Candy Corn, that’s right, let’s talk about it. 

The sweet treat that divides the nation remains a mystery to the masses. Today, we’re going to tackle a few questions and figure out what candy corn is, how it’s created, and most importantly – where it goes after Halloween. 

Candy Corn Ingredients 

Candy corn has four main ingredients: 

  1. A “slurry” (as they call it) is similar to a buttercream. This is created with vanilla and sugars. 
  2. Food coloring is used to individually color each layer with yellow and red dyes. 
  3. The surprise ingredient – (and my personal favorite) marshmallow! Marshmallows are broken down into the slurry to create the light and fluffy texture of the candy corn itself. 
  4. Lastly, the confectioner’s glaze. This is made of honey, gelatin, sesame oil, sugar and salt. 

The Process 

The slurry is taken from a large industrial mixer and placed into three different containers; each container holds a designated layer of the candy corn: yellow, orange, and white.  This container continues to mix the solution so that the slurry maintains the same consistency.  

Wooden trays are dusted with dry cornstarch and then loaded onto the belt where each layer then fills the candy corn imprints. Due to the liquid nature of the material, there is no wait time in-between. Each layer is immediately placed on top of the other to dry. 

Each wooden tray holds 1300 corn pieces, and the machinery can produce 25 boards per minute! 

Once this process is complete and the candy corn is fully formed, they’re tossed into a rotating bin. In this rotating bin, technicians then toss the confectioner’s glaze onto the candy corn pieces until they’re evenly coated. The drying and coating process can take 4-5 days to complete.

Alright, so where does it go? 

Whether you love candy corn and are eager to find it year-round, or you can’t wait for candy corn to leave the shelves, you must wonder where the leftovers go. 


Last year, 35 million pounds of candy corn was produced across the United States. Only 70% of all candy corn is effectively sold before Halloween. Where does it all go then? 


We did some digging. 

Despite popular belief, “the trash” isn’t the main answer. 

In fact, the answer may surprise you. 


Once Halloween concludes, candy corn sales resume. The day after Halloween, candy corn is wiped from the shelves for highly discounted prices, and resellers will snatch up the leftovers. 


Candy corn stays fresh, if unopened, for around nine months! In fact, you can find candy corn year-round with online retailers like Amazon.  


Well, there you have it! This sweet treat has many layers – from its creation in the 1880s to mimic corn kernels for industrial times, to secret ingredients like marshmallows folded in to guarantee its shape. While candy corn is consumed by many year-round, Halloween is simply the best time to grab them in-store! 

October 16, is about celebrating the bosses and leaders in our lives. Since this day lands on a Sunday, take one of these ideas below to help your boss feel appreciated Monday.

  1. Buy a card & write your boss some kind words of appreciation.
  2. Bring your boss a coffee, or send a gift card.
  3. Order your boss their favorite lunch.
  4. Send your boss a meaningful gift that suits their tastes.
  5. Offer your boss a simple “Thank you”. It can go a long way!

We hope you can gloat about your bosses the way our FlexTrades team does!

“—— has been hands down one of the best bosses I have ever worked with. From day 1 as a new employee, not only did he believe in me but showed me the how and why we do things certain ways. He is a very supportive and easy to follow leader who always supports us, and I greatly appreciate working for him. Happy National Boss’s Day to all the leaders out there!” 


“My boss continually sets me up for success day in and day out. She encourages me and continues to offer me opportunities to grow professionally.”


“She is a fantastic mentor and leader. Her knowledge in technology stacks is unmatched and she brings a wealth of knowledge from her past industry experience. I’m thrilled to be working directly with her to bring FlexTrades to new heights!”


“She was instrumental in sparking a curiosity and interest in manufacturing and skilled trades more generally for me. She has always been more than willing to share her wealth of knowledge and effortlessly conveys complex ideas to people who have no background in manufacturing. If not for her – I am not sure I would be where I am today without FlexTrades.” 


“He has played a large role in my professional development since joining the team. I am very grateful for the ways he has helped me progress with the company, meet my own professional goals, and gain experiences that I never even expected to be a part of my role with FlexTrades” 


“After eight years with the company I have several bosses from project managers on up. Some that have really helped me out along the way and helped guide me to where I am today. I would like to give them all a big shout out to say Thank You and that I am grateful for all the guidance along the way.” 


