The steel industry is again facing tough times due to a number of factors.
Led by a sudden decline leading to lower than average energy prices and increased foreign imports of materials, several steel plants have recently gone idle throughout the Midwest.
This latest development means the jobs of 1,500 steelworkers have been put on the chopping block. And unless things turn for the better, even more steelworker jobs could be in jeopardy.
But there is hope...
As more plants are forced to go idle, USW and the ICD have teamed up with ABTU to offer quality educational assistance to steelworkers. The goal of this partnership? To make training attainable and affordable via live, interactive online classes.
According to the Wall Street Journal,
“Steel companies in the U.S. are suffering from a combination of lower oil prices, oversupply and excessive imports’, said John Packard of Steel Market Update. 'The collapse of the energy market has really surprised everybody.’”
This surprise is equally shared by investors, employers and employees alike.
In fact, for most of 2014 the steel industry was considered to be on the rise as U.S. iron and steel production was up 34%.
However, 2015 has proven to be a difficult year so far for the industry, with plants going idle in Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana.
While the declining energy market has had a negative impact on the steel industry, United Steelworkers Union (USW) and the Institute for Career Development (ICD) have taken the initiative to prepare for situations such as this in order to help their employees during down times.
The Silver Lining
For USW members in particular, this means the potential for using their already paid for education benefits has
presented itself as a golden opportunity.
The reality is, with the threat of a coming wave of new layoffs, many steelworkers could find themselves under-prepared to find another job.
Realizing this, USW and the ICD have teamed up with an online university,
American Business & Technology University (ABTU), to offer quality educational assistance to steel workers.
The goal? To make training attainable and affordable via live, interactive classes.
Lute Atieh, Chief Operating Officer of ABTU is making sure everyone who wants to participate has the opportunity to do so.
"We feel like we are in the right place at the right time to help the hardworking men and women of America that make up the steel industry.
The response to this program has been overwhelming (in a good way) and we are glad to partner with USW and ICD to bring affordable and convenient education to all participants," Mr. Atieh said.
About ABTU and its "Dollar for Dollar Tuition Match"
ABTU is a 100% online and nationally accredited university. As such, this university is geared to cater to the haphazard and often demanding work schedules that steelworkers endure.
By making the virtual classroom experience available on virtually every platform; smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc., class sessions can be viewed whenever, wherever at the student’s convenience.
This exclusive partnership is specifically built to help USW members expand their career opportunities with little to no out-of-pocket expenses.
This is made possible for represented members, by using USW/ICD issued educational vouchers combined with ABTU’s “Dollar-for-Dollar Tuition Match Scholarship.”
This funding, already in place, allows each member to attend four, twelve week courses per year.
Both sources of funding renew every academic school year, allowing USW members to continuously participate in this program, while not accruing student loan debt, or interrupting their work/home life balance.
To find out more about this exclusive partnership between United Steelworkers Union, the Institute for Career Development and American Business & Technology University, click the button below.