Skip to content
“I was an ignorant steel worker” to them, she writes.“Despite my deep insecurities about the mill, I was developing a complicated love for it,” she adds. He broke his pelvis, knee and ankle, but he lived. We've received your submission.At age 29, Eliese Colette Goldbach found herself dressed in a visor and heat-resistant jumpsuit, leaning over a giant vat of molten zinc with a garden hoe, strapped into a harness to keep her from being cooked alive in the churning liquid metal below.Despite her best intentions, Goldbach had become the one thing she thought she would never be: a steelworker.Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, the ArcelorMittal steel mill on the Cuyahoga River was the backdrop to her childhood, but one that she shunned. Her mother was a dental hygienist, her father, who had once been a successful jazz drummer, was the manager of a pawn shop. She received an M.F.A. Each day they faced dangerous conditions, and they needed to have each others’ back.Once, a maintenance worker slipped and fell 30 feet onto the side of a giant vessel of molten iron as they were tipping the metal out. An old-timer sometimes told her she would never find a husband because she didn’t like to cook. She went on to earn a master of fine arts degree at Cleveland State University, but due to a paperwork snafu, she did not get her degree.Spiraling depression caused her to keep putting it off, and Goldbach started a house-painting business. She's written a book about her journey — including its dangers and what she learned about the mill workers. When a friend mentioned how lucrative a job at ArcelorMittal could be, the struggling 20-something applied and finally got the job after a grueling application process.“It’s kind of stepping back in time when you go down there,” she says. “It’s a memorial to the people who have lost their lives on the job. Seattle BLM protesters demand white people ‘give up' their homesJennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez buy $40M Miami homeTrump visits 'very ill' brother Robert in NYC hospitalBison rips pants off woman in violent attack caught on videoNYC man wanted for torching NYPD car busted after taunting fedsEliese Colette Goldbach never expected to wear the hard hat, but her time at the ArcelorMittal steel mill in Cleveland, Ohio, changed her.A backdrop to Cleveland, ArcelorMittal steel mill was once shunned by writer Eliese Colette Goldbach.Seattle BLM protesters demand white people ‘give up' their homesObama 'skeptical' of Biden run: 'Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f--k things up'Best star snaps of the week: Madonna turns 62, Kylie Jenner bathes outdoors and moreBest star snaps of the week: Madonna turns 62, Kylie Jenner bathes outdoors and moreKanye West conjures up past Taylor Swift feud with ‘snake’ tweetKanye West conjures up past Taylor Swift feud with ‘snake’ tweetCeeLo Green apologizes to Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj for rantCeeLo Green apologizes to Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj for rant The episode triggered her bipolar disorder, she writes, which she was told she was genetically predisposed to through her family line.She applied for a master’s degree in English but a snafu on the title page of her thesis kept her from graduating, and the mental effort to correct the paperwork seemed like too much effort over the years.At first, she took flack for being a woman and a political liberal. Early on, Goldbach’s life goal was to be a nun, not an industrial worker. Now married and in good mental health, she credits her achievements, in part, to her time at the mill.“The mill was more than the rust that everyone else saw.
“It’s something people don’t expect; maybe it breaks the mold of the stereotypical industrial worker.”And not just because of Goldbach’s gender.
She is a horse person, and she would go to the barn and move hay bales all day. “I had always wanted to do a memoir about losing faith and finding it again, and it just kind of merged into this book.”“Any time you are honest about what you have gone through, it is healing,” says her mother.Goldbach didn’t first don her orange hat and walk into the mill intending to write anything.It was initially a job of expedience. Join Facebook to connect with Eliese Colette Goldbach and others you may know. She now works at John Carroll University and lives in … She finished her degree and in 2019 she landed her dream job — as professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland, where she still works. A literary agent saw this and got in touch with her to pitch the idea of a book.“She thought there would be a lot of interest in a woman writing a book about being a steel worker in the Rust Belt.”7 p.m. Tuesday: Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery, 1947 West 25th St., Cleveland.7 p.m. Thursday, March 12: Cuyahoga Public Library, Beachwood Branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd., Beachwood.7 p.m. Thursday, March 19: Lakewood Public Library, Main Library Auditorium, 15425 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Post was not sent - check your email addresses!
She lives in Cleveland, OH, with her husband. “I felt a fierce protectiveness for its people, and there was a part of me that actually preferred the life of a steel worker to that of an academic.
Goldbach will be flown to New York to discuss her debut book on “The Today Show” on Monday and has already taped NPR interviews for “Morning Edition” and “1A” slated to run this week.“I didn’t know what to expect with my first book,” says Goldbach, who has been an active part of the local writing community for years, doing readings and publishing in journals. She’d made roughly $76,000 a year there and had been able to chip away at her massive student loans. Eliese Colette Goldbach shares insights into her work at a steel mill.
… We were a people of grit and substance.”Working in industry was an unlikely career path for Goldbach.“I wasn’t supposed to be a steel worker,” she writes near the beginning of “Rust.”Born to a working-class, devoutly Catholic family, Goldbach grew up in Brooklyn, attending Corpus Christi and St. Augustine High School, where she was valedictorian in 2004.“I never expected her to go into steel but was thrilled when she got the job, because it had been so hard for her to make ends meet,” says her mother, Sandy Goldbach.“One thing I had found out about her when she was in high school was that she loved physical work.