Education Optimus Steel and the Thad Boudreaux Memorial Scholarship

Education: the key to a better tomorrow. 

Optimus Steel and the Thad Boudreaux Memorial Scholarship

At Optimus Steel we believe the future is built through actions able to transform lives, such as the opportunity to study and develop a professional career.

For 2022 we were happy to award the Thad Boudreaux Memorial Scholarship for a second year, to young dependents of active Optimus Steel employees.  This year we expanded the applications to include the grandchildren of our employees.

What is The Thad Boudreaux Memorial Scholarship?

This scholarship is in memory of the late Thaddeus “Thad” Boudreaux (1954-2020), an outstanding citizen of Beaumont who worked at our mill for almost 44 years and served in various roles, the last being Technical Services Manager.  He was a trusted friend and colleague who touched our lives and will forever be in our hearts.

Thad was a generous man who always looked for ways to support and contribute to his community and our mill. Today, the scholarship is in his memory and is managed by the International Scholarship and Tuition Services (ISTS), a 100% women-owned corporation founded in 1985.

Before this year’s opening of the application process, Thad’s eldest son, Aaron Boudreaux, wrote a letter encouraging our employees to have their children and grandchildren apply, particularly from our hourly team members.  The applications were so strong we decided to add another scholarship, so now we are up to four every year and three of the four winners for 2022 were children of our hourly team members.  We could not be happier about this fact as our team members are the backbone of our company.  It is also worth noting the overall applications increased by 50%.  Aaron’s letter was very successful.  Thank you, Aaron!

Through this scholarship, talented children and grandchildren of our employees obtain additional support and encouragement to further their studies and create a better future for themselves.  We are humbled to be able to offer this program now, and for years to come.  Please congratulate our winners who will be formally presented the scholarship on July 14th at our mill.

Who are the talented winners this year?

2022 winners:

StudentParent or GrandparentWork Area
Pablo ArredondoMiguel ArredondoRolling Mill
Aleigha RaymerTravis WindhamQ.A. Inspector
Gracie SmithSteven SmithMelt Shop
Mechanical Maintenance
Frank RelfordFrank Relford Jr.Reheat Furnace Operator

A reminder of our winners for the inaugural year of 2021:

2021 winners

StudentParent or GrandparentWork Area
Pablo ArredondoMiguel ArredondoRolling Mill
Carly D. LivelyTravis WindhamMiles Stone
Dagan H. LottJosh HerronIT Field Support Technician

The Thad Boudreaux Memorial Scholarship, an initiative we hope to grow year after year in memory of a man who positively impacted many lives.  We hope this scholarship program will do the same thing.  #OurMill #OurCompany

steel recycling facts

Steel Recycling: 6 interesting facts that you probably didn’t know

Steel recycling guarantees a large number of industries the opportunity to be more sustainable, since up to 99% of the steel produced can be reused, thus making it, in a sense, a renewable material.

Learn below 6 interesting facts about steel recycling and its processes:

Steel is the most recycled material in the US and the world

Both in the US and the world, the most recycled material is steel. In fact, more steel is recycled in our country than all the recycled plastic, copper, paper, aluminum, and glass combined by weight.

The advantage of a material  like this is that steel it provides stability of supply to the industry, since it can count not only on producing new raw material, but also on recovering and repurposing scrap.

Steel can be recycled without losing the properties that makes it a preferred material in so many products

Steel is characterized in part by the strength and resistance it provides, and these are not compromised by or lost in recycling processes. That is, once steel is recycled, a product of the same characteristics is obtained.

This means that the products produced  from recycling are the same as those made from virgin raw materials in the ways that are most important to those that use them.  They are as durable as they are recyclable.

Recycling steel: its impact on the economy and the environment

By making use of scrap instead of new raw material, it is possible to develop more profitable production processes, since recovery tends to be cheaper than extracting new material.

At the same time, natural resources are preserved, the level of exploitation of natural areas in mines is reduced, and the expenditure of energy or resources necessary for these  processes is avoided.

