Des Plaines Manufacturer Marks 50 Years with State, Local and Industry Leaders

 
Will O’Brien
Updated 10/31/2018 7:24 AM
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  • Deputy Governor Leslie Munger (left), the acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Steve Southwell (right), the president and CEO of Nu-Way Industries, discuss manufacturing during Nu-Way's 50th anniversary event Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the fabricator's facility in Des Plaines.Will O'Brien

    Deputy Governor Leslie Munger (left), the acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and Steve Southwell (right), the president and CEO of Nu-Way Industries, discuss manufacturing during Nu-Way's 50th anniversary event Tuesday, Oct. 30, at the fabricator's facility in Des Plaines.Will O'Brien

DES PLAINES, Ill. -- Nu-Way Industries, the largest precision metal product fabricator in the region, marked 50 years in business on Tuesday, Oct. 30, with an anniversary event during which the Des Plaines-based company called on local and state leaders to support the next generation of manufacturing.

Illinois' 12,000 manufacturing businesses employ nearly 600,000 residents and account for almost 13 percent of the state's gross domestic product. But ineffective incentives and a lack of technical education are preventing the businesses from realizing their full potential, Nu-Way's leadership said.

"Our passion for this industry, our commitment to quality, and our endless desire to be better every day have remained unchanged in 50 years. But tangible improvements, like more accessible workforce development grants and more vocational education, are needed to ensure Illinois manufacturing stays strong as we move into the future," said Steve Southwell, Nu-Way president and CEO. "We're grateful for the partnership and hard work of our leaders, but there's more to be done."

The event included a behind-the-scenes tour of Nu-Way's 300,000-square-foot facility and a speaking program on the future of manufacturing that included Deputy Governor Leslie Munger, State Sen. Laura Murphy and Des Plaines City Manager Mike Bartholomew. The city manager announced that Nu-Way is donating interactive digital displays to the City of Des Plaines that will be installed in the downtown train station, where they will provide visitors with information and walking directions to nearby businesses. Such digital displays are a growing segment of Nu-Way's business.

Other guests included the office of State Rep. Marty Moylan, the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development, Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Technology & Manufacturing Association, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, and Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. Des Plaines was represented by elected officials and the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Founded as a small fabrication shop by brothers George and Joe Howard in 1968 and today employing a staff of more than 300, Nu-Way creates custom, end-to-end manufacturing solutions for businesses spanning all sectors of the economy.

Nu-Way's vertically integrated production facility near Chicago's O'Hare airport features cutting-edge manufacturing equipment, including an advanced design lab, automated equipment and the use of robotics, which allow the company to make more than 1.5 million parts each year.

Customers include Siemens, Schneider Electric, Middleby and Electrolux -- and many have partnered with Nu-Way for decades.

"My father and his brother started this company with a vision for doing things a better way -- a 'new way' using cutting-edge technology to improve manufacturing processes," said Mary Howard, Nu-Way executive vice president and CFO. "We've been fortunate to have loyal customers, talented and hard-working employees. We've reached this milestone because of them and look forward to accomplishing even more in the future."

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