July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
During and in the decades immediately following World War II, the United States of America had a great increase and influx of domestic manufacturing talent into the national workforce. However, in more recent decades, experienced manufacturing engineers and technicians seem to be retiring faster than they can be replaced. When these men and women leave the workforce, they take decades of knowledge and experience in manufacturing with them. In fact, it has become such an issue that the domestic metalworking manufacturers qualified to produce parts for the Department of Defense is dwindling, and the competition from overseas is threatening to close down what is left of American metalcasting foundries. Metalcasting is one of the most important sectors of both the Pennsylvania and U.S. manufacturing economy. The American Foundry Society (AFS) reports that the metalcasting industry in itself is a $33 billion industry that directly provides nearly 200,000 jobs in the United States. Not only do the foundries in Pennsylvania producing the castings employ workers, but they also indirectly support thousands of jobs at businesses that supply equipment, services, and materials to the industry, as well as at companies that will use the castings. AFS estimates that about 90 percent of durable goods contain cast parts. Metalcasting facilities exist in all 50 states; of the states with the highest number of metalcasting facilities, Pennsylvania ranks second (with 131) only to Ohio (which has 157). It is more important now than ever to recruit talented engineering students into the metalcasting industry for internships and full-time employment. The metalcasting industry is vital to both the Pennsylvania and U.S. economies. The foundry industry is severely lacking the workforce necessary to move the industry forward upon retirement of its aging workforce. As in a number of manufacturing industries across the U.S., the metalcasting industry is experiencing difficult times in hiring skilled technicians, engineers, and managers. This current effort seeks to identify the best ways to attract, train, and retain the future metalcasting industry engineers through positive internship and co-op program experiences. Internships should be both beneficial and positive experiences for both the company sponsor as well as the student interns. To gain an understanding of the “do’s and don’ts” for successful foundry internships, the authors have surveyed both companies with successful, well-established internship programs as well as students who have completed at least one internship at a metalcasting facility. This paper highlights the results of the survey given to Pennsylvania metalcasters with well-established internship programs and former metalcasting interns and It summarizes the best practices for attracting young talent to metalcasting career opportunities. The overall goal of this work is to increase the number of successful, well-established metalcasting internship and co-op training programs that will lead to a future ecosystem of highly qualified engineers to keep the Pennsylvania and U.S. metalcasting industries strong well into the future.
Hasbrouck, C. R., & Lynch, P. C. (2021, July), Best Practices for Attracting Young Talent to the Pennsylvania and U.S. Metalcasting Industry Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36743
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