GARY, Ind. (AP) – Gov. Mike Pence visited U.S. Steel’s plant in Gary amid hundreds of layoffs at the northern Indiana mill, telling workers that the state is committed to helping the industry grow.
“We’re going to continue to promote the kind of growth in Indiana and in the United States of America that convinces me the best days for Indiana and U.S. Steel are still to come,” Pence said during the Thursday visit to Gary Works, according to The (Munster) Times.
Pence toured the mill that stretches seven miles along Lake Michigan at the invitation of the Pittsburgh steel maker and met with the plant manager. The plant has laid off hundreds at the facility when it closed its coke plant and dismissed all new hires who started in the last six months.
Pence talked about challenges to the steel industry, including layoffs, foreign competition and a market downturn.
“Indiana is on the side of steel,” he said.
Pence said the steel industry is one of the most important employers in the state. He said the state would do everything it could to keep the steel industry strong.
The governor also noted that the state of Indiana backed U.S. Steel when it filed what would become a successful case with the U.S. International Trade Commission about illegally dumped steel for the oil and natural gas industries.
“We’ll do everything we can to ensure the indigenous steel industry remains strong,” he said.