ArcelorMittal Inspires Women to Help Transform Liberia’s Technical Industry

Female ADT operator in training, Kpannah Varney

Committed to its brand promise of transforming tomorrow, ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) continues to invest in skills development and the empowerment of Liberians in line with its Phase II expansion project. AML is providing regular training opportunities for employees at different levels and areas of operation, irrespective of gender.

One such category is a group of Liberians currently undergoing intensive in-service training as Articulated Dump Truck (ADT) operators. The latest undertaking by ArcelorMittal Liberia underscores the company’s values of sustainability, quality, and leadership, each built on a foundation of health and safety.

An articulated dump truck (ADT), or sometimes a dump hauler, is a very large heavy-duty type of dump truck used by AML to transport loads over rough terrain at its mines site.  The vehicle has an all-wheel drive and consists of two basic units: the front section, generally called the tractor, and the rear section which contains the dump body, called the hauler or trailer section.

Apart from those being trained as ADT operators at the Gangra Mines in Yekepa are spotters and tally clerks, most of whom prior to being enrolled in the training had no driving skills or experience.

Kpannah Varney, a female Excavator Operator at AML is training and eagerly looking forward to completion when she is certified as an Articulated Dump Truck Operator. The ADT operator training grants her the opportunity to be more versatile, both as an excavator and an ADT operator.

Varney said being an excavator operator is far different from operating an ADT, as the equipment operating systems work differently.

Before joining AML, she earned a certificate as an excavator operator, from the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Margibi, and is now also becoming an ADT operator, through the in-service training being provided by the company. I joined the company with one skill. But now, ArcelorMittal has made me multi-skilled by making me an ADT operator,” she said.

She dispelled the popular thought by most females that being a heavy-duty equipment operator was a man’s job. According to her, it is proven that women can do better in careers than men, once they are determined and passionate.

 “I am grateful to ArcelorMittal Liberia for adding another skill to my skill set, and for helping to make me a proud female among my friends.”

Emmanuel Vondeh, a Tally Clerk working with Mines Operations is one of those benefitting from the training program. He has been praising AML for the opportunity to develop into a highly skilled individual, something he said will change his life forever.

“I’m so happy and grateful to ArcelorMittal for helping me transform from being an unskilled person to an ADT operator,” Vondeh said.

He explained that when he started the training, he had so much fear because he had never driven a vehicle or moving equipment, of any kind before.

One of the ADTs being used by the Training Department to assist in the training of new ADT operators practice reversing at the obsolete Gangra low grade

“When I got in the truck, I used to feel it would roll down with me. But with the help and patience of those in the training department at AML, now, I can operate the truck, perfectly, even at steep places,” he added.

He promised to obey all AML driving and safety procedures, always, to keep safe, as well as keep his teammates and assets of the company safe.

“I see this training as a big opportunity for me because, with this knowledge and skill as a heavy-duty operator, I am an asset not just to the company, but also to my country,” said Nathan Z. Paye, another Tally Clerk benefitting from the in-service ADT operator training.

Paye joined the company in 2013 as Tally Clerk. He said his story of transformation could only be possible through AML.

“I have learned a lot of new things I didn’t know, before joining AML, and with the ADT operator training, I am so happy,” he added.

Paye said for him, the new skill as a heavy-duty or ADT operator means his job assignment and title would change, and that he can also seek jobs anywhere, outside ArcelorMittal. “But I love ArcelorMittal so much and want to stay here and continue to work,” he emphasized. 

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