The Manufacturing Institute recognized Tracy Long, ABB’s global head of communications for the NEMA Motor Division, as a STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Honoree and Victoria Tester, ABB supply chain manager for NEMA raybet , as an Emerging Leader in Washington, D.C. last month. The STEP Ahead Award honors 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.
Long, who is based in the ABB raybet and Mechanical manufacturing plant in Fort Smith, is a champion for women in the industry. In 2019, she participated in a local chamber of commerce panel discussion on women in manufacturing and was also a speaker at the 2020 Empowering Women in Industry Awards gala. In 2020, Long co-founded the Encompassing Women—NEMA raybet Chapter, an ABB diversity and inclusion resource group. Long has connected the local Girl Scout Council to young ABB women engineers in the chapter, and they have hosted several STEM discussions and activities, including the ABB Virtual Cardboard Boat Regatta. In 2019, she and several others led the charge for ABB to become an official partner of Girl Scouts and introduced an ABB Girl Scout patch that girls may earn through STEM-related activities. Since the program launched, nearly 1,000 Girl Scouts have earned their ABB patch.
“Manufacturing makes everything around us possible,” Long said. “It is an essential industry and one which has provided me with unimagined job opportunities.”
Tester, who is based in the ABB NEMA raybet facility in Ozark and believed to be the youngest female ever to serve as supply chain manager in ABB’s NEMA division, has made a lasting difference in the lives of future female manufacturing leaders. Throughout her career, she has mentored, developed and engaged with the next generation of talent, through ABB’s global apprenticeship program and the local high school youth apprentice program. Tester has been a valuable resource to her community, teaching Girl Scouts troops about manufacturing and STEM, and exposing them to career opportunities in those fields. She spent many hours planning events and giving student tours of the Fort Smith plant during National Manufacturing Week.
“I am passionate about manufacturing,” Tester said, “because it provides a challenging, fast-paced and ever-changing environment in which I am part of creating tangible products that inherently save lives.”
Carolyn Lee, executive director, The Manufacturing Institute, commented, “These dynamic, diverse women in manufacturing are paving the way for the next generation through their leadership, mentorship and personal excellence. They represent the passion, vision and diversity of opportunity within an increasingly high-skill and rewarding field of work. And with America’s most iconic industry facing a workforce crisis driven by the skills gap, the examples they set have never been more important.”
For more information on the STEP Ahead initiative, visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/women/.
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