Milwaukee — Carol Peters, production manager of A. O. Smith’s commercial water heater plant in McBee, S.C. was recently recognized by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte, University of Phoenix, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers with a Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award for her excellence and leadership in manufacturing. Peters joins 121 other woman honorees, representing all levels of manufacturing from the factory floor to the C Suite.
“Carol has been a huge part of this facility’s success; her knowledge, experience and expertise have been instrumental in the completion of several major projects. Her passion for excellence, her drive and motivation, and the high standards she sets for herself and her team are motivating and inspiring to everyone she meets. She defines ‘excellence,’ ” shares Shawn Schmonsky, human resources director at A. O. Smith, on why he nominated Carol for the STEP award.
Carol advises other aspiring women wanting to enter into the manufacturing profession, that a foundation of technical education is a must, so be inquisitive and never stop learning. “You will only succeed by working with people. All processes are designed, operated and maintained by people. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Someone (you never know who) might have a great idea!” View Carol’s online profile.
“These 122 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute. “We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.”
A 2011 survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that nearly 70 percent of American manufacturing companies have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. Manufacturing companies cannot fill as many as 600,000 skilled positions, even as unemployment numbers hover at historically high levels. Additionally, labor statistics show that women are underrepresented in the manufacturing workforce and in manufacturing leadership ranks — a situation that must be reversed to preserve and grow the industry.
On Feb. 5, The Manufacturing Institute and its STEP Ahead initiative partners will recognize the 122 recipients of the STEP Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.