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Longhi to tap into work force to improve profits

Aug 22, 2013 | 06:48 PM | Lisa Gordon

Tags  Mario Longhi, U.S. Steel Corp., Project Carnegie, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — The incoming top executive at U.S. Steel Corp. plans to embrace the brain trust of its 37,000 employees to help restore the company’s profit making.

“It is the beginning of a resurgence of what made this company great,” president and chief operating officer Mario Longhi said in discussing the steelmaker’s previously announced Project Carnegie initiative.

Project Carnegie is an effort to maximize the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker’s potential by examining efficiency and reducing costs to enable the company to prosper and enjoy long-term success, Longhi said at a Pittsburgh Technology Council breakfast Aug. 22.

The project is named after Andrew Carnegie, the steelmaker’s founder and is “reflecting the business spirit in which the company was originally created and the fact that we will not compromise our core values in pursuit of this initiative,” Longhi said.

“Sustainability is the key to our efforts. The changes we want to make are expected to be a new way of operating and doing business and not short-term measures that revert back over time,” he said.

Longhi stressed the project is not a short-term solution but a long-term effort to become more efficient and eliminate waste. “This is not a cost-cutting exercise,” he said, adding the company is not giving any forecast on the financial target it expects to achieve.

This strategy has been a proven success for the steelmaker’s safety program and will now be used to improve the company as a whole. “It is designed to critically evaluate what we do and how we do it,” Longhi said.

Longhi, who will take the reins as chief executive officer Sept. 1, has visited every company facility and has met with many employees (, Aug. 19).

Recognizing that employees on the shop floor have a unique perspective of the business, Longhi intends to tap into their knowledge for ideas.

“We want to expand how our people at every level and at every facility see things in order to help them generate new ideas. Every employee can have a spark of creativity that leads to the identification of new opportunities for change,” he said.

Longhi said the effort will make the steel producer stronger and differentiate it from competitors.

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