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Manufacturing Has Been Here the Whole Time

It’s not hard to find an article online today about manufacturing’s return to the U.S. But to borrow a turn of phrase from the musician Prince, whoever is claiming they are bringing manufacturing back: manufacturing never left.

The attention to the industry is nice, and the hopefully helpful policies being set in place during this push for American manufacturing have been a long time coming. But one of the struggles of manufacturing and metalcasting has been to recruit qualified, dedicated workers to industry. The public perception that America is making a big push for the return of manufacturing holds with it some connotation that it is a risky industry to be in. After all, what if that push for a return, fails?

But manufacturing is not a startup company, nor is it an industry on its last legs. Potential new employees, particularly those considering a new career or a career change, need to be reassured the U.S. metalcasting industry can provide decades of job security.  So, when you are talking with your peers, the media, high school and college students, here are some facts about the state of the metalcasting industry to keep on hand:

  • The U.S. metalcasting industry employs more than 200,000.
  • The U.S. is the global leader in casting application and ranks second in casting production.
  • The U.S. produces 12 million tons of castings annually at a value of more than $30 billion.
  • Metalcasting has been an important facet of American manufacturing since before the Declaration of Independence was signed.
  • It’s true some casting production was moved offshore starting in the late ‘90s, but that seems to  have plateaued in 2007, and since then casting imports have remained relatively stable at about 22%.

It doesn’t hurt to add facts about your own facility—how long has it been in business? What do you make? Who do you employ? How many of those receive benefits?

Manufacturing is having a resurgence in public opinion. Let’s remind the public of manufacturing’s longevity.


Reaching the Next Generation Metalcaster

In another attempt to reach out to youngsters and spark their interest in metalcasting, AFS recently published a webpage devoted to just that. It is great for casters looking to reach out to their community or participate in school outreach programs. It is also a resource to explain to family and friends exactly what it is you do every day at work.

What’s neat about the page? It brings together multimedia resources designed to inform and excite those new to the industry. Some of the resources include:

  • The PBS special Spotlight on Metalcasting: This video was originally created for the Public Broadcast Station (PBS) and provides a rundown of the metalcasting industry from what is it to what products it produces.
  • An industry profile portion that includes demographics, production and application information, and metalcasting history.
  • A history of Foundry in a Box and information on how to order. This hands-on tool allows interested casters of all ages to dig in and create their own metal casting. 
  • A reusable Power Point presentation titled Metalcasting: Who We Are.

The wide array of resources that are great for elementary, high school and college students, making it easier to become more involved with new potential casters.

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