HydraForce Named Recipient of NAWB Business Leadership Award

On Monday, March 25, HydraForce was recognized by the National Association of Workforce Boards as the recipient of the 2019 W.O. Lawton Business Leadership Award. Tony Casale, Executive Vice President, and Robyn Safron, Senior Human Resources Manager, accepted the award at the NAWB Annual Forum at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.

"Our Awards Committee was very impressed with the efforts by HydraForce to identify strategies to engage with high schools, recruit apprentices, provide training and support services to meet immediate and long-term talent needs," said Janet B. Bray, NAWB Senior Advisor and Forum Program Coordinator. "The leadership and creativitiy shown by HydraForce and the work you are doing with the Lake County Workforce Development Board in Illinois is impressive and greatly appreciated," she added.

A primary role of Workforce Development Boards is to build relationships between businesses and public partners, such as economic development organizations, education providers, and community and faith-based organizations. This is only possible, however, when a business steps up and makes a commitment to be a full partner in the board's endeavors. NAWB established the W.O. Lawton Business Leadership Award to honor businesses that make the commitment of time, money and leadership to make its community's workforce and economy more vibrant.

This is the fourth recognition that HydraForce has earned for its workforce development efforts, and the first national-level award. In 2017 the Northwest Education Council for Student Success (NECSS) named HydraForce its Business Partner of the Year. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense gave HydraForce its Patriot Employer Award. In 2018, the Lake County Workforce Ecosystem presented HydraForce with its Talent Innovator Award.

These recognitions helped pave the way for the NAWB Award. HydraForce was nominated for the W.O. Lawton Award by the Lake County Workforce Development Board in Waukegan, IL.

"HydraForce is a technically oriented, global manufacturing business and our success depends greatly on the quality of our people," explained Tony Casale, Executive Vice President. "Education and training of our workforce has been a value and a priority for HydraForce since its founding in 1985 and we believe it is one of the secrets of our company's success," he added.

"Our internship, apprenticeship, and STEM education programs are several ways we've been able to get a head start on cultivating an excellent workforce," explained Robyn Safron, Senior Human Resources Manager. "Manufacturing has a challenging time competing for talent, but we've found that by inviting students in to see our technology and meet our employees, we are able to encourage them to consider working in a manufacturing environment. It becomes a win-win for us and the community," she added.

HydraForce, based in Lincolnshire, IL, designs and manufactures high performance hydraulic fluid power cartridge valves, custom manifolds and electro-hydraulic controls. The company employs about 1,000 people at its headquarters and machining center in Lincolnshire and Innovation Center in Vernon Hills, IL.

The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB), based in Washington, D.C. represents more than 500 Workforce Development Boards (including Lake County Workforce Development in Illinois) and more than 12,000 business members whose mission is to provide America with a highly skilled workforce that competes in the global economy.

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