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Gerdau Knoxville celebrates five employees with 40 or more years of service

October 30, 2017

Representatives of steel recycler Gerdau’s Knoxville mill recently gathered for a riverboat cruise on the Star of Knoxville to celebrate five employees who have been with the company 40 years or longer.

Members of the “40-year Club” include:

  • Jimmy Christian, melt shop maintenance, 40 years
  • Carl Davis, melt shop facilitator, 41 years
  • Larry Ezell, scrap yard, 40 years
  • Wesley “Slim” Mills, refractory, 41 years
  • Darrell Sharp, store room, 40 years

Steel recycler Gerdau celebrated its employees with 40 or more years of service at its Knoxville mill with a river cruise on Oct. 23. Pictured from left are Darrell Sharp, 40 years; Carl Davis, 41 years; Larry Ezell, 40 years; and Wesley “Slim” Mills, 41 years, along with Gerdau Knoxville Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller. Not pictured: Jimmy Christian, 40 years.

“This biannual event is always a favorite of mine,” said Johnny Miller, vice president and general manager of Gerdau’s Knoxville steel mill. “We get to spend an evening on the river with family, friends and coworkers to honor our employees who have crossed the impressive threshold of 40 years of service. They have thrived in our industry from when steelmaking was a very manual process to our plant evolving into more technical, automated processes.”

Miller added that Gerdau is grateful to the five employees for using their acquired wisdom and experience to not only continually strengthen the company’s processes, but also to coach and prepare new generations of steelmakers.

“It makes us very proud to have the type of workplace camaraderie and satisfying work that makes our people want to stay for 40-plus years,” Miller said. “As of the end of this year, we will have 51 employees with 20 or more years of service.”

Gerdau employs more than 220 people at its mill in Knoxville’s Lonsdale neighborhood.

About Gerdau

Gerdau is a leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world. As North America’s fourth largest steel producer, Gerdau manufactures products for the construction, automotive, agricultural and energy markets. Each year, Gerdau recycles millions of tons of scrap metals into steel products, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development in the regions where it operates. Gerdau is proud to stimulate the economy with a variety of well-paid manufacturing careers, employing 9,000 people across 110 communities in the U.S. and Canada. Learn more about Gerdau in North America by visiting

In 2016, Gerdau won the Knoxville Chamber Impact Award in recognition of its broad community support of its Lonsdale neighbors.