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EDITORIAL


Everything’s an Educational Opportunity L


ate last month, I experienced three days in metalcasting education unlike any other. A rewarding high was achieved while reaching


out to the next generation, and a gut-wrenching low was felt while watching our industry on display in Washington D.C. First…the high. At a career fair at my daughter’s high school, two coworkers and I presented to more than 100 intro to design engineering students and then participated in a tabletop exhibit for the student body. Over the two days, we discussed careers in metalcasting and performed a demo with the Foundry in a Box kit. Tis en- gaged the students from two perspec- tives—showcasing the opportunities in metalcasting and sharing the magic of it by building molds and pouring metal. Many of you have participated in these


Tese educational


come down to the details in technical and econom- ic feasibility and how our education efforts are received, a key takeaway from my experience is that our industry must continue to edu- cate about who we are to all stakeholders in this rule. Prior to metalcasting’s


opportunities were to very different groups but had the same


goal—open up their minds to an industry they probably had only heard rumors about.


testimony, the United Steel- workers of America presented on the im- portance of the rule. As part of their testimony, they showcased black- and-white images of metalcasting facilities that put the worst of our industry on display. Tese images left such an impression on the audience that when our testimony was over (which included photos of metalcasting facilities with automation and clean work environments), one stakeholder


rewarding experiences. The students come alive when they see molten metal. They jump at the opportunity to build a mold. These are the reactions that reinforce this missionary work of showcasing metalcasting to the next generation of engineers and manufacturers is critical because these students will interact with metalcasting in their careers. The positive experience they had in high school will affect that interaction. Second…the low. After the second day of the career fair, I grabbed


my suitcase, kissed my wife and left for Washington D.C. Te next day, I participated in a six-person panel representing metalcasting that testified before OSHA on the effects of its proposed rule to reduce the permissible exposure limit to silica. My testimony was the intro portion of our


comments, while the meat of the testimony—the technical and economic feasibility—was given by industry experts (Tom Slavin, Cardno Chemrisk; Robert Scholz, TRC Solutions; Chris Norch, Denison Industries; Peter Mark, Grede Holdings; and Jerry Call, American Foundry Society). While the struggle with OSHA on this proposed rule will


Alfred T. Spada, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief


If you have any comments about this editorial or any other item that appears in Modern Casting, email me at aspada@afsinc.org.


April 2014 MODERN CASTING | 7


in the audience questioned whether our photos were staged or from a museum because they were radi- cally different from the morning’s images. Interest- ing that the negative images were assumed actual and the positive ones were thought to be staged. Tese two educational opportunities were to


very different groups but had the same goal—open up their minds to an industry they probably had only heard rumors about. While it is impossible to convince everyone in both audiences, we know we reached a few by the questions they asked and observations they made. That is how we make a difference. Whether


we advance the thinking of 1 or 1,000, it is worth the effort.


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