“She was always there to answer my questions or point me in the direction of someone with the answer. She is always ready to solve a problem and find a solution within means that accompanies everyone in the company. I am thankful to have had her as a supervisor and colleague.”


she has given me so much information and insight to move me forward in recruiting. She is a boss who gives her team the time to learn the process, dispute any underlying concerns, and make you the best version of yourself.” 


“Bosses aren’t always leaders and leaders aren’t always bosses. It’s great when the two things come together though and that takes just the right person. Someone who, no matter their hierarchy or tenure at a company, is always willing to learn from others, ask the questions so they can learn, and is open to feedback, as well. Someone who reflects on the positives and negatives, is always looking for ways to improve, and is not complacent with what’s in place because it’s “good enough and it works”. 


“I had a manager (I think the term boss has a negative connotation these days) who was all that and more. My manager respected me, motivated me, allowed space for me, and is really the one person (besides myself) who brought me to the level I’m at today. I’ll forever be grateful for the mentorship, patience, encouragement, and friendship this manager gave and gives to me.” 


“He has been a great leader and I’ve been very appreciative of all I’ve learned from him during my time at Flextrades. Thank you for all you continue to do!” 


“She leads by example as well as by dictation. She is always tough, but extremely fair in decisions.  I don’t know if I have worked with anyone else under her who is not influenced/motivated by her.” 


“He’s been a good boss to work for, I’ve had no issues with him. He works through problems with us and is good on the follow up. He stays positive overall and is pleasant to work for. He takes time to put together numbers for us to review and everything is always accurate. He’s a good motivator and keeps us going in the right direction.” 


“She has been an amazing leader! She truly cares about everyone and wants the best for everyone she meets. She is kind, understanding, and patient. She wants everyone to be the best at what they do and helps in any way she can to see them succeed! Thank you for being an amazing boss and all-around good person!” 


“She is exactly the type of boss I’d dream up if it wasn’t already my reality! She’s kind, appreciative, gentle with her constructive criticism (but knows how to get her point across at the same time), knows how important professional growth is and is supportive of who I want to become. She’s compassionate, understands the inner workings of a working mom, and frequently checks in to just see how things are going – both professionally and personally. On National Boss’s Day, I hope she knows how lucky I am to get to work for her, because it’s definitely not something I take for granted!” 


“I appreciate my bosses for the kindness and transparency. A long with teaching me new skills to empower me each day.” 


My boss has provided an opportunity that allows me the autonomy and flexibility to structure my day, while also knowing that I am supported as much as I need at the same time. I appreciate the trust that is shown and that I have in them as well!” 

This year, October 11 marks the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child. The United Nations General Assembly declared this day by adopting Resolution 66/170 in 2011. The intention is to recognize the rights of girls around the world and bring awareness to the unique challenges they face daily. Much progress has been made globally in the last decade but the disparity, between boys and girls, in access to basic human rights is still shocking when you check the numbers. 

How to get involved 

The UN has several suggestions for activists and advocates who want to help the continued advancement of this movement. Among them are to engage government officials, public policy makers, key influencers across industries, and all other stakeholders to make more targeted investments to address inequalities experienced by girls everywhere. Another suggestion they make is to share human interest stories, blogs, and videos of girl change-makers to amplify their impact on others.  


You can find more suggestions on UNICEF’s website or check out YouTube for stories about girl influencers such as Malala Yousafzai too. But, as a man in a family of mostly women, I’d like to recognize this day by sharing the story of the girl change-makers in my life with all of you. I hope reading this makes you want to publicly share a story of your own to recognize the powerful girls in your own life and to help grow this movement for them. 


My Girls 

I’ve written a blog before about the role my aunts and uncles played in my formation and the way becoming an uncle to my nieces changed my life. But I don’t mention in that article how my nieces have changed my perspective of what girls can do. Now, to be clear, I’m not a misogynistic person and I’ve never been accused of being one. I was raised in a family where my grandma, and then my mother, called most of the shots and it never felt strange or especially progressive to anybody. Many other families like ours were very similar. I learned early and often that all women are deserving of respect.  


