When a freight train rumbles down the tracks carrying the goods and materials that keep our economy moving, there’s a decent chance that train is traveling on rails made right here in Colorado.
“We supply approximately 43% of the heavy North America rail market,” says Bob Schwetje, director of human resources for EVRAZ North America’s Pueblo facility.
In addition to Pueblo, EVRAZ North America also has manufacturing facilities in Portland, Ore., Claymont, Del., and operates five facilities in Canada. EVRAZ North America is owned by EVRAZ Group S.A., one of the largest vertically integrated steel and mining businesses in the world.
At the Pueblo facility – formerly referred to as Rocky Mountain Steel – the company manufactures rails, seamless pipes and rod and bar products. The pipes are used by the oil and gas industry, while the rod and bar products are used in infrastructure, construction and other industries.
EVRAZ Pueblo currently has openings for approximately 20 employees, and is always looking for good people, Schwetje says. Current open positions include production workers, quality assurance inspectors and skilled maintenance employees. Administrative openings include accounting and finance, information technology, sales, environmental, purchasing and human resources. According to Schwetje, EVRAZ has a keen interest in hiring skilled and experienced maintenance employees in the mechanical and electrical trades.
“We’re going to look for reliable people who have a very strong worth ethic - people who are going to work safely and be team players,” Schwetje says. “We want employees who hold themselves to the highest quality standards in whatever job they are performing and who will live by our core values.”
Employees have opportunity for advancement. “That’s a real strength of the company: If you work hard, you can move up based on merit and your skill level,” Schwetje says.
Schwetje has been with the company for five and a half years.
“I like the long-standing track record of producing high-quality product and doing a lot of things right the first time,” Schwetje says. “EVRAZ makes high quality products and treats its employees very well.”
In addition to advancement opportunities, EVRAZ employees have a benefits package that includes vacation and holiday pay, major medical insurance that requires no employee contribution, a prescription drug program, vision insurance, life insurance, 401(k), long- and short-term disability, and education assistance.
EVRAZ also has a quarterly profit-sharing program in which five percent of the company’s profits are paid to its employees. Although the amount is never guaranteed, the average over the past seven years has been about $10,000 per year to hourly employees, broken into four quarterly payments.
“By getting it quarterly, it’s a motivational thing,” Schwetje says. “Employees know how business is going. They work hard and smart to keep the profits going, because they share in those profits.”
The plant has proven a stable place of employment for the past decade, having added about 500 employees in the past five years.
“We’ve done very well at managing through tough economic times,” Schwetje says.
Under various names, the steel mill has been operating in Pueblo since 1872. Today, the company makes its own steel out of shredded steel made from old consumer products – think cars and refrigerators. That steel is then melted down and recast into high-quality steel that will eventually be transformed into EVRAZ products.
“We are the largest recycler by tonnage of any company in Colorado,” Schwetje says. “It’s a clean and sustainable process. We’re recycling stuff that would have been in some landfill.”
In addition to the environmental aspects, the process is really fascinating to watch, Schwetje says. “It looks like lava,” he says of the steel after it’s melted.
EVRAZ Pueblo also has a railway at its facility for moving supplies and staging product for shipment to locations around North America. There are about 70 employees who work on the railway, and about 1,200 total at EVRAZ Pueblo.
Given the heavy-duty work done within the plant, safety of the employees is the highest priority.
“Safety is job one here,” Schwetje says. “We start every meeting talking safety first. There’s a tremendous amount of training we do with employees each and every day.”
The company has been recognized for its high-quality products, and recently received an award for being a veteran-friendly company. More than 20 percent of the plant’s employees are veterans.
For more information about employment opportunities at EVRAZ Pueblo, visit www.evrazna.com or call the 24-hour job hotline at 719-561-6900. Job seekers can also go to the Pueblo Workforce Center, which does prescreening and orientation for EVRAZ. The Pueblo Workforce Center can be reached at 719-562-3720.