In this issue’s cover article “New Melting at Fonderie Laperle” on page 28, the metalcasting facility’s president, Tom Leonard, talks about the importance of the operation to the community.
“These are high-paying, skilled-labor jobs,” he said. “We want to keep the foundry going and keep Canada working. It’s a middle-class job. There’s nothing more middle class than a foundry worker.”
I love this quote. I’ve heard variations of this in many metalcasting facilities across North America, and the statement tells us several things:
• The jobs in metalcasting can support a family and home ownership.
• Working at a metalcasting facility means health insurance and peace of mind.
• Metalcasting bolsters a critical sector of the economy that the Pew Research Center says is shrinking.
• Some jobs in metalcasting might be physically demanding but they also require problem-solving and critical thinking, which can be personally rewarding.
• Metalcasting gives a career path, whether it starts in the shop floor or the office.
In short, metalcasting is a livelihood.
I have met metalcasting executives who started at the company in all different areas of the business, from the grinding room to engineering to human resources. They worked hard, partipated in development opportunties, took on increasingly more supervisory roles and eventually became one of their companies’ top leaders.
Metalcasting work is not a dead-end job, and I encourage you to be like Leonard and talk about it. Keep bringing it up—to your local community, lawmakers and job candidates.
And don’t forget to tell your current workforce, as well. Let them know there’s opportunities for growth at your company, both in terms of climbing up the ladder and across the bridge to new markets and new technologies.
Remaining stagnant won’t keep your employees from falling out of the middle class.
That’s part of what Leonard was talking about regarding Fonderie Laperle’s jobs. Innovating your business is what keeps your workforce well-paid and well-motivated. To keep the business strong and healthy, Laperle invested in new technology that will allow it to be more flexible to meet new customer and market requirements.
Enjoy this issue, and as always, you can share your metalcasting facility’s story by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to see this story as it appears in Modern Casting.