March 2006

North American steel industry launches initiative to rebuild Gulf Coast stronger with steel

Washington, DC— Twelve North American steel companies have joined together under a special initiative to help rebuild the United States Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Collectively, they have committed $1.1 million to support the Gulf Coast Steel Initiative through a business plan put together by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI). The Initiative’s ultimate goal is to “rebuild stronger with steel” a region subject to severe storms.

The newly launched Gulf Coast Steel Initiative will focus on implementing long-term strategies to positively impact future construction practices in the region.

After discussions with local, state and federal officials involved in disaster relief efforts, the Gulf Coast Steel Initiative supporting companies decided on a course of action focused on where the need is clearly the greatest—the residential market. Resources will be used to mobilize efforts that support local communities and businesses in the rebuilding process that utilize the expertise available through AISI’s Market Development programs, particularly in the areas of steel framing and roofing. In addition, steel is playing a major role in solid waste reduction through its recycling program.

The Gulf Coast Steel Initiative objectives are to:

•Work with affected communities to support the use of state-of-the-art design and construction practices for hurricane-prone areas by providing educational programs for building inspectors.

•Encourage the introduction of insurance and lending programs that promote the use of durable construction materials.

•Partner with local contractors and technical schools to train workers on how to build homes using steel framing and roofing.

•Assist with clean-up efforts by facilitating steel product recycling throughout the region, which will provide business owners and consumers with information on where they can take their steel products to have them recycled.

The supporting companies of the Gulf Coast Steel Initiative are:

• AK Steel Corporation
• California Steel Industries, Inc.
• Dofasco Inc.
• IMSA ACERO, S.A. de C.V.
• IPSCO Inc.
• Mittal Steel USA
• Nucor Corporation
• Shenango Incorporated
• Steel Dynamics, Inc.
• United States Steel Corporation
• USS-POSCO Industries
• Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp.

Long-Term Rebuilding Strategy
An estimated 350,000 homes were destroyed throughout the region, with another 500,000 damaged. Additionally, almost 750,000 roofs are in need of extensive repair or replacement.

With such staggering loss, the Gulf Coast Steel Initiative will help re-establish communities by working with homebuilders and roofing contractors and local technical schools to train workers for the steel framing and roofing industries. To accomplish its objectives, the Gulf Coast Steel Initiative is working in partnership with members of the Steel Framing Alliance, Metal Roofing Alliance, and Steel Recycling Institute.

Homebuilding
The Steel Framing Alliance (SFA) is working with regional governments and local homebuilders to determine how to bring the greatest value to the homebuilding effort. Local builders and developers have identified the training of new workers as the greatest immediate need for them in the rebuilding process. The SFA will conduct training sessions on-site at locations along the Interstate-10 corridor in Louisiana and Mississippi. These training sessions will provide new homes for the community while equipping professional framers with new skills.

Residential Roofing
An aerial view of the hurricane-impacted region reveals extensive damage as thousands of homes in “blue tarp communities” are waiting to be re-roofed. The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), a coalition of metal roofing manufacturers in the United States, Canada and Mexico, is taking responsibility for training new workers on the benefits and techniques of installing steel roofing. Almost 750,000 roofs are in need of replacement in Louisiana, Mississippi and along the Florida coast. The MRA is expected to focus its efforts along the Interstate-10 corridor.

The Metal Roofing Alliance plans to train 24 individuals and install steel roofing for 18 homes in a location in Mississippi to be determined. Training will be provided by the steel roof manufacturing members of the MRA. The opportunity to conduct additional projects will be assessed upon completion of the Mississippi initiative.

Steel Recycling
Before the hurricanes traveled across the Gulf of Mexico, end-of-life steel containers and appliances were routinely included in well-established municipal curbside and drop-off recycling programs throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita turned those programs upside down.

The Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), a business unit of AISI, has been working with Gulf Coast State Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQs) to determine the extent of damage to sites that recycle steel and to develop a course of action in establishing new sites. Through the Gulf Coast Steel Initiative, SRI will develop an updated recycling database to inform consumers and businesses on where to drop off their steel products for recycling, thus reducing the amount of material landfilled as these steel products become part of the recycling solution.

Progress being made by the Gulf Coast Steel Initiative will be reported on the AISI website, www.steel.org.

 


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