Minnesota Manufacturer Award for Uponor North America

by Kacey Larsen
Uponor North America

APPLE VALLEY, Minnesota—The Manufacturers Alliance has named Uponor North America the 2018 Minnesota Manufacturer of the Year in the large-company category. This marks the first time in association history of honoring a company twice. [Uponor was recognized previously named the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year in the large-company category.] The annual Manufacturer of the Year Award recognizes manufacturers that share improvement experiences with their colleagues in a cooperative fashion and is presented in one of three categories: companies with fewer than 100 employees, companies with 100 to 400 employees and companies with more than 400 employees.

The award was presented to Uponor during a ceremony at the Golden Valley Country Club on April 12, 2018.

“The positive impact Uponor is making is unprecedented. It is the only company to with the Manufacturers Alliance’s Manufacturer of the Year twice in the 22 years the award has been presented,” says Kirby Sneen, vice president of the Manufacturers Alliance. “We were compelled to recognize Uponor’s willingness to share best practices with peers and help strengthen the Minnesota manufacturing community.”

The 2018 recognition acknowledges Uponor’s sharing of expertise within the manufacturing industry and shifting of industry perception through:

  • Training events and monthly peer meetings with the Manufacturers Alliance, Enterprise Minnesota and Association for Manufacturing Excellence.
  • Launching an apprenticeship program developed with the Minnesota Department of Industry and Labor.
  • Internship programs with Minnesota colleges, including Dunwoody College of Technology and the Twin Cities Engineering program at the University of Minnesota — Mankato.
  • Support of STEM initiatives in local schools.
  • And a commitment to Lean and Six Sigma processes, which led the company to launch Bronze training in office functions, implementing internal Gold Lean Certification Training in Operations, and incorporating ideas from employees.

“We are honored to receive this award, especially since we’re receiving it for our commitment to the future of manufacturing and investment in the next generation,” says Bill Gray, president of Uponor North America. “The timing is particularly meaningful as this year we also celebrate Uponor’s 100th anniversary, the completion of our 10th expansion on our Apple Valley campus, and the opening of a new plant in Hutchinson this summer.”

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