NEWTON, Mass. — As METALCON International returns to Atlanta for the fifth time, it brings new ways to learn about the use of metal in construction for visitors from more than 52 countries. METALCON, the only annual event for metal construction products, technologies and solutions, will take place Oct.1-3 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

This year, METALCON is helping expand local opportunities for training and employment through the Georgia Governor’s Office of Workforce Development and by supporting Atlanta-based It’s The Journey Inc., a charitable organization and producer of the Atlanta Two-Day Walk for Breast Cancer.

Representatives from the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development will be at METALCON to explain their programs and enroll candidates. Program Managers Margaret Miller and Walter Shamp will be in booths #550-556 to provide information on these key programs:

Go Build Georgia helps to educate young people on the value of learning a trade and to inspire them to consider a career as a skilled tradesperson. It also offers the Go Build Georgia High School teams —teams of educators and industry leaders who promote careers in the skilled trades through career days, industry site visits and message dissemination.

Operation: Workforce links veterans to resources from multiple state agencies, private organizations that serve veterans and Georgia employers. A feature on the website allows veterans to translate their military occupational classifications into civilian occupations that best align with their skill set and training. 

Blake Ashbee, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, and Kristin Laarhoven, programs director for the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, are both excited about the opportunity at METALCON. “Continuing to grow and expand one of Georgia’s top industries is critical to the future success of our economy as a whole,” said Ashbee. “By gathering professionals to celebrate the industry’s importance and impact, METALCON is helping build up a skilled generation of Georgia’s workforce, ready to succeed in these in-demand careers.”

METALCON draws designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators, and suppliers from more than 52 countries. Experts from more than 300 companies exhibit the latest products and technology and share their knowledge with attendees, while industry specialists present key topics in the education program.

Specialists from the Metal Construction Association and other industry-related associations present the latest applications and field techniques in daily demonstrations in the exhibit hall in a special area called Metal in Action. This interactive program combines the best of MCA’S Residential and Commercial Roofing Demos, Solar Bay Live and Tools Demos. Solar Bay Live offers presentations of techniques used to install solar and metal combinations. In the tools demonstrations, participants can test the latest tools for use with metal. With plenty of seating, tables and bleachers, the Metal in Action arena serves as a touchdown where attendees can learn in a comfortable setting. 

The 2013 conference program offers in-depth learning opportunities and meets the need for participants and presenters to delve into important techniques and issues from the field. Contractors and building owners can also learn more about cold-formed steel framing in a program called STUD University that focuses on being part of the growing steel framing market.

METALCON’s support for It’s the Journey Inc. takes a more active role. Since METALCON’s giving-back initiative began in 1994, this event has proudly met the goal of donating goods, services and/or funds to non-profit organizations and worthy causes serving local host communities. This year, METALCON has formed a team of walkers called the Metal Magnolias that is raising funds and walking in the Atlanta Two-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. The 11th annual walk takes place Oct.5-6, two days after the conclusion of METALCON.

Kimberly Goff, executive director of It's The Journey, is excited about the partnership. “We’re thrilled to have METALCON support the walk,” she said. “To be chosen by this international event makes us feel very special. It gives us an incredible opportunity to reach out to a whole different group and to remind the males involved with METALCON that men also get breast cancer. Last year 2,000 men were diagnosed with it. Usually breast cancer is more aggressive in men because they don’t go for regular checkups for it. Creating this additional awareness is important.” 

The METALCON team is also gearing up to support this cause. “Many within our circle of management and exhibitors are supporting our Metal Magnolias team in the Two-Day Walk. By building on the comradeship and team spirit engendered during the show, we can fulfill our hope of offering generous support to this worthy charity. This is a wonderful journey that we can enjoy together,” METALCON Show Director Claire Kilcoyne said.

METALCON is produced by Newton, Mass.-based PSMJ Resources Inc. and sponsored by the Metal Construction Association (MCA). PSMJ is an authority on the effective management of architecture, engineering and construction firms. MCA is an organization of leading manufacturers and suppliers headquartered in Chicago. 

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