Beth Harrigan is a teacher these days, but don’t call her that.
“I’m not a teacher, I’m a Steelworker,” the ICD instructor and former USW Local 1066 member said. “I’m still learning. I took over 20 years of ICD classes and turned it into a dream job.”
Harrigan, who worked at USW/U.S. Steel-Gary Works for 37 ½ years, practically fell into the job of a being the “Glass Lady” for ICD.
Harrigan was one of the instructors showcased at the USW/ArcelorMittal-I/N Tek & I/N Kote Learning Center Open House on November 30 in New Carlisle, Indiana.
ICD coordinator Jen Kuzdas spearheaded an impressive Open House for the USW Local 9231 members with instructors, vendors, food, and creative ideas to showcase the ICD program. Harrigan, aka “The Lady of Glass” and pictured above, was one of the several instructors on hand.
“I retired from U.S. Steel in 2015 and I was bored to death for six months. I heard they needed a glass teacher at Gary. Next thing I know I’m teaching classes there and then at Midwest and Burns Harbor.
“It’s a dream job, it’s so enjoyable,” Harrigan continued. “I love to see the students’ faces when they have their project in their hands and a big smile to go with it. It’s so rewarding.”
Harrigan, who said she was the first female roll grinder at the 84-inch hot strip in Gary, took 19 years of ICD glass classes and also dabbled in Pinterest-themed courses to learn her niche. She’s now teaching “Mosaic Epoxy Art,” “Gabbling in Glass,” and “Reuse & Repurpose Mosaic Tables,” among other courses for the ICD programs in Northwest Indiana.
“There’s never anything wrong with art,” Harrigan said. “You have a bad day at the mill and you come to an ICD class and art makes everything better.
“It takes your mind off of work and helps you relax.”