WEIRTON -- Gov. Joe Manchin has joined Northern Panhandle lawmakers, community and business leaders to announce the establishment of the Mittal Steel-Weirton Task Force, a working group that will be charged with development of a plan to address continuing issues at Mittal Steel's Weirton operations.
The Mittal Steel-Weirton Task Force will be charged with the task of identifying ways West Virginia, the Weirton community and Mittal Steel-USA can work together to stimulate general economic development and job growth in the Weirton area.
"The underlying goals of this Task Force are to keep a vibrant steel industry in Weirton and to increase the number of non-steel good-paying jobs available to the hardworking people of this community and region," Manchin said.
The Task Force, which was unveiled Feb. 8, will focus first on addressing public sector impediments preventing Weirton Steel Works from being highly competitive. Mittal Steel-USA has large land holdings in Weirton and has indicated to Manchin its desire to work with state and local leaders to get unused land into new job-creating uses.
"Because the number of steel jobs in Weirton, even in the best case, will be smaller than in the past, the second aspect of the Task Force's work will focus on Weirton economic development opportunities on Mittal unused land," Manchin said. "This effort should help to broaden the area's economic and job base."
The members of the Task Force include Manchin; Brian Helmick, Deputy Secretary, Department of Commerce; Jim Mosby, Manager, Business Retention, West Virginia Development Office; Sen. Ed Bowman; Sen. Andy McKenzie; Del. Joe DeLong; Del. Randy Swartzmiller; Del. Jack Yost; Del. Tim Ennis; Brooke County Commission President John Casinelli; Hancock County Commission President Jeff Davis; Weirton Mayor Bill Miller; Bill D'Alessio, Chairman, BDC of the Northern Panhandle; George Psaros, Retired Engineer (Weirton Steel); Ted Arneault, President, MTR Gaming Group; Mark Glyptis, President, Independent Steelworkers Union; Mark Roach, Chairman, Sheet Mill Division, Independent Steelworkers Union; Brian James, General Manager, Mittal Steel-Weirton; and, Mike LaWell, Governmental Affairs, Mittal Steel-Weirton.