Workers Hope To Save Oklahoma Steel Mill

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. (AP) -- Employees of the Gerdau Ameristeel in Sand Springs are hoping the state will step in to help keep the mill open.

Gerdau Ameristeel announced in June it was closing two plants in New Jersey and was considering shutting down the Oklahoma mill.

Steel worker Troy Zickefoose (ZICK'-uh-foos) says if the state invests in the mill, Gerdau will reconsider closing. He wants the Oklahoma Department of Commerce to invest in upgrades like new furnaces and operating systems to help the plant meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.

But Sand Springs Mayor Bob Walker says the battle will be an uphill fight because steel isn't much in demand. Even Zickefoose says getting state aid in the current economy is a long shot, but says it's the best shot to save almost 300 jobs.

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