The management and staff of ArcelorMittal Liberia (AML) on Monday, September 25, and Tuesday, September 26, 2023, respectively, held farewell programs in its two concessionaires, Yekepa and Buchanan, in honor of its outgoing Head of Human Resources and Organizational Development, Rose Kingston.
According to scores of well-wishers and staff, they were shocked when they heard such unpleasant news that Ms. Kingston is departing ArcelorMittal Liberia. They said she would be truly missed for her tireless fight for vulnerable employees and support to various departments and their work in the company.
Ms. Kingston was rehired by AML in 2020 as Head of Human Resource and Organisational Development spanning roughly three years in the position. Before she rejoined the company as Head of HR in 2020, Ms. Kingston served as Superintendent for Learning and Development in 2018.
According to our unimpeachable sources, since the ascendancy of Ms. Kingston as Head of HR and Organisational Development, the company’s female employee population has risen from 3% to 13%. This is a monumental leap and credit to the incredible achievement of Ms. Kingston. She also led lots of cleaning of the HR System where employees now enter through a merit-based system.
However, the employee population believes that her resignation is a deep and irreparable loss to the company and would wish in the future that she makes a return.
On recounting Ms. Kingston’s achievements, one of her greatest achievements over the last three years as Head of HR and Organizational Development is the significant leap in the number of beneficiaries of the ArcelorMittal Liberia Yearly Scholarship Program. It can be recalled that before her ascendancy to the position of Head of Human Resource and Organisational Development, the company was sending six or fewer Liberian students abroad for advanced studies mostly in Ghana and Kenya. The last batch of students who left for studies before she took over was six Liberian students. However, when Ms. Kingston took over, the number surged from six to 22 students per year in 2022 and now 19 in 2023.
According to documented public records, not only did the number of beneficiaries increase per year, but also the Mineral Development Scholarship (MDA) through her instrumentality sent scores of Liberian students out of Africa for the first time to countries such as the USA, Canada, India, Malaysia, Greece, etc. This is a great feat for our country and a milestone accomplishment for Ms. Kingston, an outstanding leader.
It can be recalled that aside from the advanced scholarship program, the Young Professional Program (YPP), which saw tons of young Liberians with undergraduate degrees given the golden opportunity to intern at ArcelorMittal Liberia was also a brainchild of Ms. Rose Kingston. Young Liberians who were recruited under the YPP got different job training at AML and roughly after ten months, they permanently got employed.
Dozens of employees and top managers who attended the farewell program said, Ms. Rose Kingston has been an incredible asset to the company and their professional development.
They thanked her for her many accomplishments and the indelible impacts she has made in their professional lives over the last three years in the position. The occasion appreciated and honored Ms. Kingston for her enormous contributions to the company, enterprising leadership skills as well and the incredible legacy she is leaving behind.
Speaking with some employees at the ceremony, they said it was through the efforts and advocacy of Ms. Kingston they were given the opportunity by the company to pursue development programs outside of Liberia. They also pointed out that over the last three years of her remarkable stewardship and relentless internal advocacy, ArcelorMittal Liberia witnessed a stark rise or surge of Liberians in top leadership positions in the company, something that never happened before. According to our sources, today, the positions of finance manager and head of rail and port – two positions that were formerly occupied by expatriates – are now held by Liberians.
One of the employees opined, “To be honest, I feel so very saddened and emotional about this, Ms. Rose. I have known you to be a very tenacious strategist and someone with the willpower to press and make a lasting impact. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the personal impact you have had on me and the team. Your guidance, mentorship, and unwavering belief in our abilities have helped us grow both professionally and personally.”
This employee is not the only one who expressed great shock and sadness hearing the resignation of Ms. Kingston as Head of HR and Organizational Development.
Another employee who attended the event in Yekepa also shared, “Miss Kingston, My head still hurts from the news but it is well. I vividly recall how strong you’ve made me and for that I’m grateful”……
In the phase two expansion program of AML, the company is constructing a concentrator in Nimba County to be able to refine the iron ore they are extracting in Liberia from low-grade to high-grade. To this, the leadership program where over 150 young Liberians were recruited through a merit-based system from a pool of 3,000 Liberians to work as process operators at the concentrator was one of the milestone achievements of Ms. Rose Kingston as Head of HR.
Mrs. Angelique Myers-Jekula, an employee of AML, who spoke on behalf of the Health and Safety department during the program, praised Ms. Rose Kingston for her simplicity and her ability to spot greatness in people around her. She praised Ms. Kingston as a great leader and mentor of the highest eminence.