BUCHANAN ̶ (May 12, 2021)Yekepa, Nimba County comes alive this Saturday, May 15, 2021, when forty-five (45) young Liberian technicians graduate from the ArcelorMittal Liberia Vocational Training Center (now the ArcelorMittal Training Academy) after they completed their respective courses curriculum and the required Trade Tests.
The first VTC graduating class began their pursuit of quality and marketable technical skills in 2018 when they were vetted from amongst hundreds of other applicants through a competitive recruitment and evaluation process, according to a press release issued by the company.
Three years ago, the forty-five young Liberians after going through an extensive recruitment process, enrolled in the Arcelormittal VTC with no employable skills, but a strong ambition for formal training in electricity, diesel mechanics, boiler making welding, and plant fitting. Now, the soon-to-be graduates will this Saturday, walk out the doors of the VTC with huge prospects to begin their career journey, including at ArcelorMittal.
The overwhelming sense of joy and accomplishment and the positive ambiance are evident among the students as they prepare for what many of them believe is the biggest step forward in their professional and personal lives. Reflecting on his time at the institution and the impact on him, prospective graduate Alieu Dennis described it as a “dream comes true.”
“I am very glad today, after three years, I can initiate major auto repairs or maintenance projects on my own and complete them. I desired to be a professional mechanic and ArcelorMittal Liberia has given me the required training and skills to be one. I am grateful,” he said.
Producing the first graduating class of the ArcelorMittal Training Academy has been an arduous journey, but it took the tenacity, commitment, and passion of VTC Manager Dawie Loots and his team to get the job done.This has been a proud accomplishment for Loots and his team of dedicated and professional trainers at the VTC and the entire ArcelorMittal Liberia family.
“It’s always nice to be part of such a success story because it will make a huge difference in the lives of the graduates. Yes! I am very proud of them! It feels like yesterday when we started the renovation of the buildings and walking through empty workshops. To have the opportunity to start this journey from a zero base, the opportunity to envisage, and now, we are about to celebrate the first 45 ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy graduates, it is magic! Incredible! There were many challenges but that is not what I remember. I only see the light at the end of the tunnel,” an excited Loots explained.
Loots’ pride in the success of the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy reflects the strong commitment of the company towards investing in the human capital of Liberia, especially the country’s youthful population.
A few weeks ago when the prospective graduates completed their final Trade Test, ArcelorMittal Liberia’s CEO Scott Lowe expressed his delight in the success of the VTC and its students.
“The young people trained at our VTC have demonstrated that our investment in resources and the efforts of the entire administration and teaching staff was worth it. We’re proud of their accomplishment and management is working out modalities to ensure that many of them have the chance to begin their professional career at ArcelorMittal Liberia,”CEO Lowe highlighted.
Launched in 2018, the ArcelorMittal Liberia Vocational Training Center (VTC) in Yekepa, is a USD $7million investment by the company to provide improved technical, educational opportunities in several disciplines for young Liberians to enhance the workforce and economic development for a prosperous Liberia.
According to a forecast by Liberia’s Ministry of Education, by 2030, there will be potential demand for 620,000 skilled workers in various industries.
ArcelorMittal Liberia is supporting the Government to bridge this gap by providing top-notch technical and vocational education training to Liberia’s youth, international advanced scholarships, internships, support to technical institutions, amongst other interventions.
ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel and mining company, with a presence in 60 countries and primary steelmaking facilities in 17 countries. In 2020, ArcelorMittal had revenues of $53.3 billion and crude steel production of 71.5 million metric tonnes, while iron ore production reached 58.0 million metric tonnes.