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Students share excitement about steel industry expansion

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:06 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:22 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The impact of the $3 billion United States Steel Corporation expansion in Osceola now goes into the classroom.

Mississippi County is one of the largest steel producers in the country and some of those skills start at Arkansas Northeastern College.

The college has many programs that lead students into various industries.

The Steel Technology program is one.

Kaleb Dublin is a student in the program.

“So I decided to come to try this program out. I was lucky enough to get an internship and learned that I really like it and this is really what I want to do,” said Dublin.

He said this program helps him learn more than the basics in the steel industry which then could lead him to a job in the future.

He said knowing more opportunities in his career path are coming makes him hopeful for the future.

“That’s a lot of jobs for a lot of people. And it’s a lot of opportunity for younger people who want to come to school and learn that,” said Dublin.

The U.S. Steel expansion is impacting students in the entire region.

Gavin Mansfield is also a student in the program but lives in Missouri. He said those jobs are needed, especially for people his age looking for work.

“And like for me, I am from a little town in Missouri. It’s not many job offers there so we have to go out,” said Mansfield.

He is already interning in the industry and hopes to continue in the career.

“You go around and try to figure out a puzzle and all these challenges. That is what makes me get up and go to work,” he said.

We also spoke with professors and leaders at the college.

They are working on new programs to prepare students for jobs that will be available with the expansion.

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