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Telling Your Story

Shannon Wetzel

October brings to mind leaves changing color, pumpkin spice flavored coffee, crisp weather ... and  … manufacturing. Well, maybe not everyone correlates October to manufacturing, but with Manufacturing Day events held throughout the month, it’s a good time to be celebrating the metalcasting industry.

At AFS, we’ve heard from many metalcasters who hosted student tours or visited classrooms to tell their story—what their company makes, what kinds of careers are available, and how metalcasting supports our economy. These activities have the potential to leave long-lasting impressions on potential future metalcasters. For several years now, Modern Casting staff has produced a student-focused magazine called Melting Point that members are encouraged to pass out during student outreach events. See this magazine and more at meltingpoint.squarespace.com. 

But October is not the only month to celebrate metalcasting, and foundry-in-a-box demonstrations aren’t the only way to encourage young people to consider the industry as a career. One great way to share your story as a company is to showcase the parts you make and the industries you support. 

Every year, AFS and Casting Source holds their casting competition, with winners on display at Metalcasting Congress/CastExpo in April. This is a prime chance to showcase your capabilities as a metalcaster as well as highlight the way castings are critical components to how we live. Even those submissions that don’t necessarily win may have a great story to tell that will still be featured in the magazine. If you are considering submitting something—contact me at swetzel@afsinc.org for more information.

In this issue, a casting case study on page 22 not only looks at a component that is a recognizable part to a common item, but it also tells the story of how college students are learning important metalcasting skills as they prepare to enter the industry in the coming years.  

Students aren’t the only group to focus on in terms of industry outreach. A big piece of AFS advocacy focuses on legislators and elected officials. A hurdle metalcasters face when arguing for industry-friendly action is that many people don’t know what a foundry is or what they make. Casting case studies, like the one page 22, are a great way to tell the story of what castings are and how they are used in our world. To drive this home, AFS has a campaign called “Castings. Wherever You Are.” It highlights various ways in which cast metal components help the world function. You can find the campaign at www.afsinc.org/castings-wherever-you-are.

A lot of exciting things are happing in North America’s foundry industry, from technology to expansions, and now is a great time to use that energy toward further promoting metalcasting to others.