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Find Your Next Leader at CIC

Pam Lechner

College Industry Conference (CIC) – the name says it all. And although it doesn’t express exactly why your company should attend, it is implied: Industry meetings with college students.

In the early 1980s, Jack Lilley (MetalTek) attended the CIC as a student. When asked to look back and share what stood out to him as a student, he mentioned “the intense participation of the industry and genuine interest in students with exposure to, and knowledge of, metalcasting careers in the industry,” not to mention riding in the Drake elevator with Don Rickles.

Jack continues to attend the CIC 40 years later, representing MetalTek, interviewing students at the CIC, and discovering the next employees who will contribute to the success of MetalTek.

In 2021, Tyler Bleifuhs (University of Wisconsin-Platteville), Perrin Habecker (Missouri University of Science & Technology), and Brandon Schmidt (University of Wisconsin-Platteville) each attended the CIC and are now employed at MetalTek as a product engineer, process engineer, and rotational engineer.

“[The 2021 CIC] was my first time interacting with employers in that nature,” Bleifuhs said. “It set me up to be more confident in my job search. What stood out to me was the scale of everything. The industry is so big and there is so much knowledge to draw upon. Everyone is willing to help and give their input. I was able to meet Jack and Jim Myers at CIC; they were two influential people in my hiring process and I attribute them greatly to my employment at MetalTek.”

Schmidt shared his thoughts: “Attending the CIC allowed me to make lasting connections with numerous people and ensured me that there is always a job opportunity out there. I’ve never seen a room so full of industry enthusiasts so enthralled to learn more about my background and see what common interests we share.”

Networking at the CIC is an important aspect of the conference. 

“It is a helpful opportunity to meet and network with employers,” said Habecker. “Going definitely made me more comfortable with the foundry industry and culture.”

Every student who attends the CIC each year is hand-picked by their professors as individuals who are completely sold on the metalcasting industry, well-educated in the different processes of metalcasting, and looking to make a difference with the company that hires them.

“It is a huge advantage to participate in an event where the students already know about metalcasting processes and the industry,” Lilley said. “Conversations regarding what we do as a company start at a much higher level. The students have a genuine interest in the industry and the companies they speak with. With the educational focus of FEF Schools and the students’ hands-on exposure to metalcasting in the university labs, every student we have hired has been extremely well prepared to start their career.”

The CIC is the best place to network with over 100 students looking for full-time positions, internships, or co-ops in the metalcasting industry. Register your company now to attend the 2022 College Industry Conference. Take this opportunity to get a head start on hiring your next well-qualified employees and visit www.fefinc.org/registration