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Cherry-Picking Your Next Talent

Pam Lechner

What? When? Are you sure? We’re really going to miss you! Where are we going to find someone to take over for you? 

Chances are you’ve either had a conversation like this, thought about having a conversation similar to this, or this conversation is coming in the near future. Whether you are in Human Resources or a supervisor on the foundry floor, you need to have a plan of succession for those employees approaching retirement.

Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF) has the perfect answer for your plan––the FEF College Industry Conference (CIC) in Chicago in November. Each year, over 120 students come to the CIC ready to join your company as a full-time employee or a metalcasting intern. But if you have never attended or it’s been a while, you may wonder if this conference is really worth it. Are these students really different from the average college graduates? The answer is: YES. But don’t take our word for it; read more from a couple of your industry colleagues.

One reason Foundry Solutions & Design attends the CIC, according to Aaron Weir (vice president and 2Virginia Tech grad) is that the “CIC is an excellent place to find the best and brightest students who will be entering our industry.” He added the additional benefits of “continuing the relationships with FEF universities and Key Professors, exchanging information/feedback on industry expectations for soon-to-be-graduates. “The CIC is a great opportunity for many of us to catch up with old friends and celebrate long-established relationships that started as students attending the CIC.”

Batesville Products was also represented at the 2023 CIC, even though they didn’t have any open positions at the time. But for Human Resources Manager Kim Haines, attending was important “to build relationships with the schools for future partner internships.” She values the opportunity “to see what type of students are coming into the workforce and what they are looking for from a company. I like to hear what their expectations are compared to what is reality for our company. It helps me look forward to where we need to be heading from an employee perspective.”

But the most important reason for any company to attend the College Industry Conference, whether you have 10 employees, 1,000 employees, or somewhere in the middle, is the fact that vacancies will occur in your workforce. You need people who are ready to contribute right away. 

“Some companies need engineers and scientists to perform analysis and research, while others need solid, well-grounded technical leaders in roles like supervisors, metallurgists, and quality engineers,” said Weir. “As vast as the different jobs that are available, FEF students graduate with a varied set of knowledge and skills. These graduates are ready to contribute to each company’s success.”

At the CIC, you are able to network with over 120 students––all interested in metalcasting––all in one place. These students have knowledge and hands-on experiences, and, as Haines says, “the students are amazing, well-prepared with their resumes, and are asking good questions. The conference is really focused on the industry and helping students find jobs.” 

Plan now to attend the 2024  CIC in Chicago on November 21–22. For more information, email pam@fefinc.org