Women of Bethlehem Steel: Spotlight on Myrna Rivera by Hannah Provost

Myrna Rivera was born in Puerto Rico, but considers herself a native of Bethlehem, PA. At six months old, her mother and father brought her to Bethlehem, and she spent her entire life and career here. Rivera’s story, and her work at Bethlehem Steel, reveals the nuances of cultural expectations for women during the 1970s, as she was growing up and joining the workforce. Rivera remembers that, in 1972, when she was graduating high school, it was not a time when very many women went to college, and for her, that attitude was particularly entrenched in her family’s culture.

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Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley Fights Pandemic: An Interview with Victoria Montero

Victoria Montero is the director of the Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley (HCLV). The Hispanic Center has been a central leader in providing Latinx community members with support during the Covid-19 pandemic. Southsider interviewed Montero to learn about the important work of HCLV in rising to the challenges presented by the pandemic. HP: To…

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Women of Bethlehem Steel: Spotlight on Judy Hoffert by Hannah Provost

Later in life, Judy Hoffert would learn how dangerous her husband’s job was working the blast furnaces. The one time she was able to visit his work, she recalls the space being freezing cold and very dangerous. During his time at the Steel, there had been an explosion at the blast furnaces that killed two men, though Jeff had not been there at the time. Another time, Jeff had witnessed a man almost killed when he got run over by a truck. As more and more of these incidents happened, Judy says her husband became increasingly reticent, keeping these traumas to himself so that she did not have to worry about him, or ask him to change jobs.

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Community Voices Spotlight: Jill Schennum

One of Bethlehem’s most defining landscapes is the Bethlehem Steel factory.  Approaching South Bethlehem from any direction, the retired steel stacks are the first thing anyone sees.  They are the city’s major historical attraction, and Bethlehem Steel is arguably Bethlehem’s greatest claim to fame.  The once multinational corporation impacted the lives of nearly every family…

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Stories of the Women of Bethlehem Steel

The Beyond Steel Archive historical collections contain photos, documents, and interviews of Lehigh Valley residents during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a specific focus on the steel industry. With its international headquarters located in Bethlehem, PA, Bethlehem Steel  dominated the industrial, economic, and cultural life of the Lehigh Valley during its operation. The goal…

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