Spending just three hours on the floor of an iron and steel foundry is no joke. Your senses are assaulted by the noise, sparks, motion, gears, smell and heat; if this isn't your day-to-day, everything is foreign. The floor is a hub of activity and precision that requires a great deal of skill, focus and communication. And the women and men of the Dotson Iron Castings Foundry are up for the task. This company was built around a rich and diverse history that goes back to 1871 when a German immigrant brought his family to Mankato, Minnesota. The foundry industry is regarded as being the world's second oldest industry and its products are used to make roughly 90 percent of all manufactured goods. Despite major shifts and closures for this industry within the last decade, Dotson has thrived by remaining agile with technology changes and by being focused on the important contributions and impact of their skilled employees.