Chicago -- USG Corp. announced that Stacy Kuszmaul, plant manager in Delavan, Wis., and Deirdre Brockwell, staff researcher in Libertyville, Ill., were recognized by The Manufacturing Institute as part of its annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead Awards. This marks the fifth consecutive year that a USG employee has received this honor for her contributions to the manufacturing industry.

The STEP Ahead 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 C-suite. Awards are given in two categories each year: Honorees, for their achievements and leadership at the very highest levels within their companies, and Emerging Leaders, for women age 30 or younger who have achieved success in the early years of their careers. The Manufacturing Institute’s 2019 STEP Ahead class includes Kuszmaul as a STEP Ahead Honoree and Brockwell as an Emerging Leader.

“What really stands out about these two leaders is their passion for manufacturing and their respective roles within our organization,” said Joseph Holmes, senior vice president of manufacturing, technology, and global operations, USG. “Stacy and Deirdre exemplify our values of integrity, quality and service and the impact of their leadership is felt across our organization and the broader industry.”

As a plant manager with more than 15 years’ experience at USG, Kuszmaul plays an integral role in improving the manufacturing processes for USG building products. She is recognized for her operational acumen – particularly on new line startups – and has been a key driver in the company’s Performance Materials division.

Brockwell, a researcher in USG’s ceilings lab, develops early stage concepts and conducts research that helps to expand USG’s ceilings portfolio and respond to demands from architects, designers and contractors. She is also a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Green Belt.

“Providing more opportunities for women in manufacturing is more than just the right thing to do,” said Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute. “At a time when manufacturers face a workforce crisis, and with women still constituting less than a third of manufacturing workers, it’s clearly critical to the future of our industry and the economy. The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Awards—which provide today’s female leaders in manufacturing the recognition they deserve while simultaneously elevating role models that can inspire future generations to join them—are an important element of our commitment to helping foster a 21st century manufacturing workforce by developing current leaders and engaging future ones.”

The Manufacturing Institute will recognize Kuszmaul, Brockwell, and their fellow STEP Ahead award recipients during a reception on April 11, in Washington, D.C.

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