FEF is the cast metals industry's educational program at the college level. It includes four-year technology schools as well as traditional engineering colleges and graduate schools. It spans the broad range of higher education from production supervision to specialized research.
In 1947, when FEF was established to assure a continuing supply of technical manpower for the metal casting industry, a campaign was organized to provide financial support for three years - 1947,1948 and 1949. Firms were asked to make pledges for the three-year period. Prior to the conclusion of the first three-year cycle, FEF began to demonstrate encouraging results and the Board Members inaugurated a second three-year cycle which was also financed on a pledge basis for 1950,1951 and 1952.
In 1953, the Board Members decided to place FEF on a permanent basis and have it financed through annual contributions similar to the dues assessments of trade associations. A good percentage of the members who participated in the cycle campaigns accepted this proposal and FEF is now on an annual contribution basis.
All revenue received from annual contributors goes into FEF's general fund and is used to support the regular scholarship program as well as all other FEF activities. In addition to this revenue, FEF receives funds for special purposes (named scholarships, AFS Chapter scholarships, memorial contributions and year-end contributions). In accordance with the provisions of its charter, FEF is qualified to receive cash and property, including securities, for an endowment. Restricted Endowments can be set up to honor living and past Industry leaders as a permanent remembrance of their life work for future generations.
Commissioned to work with full-time college level students, FEF, although independently supported, is an extension of the educational activities of the major trade and technical associations of the cast metals industry. FEF does not conflict with AFS, NADCA, or other educational programs. They compliment each other.
FEF scholarships are offered currently at 18 colleges and universities in North America. Scholarship recipients are selected by Key Professors at FEF schools. Size (minimum of $500 and maximum of $3,000) and number of scholarships are determined by the professors, based on the amount of money allocated to their school by FEF. FEF "Key Professors" receive financial assistance from the Foundation with discretionary funds and special awards. In addition, several special scholarships are available at the FEF website each year.
Many leading foundry people and university professors are former FEF scholarship recipients. These former scholarship winners, along with FEF Board Members and other industry people, support the Foundation on an individual basis.
The legal name of the Foundation is Foundry Educational Foundation. However, Board action (Annual Meeting, May,1990) has changed the emphasis to simply FEF. This is consistent with current usage.