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Arsenal needs foundry workers, but they're proving hard to come by

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- The Arsenal is anxious to hire many people for jobs in its manufacturing center. Foundry workers are among those wanted, but the Arsenal says it's been hard finding people qualified to melt and pour metals. The Arsenal has the only factory in the Army that does foundry work and now it's looking for people to fill a need as soldiers need more armor.

Finding people to do work this hot has created a hard time for the Arsenal.

"It's a dirty job, hot and a lot of metals that are dangerous, you always have to be safe," says Brian Stichger, furnace operator.

Brian does foundry work; it's become a dying profession in America's "Age of Information."

"Foundries are closing everyday and some of it is migration of work offshore. China has come in strong, this is their Industrial Revolution," says Tim Bolyard, Joint Manufacturing & Technology Center Deputy Commander.

At the Arsenal foundry workers are melting three tons of steel, at temperatures over 3000 degrees, to make castings that will protect military vehicles and help make weapons. The Arsenal wants to turn its one shift operation into a 24/7 operation. But more than 70 workers need to be hired, now.

"With the up-tempo of activity in Southwest Asia, there's a very large increase in the requirements to protect our soldiers conducting their operations. The goal is to address increased requirements for systems that protect our soldiers, in many cases, vehicles that protect our soldiers," says Bolyard.

The molten metal is poured overhead into molds that produce castings after six hours of cooling. Brian says he's proud it helps our troops.

"I feel like I do a good deed," says Stichger.

The Arsenal first wants to find people with some foundry experience, but after that, employees are willing to train those willing to learn. For more information on applying you can visit www.cpol.army.mil or call the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center at (309) 782-1259.

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