The Manufacturing Institute announced it will award Afton Hollertz with the Women in Manufacturing Science, Technology, Engineering and Production Award. The STEP Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry.

"Afton is a passionate, creative thinker beyond her years who is unafraid to push the boundaries of her role at Allmand,” said Allmand CEO, Brad Allmand. “She continually seeks deeper understanding, doing research and asking questions that lead her to propose ideas and improve projects that ultimately impact the work environment and bottom line."

“A career in manufacturing has provided me with opportunities that I may not have had working in any other industry,” Hollertz said. “Now, as a manufacturing engineer, I can utilize my strengths to positively impact our entire company, expanding far beyond the production floor. I get to work and build relationships with various groups of people, allowing me to learn and grow as I continue to gain experience.”

"These 160 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing," said Jennifer McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute. "We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole."

The STEP Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and best-practices for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent.

On Feb. 6, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 160 recipients of the STEP Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Awards program will highlight each honoree's story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.