Future Leaders in Metalcasting: Going Boldly into the Future
June 8, 2017
The sustainability of the metalcasting industry depends on having capable leaders in positions of responsibility. Future Leaders in Metalcasting (FLM) is a key AFS program to develop the next generation of leaders in the evolving metalcasting industry as they make their journey through the early stages of management tracks.
Sixty up-and-coming leaders met during the 121st Metalcasting Congress this April 26 in Milwaukee for interaction, networking and discussion of topics relevant to young leaders who are maturing into our industry’s future class of leaders. The event was one of at least two FLM meetings per year the group conducts to encourage its members to discover together best practices in team building, decision-making, strategic planning and plant operations.
At the FLM meeting in April, members discussed issues that they will consistently need to revisit and address over the years as they develop into leaders, such as:
- Making continuous improvements in the plant that lead to lean successes.
- Overcoming obstacles on the way to career growth.
- Building agile teams to bridge the generation gap.
- Managing automation in the plant.
- Long-term strategies for local and global competition.
FLM participants were energized with the networking and looking to the future.
The FLM Meeting at the 121st Metalcasting Congress was one of the largest gatherings for the group.
“One of the best things FLM offers is an opportunity for the new generation to be involved in sharing their knowledge and experiences of the non-technical issues we all deal with,” said Steve Sikorski, vice president of operations, MAGMA Foundry Technologies Inc. (Schaumburg, Illinois), and FLM officer. “AFS and the Institute do a great job in providing technical education and support; FLM was initiated to address the needs of developing leaders, because in the end, we are all leaders of the industry—from the molder to the CEO.”
All FLM members must be members of AFS who are on or aspire to be on the management track at their firm. Through two meetings per year, members have access to networking events, executive skills training and community outreach. One prominent facet of FLM is an executive development program, which looks at strategic planning, human resources, finance, marketing, sales, and technology. Another major facet is student outreach, where FLM members work to recruit students, from elementary school to college, to the metalcasting industry.
During the April meeting, college students affiliated with the Foundry Education Foundation were invited to get a jump start on their own leadership development.
“The reality is we are faced with an aging workforce, personnel skill gap and a continual need to educate on the value our industry provides,” Sikorski said. “This is something that FLM is trying to assist with.”
Interested in being involved with the Future Leaders of Metalcasting? Email Cathy Potts, AFS Director of Human Resources & Administrative Services, at email@example.com for more information.
There is much more to come.