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IMA Executive News & Views Blog

Just Around the Corner – 2019 STEP Ahead Award Nominations

by NAM

Nominations for the 2019 STEP Ahead Awards will open starting August 1, 2018.

The NAM’s Manufacturing Institute is dedicated to advancing manufacturing competitiveness and attracting, training, and retaining the skilled workers essential to manufacturing success. Central to that mission, is the need to inspire more women to build fulfilling careers in the manufacturing workforce and supporting those already in it.

Women, after all, are about half of the labor force but only about a quarter of the manufacturing workforce. The Institute is working hard to change that through the STEP initiative, which is designed to support women in manufacturing in a variety of ways—including honoring the best of the best in the industry today and empowering them to support the next generation through our annual STEP Ahead Awards.

The Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP Ahead Awards in 2012 as a national platform to honor women—from the factory floor to the C-suite—who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering and production (STEP). By recognizing women at all levels of manufacturing, this national honor gives manufacturers an opportunity to showcase existing female talent and provide role models that can speak to the transformation of the industry. These awards not only celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of outstanding female leadership in manufacturing but also empower honorees to pay it forward by providing tools to help mentor the next generation.

We know that the Institute’s STEP Ahead initiative has made a difference already—in just five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals and counting, from peers in the industry to school-aged children.

On August 1, nominations will open for the 2019 STEP Ahead Awards. I hope you will consider nominating a peer or colleague for this prestigious award, and I welcome you to share the opportunity with your members, as well. The nomination period will close on October 5, 2018. Recipients of the award will receive national recognition and be invited to attend a two-day leadership program in Washington, DC. Visit to learn more about the Institute’s STEP Ahead Awards and to find more information on nominations. With your vast network, I hope you can help spread the word.

Thank you for your commitment to manufacturing.