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2019 Manufacturing Excellence Awards

Among its many products, NEOS has a fisheye lens with a 200-degree field of view.

Because of its overabundance of colleges, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, it is easy to think Greater Worcester is reliant on an eds & meds economy, but one industry has a greater impact on the Central Massachusetts business community: Manufacturing.The manufacturing industry contributed $6.9 billion toward the Worcester metropolitan area economy in 2017, good for 16 percent of the region's total economic output, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Combined, the healthcare and education industries totalled $6.1 billion in the region for 2017, or 14 percent of its economic output.

This manufacturing economic impact comes before you factor in its outsized multiplier effect: Because the industry uses a lot of raw materials, exports at a higher rate, tends to have higher wages, and has a lot of buying power, every $1 of final sales of manufactured product supports $1.33 in other sectors – the highest multiplier of any industry, according to BEA. Not to pick on them, but the multiplier from the healthcare and education industries is about half that.

With a few exceptions, though, manufacturers toil behind the scenes. Because they typically only have a handful of customers and aren't consumer-facing, they can go unnoticed as they quietly churn out goods for the world. This is why WBJ is happy to honor a handful of the more standout manufacturers in our region with the fourth annual Manufacturing Excellence Awards.

You have New England Optical Systems helping the military see far away. There's AIS, whose arrival in Leominster was a boon to the economy and community. Acorn Deck House Co. creates sustainable living environments in a sustainable manufacturing environment. Carpe Diem is building its own nanotechnology supply chain. Organomation has been rocking lab equipment for 60 years. Slideways continues to upskill its workforce. CPI Radant is bringing military technology to your in-flight entertainment.

After you read the profiles on these outstanding companies, we invite you to come out to our Manufacturing Summit & Excellence Awards on April 18 at the College of the Holy Cross to both honor them and learn a little bit more about the cornerstone industry of Central Massachusetts.

- Brad Kane, editor

WBJ Web Partners

The Manufacturing Excellence Award winners for 2019

  • AIS
    Overall Manufacturing Excellence Award, large company
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  • Organomation
    Overall Manufacturing Excellence Award, small company
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  • Acorn Deck House Co.
    Acorn Deck House Co.
    Green Manufacturing Award
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  • New England Optical Systems, Inc.
    New England Optical Systems, Inc.
    Rising Star Award
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  • CPI Radant Technologies Division, Inc.
    CPI Radant Technologies Division, Inc.
    Product Design & Innovation Award
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  • Carpe Diem Technologies, Inc.
    Carpe Diem Technologies, Inc.
    Collaboration in Manufacturing Award
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    Workforce Development & Productivity Award
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