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Heartwarming Stories From Across the Steel Industry

By Camille Grayson
on December 18, 2019

With the holiday season upon us and 2019 coming to a close, we’re sharing three stories from the steel industry that left us feeling thankful and inspired for the new year ahead.

Artist develops passion for welding following tragedy

Seven years ago, R.J. Higgins was involved in a serious accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Through this tragedy, Higgins discovered a passion for creating art. As an extra form of physical therapy, he takes scrap metal and welds it into creatures of the sea and sky. This has helped Higgins improve his dexterity and motor function. Read his entire story and check out his creations.

Welder comes home to support his family

With a population of just 133 residents, La Grange is one of the smallest towns in Tennessee. Faith and family brought welder Gary Spight back to his tiny hometown. After briefly living in Jacksonville, Fla., Spight returned to La Grange to help his family through medical hardships. To support them, he welds pieces of scrap metal to create trailer ramps, barbecue grills and other items. Better yet, he does his welding right outside his childhood home. Read the rest of Spight’s inspiring story.

Steelworker helps others fight drug addictions to honor her daughter

The United Steelworkers named Stacey Goodman, a USW member from District 1, the 2019 Champion Volunteer for her dedicated work in fighting drug addiction. Goodman tragically lost her daughter to opioid addiction and has since made it her mission to help others fight theirs. Through involvement with Families and Addicts Coming Together (FACT), Goodman conducts mock overdose trainings and raises money for addiction services. Find out more about her dedication to her community.

The American steel industry is filled with great people like R.J. Higgins, Gary Spight and Stacey Goodman. We hope their stories have inspired you, and we wish you nothing but the best in 2020. And make sure to share your stories with us by liking us on Facebook!