Events and News

Four Ways to Develop Your Workforce in 2017

February 24, 2017

By Doug Kurkul, AFS CEO

Over the past several months, I have spoken with countless metalcasters, suppliers and end-users of castings. Most of these business leaders are seeing some improvement in sales and in price quotes. If the trend holds up, 2017 will be a better year than a 2016 that was challenging for many companies.
With orders starting to rise, coupled with higher business and consumer confidence, now is the time for all industry stakeholders—suppliers, purchasers, and metalcasters—to assess the skill levels of their workforce.

Innovations in manufacturing processes require new worker skills to ensure you are competitive. For you and your employees, continuing education is one reliable way to keep up with cutting-edge ideas and new technologies that stimulate manufacturing improvement. The AFS Institute offers four types of talent development and can help you assess what training your employees truly need.

• Classroom Courses: All of the AFS Institute’s classroom courses have been completely revamped in recent years. The curriculum is now presented in an interactive format that engages your employees’ minds, so they come back to the plant ready to immediately put what they learned to work. The classroom course calendar website has a new look and feel, which you can peruse at
A number of industry representatives have told me that they need to upgrade their workers’ skill levels, but have reduced travel budgets. For such companies, three other Institute education offerings are making a world of difference:

• In-Plant Training. We will deliver training in your own facility for your company only. It provides a great opportunity for employees to gain skills about their specific jobs and particular plant, right on site. This training is conducted during business hours, and the AFS trainers come to you. No travel is required for your workers. Contact Shelly Dutler at for details.

• Chapter Training. If several companies in your region seek training locally, AFS can provide chapter-sponsored training, as well.

• E-Learning. There is also no travel required for online training, and the advantages of online training should be evaluated as you consider what training is best for your employees in 2017. Research by the Society for Human Resource Management says employees value the flexibility that e-learning provides. All of the Institute’s training is interactive and engaging, including the online offerings, unlike the old-fashioned lecture hall education. This makes e-learning a learning method that connects with today’s learners and their learning styles.
As demand for our products increases, will our workers be ready to deliver? Trained employees are better prepared to be productive, right now and in the future, and to help you meet your customers’ expectations. The Institute can make a positive difference for you. Please contact us today. We look forward to working with you.