By Jon Delano

CLAIRTON (KDKA) — Governor Tom Corbett toured US Steel’s Clairton Coke Works Monday where construction continues on the modernization of its coke batteries.

Its work, company officials say, guarantees the presence of US Steel in the Mon Valley for years to come.

“This $500 million in technology and environmental advanced coke making equipment as well as existing battery rehabilitation will insure the long term viability of our Mon Valley works, which is comprised of the Clairton plant, the Edgar Thompson plant in Braddock and the Irvin plant in West Mifflin,” Mike Williams, senior vice president of US Steel, told the governor.

Corbett said his tour reminded him of both the past history and the future possibilities of steel.

“This valley and this plant were the crucible in which the United States was built,” observed Corbett. “The importance of steel should and cannot be forgotten.”

The governor said he was committed to re-growing manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania.

“My administration has been focused on being certain that we partner with industry that we encourage its growth, and that government either helps or gets the hell out of the way.”

Building Trades Council president Rich Stanizzo said it was the union workers who deserve special credit.

“Governor, I’m glad you came out here to see this today, because these guys are the best tradesmen in the world,” noted Stanizzo.

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