News Releases

Aleris Leaders Recognized In Step Ahead Awards

Sixth Annual Awards Recognize Women for Excellence in Manufacturing

Mar 5, 2018

CLEVELAND, March 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The Manufacturing Institute announced it will award Helene Lagace and Brittany Kanz with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. The STEP Ahead Awards honor 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.

The Aleris Corporation. (PRNewsFoto/Aleris)

Ms. Lagace, director of Research and Development at Aleris, was selected as an Honoree for the 2018 STEP Ahead Awards.  Her leadership played a key role in the introduction of the "Aleris Process Control" (APC) method at our facilities in Duffel, Belgium and Lewisport, Kentucky.  Ms. Kanz, manager of Master Planning and Inventory in Lewisport, Kentucky, was selected as an Emerging Leader for the 2018 STEP Ahead Awards.  She manages Aleris' network of products moving between our facilities and customers.

"Helene and Brittany are key leaders at Aleris," said Mike Keown, EVP and President – North America.  "They do a great job of engaging people to deliver on our key results.  They demonstrate each and every day the values and leadership attributes required to build a winning culture."

"The women who we are celebrating represent the exciting career opportunities available in manufacturing," said Natalie Schilling, 2018 Chair of STEP Ahead and Vice President of Human Resources at Arconic. "The STEP Ahead Award honors successful women in this industry for their significant achievements and the positive impact they have made on their companies, their communities and the industry as a whole."

"Companies across the U.S. agree there is a talent shortage in manufacturing. Through the STEP Ahead Awards, we hope to take another step toward closing this gap by highlighting the stories of successful women in manufacturing and giving them a platform to encourage other women to join the industry and be role models for the next generation," said Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute. "The women being honored demonstrate what modern manufacturing careers are all about: making an impact in their communities with meaningful careers that offer significant opportunities for growth."

The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent. In five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals — from peers in the industry to school-aged children. Women constitute one of manufacturing's largest pools of untapped talent. Women totaled about 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. Not only does the STEP Ahead initiative bolster manufacturing's attractiveness to women, it also plays an important role in improving the perception of careers in the industry among younger generations.

On April 10, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree's story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.

About Aleris
Aleris is a privately held, global leader in aluminum rolled products serving diverse industries including aerospace, automotive, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial manufacturing.  Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Aleris operates production facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit


For further information: Media Contacts: Shannon Bennett, 216.910.3664,; Jason Saragian, 216.910.3670,

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