But growing up on a farm, I was always taught that I should do the “heavy, hard” things to spare my grandmother, mother, sister, and cousins (all girls) from the most physical of tasks. This attitude towards division of labor never seemed particularly biased to me until years after my childhood when my father started to age. As dad got older and his physical capabilities began to erode, I began to realize that he just couldn’t do some of the things I needed him to do anymore. Things came to a head one day when I needed help in the field and my dad couldn’t get out of bed, let alone into a skid steer. Luckily, my youngest niece was available and that became the first day she operated equipment solo. She was 7.

Iani by rocks piled in a skid standing by an ATV

Since then, both of my nieces have learned how to use tools, pick sweetcorn, handle livestock, get the Christmas tree for grandma each year, and many other things I never expected them to need to learn. 

Their abilities have been proven many more times over the years, especially in the last one. Since my dad passed away last October, I rely on them more than ever now. But they never cease to surprise me. Even when my mom’s mailbox was hit recently, they didn’t need me. Instead, they took care of grandma together.

Girls at the beach

Today, I no longer even ask my girls if they can do something. The concept that they can’t has completely left my consideration. Now, I simply ask them if they will do something and then I watch them do it even better than I can. Girls can do that, or so I’ve learned. It stopped surprising me years ago.

I hope you’ve learned more about International Day of the Girl Child, or at least been led to think about it, than you would have without this article. We’ve done blogs on other national and international days that you might like learning more about too. Check them out on our blog page. And, of course, if you have other resume tips or questions just send them to our Writing Team and we’ll be happy to cover them in a future article.

I’m a big advocate for the skilled trades in general, and manufacturing specifically. I spend a lot of time and energy to get in front of the next generation of our workforce at high schools, technical colleges, military reintegration units, and other vocational training programs around America. Whenever I’m lucky enough to be granted access to such a program, I obviously spend some time speaking about the opportunities to work at FlexTrades and passing along the tribal knowledge I’ve picked up over the decades that I’ve found to be critical to success in any industry. But I’m always surprised how much time I spend answering questions about the skilled trades themselves.  

It reinforces to me how poorly those of us within the trades have marketed ourselves over the past half-century. But these questions are also an important reminder for me to remember that people outside of our industries don’t have the knowledge that insiders do. Because of this, it’s important to be able to speak to the basics – especially when talking to younger audiences. With this in mind, I’d like to share 10 of the questions I most commonly get about the trades (and how I answer them) with all of you. 


1) I’m not mechanically inclined or into working with my hands. Is there an opportunity for me to work in the skilled trades? 

There is an opportunity in the trades for everyone, regardless of what their natural aptitudes may be. First, being mechanically inclined is important but the continuing development of tools and technology make that less of a necessity every day. To be clear, you’ll still need to use tools to work in a hands-on position. I’m just saying those tools get easier to use well and require less expertise to do so all the time. This means the industry is trying to make itself more welcoming for all skill levels. But let’s say you are one of those people that just isn’t capable of that kind of work. There’s still a home for you in the trades! From sales to HR to project management to design to administration, trades-oriented companies need all the peripheral and support skills that any other company needs. Don’t ever forget that! 


2) Do I need to go to college to work in the trades? 

Plain and simple, no. This doesn’t mean you can’t, or shouldn’t, just that it’s not a requirement. Whether working in construction, agriculture, or manufacturing, I have worked with individuals who followed all possible paths to success. They may look different, but they lead to the same place. If school isn’t for you and you need to get to work, starting in an entry-level position with a company that provides lots of on-the-job training and plentiful advancement opportunities can be a great way to grow your career. If you have a passion for a particular trade or a firm idea of what path into trades work you want to follow, going to the right local vocational program can be a wonderful option to start. Maybe a four-year degree experience is what you want. That doesn’t mean we don’t need you in the trades! Business, communications, engineering, design, and management majors are just a few of the degree paths that are still much in demand at companies across the trades. 


3) What is the best program to take to get a job in the trades? 

