To attract the best and brightest, ArcelorMittal Dofasco is giving young people opportunities to master science, technology, engineering and math skills.

Angela Pappin (Vice-President, Manufacturing)

“It is imperative to Canadian manufacturing that we have a talent pool with the right skills and drive to keep our country not only competitive but to make it a leader in advanced manufacturing. For girls, the opportunity in STEM careers isn’t as obvious. That’s why we invest in ensuring that our students know how amazing and exciting STEM subjects and activities can be and the opportunities that these subjects can create.”

The economy of tomorrow will rely on science, technology and engineering skills, but as the demand for these roles increases, it will be come more challenging to attract the best and the brightest.

The average age of ArcelorMittal Dofasco employees is 42 years old. As this generation of steelworkers moves towards retirement, Dofasco risks losing the skills they have developed. And with fewer young people studying STEM subjects, there is a growing shortage of talent to draw from. The skills associated with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are critical for sustainable development says Richard Do Couto (Corporate Affairs).

“Sectors like ours require top-quality people to develop more sustainable production methods, rethink the assumptions we make about how we use and re-use resources and develop the technology for clean energy generation,” he said.

“If Dofasco can find the right people with the right skills, we know we can contribute to a more sustainable future for everyone–not just by leading our industry in sustainability, but by designing products that deliver the same benefits but use fewer resources,” said Richard. “We also see value in bringing more women into STEM-based careers, and this is a high priority for us.”

While women represent the majority of university graduates, according to Statistics Canada (59 per cent in 2011), they are less likely to choose a STEM career. Statistics Canada reported at the end of 2015 that women accounted for 39 per cent of university graduates aged 25 to 34 with a STEM degree, compared to 66 per cent of graduates in non-STEM programs. Women accounted for 23 per cent of those who graduated from engineering programs and 30 per cent of mathematics and computer science programs.

To help attract young people–men and women–to STEM careers, Dofasco has identified programs from kindergarten to post-secondary school that encourage students, particularly young girls and women to choose STEM pathways. As well as providing teaching aids and technological support, Dofasco invites students to visit our facilities, so they can see where these skills could take them and how important they are to a company like ours.

“We need to start while children are still at elementary school and inspire them with the idea of a future in science, technology or engineering. When they are older, we need to support them to develop careers based on the scientific, mechanical and electrical skills that our business needs,” said Richard.

“We work to build a pipeline of talented people for the future, through our partnerships with academic and other organizations, by offering co-ops and internships and through joint university and college research projects. These are designed to develop productive and practical collaborations on specific issues and ensure we can attract the best students.”

Some of Dofasco’s STEM initiatives include:

  • Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF) For many years, ArcelorMittal Dofasco has been a presenting sponsor of BASEF, one of the largest and longest-running science fairs in Canada. In April, as we have in past years, Dofasco hosted the 2019 BASEF elementary and secondary school ArcelorMittal Dofasco award winners, providing a venue for them to share their work with Dofasco employees.
  • Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest  The third annual ArcelorMittal Dofasco contest took place March 24 at the Main Office. This international mathematics competition for students in grades one to 12 emphasizes math reasoning, logic and creative problem-solving.
  • FIRST Robotics Regional Competition On April 6-7, the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition, sponsored in part by ArcelorMittal Dofasco, took place at McMaster University. More than 1,000 secondary school students on 30 teams from across Ontario competed, including eight Dofasco sponsored teams. In just six weeks, competitors built five-foot tall, 140 pound robots to compete in high intensity robo-sports. For the past three years, Dofasco has offered two $15,000 ArcelorMittal Dofasco FIRST Robotics Entrance Scholarships to a male and female in the FIRST Robotics program entering the McMaster Engineering program. This year, Angela Tollis, a grade 12 student from St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School received one of the bursary awards.
  • GoCode Girl ArcelorMittal Dofasco has partnered with the Ontario Network for Women in Engineering (ONWIE) and McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering for three GoCODE Girl events. GoCODE Girl provides an opportunity for girls in grades seven to 11 to learn about the exciting world of coding and software development