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News From The Field

Todd Beck turned a hobby into a career, thanks to taking advantage of his ICD benefit.

Beck, a member of USW/Local 307 at Goodyear-Topeka, always loved tinkering around with recreational vehicles.

His love for RVs and his passion for learning turned into a money-making business that he’s using now and will continue when he retires.

Beck approached ICD coordinator Robert Havens about using his funds to do RV training at the National Recreational Vehicle Training Academy (NRVTA). Once he got the ball rolling – and got co-worker and close friend Matt Paulsen involved – the duo used vacation time -- not once, but twice -- to drive to Athens, Texas for in-person classes and certification in RV fundamentals. The first week entailed 48 hours to become a service technician, and this past February the tandem took two weeks of vacation time (88 hours of training) to get their master RV service certification. The duo still has another trip to make to Texas for more training, but right now are too busy with their full-time jobs at Goodyear, their RV business, and both are Union officials at USW/307.

“My wife (Angela) and I have been campers for years – we experienced the other side when we used the RV one weekend and then we took it in one October for service and the dealer had it for four months,” Beck said. “That got my mind spinning. I thought with retirement coming up and I wanted something to do, I could set my own hours and make my own schedule, but this thing has just blown up.”


Joe Lipscomb said he heard about his Career Development benefit during his orientation at USW Local 1010 and the Joblink Learning Center in East Chicago, Indiana when he started two years ago.

His eyes lit up when he realized all that the benefit entailed, including tuition assistance.

“When they mentioned TA (tuition assistance) and all the things you could achieve with the benefit, the light bulb went off,” Lipscomb said.

Lipscomb recently earned his bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in math and science from Indiana University-Northwest in Gary, Indiana.

“I’d bring my backpack to work and write papers or study on my breaks,” Lipscomb said. “It was definitely a mental thing, especially when you’re working swing (shifts).

“I never called off, which is probably the thing I’m most proud about. I took 18 credit hours the last semester and I worked an average of 56 hours a week. It wasn’t easy, but I wanted to make my parents proud.”


Family is so important to Emily Bombich. It’s like her personal union, so she wasn’t about to let them down.


Maureen Kirkpatrick comes from a Steelworker family. She knows all about hard work.

That’s why she appreciates everything her dad, Jim, has done for her.


Nick Eland calls it the “20-year-some plan”.

But at least he has a plan.

The Local 1299 member and veteran Steelworker says it feels like he’s been working on his bachelor’s degree forever.


Nick Zimmerman migrated from Wisconsin to Northwest Indiana looking to provide for his family.

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Is ICD part of your benefit? Then the Tino Fulimeni scholarship is, too!


Joel Ingram was seven weeks away from full retirement at Goodyear in Gadsden, Alabama. Close friend and fellow electrician, Brian Smith, had 25 years in at the tire plant when it closed its doors.

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Meet Dennis Chandler, an ICD music instructor, who has a passion for teachin

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Rashon Davis knows the day well. November 8, 2019. After 18 years at U.S. Steel-East Chicago Tin he was laid off. The USW Local 5133 member is still waiting for a call back to be transferred to Gary Works or Midwest Steel.

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USW Local 979 member Angie Lee talks about her success with ICD. The Cleveland Steelworker has used the ICD benefit to better herself at work and at home. She’s taken advantage of classes to pass the Ramsey test, get into the MTE program, and learn HVAC skills.


Mike McLure thought he knew plenty about installing duct work. Then he took an ICD sheet metal class with Fran Arabia, the USW/ATI Safety, Health & Environmental Coordinator, and really learned something.

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Retired Steelworker William “Chip” Ostenberg was docked on his boat in sunny San Diego, drinking coffee with his wife of 47 years when he saw the “Bill of Rights” schooner at a nearby dock.

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Wow! 2019 is just flying by. ICD had two Learning Summits this year. One was in Pittsburgh, the other in Des Moines.

Maybe you missed one? No sweat. Just click the link below and check out the highlights.

And always remember ... learning, it's your benefit for life.

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You can call Tom Furey a steelworking artist, or an Artistic Steelworker.

Either way, he’s a Steelworker turned Fine Art Painter these days.

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Tino Fulimeni was an advocate for education.

He would have loved Karlie Hill.

Hill, one of the Institute for Career Development’s eight recipients of the memorial scholarship named in honor of former Steelworker Tino Fulimeni, continues to pursue further education.

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The Institute for Career Development continues its national video series showcasing the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program in Burns Harbor, Indiana at USW Local 6787.

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Luis Aguilar is gone, but will never be forgotten.

That was evident by the turnout at his dedication at USW Local 1010 on Tuesday.

The veteran Steelworker passed away suddenly on October 7, 2018. Aguilar spent 48 years and 41 days in the steel mills of East Chicago, Indiana.

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