Helps improve air quality

Undertaking the recycling of materials such as steel translates into helping improve air quality; an example of this is the use of Electric Arc Furnaces for the melting of material, which contributes to reducing the emission of pollutants into the environment.

Learn more about how Electric Arc Furnaces help make steelmaking processes greener and more efficient in this other article on our blog (LINK).

Another advantage of recycling steel is that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, the use of certain substances that can be toxic in nature is avoided, and scrap metal that would otherwise be left exposed in the environment is recovered. 

Recycling benefits various industries

Steel is the most widely recycled material in the world and also one of the most used, which is why a large number of manufacturing industries rely on it. Thus, the recycling of steel helps to grow different sectors such as:

  • Construction and infrastructure.
  • Automotive
  • Equipment and Machinery.
  • Farming.
  • Telecommunications.
  • Home appliances and other household items.
  • Electronics and electrical materials.
  • Locksmithing, fences and security.

Steel is recycled as it brings well-being to the world

Steel can be found all over in our daily lives, from the utensils we use in the kitchen, as part of our cars or reinforcing the structure of houses and buildings. Steel recycling enables manufacturers, like us at Optimus Steel and our clients, to safely deliver quality products continuously.

Our industry has evolved, and today in the US less than half the energy required for steel production 40 years ago is required now, thus resulting in an up to 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which represents well-being and a better future for all.

What are electric arc furnaces

Advantages of Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF) in Steelmaking Processes

Electric Arc Furnaces: for a much greener and more energy-efficient steel industry

According to statistics from the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), for over a quarter of a century more than 70% of the steel produced in America has been obtained by means of one of the greenest and most sustainable solutions to date: Electric Arc Furnaces.

Steelmaking by means of EAFs is much more efficient in terms of the energy necessary for the process, since its operation requires mostly electricity, thus circumventing the consumption of a large portion of non-renewable resources.

What is an Electric Arc Furnace and how does it work?

An EAF is a type of melting furnace used in the steel industry for steelmaking; in it, the main raw material of scrap metal is melted by means of electrical energy.

This type of melting  furnace can reach up to 3000 °F and have devices that allow the temperature to be controlled accurately and safely. 

What are the advantages of Electric Arc Furnaces in steelmaking processes?

  • An efficient way to significantly reduce carbon emissions in steel production.
  • Can be used to produce a large number of steel products, which makes it possible to satisfy different industries, thus making production processes more flexible.
  • Processes are controlled, which drives productivity and time efficiency.
  • EAFs use Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) to capture, control and reduce emissions from steel production.

Optimus Steel: committed to a greener and more sustainable steelmaking

Aligned with the objectives of the SMA to make the steelmaking processes greener, more sustainable and more efficient, at Optimus Steel we make use of an Electric Arc Furnace for the melting of raw materials, which has allows us to be a better neighbor and supplier to our customers.

The steel products provided by Optimus Steel have a positive impact on our environment, as much of our raw material is steel recovered from scrap yards.

Some data from the SMA on EAF Steel:

  • More than 70% of the steel produced in America is EAF Steel.
  • Thanks to this type of process, a car in scrap condition can be transformed to be used for new items used in  daily life or as part of new automobiles.
  • EAF Steel grows the industry, which in the long term creates new jobs.
  • EAF operations generate 2X more steel and up to 75% less greenhouse gas emissions, compared to traditional production processes.
This is how different industries are supported thanks to our productsThis is how different industries are supported thanks to our products

This is how different industries are supported thanks to our products

Learn about the industries we support with our products

Our goal at Optimus Steel is creating products that truly solve the needs of our customers, and that is why we focus on quality and always strive for perfection in everything we do.

Our mill is in Beaumont, Texas, and from here we can strengthen much of the United States through the production of Wire Rod, Coiled Rebar and Billets, suitable for different industries.

All our products are made under the highest quality standards and following current specifications, standards or regulations (as applicable). Over the years our mill has been awarded ISO 9001 certifications, NTPEP Compliance, also receiving awards for safety, community service, outstanding engineering, the acquisition of the mill and actions for the environment.

