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There Is a Place for You at AFS

Doug Kurkul

As a Modern Casting magazine reader, you are part of a large and close-knit community of more than 11,000 people associated with North American metalcasting operations. Our recent reader survey found that some 80% percent of subscribers read or scan their Modern Casting issue regularly. That is a high level of reader engagement. We thank you for being a loyal reader. 

Modern Casting is written and produced by the American Foundry Society (AFS), North America’s largest metalcasting organization. If you are not already involved in our Society, we invite you to become involved. No matter your specific interest in our $43 billion industry, there is a place for you in our dynamic organization. 

If your goal is to give back to society or pay it forward, we welcome your involvement in providing “foundry-in-a-box” type demonstrations to young students, raising funds for scholarships, or participating in our environment, health and safety-related programs and committees.

Perhaps your goal is to optimize the design of castings. AFS offers the free Casting Alloy Data Search as well as designer-buyer sessions at our annual trade shows, and courses in casting design, not to mention our sister magazine, Casting Source, which serves the designer and buyer audience.

If your interest is the production of highest-quality castings and prevention of casting defects, many of our AFS Institute courses will be of benefit. Likewise, we encourage you to get involved in one or more of our technical divisions, including Cast Iron, Copper, Aluminum and Light Alloys, Steel, Lost Foam, Molding Methods, Melting Methods, and/or Additive Manufacturing. 
Moreover, if you have a keen interest in Industry 4.0, we invite you to join our newly rebranded Engineering and Smart Manufacturing Division.  

On the management side, we also have active committees focused on the sale and marketing of castings, human resources topics, and government relations/advocacy. 

Don’t let the words “committee” or “volunteer” scare you. We have nearly 1,000 enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers. Speak to nearly any of them, and you’ll hear their passion for how participation in AFS benefits their employer and enhances their own career. You need not be an industry expert to participate!

Many people in the formative stages of their careers are participating in Future Leaders of Metalcasting. It’s a great way to plug in for people who are, or aspire to be, on the management track at their employers.

In a historically male-dominated industry, it is encouraging to see many women taking their rightful place in key positions and participating in our Women in Metalcasting program.

At the local level, AFS has 39 regional chapters and 45 college student chapters that offer tremendous involvement opportunities. 

What if you are too busy to attend in-person AFS events? You can still derive tremendous benefits from a membership. The Society offers 30-plus webinars per year, free to all members, as well as the world’s largest metalcasting digital library with free member access. Many of our committee meetings also permit remote participation, and many of our AFS Institute courses are also offered live via Zoom, with no travel or overnight hotel stays required. Foundry E-learning courses are also available, either a la carte or on a subscription basis. 

Contact Kim Farrugia at kfarrugia@afsinc.org to join the Society and Kim Perna at kperna@afsinc.org to join a committee. The opportunities are here, and the benefits of membership are compelling. We look forward to seeing you soon. There truly is a place for you at AFS.