6 Manufacturing Awards In 2019

Praise and recognition are essential to a healthy workplace, but awards and ceremonies take those achievements to the next level. Awards help promote your brand, showcase your team's work to company leaders, and look great on your resume.

For manufacturers, industry awards are a valuable way to get company exposure and credibility, and we've rounded up six manufacturing awards to put on your to-do list and apply to this year.


1. Colorado Manufacturing Awards presented by CompanyWeek and Manufacturer’s Edge

A regional award, the Colorado Manufacturing Awards (CMA) showcases Colorado’s dynamic industries, with food and beverage leading the way. Although food is the fastest growing manufacturing sector in Colorado, the CMAs recognize that manufacturing’s strength is a result of industry diversity. We have industry 4.0 and manufacturing technologies to thank for that! The CMAs recognize manufacturers excelling in innovation across multiple sectors, like aerospace/electronics, craft distiller, and even cannabis manufacturers.

What We Love About This Award

2019 is the first year, the CMAs ventured beyond Colorado state lines to award manufacturers in New Mexico and Wyoming. It’s a testament to the power and wealth behind the manufacturing community. With support from other industry peers and manufacturing experts, business leaders can learn the most effective growth strategies to thrive in the changing industry. The 2019 CMAs were just held last month, but nominations for next year’s awards will open up soon.

2. National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Leadership Awards

The Manufacturing Leadership Council, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers, hosts an annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit to honor small and large enterprises in a wide range of manufacturing markets. This year’s Manufacturing Leadership Award winners will be honored at a gala on June 12, 2019 with the theme “Manufacturing 4.0 Going for Gold — Strategies to identify and Deliver Business Value from the Digital Revolution’s Next Phase.”

Why We Love This Award

What we love about this theme is how relevant it is to the challenges — and opportunities!  — the manufacturing industry is facing. The Manufacturing Leadership Award nominees are evaluated in nine categories for projects that shape the future of global manufacturing, like analytics and IoT deployment, sustainability, and innovation. Nominations for next year’s Manufacturing Leadership Award will open in September.

3. Thomas’ NextGen For Industry Award

Every month, Thomas recognizes a young professional (born between 1981 and 1996) who is making a difference in the industry with the NextGen for Industry Award. Previous winners are out-of-the-box thinkers and natural leaders, who are driving success not only within their manufacturing business, but the industry overall. They are changing manufacturing perceptions and setting the way for the future of the manufacturing workforce. For example, April 2019’s NextGen For Industry award winner, Rachel Pacheco, brought two novel bioprocesses to commercial scale. During her time at Genomatica, they produced 600 tons of the chemical butylene glycol in just five weeks, making it the world’s first commercial-scale production. How’s that for changing the perception of the millennial industry!?

What We Love About This Award

Don’t get us wrong — we love shiny awards, fancy plaques, and engraved trophies. But Thomas’ NextGen for Industry Award winner receives more than just a physical award — he or she will get free press and personal branding opportunities, customized by Thomas' own public relations and marketing experts. It’s a win-win. Free press and marketing for your company and you? Imagine all the LinkedIn DMs you’ll receive. Nominations are continuously open and winners are chosen monthly — selfies are accepted.

NextGen For Industry Award

4. Thomas’ Champion For Industry Award

The sibling to Thomas’ NextGen Award, the Champion for Industry Award also honors innovators in the industry every month. However this award has no age criteria to be met. It’s inspiring to see a new generation lead the future of manufacturing — it’s even more inspiring to see seasoned veterans continue to be motivated and dedicate themselves to find trailblazing solutions. For example, January 2019’s award winner, Joel Stone, is truly a pioneer in the industry — he studied biochemical engineering when no one even knew what it was.

What We Love About This Award

The Champion For Industry Award gets props for recognizing older entrepreneurs and distinguished company leaders with a unique ability to adapt — the manufacturing industry has been wrestling with the skills gap for years and it’s incredible seeing baby boomers fill the void. We love learning how Champion For Industry Award winners navigated through the competitive landscape — and continuously do so! It inspiringly sets the bar high for young manufacturing professionals. Nominate a colleague who inspires you today!

5. New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program’s NJ Manufacturing Awards

The New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) is non-for-profit company that helps New Jersey’s small and mid-sized manufacturers reach their best potential. Each year, NJMEP hosts an annual “Made in New Jersey” event and announces winners of their New Jersey Manufacturing Awards.

Why We Love This Award

What we love about this award is the dedication to small and mid-sized manufacturers. The manufacturing industry is thriving, but small and mid-sized companies still need support — with today’s technology, yes, it’s possible for small companies to compete with larger ones! NJMEP organizes award winners based on company size — small for 50 employees or less, medium between 51 and 250 employees, and large 251 employees or more. There’s even an award category for manufacturing startups who have been in business 5 years or less. Nominations for this year's New Jersey Manufacturing Award are still open.

6. Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Awards

In support of women in science, engineering, production, and technology, the Manufacturing Institute created the STEP initiative and the STEP Ahead Awards. The STEP Ahead Awards honors women who have accomplished success in their manufacturing companies, big and small. The awards also recognizes young women at the beginning of their careers leading the manufacturing industry — an overall impressive initiative promoting the importance of a diverse workforce.

Why We Love This Award

We can’t stress it enough — U.S. manufacturing job growth is robust, and thanks to advanced digital technologies, new businesses are constantly being created. But how can small businesses grow within the industry? Developing partnerships. The reason why we love Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Awards so much is that honorees get armed with the tools to educate and mentor the next generation of the manufacturing workforce through a leadership training program. In just five years, STEP has impacted more than 300,000 individuals — school-age children included. What a powerful network of manufacturers and those in the making! Nominations for next year’s STEP Ahead Awards will open August 1, 2019.

Managing The Award Process

Don't let the awards process deter you from applying to these these awards. Although establishing yourself as a serious contender will take some time — some applications can be length — a few of these manufacturing awards don't need a creative powerhouse to apply to. Did we mention that some of these industry awards are also free to apply to? These local and industry specific awards are great to help advance your manufacturing career and boost your business' brand, but don't stress about the results — your bottom line will live on.Champion For Industry Award

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