic manufactured steel available to protect ourselves in the next war. Sparrows Point is a defense plant and the government should bail it and its employees out until the new jobs are created.

      I am not so sure that you vendors and contractors are entitled to the same benefits as our steelworkers.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/WH2ELJ7VFHTD4VLCDGKMO44P5Y Ron

          WALTER —–  WHY DO ALL THE POLITICIANS ONLY COME OUT AFTER THE FACT THAT THE PLANT SHUT DOWN ?   THEY DID  THIS SO THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TO TAKE A STANCE ON THE ISSUE !!!!   THEY  ONLY THINK AND SEE TAX DOLLARS IN THAT LOCATION !!!!    DO YOU THINK KAMENETZ CARES ABOUT THE MILLS OR THE PEOPLE ????    LIKE I SAID BEFORE — THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE ON THE ISLAND KEEP VOTING HIM IN ——- WHY ??????   SPARROWS POINT PAID FOR THEIR KIDS AND HOUSES !!!!!!     SAD DAY WHEN PEOPLE LET THINGS GO !!!!!! 

  • exspworker

    Thanks Kevin, best wishes to you and good luck on your political future.

  • H S

    Thanking Rosel was a nice touch. Nobody has worked harder to shitcan SP than Kamenetz and James White of the MPA.

  • unioncaught

    The only Steelworkers that trusted Kamanetz was the union reps. We begged our local leaders not to support him. They were more concerned getting their pictures taken with him even though he mad many comments derogatory to Sparrows Point running as a Steel Mill. Kamenetz had a disdain for the workers at Sparrows Point and now we all lost our jobs except the 6 paid union reps. We want all our dues back plus our signed severance and health care. There will be an attorney out there that will take this case if enough of us keep pressure.

    • OxygenMaskedMan

      The steel mill at SP was DOA decades before Mr. Kamanetz was elected! Do not shoot the messengers. He is a smart young man surrounded by good advisers who will try to come up with a plan that we can all live with. Never again will Turners Station,  Dundalk, and Eastern Baltimore City be known as the Cancer Capital of America.        

      (I just got word that a former Hot Mill worker who runs a local business in the area has cancer from breathing fumes at the mill). Even though the mill is closed its legacy of cancers and white lung is still taking its toll. Our younger politicians will see that these these toxic releases will never happen again at any of the new businesses they locate in Sparrows Point. We cannot stop the cancers in our older citizens, but we can do something for our younger workers and the little children and that is to be very careful and not rush to locate businesses that again kill our citizens and wildlife just to make jobs and a fast dollar. Mr. Kamanetz and the young elected officials are NOT the problem, but they are a very big part of the solution to getting the economy back up and running while not killing the workers and community in the process!!There are plenty places to point blame. Our younger local elected officials did not cause this mess and are our only salvation for a cleaner and brighter future.  Please welcome these new messengers of hope and change for the better. Go point the blame where blame came from and support those new faces that are now here to help us.

  • dunfor

    hey doc…. whats up with Mingo???? A former boss at EAF who is tight with Steed says it will startup in Jan?????

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WH2ELJ7VFHTD4VLCDGKMO44P5Y Ron

    WHAT TO SAY ON THIS STORY ??  WE ALL LOST ARE JOBS AT THE POINT , JOBS THAT MADE THE COMMUNITY AND RAISED MANY OF FAMILIES FOR OVER 100 YEARS !!!!  THIS IS A DOMINO EFFECT  FOR FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES !!! BEEN ALOT OF RUMOR COMENTS ON HERE — BUT THE FACTS ARE THE FACTS !!!!!!!   ALL THE INTELLIGENT STEEL PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD {WITH MONEY} –THEY COULDN’T BUY OR MAKE THIS COMPANY RUN ????   PLUS THEIR WERE NO ONE FROM THE STATE TO PUSH OR HELP THE SALE !!! THIS ONLY MEANS THAT THE STATE DIDN’T WANT THE POINT TO RUN !!!! THEY WANT OTHER BUSINESSES IN THERE !!!!!   I HOPE KAMENETZ CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT –JUST REMEMBER KARMA IS A GREAT THING !!!!!!!   BELIEVE ME –HE IS { NOT} JUST THE MESENGER –  THIS WAS A PLANNED THING !!!!  REMEMBER THEY WERE ALL    {ALL }  THERE WHEN  R.G. STEEL BOUGHT THE PLACE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WHAT REALLY AMAZES ME — IS THAT THE PEOPLE THAT THIS EFFECTS –KEEP VOTING THIS  POLITICIAN IN !!!!!!  IF THEY THINK IT’S GOING TO BE BETTER YEARS DOWN THE ROAD , THEY NEED TO THINK AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!    MY QUESTION IS —  WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE DOWN THE ISLAND ?????????????????

  • RiotAct66

    All of the local colleges in the area are SALIVATING at all the potential business they will get from all these layoffs. What a joke.
    They are inventing new curriculums and degrees so to $$$profit from all the layoffs.
    They will sell you a degree to be a nurse, to weld, to use a computer. They will also invent new certificates and degrees to drive a truck, to flip burgers, how to hold an emply donation can that says “will work for food” or “unemployed” on it.

  • IronworkerSP

    There is a shortage of certified welders, Nurses/Medical Techs, and computer literate workers.

    These are job skills that can be used in any state or country. The government is providing a passport to all displaced workers to get a real education, so why not use our excellent 
    community college system to jump start our Point worker’s new future?

    Education is the key to success and your family’s future.  Please do not underestimate our steelworker’s ability to learn new and rewarding careers.  The steelworkers are intelligent, hard working, and willing to learn new trades and skills to make and keep them competitive in the changing workplace, why deny them this great opportunity to move on and up?

    Many thanks to our politicians for providing all of these educational benefits!  I urge everyone to study, study, study, and take control of YOUR future. The politicians are offering you the tools to a better future, but it is up to you to take them and make the best of your life!

  • Walter

    Hi Ron, do not forget that after last Christmas eve’s shut down Gov.  O’Malley and the Baltimore County delegation twisted the arm of the GE chairman to give Mr. Ira more reasonable terms on the credit line. Like Dr. Boothe and Mark said, the turmoil in the world steel market was set in place before Mr. Kamenetz was even born so do not blame him for the depressed global marketplace and other issues out of our elected officials control.  If the EU and Uncle Sam are about to go bankrupt how can local government take the hit on the nightmare that has come to a head down in Sparrows Point???

    I still talk with some to the German and Belgium steel company engineers and even with their new state of art subsided mills they are in deep doo doo too!!!

     So everyone in Baltimore needs to stop pointing fingers at the union, workers, management, tree-huggers, and local politicians.  Like Mark and Dr. Boothe told us – SP problems are global problems and no one has found an answer. Let’s not get involved in a guilt trip that none of us are to be blamed for.  If the government does not now have the money, who is to say that when things improve they will not have the funds to bail-out SP?  So for the time being perhaps they can mothball the key iron and steel making core assets just like the military does with our Battleships and B-52 Bombers. Then when we need them again, they will be ready at a cost lower than building from scratch.  

    Dr. Walter   Phd. BS

    • formermtm

      Walter, I think you need “Mothballed”  LOL !!!

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