The ManpowerGroup, after surveying over 37,000 employers in 42 countries for their 2014 Talent Shortage Survey, report that 36% of employers have difficulty filling jobs due to a lack of available talent.

    The top five positions employers in the Americas are finding toughest to hire are technicians (primarily production/operations, engineering or maintenance), skilled trades, engineering and sales managers. Over 50% of employers facing talent shortages say this is having a medium or high impact on their organization’s ability to meet customer needs. 

    Per the report, the most likely response of employers to alleviate the talent shortages is to train and develop existing staff to meet their needs. Employers also report that they are increasing their focus on the talent pipeline and sourcing talent outside established pools.

    FIERF and the Forging Industry Association (FIA) have been working on multiple fronts to reach out to the next generation’s workforce to tell the forging story and to provide resources to members to assist in their recruiting and retention efforts.


Filling the Talent Pipeline

“Forge Your Future Toolkits” are available to FIA members for use in the local community. They include ideas and resources to interact with high schools, vocational schools, community colleges and universities in an effort to help develop relationships with teachers and students with the goal of becoming an “employer of choice” in the local community.

    Career presentations designed for the high school and college levels are available for download from FIA’s website. These can be customized for use with students in your area. They are particularly effective when followed by a tour of your facility.

    FIERF is reaching out to high school teachers through our ASM Teacher Materials Camps sponsorship (see August 2014’s column). The foundation provides financial support and supplies each of the approximately 1,000 teachers attending the camps with a “Forge Your Future” bag that contains materials on the forging process and careers in the forging industry. We also connect to universities through the FIERF Professor at the Colorado School of Mines and 23 other magnet-school universities, where we’ve developed relationships with faculty and students through research projects, plant tours and Finkl Scholarships.


Lifelong Learning

FIA offers a wide range of industry-specific courses to train your staff. Forging University is a web-based interactive training center available to all members. Online maintenance training is available through a partnership with Kent State University, and dozens of in-person training courses have been developed with the needs of the industry in mind.

    For more information on these and other resources, visit or contact the Foundation at 216-781-5040 or


FIERF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. 100% of contributions go directly to fund projects and activities. Contributions, bequests and gifts to the Foundation are deductible for Federal income, estate and gift tax purposes. Forging Industry Educational and Research Foundation, 1111 Superior Avenue, Suite 615, Cleveland, OH 44114, USA Phone: 216-781-5040, E-mail:, Web: