The largest room in the world is the
room for self improvement.”
This was one of the sayings of Dan
Hassel, Dofasco’s long serving vice
president, industrial relations. The belief
did not rest with just Hassel as company
leadership was firmly committed to
providing employees with an opportunity
to continuously learn and grow both in
their jobs and through further training
and education opportunities.
In 1940 the Study Club was launched.
A modest program to teach younger
employees the basics of steelmaking,
the club was a precursor to both the
company’s Learning and Development
and Library Resource Centre departments
and facilities.
The original Study Club course,
Steelmaking, was contained in 40
booklets covering plant, furnaces, plate
mill, foundry and cold mill. The course was
designed for home study, with periodic
lectures and plant demonstrations and
exams. Prizes were awarded to those
achieving the highest results.
In addition, an investment in books and
journals about the steel industry formed
the basis of a lending library which the
Study Club further developed. The
library grew to be a staffed department
in the 1960s. Now called the Library
Resource Centre (LRC), the collection
includes more than 15,000 books,
journals, audio video materials, reports
and online information. The LRC is part
of ArcelorMittal’s global Research and
Development’s corporate information
network, providing employees access
to information from around the world,
in digital or paper format right from
their workstations.
So too the Study Club evolved
from an employee managed extra-
curricular activity to formal learning
and development initiatives including
a training and development centre in
located in nearby Burlington and
now located on site. Programs included
work training, experiential learning,
apprenticeships and tuition support, with
some being offered in conjunction with
top North American universities.
The long-running Supervisory course was
a rite of passage for Dofasco leadership
with each student receiving an engraved
ruler to remind them of the company’s
Golden Rule: “Treat others as they want
to be treated.”
Learning and Development is part of
ArcelorMittal’s global University based
in Luxembourg. Together, the local and
global offering includes hundreds of
courses, webinars, executive programs,
best practice forums and lectures. In
Hamilton, it also includes ArcelorMittal
Dofasco’s skilled trade apprenticeship
program, one of Canada’s largest. In
partnership with Mohawk College and
under the Ontario Ministry of Training,
Colleges and Universities, there are 14
different Apprenticeship trade disciplines
in which participants achieve the Red
Seal, or Certification of Qualification.
Not all courses are technical or business in
nature. In 1993, the company developed
a team building experiential course
called Play to Win, which all employees
complete. The course is a combination
of classroom and outdoor high ropes
activities designed to teach participants
to trust others and to work together as
a team to accomplish common goals, in
business and their personal lives. Nearly
employees have completed the
three day off site course. Participants
are encouraged to push their limits on a
high ropes course, including a 30-foot
pole climb, with activities that demand
teamwork for success. This shared
experience is instrumental in building a
high performance culture and company
that is Playing to Win.
Brains and brawn
and 2) All employees participate
in Play to Win, an experiential
training program focused on team
and individual challenges in both
classroom and high ropes settings.
ArcelorMittal University is located
in the company’s prestigious and
historical Luxembourg headquarters.
Situational Management and
Hazard Recognition Training (SMART)
is a hands on learning module delivered
by the Health and Safety team.
The program won a company-wide
Performance Excellence Award in
2011. (5)
ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s
apprenticeship program is one of
Canada’s largest and includes 14
trades. (6) The company’s iconic
supervisory training program included
a personally engraved ruler to remind
participants of the company’s Golden
Rule: “Treat others as they want to
be treated.”