On October 6th, NJMEP honored 5 companies at its annual ‘Made in New Jersey Manufacturing Day. The event attracted 400 attendees and included leaders from across the state. The diversity of this year’s finalists —which included companies that make everything from bearings to apparel —demonstrates the breadth and depth of the New Jersey’s industrial base.
“The awards recognize manufacturing organizations that have demonstrated excellence in creating exceptional results in developing markets, continuous improvement, innovative technologies, advanced talent management or sustainable manufacturing, “said John W. Kennedy, Ph.D., CEO of NJMEP. “It’s companies like these that remind us of the current strength and future promise of New Jersey’s manufacturing sector.”
At Manufacturing Day, we look forward to in-depth discussions on protecting and advancing our region’s manufacturers, among the challenges they face today, along with the risks that come with growth and opportunity.
That’s because there’s little doubt that the environment for manufacturing continues to be both exciting and challenging. Manufacturers today are in an entirely new economy, facing global supply chain pressure and competition; uncertainly surrounding government regulation; and the new threat of cybercrime.
Against an increasingly competitive environment, employers are forced to tackle issues that surround them while continuing to develop and deliver world-class quality goods and services. It’s only in seeing this full picture of risk that manufacturers can put themselves in the unique position to address their total workplace health, safety and financial protection.
What’s more is that this holistic approach to creating a safe and healthy environment can yield significant costs savings, which enable organizations to continue to reinvest in their workforce, manage their global supply chain and address cybersecurity issues.
These 2017 winners exemplify the energy and focus it takes to conquer all fronts in these emerging risks.
We salute this year’s Manufacturing Day Award Winners for their commitment to the industry and the state, and we wish them the best in their continued pursuit of excellence. Congratulations to the 2017 winners and we wish you continued success.
Manufacturer of the Year — Large (more than 251 employees)
Winner: GGB Bearing Technology (Thorofare)
GGB Bearing Technology’s history dates back to a London company founded in 1899 to produce bearings for grease or oil lubricated applications. Today, GGB Bearing is the global leader in high-performance bearing solutions, with eight facilities in the U.S., Germany, France, Brazil, Slovakia and China.
The North American operations are located in Thorofare: One produces U.S. industry standard bearings for the automotive, general industrial and aerospace markets; the other produces fiber-reinforced composite U.S. bearings, bushing blocks and high-precision assemblies for the agricultural, construction and marine markets.
- Tropical Cheese Industries
- Kreisler, a United Flexible Company
Manufacturer of the Year — Medium (between 51-250 employees)
Winner: Demountable Concepts (Glassboro)
Since 1989, Demountable Concepts Inc. has been at the vanguard of the transportation manufacturing industry and has become North America’s leading manufacturer of demountable swap-body and glass rack systems and trailers. With DCI’s 2-in-1 platform, companies can use different body styles with the same cab chassis, enabling them to load and deliver at the same time instead of needing two separate trucks.
MyGlassTruck.com manufactures aluminum and steel glass carrying racks for vans, pickups and larger trucks used by glaziers and marble/granite installers. DCI’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Glassboro covers 50,000 square feet over its 25-acre campus and employs 85 individuals.
- California Closets
- Norwalt Design
Manufacturer of the Year — Small (fewer than 50 employees)
Winner: ZaGO Manufacturing (Newark)
ZaGO Manufacturing Co. is a leading manufacturer in the self-sealing fastener industry — sealing screws, sealing nuts, switch boots and crystal switch seals that protect clients’ mission-critical equipment in more than 50 different industry sectors, including military contractors, aerospace, electronics, construction, medical, marine, motor vehicle and consumer product. The fasteners, for example, are designed with full metal-to-metal contact, sealing in liquids and gases and sealing out environmental contaminants such as water and dust.
ZaGO began in 1994 as a two-employee business in Newark’s New Jersey Institute of Technology Enterprise Development Center small business incubator. In 2002, it moved to a 100-year-old building in the South Ward, which it completely renovated to meet production and administrative needs. Over the last five years, ZaGO’s revenues and profits have grown by double digits and its staff to 25.
- Belleville Wire
- Alexian Pate
- W. Tremont
Manufacturer of the Year — Young/Startup (in business fewer than 5 years)
Winner: Sock Gang (Newark)
Sock Gang was founded in 2012 by Khalif Thomas as a small Newark sock manufacturing operation, marketing its imaginative product line to Essex County universities, schools and small apparel shops. Thomas also realized that his quality socks could help meet a pressing social need: providing warm socks to Newark’s homeless. That concept became the hugely successful “Socks for the Homeless” campaign.
Then, with Sock Gang’s ability to produce high-quality socks and cotton-polyester, nonskid fall management slippers, Thomas envisioned meeting medical facility needs. In 2016, the company signed a contract with Newark Beth Israel Hospital to supply it.
- Jersey Girl Brewing
- Raw Generation
Innovator of the Year
Winner: EasterSeals (New Brunswick)
The capabilities of Easterseals NJ Packaging and Fulfillment Services workers in New Brunswick are vastly different, depending on individual physical and mental disabilities. To ensure every participant enjoys the confidence, passion, commitment and pride in assembling and packaging quality products, NJPFS developed flexible, yet inexpensive, training and production methods that can be used for individuals with different aptitudes, thereby enabling every NJPFS program participant to contribute to the manufacturing process. The processes also can be adapted easily for different operations, based on the type of product on the lines.
- Employment Horizons
- Productive Play
Raymond Hopp Award for Excellence
Winner: Jim Placa, CEO of Davion Inc. (North Brunswick)
Davion, founded in 1987, is one of the largest manufacturers of private-label personal care products in the U.S. and Canada. Its clients are primarily major retail and Consumer Packaged Goods companies, including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger.
- Larry Taitel, Convertech Inc.
- Lew Weiss, Manufacturing Talk Radio/All Metals & Forge LLC