Mittal Steel USA (Chicago, Illinois, U.S.) is focusing its Katrina rebuilding efforts on the beachfront town of Long Beach, Mississippi, U.S., which was devastated by the hurricane. The company will work with individuals, churches, communities, local companies, and organizations in partnership with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and the mayor of Long Beach, Billy Skellie, to rebuild the community. Mittal has committed to an ongoing contribution of materials, people and capital for the long-term reconstruction project.
During the first phase of the effort, scheduled to begin immediately, Mittal plans to install a team of engineers and logistics specialists, along with their spouses, in the center of Long Beach. This team will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the area, the physical impact of Hurricane Katrina and the most urgent needs of the community. To address those needs, the company will immediately commit U.S. $1 million.
In the second phase, the company will participate in the actual rebuilding of Long Beach. The team will oversee and direct the company's financial and operational contributions to the rebuilding effort and serve as the link between the resources of Mittal Steel USA and the community. More information about the second phase and the company's ongoing contribution to the community will be available at the end of the first phase.
"Mittal Steel USA wants to help rebuild this community, not just replace its structures, through direct and personal involvement," said CEO Louis Schorsch. "We are sensitive to both the immediate and the long-term needs of the people of Long Beach. As the largest steel producer in the United States, we feel that it is our responsibility to offer not only materials and cash, but expertise and assistance to help them rebuild. By having highly skilled Mittal Steel staff on the ground, we will be able to assist the leadership and citizens of Long Beach personally, address ongoing procurement and logistics needs, and ensure that resources are deployed effectively and quickly. We have all been moved by this tragedy, and we are committed to making a real difference."
Mittal Steel USA's rebuilding efforts in Long Beach are supported by the United Steelworkers and the Independent Steelworkers Union, which represent the company's production and maintenance employees in the United States.
"The effects of Hurricane Katrina on the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are heartbreaking, and it will take years to rebuild the affected communities," said Lakshmi Mittal, CEO of Mittal Steel Company (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), parent company of Mittal Steel USA. "In the aftermath of this disaster, these communities are left with challenges that require innovative, long-term solutions and substantial commitments of both time and resources. Few cities were more devastated than Long Beach, and, to address its needs, we have created a new model for corporate partnership. We encourage other American companies to adopt Long Beach and other affected communities along the Gulf Coast. Together with the people of Long Beach, Governor Barbour and Mayor Skellie, we will make a tangible, lasting difference in the community and link its residents to the entire Mittal Steel family for years to come."
With a history dating back more than 150 years, Long Beach is a beachfront community covering 10 square miles and is home to approximately 17,000 people.
"On behalf of the town of Long Beach and the State of Mississippi, we are deeply grateful to the people of Mittal Steel USA for their support and offer to help rebuild Long Beach," said Governor Barbour.
"Thanks to Mittal Steel and others, the future is looking much brighter," said Mayor Skellie. "We look forward to seeing them every day as we rebuild our homes, businesses and our community. We are extremely grateful and humbled by their generosity."
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