YOUNG PROFESSIONALS' ROUNDTABLE
IN ORDER TO KEEP WORKING TOWARD AIST’S MISSION OF ADVANCING THE IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY, WE MUST CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE RISING GENERATION OF IRON AND STEEL INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS.

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The purpose of this program is to encourage Young Professionals to attend Steel’s #1 Conference and Exposition. In addition to receiving a one-year complimentary membership to AIST, Young Professional members (30 years of age and younger) receive a 50% registration discount to AISTech and access to exclusive events planned specifically to provide networking opportunities with members their own age, including the AISTech Young Professionals’ Roundtable and subsequent Reception.
 
The AISTech 2024 Young Professionals’ Roundtable took place Sunday evening at the Hilton Columbus Downtown. This year’s roundtable theme was “Building a Stronger Iron & Steel Industry of Today and Tomorrow.” AIST’s goal for the roundtable was to work together to identify opportunities that we may better support and invest in the growth, education and retention of the industry’s successors and future leaders — Young Professionals.
 
The session began with the exciting announcement — the AIST Board of Directors approved the establishment of the AIST Young Professionals Membership Committee (YPMC). All AIST members 35 years of age or younger are invited to join the new YPMC. The committee activities will operate under four Subcommittees: Engagement, Programming, Student Outreach and Awards Subcommittees. Getting involved in the AIST YPMC will allow young professionals the chance to meet, connect and grow their steel industry network with peers that are navigating similar life experiences. More information on the YPMC, the four subcommittees, their respective leadership and the benefits of joining can be found here.
 
After sharing this inaugural AIST program development, the Young Professionals participated in two separate rounds of breakout discussion. Attendees connected with new peers during each rotation which allowed them to make meaningful connections with as many participants as possible.
 
During the first breakout cycle, attendees talked about ways that AIST might be able to grow Young Professional membership. The discussion during this session was meant to help frame their mindset to draft more tangible ideas during the second breakout rotation. After 20 minutes passed, attendees met with a new group of participants for another round of small-group conversation. During the second breakout period, attendees brainstormed ways to get more Young Professionals engaged in the association. Each group came up with three actionable ideas for a new Young Professionals program, event, activity or conference. To wrap up the breakout discussion, everyone shared the group proposals and voted on their favorite ideas to help determine what AIST and the new YPMC should implement during the first year of programming. Throughout the fruitful discussion, AIST identified many new ideas to better support and invest in the growth, education and retention of all Young Professionals in the steel industry.
 
To help close out the productive session, incoming AIST president and the vice president of Operations at SSAB Americas, Tom Toner, came to address the young professionals. He shared words of advice and encouragement as they head into a big week of opportunity at AISTech.
 
At the conclusion of the event, all the Young Professionals expressed that they appreciated the roundtable discussion and are excited about the launch of the new YPMC. Everyone left feeling very energized and passionate about the opportunities that the committee will bring to all iron and steel Young Professionals industrywide.


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