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Annual Progress Council dinner April 25

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 1:06 a.m.

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer – investing $50 million to renovate and reopen the Monessen coke plant – will be honored at the 48th annual Mon Valley Progress Council dinner April 25.

Ranked 70th in the 2012 Fortune Global 500 list of the world's biggest corporations, the Luxembourg-based firm will receive a “Frank Irey Jr. Join in Progress Award” for its decision to reopen the coke plant – a move that will retain or create nearly 200 jobs.

The council also will honor the following at the dinner in The Willow Room in Rostraver Township:

• The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for its $2 billion investment to complete the Mon/Fayette Expressway from Interstate 68 near Chest Lake in West Virginia to Route 51 in Allegheny County.

• The mayors of Charleroi, Speers and North Charleroi for helping to create the Charleroi Regional Police Department.

The theme for the dinner – A Celebration of Progress – focuses on major milestones that are putting the Mid-Mon Valley on a course for economic improvement.

ArcelorMittal, which acquired the Monessen plant in 2008, plans to reopen the complex – idle since 2009 – in May of next year after safety, environmental and other improvements are completed.

The plant can annually produce 370,000 tons of coke – the refined carbon material that is a key ingredient in the steelmaking process.

The turnpike commission, which recently underwent a management change, will receive a Progress Award for opening the last remaining link to make the expressway's 60 miles of continuous interstate-grade highway – a project that has been led by the Progress Council for decades.

Pending state transportation funding legislation could bring a new injection of money to help advance the toll road from Route 51 to Pittsburgh.

A third Progress Award will go to Charleroi Mayor Nancy Ellis, Speers Mayor William Lee and North Charleroi Mayor Lee Hall for their role in helping to create the new regional police department, marking a new direction in inter-municipal cooperation.

For dinner tickets, call the Progress Council at 724-684-3381.

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