Warren Steel idles production

CHAMPION – Warren Steel Holdings this week idled steel production, blaming a slowdown in the steel market.

The company, which employs about 185 workers, said no layoffs have occurred, with workers being shifted to maintenance and other support work.

“Due to unfavorable market conditions, Warren Steel Holdings is not currently melting steel,” said John Scheel, chief operating officer at the mill.

Instead, the company is using the time “to thoroughly evaluate operations and develop a plan designed to adequately address the situation and restart production as soon as possible,” Scheel said in a prepared statement released by the company.

This week’s slowdown comes after the company in December announced it had returned to full production on three shifts after an earlier slowdown in October due to a reduction in orders. No layoffs occurred at that time; however, some workers were reduced temporarily to 32-hour weeks for a few weeks, company officials have said.

Warren Steel Holdings has operated since 2006 in part of the former Copperweld Steel facility along Mahoning Avenue. The company manufactures billets, or solid tubular products, among other products, that are shipped to other facilities to be hollowed for use in the oil and gas industry, automotive, heavy equipment, rail and other industries.