Groundbreaking held at site of new manufacturing plant in Aliquippa

Leaders in Beaver County are celebrating plans to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Aliquippa.

“This is a great day to be from Aliquippa,” Mayor Dwan Walker told a crowd of people Monday.

It’s the day Walker and the rest of Aliquippa have been waiting for — the groundbreaking of 72 Steel at the old J&L Steel site.

“They feel this is the capital of steel in the US. Plus, look at the transportation in the rivers, the railroads and the power supply,” 72 Steel’s senior business advisor, Xiaoyan Zhang told Channel 11.

The Chinese-American company is planning to build the more than $200 million steel mill, and dozens of people flew overseas to Pittsburgh to celebrate.

That sentiment was found throughout Aliquippa, as almost everyone from the community has a personal connection to J&L Steel.

“My grandfather, my father, aunts and uncles all worked at this mill. I’ma little choked up,” business developer, CJ Betters said.

We also met Terrance Taylor in downtown Aliquippa — he told us his story of working at J&L.

“I was disappointed when they shut it down. I worked in the 10 Mill and it was the last unit that was there,” Taylor said.

Back when the mill was thriving, he remembers the busy streets of his hometown — compared to now, when businesses sometimes struggle to survive.

The thought of new jobs, revenue, and tourism to return to the community gives him hope.

“This used to be all bustling, but they’re tearing down buildings now. It’s all positive to have a mill here. It’s nothing but positive,” he added.

The mill is supposed to be completed by the end of 2025.

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