New trend in manufacturing

May 15, 2013 Updated May 15, 2013 at 8:13 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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May 15, 2013 Updated May 15, 2013 at 8:13 AM EDT

Hundreds of people gathered for the 2013 Manufacturing Awards Tuesday at Salvatore's Italian Gardens. The event was hosted by Insyte Consulting, Keybank and Sonwil Distribution.

Twelve companies were honored. Together, they employ more than 5,800 workers. Jim Manno with Sonwil says there's a resurgence of the importance of manufacturing and these companies are at the forefront.

"For the region, specifically, we have a reputation of having been the rust belt with a lot of the old manufacturing and now we're seeing a lot more of the advanced manufacturing, more innovative, more creative more internationally focused," Manno said.

This manufacturing segment needs a new workforce geared toward that innovation, according to Manno. So area colleges are working to prepare the workforce, while these award winners continue to grow. "A lot of these companies have become resilient in being able to weather the storm of economic changes, the environment for employment around here, they're all growing and advancing in their industries."

2013 Winners and categories:

Overall Excellence
- General Motors Co. Tonawanda Engine Plane (Large)
- Keller Technology Corp. (Medium)
- Pfannenberg Inc. (small)

Community Involvement
- Honeywell

Exporting
- Cobey Inc.

Innovation
- DuPont Yerkes (Large)
- Jiffy - Tite Co. Inc. (Medium)
- Buffalo Filter (Small)

Safety
- ITT Enidine Inc.

Sustainability
- Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc. (Large)
- McCullagh Coffee Inc. (Small)

Workforce Training
- The Resource Center

You can read more about this year's winners in Friday's Business First.