Jason Bahus wanted to take his career to a higher level.
So he spread his wings using his ICD benefit.
The USW Local 1066 member and maintenance technician at US Steel-Gary Works earned his private pilot’s license through ICD and now leads the drone program at work.
“A good argument for the ICD benefit – we have saved the company a considerable amount of money versus using contractors since the (drone) inception in 2019,” Bahus said.
The 19-year Steelworker has earned multiple certifications through ICD. In addition to his drone certification, Bahus has added his commercial pilot's license and an FAA 107-remote pilot endorsement which allows him to teach drone training to others. He’s currently teaching classes at Eagle Aircraft.
“ICD classes are on your own time, but if you have a passion about flying like I do, it’s way different,” Bahus said. “I got started and just chased it. And to be honest, without the (ICD) benefit, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
Bahus, a married father of two, also earned his HVAC certification through ICD. He said that spurred him to go into the maintenance program and continue to look for other job opportunities at the mill.
Bahus said he jumped at the opportunity when approached about helping with the drone program. A big part of the job is to help with inspections at the mill, anything from thermal imaging to looking for cracks and loose bolts.
“(Drones) weren’t in someone’s mind when I started at US Steel 20 years ago, but obviously it’s moving forward and you see considerable value in it,” Bahus said. “I just did a PowerPoint presentation explaining how this is helping the company move forward with technology and was presented with an award. It was very gratifying.”