The metal construction industry’s international event for metal construction products, technologies and solutions, gives back to the local community during its annual tradeshow and conference taking place Wednesday, Oct. 16–Friday, Oct. 18 at Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

This year, METALCON has partnered with the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania (VLP), to raise money for essential housing, employment, and vital support services for eligible Pittsburgh-area veterans, service members, and their families to improve their self-sufficiency, sustainability and quality of life.

METALCON Keynote Presenter, Rocky Bleier, a four-time NFL Superbowl Champion and running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is a great supporter of the organization. After being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1968, he was drafted by the U.S. Army to fight in Vietnam just one year later. Bleier was quickly thrust into combat, seriously wounded and told he would never walk again. He bravely rehabilitated himself to condition for re-entry into the NFL and defeating all odds, regained his running back position. Today, he is actively involved in fundraising and volunteering for VLP.

“The VLP was created at a time of need and change in the Pittsburgh community,” said Bleier. “With the advent of a changing steel industry in the early ’80s, mills were closing and people were left without jobs. Like all transitions, some people were caught in the middle and found themselves adrift, in debt, troubled and often homeless. Some of those people were veterans. The VLP was created and served as a hands-on agency, finding housing, jobs, interacting with the veterans association, and a place to just sit and talk or be alone.”

“I support VLP because they save lives, they make a difference and because it is the right thing to do,” continued Bleier.

Each year, METALCON gives back to the local community where the show takes place. Last year, thousands of dollars were raised during the Charlotte, North Carolina show to benefit the Steve Smith Family Foundation, dedicated to helping families impacted by domestic violence and to promoting child health and wellness. This year’s giving back program will raise money for necessary veteran services in the Pittsburgh area.

Contributions to VLP can be made before, during and after the show online at or at The Deck, by the registration area in METALCON’s exhibit hall, where members of show management will be available to meet supporters. Following all fundraising efforts, a special check presentation ceremony with the organization’s Chief Executive Officer, Ben Stahl and METALCON show management, will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 4.45 p.m. in the convention center.

"We are happy to support a wonderful organization near and dear to our keynote speaker," said METALCON Show Director, Claire Kilcoyne. “Rocky’s story is one of courage and determination, conquering insurmountable odds and becoming an extraordinary achiever. We hope the funds raised by our generous show audience will help other veterans who are facing adversity.”