Perhaps more importantly, in the manufacturing of our products we make use of recycled material inputs, and Electric Arc Furnace technology, the combination of which allow us to be more efficient and significantly reduce the carbon footprint compared to traditional steelmaking processes. 

This, together with our customer service and logistics teams, makes Optimus Steel a great partner, able to satisfy the needs of different industries.

What industries do we serve?

  • Construction

Our catalog of Wire Rod and Coiled Rebar products is widely and diversely used in the construction field. Examples of this are the products our customers manufacture for  bridges, roads, concrete pipes and parking decks, these being areas where the strength and support of concrete is often preferred.

  • Automotive Industry

The automotive sector is among the most important ones in the United States, and there our products are used for the manufacturing of various auto parts particularly fasteners.

  • Manufacturing and Consumer Goods

Our products support numerous industries that transform them into a wide variety of everyday products. For example, Wire Rods are widely used to manufacture nails, bed springs, hangers, storage units, grills, refrigerator shelves, appliance racks and chain link fences.  It is estimated the wire that is made from our wire rod has over 100,000 uses.

  • Farming 

In the agricultural sector, Wire Rod can be used in the manufacturing of baling wire, vineyard wire, barbed wire fence and animal pens among other products. 

Optimus Steel One Tree Planted Reforestation actions

Optimus Steel: Planting the Seeds for a Better Future

Learn about our reforestation actions

Optimus Steel is a company committed not only to providing products able to meet the needs of our customers, who serve many different industries, but also committed to social and environmental responsibility. This has led us to undertake actions focused on giving back to our community and beyond..

This is why in the name or our customers, since 2020 we start supporting One Tree Planted, as part of our multiple initiatives to make a positive impact. This has also proven to be effective in motivating our team to become more aware of our relationship with the planet.

What is One Tree Planted?

One Tree Planted is a non-profit association dedicated to reforestation, present in North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. One Tree Planted partners with individuals, schools and committed companies, just like us and our customers, to plant trees in different regions, with a recent focus on the reforestation needs in the United States.

An important volunteer base works day after day to improve our environment, one tree at a time. The goal of the association is global reforestation, and developing a simple process that allows people to take action in a simple way.

This non-profit association was established in 2014 and is present in 43 countries already, including of course the United States. More than 40 million new trees have been planted by One Tree Planted and partners.

Achievements of Optimus Steel & Customers:

In 2020, Optimus Steel partnered with One Tree Planted to undertake reforestation actions and promote a culture of environmental care among our employees and their families, a task achieved thanks to the strategic support of our customers.

Our way of supporting this cause is through donations, which are made on behalf of our customers. These donations have been made on a quarterly basis; since we partnered with One Tree Planted in 2020, more than 22,000 trees have been donated.

Planting the Future:

Our desire for the future is to continue supporting our customers, our employees, their families, the local community and the wider world by means of concrete and measurable actions, many of which we will share with you in future installments of this blog..

This 2022 we will continue working in collaboration with our customers and One Tree Planted so that our united efforts will go even further, something that we are sure to achieve with the support and dedication of our partners. 

Furthered Education at Optimus Steel

Our mill had the pleasure of offering an opportunity to send two employees back to school to further their education. 10 candidates were considered, and from those applicants two were chosen for an apprenticeship through a series of interviews, job performance reviews, attendance, and work ethic.
One candidate selected for the apprenticeship is Jordan Harrison, a talented Multi-Craft Apprentice A in the melt shop. Jordan went to trade school for instrumentation which has helped him with many skills and learning new skills in his current role within the mill where he has worked for 10 years.
The other candidate selected for the apprenticeship is Joseph Wineland. Or “Joe” as most people call him, an Multi-Craft Apprentice A Millwright in the rolling mill at Optimus Steel. Joe has worked at the plant for 7 years, he started in production and worked his way to his current position.
Joe has followed in the footsteps of his father, Clifford Wineland, who also worked for the Beaumont mill or approximately 15 years as a Millwright. Joe expressed his excitement to finish school and officially start as a millwright like his dad, with “big shoes to fill”. Joe saw this “as an opportunity to further his education, gain more knowledge, improve himself and Optimus Steel”.
Joe and his entire family have been involved in all the company’s social responsibility events like, the Julie Richardson 5K Color Run, Optimus Steel softball games, adopt a highway, and volunteering at SETX food bank. He is also a member of the Optimus Steel Social Responsibility Committee. Along with his incredible efforts to be involved in the community, Joe is also part of the Joint Health and Safety Committee. Joe joins forces with other employees throughout the mill, to discuss safety topics and potential safety hazards to keep all workers at Optimus Steel safe.

