ArcelorMittal Liberia’s Chief Executive Officer, Joep Coenen, has assured the people of Zolowee and other communities around its mining concession that subscribing to the core value of equal opportunities, the company prioritizes both skilled and unskilled members of its host communities for long and short-term employment opportunities.
CEO Coenen made the comment when he paid an official visit to Zolowee, as part of his regular meet-and-greet visitations in mining communities to acquaint himself with locals. During these visits, the CEO provides updates on AML’s operations to the locals and shares information on opportunities being created at the company because of the Phase II expansion project and the construction of the concentrator.
He said it is now management’s decision that residents of host communities are prioritized for employment, noting that they form part of the company’s important stakeholders that must sustainably benefit from its investment.
The CEO’s routine visits to mines-affected communities continue to increase the confidence of locals in AML’s operations, generating huge support and assurance to protect the company’s interest.
Last year, the CEO Coenen visited Lugbehyee, another community of impact near Mount Yuelliton. There, he was honored by the locals, who also vowed to protect the company’s investment. A similar visit was also earlier made to Bolo, another mining community of impact near Mount Yuelliton. Like Lugbehyee, the CEO and his entourage were shown a great deal of hospitality in Bolo.
In Zolowee, the citizens paraded the streets with the AML CEO and members of his team, including other senior management staff, onward to a public school recently renovated by the company, for dedication. The renovation cost the company at least US$35,000.
At a colorful ceremony, the citizens of the town gowned CEO Coenen, and other staff of AML’s External & Community Relations department, in gratitude for the good partnership and support to their community.
Zolowee Chief Elder, Peter Zuwehyee, expressed gratitude to the CEO for taking his time to reach out to them.
Humbled by the level of hospitality, CEO Coenen told the people of Zolowee that this, and other honoring of the past, have given him memorable symbols of Liberian identity and that he was very appreciative to the people for their humane gesture.
He, however, told them not to refrain from informing AML about any grievance that they will have but should use the Grievance Procedure launched on March 31 to acquaint the company with any qualms they will have, going forward.