Department of Labor Studies Participation in Local ICD “Open Houses”


The Institute for Career Development (ICD), was created in 1989 when the United Steelworkers (USW) negotiated an education benefit for its members in Basic Steel.

Its national Headquarters is in Merrillville, Indiana. 

Any union member at one of the participating employers is contractually entitled to be fully reimbursed for tuition and books while attending university classes, and over the years, a number have taken Indiana University Classes, including Labor Studies classes. A number of steelworkers have earned Certificates, Associate Degrees and Bachelor Degrees in Labor Studies as well as General Studies, all paid with ICD funds.

The local steel mills and their respective USW local Unions have learning centers in East Chicago (ArcelorMittal – Leon Lynch Learning Center, and ArcelorMittal- Bernard Kleiman JobLink Learning Center ), Gary (U. S. Steel Career Development  )  Portage (USW/USS Midwest Career Development and Burns harbor (USW/ArcelorMittal Career Development-BH  ).

Recently, Velma Rucker and I attended Open Houses at ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor (June 13) and U.S. Steel Midwest Portage (June 21). Attendance was good, if not as  large as it once was, and a number of workers expressed interest in Labor Studies classes—either to complete degree programs started in the past, or to embark on a new course of study. As we do at these functions, we provided brochures, schedules of classes, and contact information to those who were interested. As always, we encouraged people interested in pursuing other majors to try a Labor Studies class as part of their educational experience. It has been our experience over the years that often, students who start other majors switch to Labor Studies after a class or two. Even those who major in other fields benefit greatly from exposure to the ideas to which they are exposed in our classes. Face to face encounters at these kinds of functions continues to be a worthwhile method of recruiting new students, as well as encouraging former students to take classes.  Since none of the other departments at IU were represented, we were the sole representatives of Indiana University at both functions.

The attached photos were taken at the Burns Harbor site.