MIDLOTHIAN — They are a visible presence at virtual every community event. Always enthusiastic and smiling, the Gerdau Ameristeel Community Involvement Committee is committed to giving back to the community.

The CIC is comprised of 33 members with five chair holders, but the group grows to about 75 individuals when participating family members are included.

“We are based in Midlothian and want to support the community,” said Geneva Mullins, committee president.

In addition to attending local events, they have adopted a section of Midlothian Parkway through Keep Midlothian Beautiful, which the group tends to each month. They mentor students at J.A. Vitovsky Elementary and sponsor the schools annual NASA trip. They have two mentors at Midlothian High School and support other area schools. The CIC sponsors numerous golf tournaments and members volunteer with Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties and the Midlothian Senior Center.

They contribute to the Masonic lodges to provide scholarships and contribute to the Ellis County Toy Run. And the list goes on.

The CIC recently received the Gene Rogers Award for community service at the annual Midlothian Chamber of Commerce award dinner.

“We try not to do donations to publicize the Gerdau name. We want to make sure the funds are used wisely to benefit the community,” Mullins said. “Employees cannot benefit from activities.”

Gerdau in Midlothian has more than 700 employees and Mullins said the company encourages employees to participate in supporting the community.

The CIC meets the last Tuesday of each month and all donations of time and money are voted on and must meet the guidelines and a set cap allocated for assistance to nonprofit organizations.

“Gerdau is 100 percent supportive of volunteering and being active in the community or surrounding areas,” Mullins said.

Upcoming projects include a canned food drive in November.

“The goal is to raise one ton (of canned goods) and it’s competitive throughout the corporation to see who can collect the most. There is a monetary prize. So in addition to the food donation, the prize money would be donated to a charity of choice,”  Mullins said.

A shoe drive is planned for May or June to collect shoes to be shredded for playgrounds. In August or September there will be a coat drive.

“These are first-time events for the community,” said Gary Dillard, committee vice president. “It is surprising how many kids show up without a coat.”

The group is made up solely of volunteers. Mullins said they try to bring in employees from every department because they go back and spread the word about the organization to their co-workers.

“There is no benefit to being a member. No benefit except the satisfaction of giving back to the community,” Dillard said.

Through its vertically integrated network of 20 mini-mills, 17 scrap recycling facilities and 49 downstream operations, Gerdau Ameristeel serves customers throughout the United States and Canada. The company is the second largest mini-mill steel producer in North America, with annual manufacturing capacity of about 10 million metric tons of mill finished steel products.

Gerdau Ameristeel – Midlothian has an installed capacity of 1,400,000 tons per year and employs approximately 765 people. The products include sheet piling, H piling, rebar, channels, squares, rounds, WF beams and S beams, which are used in the construction industry and by steel fabricators, according to a company spokesperson.

Even prior to operating under the Gerdau name, the company had been active in the community since the 1990s, Mullins said. The facility has been in operation since 1975.

“Gerdau is a good company to work for. We have a great group of people. We are like a family,” Mullins said. “We have a great leader – Glen Carlisle. He set the bar high for us. He’s great.”

Contact Rebecca at rebecca.hertz@wninews.com or 469-517-1451.