The city of Hamilton was built on the back
of steel.
While Dofasco was the core of the regional
economy in the first half of the 20th
Century, there was also an early clustering
of businesses all benefitting and feeding
off of one another. Today, that network is
Canada’s largest steel cluster.
The spin-offs from steel include service
centres, logistics companies, technology
firms and, of course, other manufacturers.
A 2010 University of Toronto research
study found that for every direct job in
steel, there are four others connected to
industry. There are 30,000 steel jobs in
Canada which means there are upwards
of 150,000 jobs directly related to steel,
and up to 200,000 jobs due to the overall
economic impact of steel. The study also
found that the Canadian steel industry
produces approximately $14 billion in sales
and $7 billion in exports.
It’s a manufacturing legacy that has driven
innovation and created well-paying,
wealth creating jobs for generations of
Ontarians. Steel’s product and process
breakthroughs have also created an
intangible thirst for finding solutions; for not
just solving problems, but turning them into
opportunities. The solutions come through
external exchanges and close cooperation
between extensive networks of partners
including customers, suppliers, universities,
industries and communities.
Customers figure prominently in these
partnerships. Today, at any given time,
more than 150 ArcelorMittal researchers
are permanently involved in joint
development groups with automotive
and packaging, construction and general
industry customers.
Among ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s
collaborators is the group’s R&D team,
McMaster University researchers (where
the company has close ties to the Steel
Research Centre and also has a Chair of
Ferrous Metallurgy and a Chair of Process
Control and Information Technology),
Mohawk College with its province-
leading Apprenticeship Programs and the
CANMET Materials Laboratory (a federal
lab located in Hamilton). Also figuring into
the innovation network are the University
of Waterloo, where ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s
Product Research and Automotive
Applications Team works closely with
researchers to develop and test advanced
high strength steels and the University of
British Columbia, where the company has a
Chair of Advanced Steel Processing focusing
on the metallurgy of high strength steels.
This meeting of academia, industry and
government has created a centre of
excellence and foundation of manufacturing
for Ontario, and Canada. And it’s a cluster
that ArcelorMittal Dofasco, the city,
province and country are banking on
for success.
It’s people that drive innovation – their
competencies and skills, motivation and
engagement that make breakthroughs
possible. This ultimately rests in large part
with the young ArcelorMittal Dofasco minds
that are transforming tomorrow.
As children’s author Antoine de Saint-
Exupery said “If you want to build a ship,
don’t drum up people to collect wood and
don’t assign them tasks and work, but
rather teach them to long for the endless
immensity of the sea.”
Inspiration to ask the difficult questions,
unbridled pursuit of the answers, and the
grit and determination required to get
the job done have all shaped not only a
company, but a region and its reputation.
That same blue sky thinking will catapult
both into the next century, with the
strength of steel as a backstop.
The strength of steel
sculpting an ambitious
city and Canada’s largest
industry cluster
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is 114.5 metre sculpture designed
by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond which stands at
the heart of the Olympic Park in London, England. The
Orbit, completed in 2012, boasts a viewing platform
with a panoramic view of up to 20 miles, encompassing
the entire Olympic Park and London’s skyline beyond.
It is the UK’s tallest sculpture and draws visitors to
regenerated swathes of east London. Engineer Cecil
Balmond described the Orbit as “a hybrid, a network of art
and structure.”