May 4, 2022
For the third year in a row, Aurora Specialty Textiles Group has won awards for outstanding business and manufacturing practices from the Valley Industrial Association (VIA), which represents the manufacturing industry in the Fox Valley region of Illinois, a large industrial hub outside Chicago and a major Midwest manufacturing region.
This includes winning the association’s award for Operations Excellence for the third year in a row. VIA’s Excellence in Operations Award recognizes leadership in operational strategic planning and implementation, as well as continuous improvement and employee engagement.
Aurora also won the award for Social Responsibility, which reflects a company’s continual improvements and contributions in the areas of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Aurora was a finalist for this award in 2021.
The awards were announced April 27, 2022, at the annual VIA Spark Awards Benchmarking for Excellence celebration. In addition to winning first place for Operations Excellence and Social Responsibility, Aurora was a finalist in all six Spark awards categories, which includes Culture, Workforce Development, Innovation and Safety. This was the first year Aurora was a finalist in all six categories.
The Spark Awards judging committee stated that Aurora is leveraging great tools such as Lean Smarts, multiple continuous improvement approaches, as well as utility e-maintenance for parts, preventive maintenance and planning. In addition, Aurora has a workforce training system and detailed capacity and inventory mapping that fuels their success.
Since the founding of VIA in 1902, the organization has grown from 16 to more than 200 members and Aurora was a founding member company. The VIA gives area manufacturers a place to connect for professional growth and share information and common resources that can help operations and support the wider regional manufacturing industry.
The Benchmark program, which culminates with the Spark Awards, is open to all VIA manufacturing members and starts with a self-assessment. This year, 13 companies were chosen as finalists. Each was invited to be interviewed by a panel of judges that questioned and explored their systematic approach, metrics, lessons learned and how they adjusted and improved their operations over the previous year.
The awards announced April 27 are just the latest in a lengthy list of accolades that Aurora has earned over the last 3 years in areas of sustainability, innovation, operations excellence, and community partnership.
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