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