The best program to take is the one that fits your interests, skills, and schedule the best. That’s the easy answer. The more complex answer is that it depends on where you’re from and where you’re going. This means that the same school can have programs that are much different when it comes to the quality of their training or the quality of their network. The network can be just as important as the training, because even the best training doesn’t do you much good if nobody is trying to hire graduates from your program. You should also keep this thought in mind when considering local demand for talent. If a school has a great welding program but your desired geographical area has few welding or fabrication shops, you may still struggle to get hired even with excellent skills. All of this means the more homework you do before selecting a program, the less hustling you’ll have to do to get hired after completing it. 


4) I want to be an entrepreneur and run my own business. How does a goal like that fit in the trades? 

In short, perfectly! There are well over 250,000 manufacturers, and close to 500,000 construction companies, in just the United States. The vast majority (well over 75% in any given year) are considered to be mid- or small-sized companies. More than half of them employ 20 people or less. This means that most companies employing tradespeople are technically small startups owned and operated by entrepreneurs, and most of them came to that place by starting in bottom rung roles not by pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship or significant amounts of venture capital first. All these numbers add up to one inescapable fact, there isn’t an industry that is more inclined to upward mobility or entrepreneurial growth than the skilled trades. 


5) I don’t have many tools. How does a person start a skilled trade career without their own tools? 

By working for a company that doesn’t require you to provide them. This may sound simple but that’s because it is. There are barriers to employment in any industry. The expense of tools can be a big one in the trades. But not every company requires you to provide your own and many that do will provide assistance with your purchases. Tools can be a complicator, but the right research can make sure they’re not a deal breaker. 


6) I come from a small town without a lot of employment opportunities locally. How do I get started in the skilled trades? 

Maybe you start your own company. Maybe you temporarily relocate to begin your career so you can start building experience. Or maybe you come work for FlexTrades. We have projects all around America where your skills are in demand. Whether you’re just starting your career, or well along your career path, we have opportunities for you. Almost all of our work requires travel, but you’ll never have to permanently relocate, and you can homebase from anywhere across the country. If this sounds like you, check out our available openings now! 


7) Is it hard to start a career in the skilled trades? 

No. People interested in starting are very much in demand and there are many ways in which they can begin. Entry level work with a local company, apprenticeship programs through companies or unions, associates degrees from vocational schools, condensed training programs, military service – all these paths can lead you to a successful career in the trades. You just need to pick the one that’s right for you and then stay on it! 


8) Are there opportunities to grow my career once I get started in the trades? 

Of course! Just like any company, there are many ways you can job up. Seniority can get you better pay or more responsibility at some companies. Continuing education or ongoing certification can help you advance at others. Experience alone can help push you up the ladder since knowing the ins and outs of a company often gives internal candidates a leg up on the competition when it comes to new openings and advancement opportunities. The only thing that really can hold your career growth back in the skilled trades is your personal ambition or creativity. 


9) Will I make as much money as a “white collar” job? 

Most likely? Yes! While top earners in any one trade may not make what top earners in certain “white collar” fields make (think surgeons compared to great welders) when talking about the “average” worker it’s not even close. There is too much variation in annual average and median incomes, based on location, for me to start quoting them now. What I’ll say is that, wherever you live around the US, do a quick internet search using these phrases “median (insert skilled trade of choice, such as Welder) income for (insert your local zip code) compared to other occupations”. I promise your results will be surprising. 


10) What trade is most in-demand? 

That answer varies significantly with geography. For example, injection-mold operators are a lot more likely to be in demand somewhere that has many aviation or automotive manufacturers because they do a lot of injection-molding. However, I tend to encourage people to pursue maintenance careers when they know they want to work in the trades but aren’t sure which trade. Why? Because no matter what changes occur with equipment we use or how we use it, somebody will always be needed to troubleshoot, maintain, and repair that equipment. Maintenance is a great trades career for a lot of reasons but job security like that is one of the big ones. 


More FAQs 

I hope you found value in this list and that you’re more prepared to advocate for careers in the skilled trades in the future. If you’d like more answers, check out our blog page to see other questions we’ve covered in the past. Got a question or answer of your own to share? We’d love to help you do that! Send them to our Writing Team and we’ll be happy to share them in a future blog.