It's easy to get down on the Region for what it lacks.

We also need to celebrate its existing bounty — and the forward-looking measures being taken to preserve and improve those valuable assets.

A common theme lamented in Northwest Indiana has been the shrinking of the domestic steel industry — namely Region steel jobs — in recent decades.

It's easy to forget we still play host to some of the largest remaining steel mills in the country.

AND THE NEWS just got better.

U.S. Steel recently unveiled details about $750 million in planned investment in the Gary Works operation.

It's rightly being hailed as a renaissance of the largest integrated steel mill in North America, and our Region is the beneficiary.

The investment is an important sign the steel giant continues viewing its Gary Works flagship as critical to its business model.

"This is a major modernization of Gary Works, with investments focused on improving reliability, throughput, quality, cost and capability," U.S. Steel spokeswoman Amanda Malkowski said.

It's about investment, maintenance and preserving infrastructure.

IT'S ABOUT MAKING sure there's a future for the 3,875 steelworkers — our neighbors and fellow Region taxpayers — in the plant.

The plan is so important to U.S. Steel that CEO David Burritt visited Gary Works in person last week to announce the investment.

Region leaders who continue to work to bolster our relationship with heavy industry also were on hand.

"The city of Gary and U.S. Steel have had a partnership for well over 100 years," state Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, said following the unveiling of the plan. "The investment that the company announced today represents a continuation of that partnership for many years to come."

The arrows are pointing in the right direction. It's an announcement worth celebrating.

— The (Munster) Times

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