SANNIQUELLIE, Nimba – ArcelorMittal, in collaboration with the Nimba County Administration, has agreed to provide vacation jobs for 65 students from July to August.
The program is being supervised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, through its Nimba coordinator, William Mandein.
Mandein said he and four others were named on the vetting committee, which was responsible for screening and selecting the students for the vacation jobs.
Mandein said selecting just 65 students from the 393 applications was a difficult job, “but the committee did very well to work within the five days period that was given by the superintendent.”
Superintendent Dorr Cooper said the provision of vacation jobs for students in Nimba is part of ArcelorMittal’s fulfillment of its social corporate responsibility. However, the mining giant has not operated the program for several years due to the decline in the price of iron ore.
Cooper said the fact that the company has reintroduced the program shows that it is on the right trajectory. He said ArcelorMittal had initially requested 35 students for the program, but his office had renegotiated to increase the number to 61, reducing the compensation from US$125 to US$75 per month.
“I told them, since the number of persons you are responsible for is 61, I will add four more persons and I will pay them from my own pocket,” Cooper said. “That’s how the number reached to 65.”
Cooper said the aim of the program is to allow the students to gain work experience while in school and also to help them fund their education.
“We know that many of these students are self-supported—this will also help them,” he said.
Cooper is calling on other companies operating in the county to follow the example of ArcelorMittal and provide opportunities for students to gain work experience.
Featured photo by G. Augustine Dahn/Voice of Gompa