Local Woman Honored for first Manufacturing STEP Awards

MACHESNEY PARK (WIFR) -- Teresa Beach-Shelow, owner and president of Superior Joining Technologies, Inc. of Machesney Park, is a recipient of the first Women in Manufacturing STEP Awards (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production).

The Manufacturing Institute, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, University of
Phoenix, and Deloitte today announced the 122 recipients of the first Women in
Manufacturing STEP Awards at its first Annual STEP Awards Program in Washington,
D.C. at the Washington Marriott at Metro Center. The inaugural STEP Awards honor
women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and
represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the corporate
suite. There were nine award winners from Illinois.

“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.” The STEP Awards are part of the
larger STEP Ahead initiative to examine and promote the role of women in the
manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and best practices for attracting,
advancing, and retaining strong female talent.

About Teresa Beach-Shelow

Despite her many recognitions as a co-founder and board member of numerous
manufacturing organizations, as well as 20 successful years of supplying the aerospace
industry, Teresa is proudest of her volunteer work with young people and displaced
workers as she encourages them to choose manufacturing as a career.
As co-founder of Women of Today’s Manufacturing, a northern Illinois-southern
Wisconsin group, Teresa created Manufacturing Camp, a one-week camp for teens, as
well as camp scholarships. Her effort reached more than 100 regional students.

It grew into a nationwide project with nearly a dozen camps every summer when the
Foundation of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association brought the effort under its
wings. Now called “Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs,” it has influenced nearly 4,000 youths
in 27 states. Nutsandboltsfoundation.org.

One young camper said, “I realized that I am doing something that not every young
woman gets to do. I could see myself as a welder and making a good living.” Another
said he “liked the ability to see firsthand how products are made from raw materials to
the final products.”

Teresa’s work with displaced workers is equally as heartening. She is frequently asked to speak about women in manufacturing, public-private partnerships, workforce attraction and entrepreneurship.

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