The Waukesha-based Generac Power Systems Inc. was one of six Wisconsin companies that received a Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award last week.

Four Grand Award winners, categorized by number of employees, were recognized for their performance across the nomination categories, while two manufacturers were honored with special awards for company culture. The winners, among 38 nomninees, were announced at a banquet on Thursday, Feb. 25, at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.

Generac Power Systems was one of the four companies that received a Grand Award in the Mega Category.

Generac, S45 W29290 (in the town of Genesee just west of Waukesha along Highway 59), is a lead designer and manufacturer of power generation equipment and other engine powered products that goes out to residential, light commercial, industrial, oil and gas, and the construction markets.

According to a news release from the business association Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which sponsors the awards, Generac launched a program to focus on the elimination of injuries and defects through the use of lean tools and techniques.

The news release credits Generac Power Systems for its employee initiatives.

"They care about the safety and well-being of their employees, taking an active approach in helping employees make the best decisions for their development through goal setting, managing employee expectation and reinforcing skills needed and providing tuition reimbursement," the release said.

Generac has implemented a charity program, donating more than $200,000 to more than 75 organizations in the community.

The release also notes the company participates in many programs, including one that helps nontraditional students receive their high school diplomas in a work environment. Generac also has programs allowing students to receive their associate degrees through a 16-week educational and internship program.

According to the release, companies were evaluated in areas such as financial growth or consistency, technological advances, product development, environmental solutions and sustainability, operational excellence/continuous improvement, commitment to employees and effective research and development.

The Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges.

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