When Hamsa Ahmed moved from Ottawa to Hamilton, Ontario, to get married in 2021, she saw a job posting for a senior analyst in process automation at steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P. and decided to apply. Her one request? That she could start working there after her honeymoon. The hiring panel’s response? No problem.

“They were flexible and they still are, which I appreciate,” says Ahmed, now a specialist in process automation who works in the office and at home. “I’m from Hamilton, so I knew about the company, but I’m a software engineer so I never thought I’d be working with steel. The more I learn about it, the more curious I am, plus it’s exciting when I see a good result in the production process that makes the operations team happy.”

Because Ahmed was hired during the pandemic, her interviews were virtual, as was her onboarding. “Everyone was very humble, friendly and helpful during the interviews, and they explained what the environment would be,” she says. “Once I started, I felt very connected to my teams – it was a really smooth transition.”

Everything that’s done at ArcelorMittal Dofasco reinforces the company’s core belief – “Our product is steel. Our strength is people.” Ahmed helps maintain and improve a system that makes solid steel from liquid steel. The highest priority for her, and for all employees, is ensuring everyone’s health and safety.

Senior leaders recognize the value of young employees, and they strive to help them feel comfortable in what might be their first corporate setting. “We provide them with training and broad exposure to help them explore career opportunities,” says Nesha Gibson, vice president, people and culture. “Our more experienced employees act as mentors to help them learn not only the technical skills of the roles but also the soft skills that will make them successful.”

There are also apprenticeship programs and internships for high school and post-secondary students that can lead to full-time positions after graduation. More than 1,000 training courses are available online and in person, and there’s a tuition-reimbursement program for those who want to further their education. A succession-planning process allows employees to progress through either expert or leadership paths based on their preferences and capability.

With around 70 different careers across the professional, technical, and operations and maintenance fields, the opportunities are vast – and that’s just at the Hamilton site. “Because we’re part of a global company, there are also opportunities beyond our site as ArcelorMittal is in 60 countries around the world,” says Gibson. Each site has a certified health and safety program, while several have wellness and diversity and inclusion programs.

Ahmed took several training courses during her orientation, including those on process (“because our system is massive”), as well as on health and safety and diversity and inclusion. “The training is ongoing,” she says. “It’s really good to be reminded all the time, not just when you start.”

Although she works hard, Ahmed has fun volunteering on her business unit’s social committee, planning special events both at and outside of work. She’s also part of an alliance for women in leadership, an employee resource group, and another for the digitalization of health and safety. “It feels good to be part of these projects and to help people expand their networks,” she says.

Senior leaders are committed to inspiring young employees to continually learn and grow. “We know that a diverse team increases innovation through new and different ideas and experiences,” says Gibson. “Our young employees represent the future of our organization, and I’m continually impressed and inspired by their talent, capability and passion.”

This article appeared in the magazine announcing this year's Canada's Top Employers for Young People winners, published January 23, 2024 in The Globe and Mail. This article was prepared with the financial support of the employer, which reviewed but did not write its contents.

Link to Story: Top Employer: ArcelorMittal Dofasco G.P. (canadastop100.com)