Asee peer logo

Best Practices for Attracting Young Talent to the Pennsylvania and U.S. Metalcasting Industry

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Manufacturing Division - Workforce Development and Curricular Innovations

Tagged Division


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


C. R. Hasbrouck Pennsylvania State University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

C. R. Hasbrouck is a graduate research assistant and doctoral candidate in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department at Penn State. C. R. received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Trine University, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines, a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University, and is currently finishing a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering. Most of C. R.'s research is for ferrous alloy development and manufacturing process optimization, especially for solidification processes such as metalcasting and welding.

visit author page


Paul C. Lynch Pennsylvania State University Erie, The Behrend College

visit author page

Paul C. Lynch received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Lynch is a member of AFS, AIST, SME, IISE, and ASEE. Dr. Lynch’s primary research interests are in metal casting, manufacturing systems, engineering economy and engineering education. Dr. Lynch has been recognized by Alpha Pi Mu, IISE, and the Pennsylvania State University for his scholarship, teaching, and advising. He was awarded the Penn State Behrend School of Engineering Distinguished Awards for Excellence in Advising (2018), Teaching (2019), and Research (2020). Dr. Lynch was also awarded the Penn State Behrend College Awards for Excellence in Advising (2018), Teaching (2019), and Outreach (2021). He received the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers Engineering Economy Teaching Award in 2018. Dr. Lynch received the Outstanding Industrial Engineering Faculty Award in 2011, 2013, and 2015, the Penn State Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Alumni Faculty Appreciation Award in 2013, and the Outstanding Advising Award in the College of Engineering in 2014 for his work in undergraduate education at Penn State. He worked as a regional production engineer for Universal Forest Products prior to pursuing his graduate degrees. He is currently an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering in the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

visit author page

Download Paper |


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

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015