Jordan along with Joe have both been dedicated to attending night classes after work for the past three years. “We sometimes don’t get home until 11:40pm, then have to be up again by 6 am”, says Jordan who agrees his family will be glad he is graduating in May. Both men have stood out through their work ethic and their dedication to their families, their teammates and the company.

Both were asked what advice they would give high school students who are considering trade school. Jordan said, “I would say choose something that interests you. In my case I studied instrumentation which involves more electrical work, but what I really like doing is more mechanical work.”

“(Learning a trade) is a really good opportunity to get a really great job and have less debt. Craftsmen are a dying breed, but they are not going away. Pick up a trade for a skilled position, then you will have a good job.” Said Joe.

We want to congratulate our two apprentices and thank them for their hard work and commitment not only to their own futures but to the future of Optimus Steel as well. Thank you, gentlemen and congratulations on Striving for Perfection!

Optimus Steel participates in Julie Richardson Procter Gift of Life Colo Rush 2019

On a beautiful, sun-kissed day in Beaumont Texas, 40 Optimus Steel employees and their family members participated in the Julie Richardson Procter Color Rush. With employees from many different roles within the mill, we truly had the entire Optimus Steel team represented at the Julie Richardson Procter Gift of Life Color Rush.

According to information obtained via website, The Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program was established in Beaumont, Texas, in 1994 by Regina Rogers as a tribute to her mother, Julie, a breast cancer survivor, who had a double mastectomy in 1988 and who died following complications from a stroke and heart attack in 1998. Originally dedicated to providing free mammograms for medically underserved women, in the past twelve years, the organization’s services have multiplied and the agency has grown into one of the largest cancer screening initiatives of its type in the state of Texas.

In 2000, the “Gift of Life” broadened its breast cancer mission to include prostate cancer, offering free screenings and educational presentations for men.

Providing free mammograms and prostate cancer screenings along with educational outreach, the agency of “Gift of Life” has consistently integrated complementary programming into its organizational framework. Striving to investigated new avenues in cancer awareness, prevention, and early detection have remained at the forefront of their mission. Over the years, the following activities have been added to create the current slate of services:

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month Kick-off;
  • Heightened Awareness Campaigns during Prostate and Breast Cancer Awareness Months;
  • Survivors’ Celebration honoring breast and prostate cancer survivors;
  • Annual Health Forum, a complimentary continuing education conference for Southeast and East Texas medical professionals that focuses on cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment;
  • Collaboration with BASF and TOTAL Miracle Match for Life to increase knowledge about the importance of donating blood and bone marrow and detecting cancer in its early stages, especially within African American communities;
  • School-based and community-wide smoking cessation and prevention initiatives;
  • Prostate Cancer Support Group;
  • Testicular Cancer Outreach; and
  • Acquisition of a minivan to transport clients (who lack access to a vehicle) to and from the program’s cancer screening tests and exams.

Today, the “Gift of Life” is the only organization of its type in Southeast Texas which approaches the fight against cancer in such a holistic manner, including increasing awareness about the importance of early detection; providing free cancer screenings and access to follow-up health care for medically underserved persons; educating our medical community on the latest innovations in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment; and providing both formal and informal support for cancer patients and survivors.

Optimus Steel is committed to being active participants in our community. We were happy to take advantage of an opportunity to give back for a worthy cause.