HIBBING, Minn. -

Congressman Nolan and Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves said the industry is headed in the right direction and that they're on the path for continued job growth and getting many laid off workers a regular paycheck again.

Goncalves reaped praises on Nolan for his work with the mining industry.

"It makes me sleep a lot better at night knowing that I have a man like Rick Nolan working for us in Washington DC," said Goncalves.

Nolan returned the favor and pointed out the importance of mining to the area.

"Don't ever forget it's the backbone of this nation's economy," said Nolan.

"Steel starts here on the Iron Range and our industry matters in Minnesota," said Thomas Gibson of the American Iron and Steel Institute.

While the industry rebounds, both Nolan and mining officials keep a positive outlook.

"I'd like to say you can wave a magic wand and everything's fixed. It's never been that way, It never will, but we're making progress and we will keep at it until we get every miner and every supply company and every service company back to work," said Nolan.

Imports and illegal dumping have hurt the industry. Recently, a Newsweek article reported that Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump used foreign steel for construction projects.

CEO Lourenco Goncalves said Trump didn't know what he was doing.

"If I give him a pellet, he'll eat it and he thought it was an M and M," said Goncalves.

Nolan also said he has been in talks with US Steel officials about the Keetak operation and getting those workers back to work.