Steel Mills

SMA and MSCI Kick Off Joint Annual Conference

Written by Becca Moczygemba

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) and Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) kicked off their annual members conference on Wednesday, June 21. Members of both organizations have convened in Washington to discuss various topics related to the steel industry.

The White HouseA press conference on Wednesday afternoon included Philip K. Bell, president of SMA; Bob Weidner, president and CEO of MSCI; Rick Marabito, CEO of Olympic Steel; and John Reid, CEO of Russel Metals. The group answered questions from reporters in the room and online participants.

Some topics addressed included global scrap availability; sustainability; diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); workforce development; and trade.

Recall that SMA is one of the founding members of the Global Steel Climate Council. The organization has said it is invested in sustainability and is pushing towards a greener steel industry on a global scale. 

The majority of steel produced in the US comes from electric-arc furnace (EAF) technology, which is heavily reliant on scrap availability. However, when asked if there will be a supply problem, SMA’s Bell balked.

“Our view at SMA is that scrap scarcity is a myth. There’s plenty of scrap to address the need,” Bell said at the press conference. “Sustainability is here to stay.” 

While there has been a fair amount of consolidation in the steel industry in the past two decades, Russel Metals’ Reid believes there will be more mergers and acquisitions in the coming years. “Consolidation will continue and increase value-added services,” he said. 

Each representative also expressed that their organizations are dedicated to creating diverse environments, and bringing in the next generations who are prioritizing sustainability initiatives.

MSCI said it has a DEI committee that meets monthly. The organization has various thought leadership groups that meet regularly and has established a scholarship program for individuals from member companies who are enrolled in trade schools. “We have a great story to tell. We are a purposeful industry. We just have to do a better job telling it,” said MSCI’s Weidner.

An example of one member company stepping outside of the box to attract and retain talent is Olympic Steel. The Cleveland-based service center is looking to new sources for recruiting, hiring veterans, revamped its internship programs, and encouraging mentorship and leadership development.

The two-day event includes speakers from steel mills and government representatives.

By Becca Moczygemba,

Becca Moczygemba

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