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Few Employees Remain at Steel Mill that 'Built America'

At one time, the mill employed more than 16,000 workers.

In the 1940s, the Great Lakes Works steel mill employed more than 16,000 workers. The Zug Island blast furnaces were so powerful that residents could feel vibrations from miles away. 

Now, the Detroit-area steel mill that helped build America is nearly idle. 

About a year ago, U.S. Steel sent notices to 1,545 employees announcing plans to shutter the factories.

According to the Detroit Free Press, primary steelmaking and iron production has stopped. 

However, about 500 workers remain running a variety of finishing operations. 

The Pittsburgh-based company said that limited operations will continue running at the plant as long as demand keeps up. 

The first Detroit Iron Works blast furnace dates back to 1902, and the mill has survived multiple economic downturns and environmental challenges.

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