NATM is excited to debut a new award in February 2020. The Pam O’Toole Trusdale Woman in Manufacturing Award is given to a woman from the manufacturing floor to the C-Suite in the light- and medium-duty trailer industry who has demonstrated excellence in their role. The award recognizes the contribution of the recipient to the success of their organization and/or industry.
The award is named after Pam O’Toole Trusdale who served as NATM’s Executive Director from 1998 to 2018. Under her leadership, NATM flourished and expanded well beyond what the founders envisioned 11 years before. Membership numbers grew nearly 250 percent, NATM established the Compliance Verification Program. Trusdale supported the implementation of Compliance Decals in marketing members’ commitment to safety and since that time sales have surpassed eight million decals. Cash assets increased 630 percent, allowing investment in a government affairs program and safeguarding the Association during financial downturns. An ardent advocate for the industry, the establishment and growth of the government affairs program made it such that NATM now proactively addresses legislation at the national level. O’Toole Trusdale spent nearly 20 years leading in a male-dominated field and NATM is proud to honor her work with this award.
The light- and medium-duty trailer industry is working diligently to close the skills gap and find opportunities to invest and influence workforce development efforts. It is estimated that by 2025, US manufacturing will face a shortage of 2 million workers. In surveying the landscape of manufacturing, the Manufacturing Institute, a subsidiary of the National Association of Manufacturers, determined that while women totaled 47% of the national workforce in 2016, the manufacturing workforce was only comprised of 29% women.
Women today remain as perhaps the most underutilized workforce population in the light- and medium-duty trailer industry. A key to best tapping into this talent pool is to begin recognizing women in the industry, celebrating their accomplishments and contributions, and thereby celebrating female representation in a field many women may not have previously considered.
The lack of female representation in the manufacturing sector not only contributes additional stress in an already tight labor market, but this lack of diversity can also affect business achievement. Research has indicated that workforce diversity improves a company’s opportunities for success and growth. Diversity has been proven to increase innovation and creativity, while also helping to retain employees amongst many other benefits.
NATM, through the Pam O’Toole Trusdale Woman in Manufacturing Award and its other diversity initiatives, intends to support efforts to close the skills gap, tap into previously underutilized populations, and support women in manufacturing.
If you would like to nominate a woman who has demonstrated excellence in their role and has made a significant impact for their organization or the industry more broadly, please contact NATM Executive Director Kendra Ansley at
(785) 272-4433 or Kendra.Ansley@natm.com.