BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – ArcelorMittal has certificated 24 employees in port management and locomotive brakes maintenance after they completed a month-long training.
The ceremony was held at ArcelorMittal’s training facility in Buchanan with senior staff of the company in attendance.
Ten individuals were trained in port management, six in locomotive brakes maintenance, and eight in aerial lift operations.
According to ArcelorMittal’s head of logistics, rail, and port, the training is in line with the company’s policy to train Liberians to replace expatriates. Ahmed Denton added that the management was committed to building the capacity of more Liberians through several specialized trainings that would allow them to take on more responsibility at the company.
“This is just one phase of the training; there are other activities that we are going to be doing,” he said. “We also have a plan to do some exposure, wherein we will be sending staff from Liberia to other advanced ports around the world, so they can get some hands-on experiences.”
Denton said ArcelorMittal was also focused on encouraging their female employees to take advantage of the various training opportunities offered to occupy bigger positions at the company.
One of the two women who participated in the recent training, Deborah Reeves, said she believed that the knowledge she has acquired will improve her outcomes in life.
“I came in ArcelorMittal as [a] cleaner, and today I put my focus in learning how to operate the machine. And I put it behind my boss man that any training coming up, he should mention me there,” she said. “At the same time, if the boys are in the field going to work, I follow them to get [an] idea on those machines that they are operating. And today, I was able to sit for training for [the] man lift and I came second.”
Reeves said there were challenges along the way, but she saw those as motivation. She did not see being a woman as a factor that should deprive her of her dreams, especially in areas that are dominated by men such as operating heavy-duty machines.
“I am happy of what I am doing, and I still want to know more about this machine,” she added.
The other female beneficiary, Agnes Ihefor, said she came to ArcelorMittal as a reservation electrician but she was encouraged to pursue a position working on repairing locomotive brakes.
“Before going to the brake area, I had the courage to be an electrician – also a man’s job – so if I can be an electrician, I can also repair brake,” Ihefor said.
She urged other women to take advantage of opportunities in their reach and avoid depending on men or the government.
In May 2018, ArcelorMittal trained six Liberians to be locomotive drivers. The six employees were part of the third batch of graduates. The first batch, which contained five individuals, were trained in South Africa and returned to Liberia. The second batch was the first to be trained in Liberia and contained five Liberians. There are now 16 Liberians who have been trained in locomotive driving under ArcelorMittal.
Featured photo by Sampson David