Cleveland-Cliffs Inc

Community giving is important to Cleveland-Cliffs because it is important to our employees. Every year, Cliffs runs an annual campaign to support the local United Way, a tradition that stems back to the early days of Cleveland-Cliffs. Samuel Mather, one of the earliest leaders of Cleveland-Cliffs, was part of the effort to establish a community fundraising campaign for the Community Chest in Cleveland in 1919. This effort later grew into the United Way we know of today. 

Cliffs continues to conduct annual United Way employee campaigns at the corporate office and each mine site. Since 2000 alone, Cliffs employees have displayed their generosity by collectively contributing nearly $6 million to the United Way organizations in the areas where we operate. When adding matching dollars from the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, the United Way of Greater Cleveland has received over $9 million from Cliffs and our employees since 2000. 

Highlight: Partnership with the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota

Investing in the United Way has been an easy decision for the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation, which has done an excellent job responding to community needs as they arise based on changing economic conditions. Our partnership with the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota (UWNEMN) particularly highlights this fact.

In 2016, when the domestic iron and steel industries encountered historic levels of imports that were displacing taconite production on the Iron Range, UWNEMN established the LIVE UNITED Crisis Fund to support steelworkers whose jobs were impacted by the industry downturn. Subsequently, when economic conditions improved and families needed to secure child care during working hours, UWNEMN spearheaded an initiative to build a new child care center that opened in 2018.  These are just two of many initiatives where the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation partnered with the United Way to target the needs of the community and provide much-needed support. 

In addition to contributing financial resources, Cliffs’ employees have volunteered with UWNEMN in various capacities. This includes serving on the Board and participating in the process to allocate funding to partner agencies. Additionally, employees have filled “Buddy Backpacks” with food to ensure school-age children don’t go hungry at home and one employee even built “Little Free Libraries” in the community, which the United Way helped stock with books. 

Photo caption: Iron Range Tykes Learning Center opens in Mountain Iron, Minnesota. The learning center is helping to address a shortage of child care services on the Iron Range, which was identified as a critical need through the United Way of Northeastern Minnesota’s Bright Beginnings Initiative. 

Cleveland-Cliffs shares in United Way of Northeastern Minnesota’s vision for our region and is one of the organization’s strongest partners.  When there was an economic downturn in the iron ore industry, Cleveland-Cliffs was the first to provide funding to support UWNEMN’s Crisis Fund for displaced mining employees.  When UWNEMN started packing meal kits for the Buddy Backpack program, Cleveland-Cliffs stepped up with funding to purchase boxes which make transporting the meal kits to the children possible.  When the childcare shortage on the Iron Range became a critical issue, Cleveland-Cliffs responded by helping UWNEMN fund childcare expansions around the region.  UWNEMN is exceedingly proud of the partnership we have with Cleveland-Cliffs.  They “Give Where They Live” and support the mining industry and the people that make northeastern Minnesota exceptional.

Shelley Valentini, Executive Director

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota

200 Public Square, Suite 3300, Cleveland. OH 44114-2544 - Phone: 216-694-5700