Award Winners Selected as Part of 115th Annual Event

(York, PA) On August 25, 2021, The Manufacturers' Association honored four outstanding members and organizations we partner with to support manufacturing at our 115th Annual Event at PeoplesBank Park, York, PA. Two awardees from Dauphin County and two manufacturers from the York County area were named in the categories of Manufacturing Trailblazer, Manufacturing Innovator, Manufacturing Partner, and Manufacturer of the Year.

Pioneer and manufacturing legend, Mr. Milton S. Hershey from The Hershey Company, received the Manufacturing Trailblazer award which is bestowed by the Association on the leaders of the past and present who help build the industry. Mr. Hershey began his manufacturing career following a four-year apprenticeship with a Lancaster candy maker which eventually led to the founding of The Hershey Company, which now has sales of more than $8 billion, employs approximately 17,000 and is recognized as a hub of high-tech food manufacturing. In 1909 Mr. Hershey created what is now the Milton Hershey School, which currently enrolls about 2,000 low-income students per year, with free education. Accepting on behalf of Mr. Hershey was Mr. Star Gibbs, DEI/ESG Programs Manager from The Hershey Company.

The Manufacturing Innovator award was presented to Trola Industries of York, PA, for its investment in research and development and new product design. Trola invested over $520,000 in R&D and capital investment over the past year- including a new on-site lab for prototypes and new tech demos. A family business established in 1970, Trola Industries employs 25 and has become a leader in "Industry 4.0". The company recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary and is transitioning to its 4th generation of ownership dating back to 1922!

The PA Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship draining received the Partner of the Year award for their commitment to working with the Association to improve the manufacturing community. The PA Apprenticeship Office has been a champion of promoting and expanding apprenticeships across Pennsylvania, which now has over 17,000 active apprentices in the state! The team at the state office has supported The Manufacturers' Association in developing 8 different trades to support our membership, including the state's first 4-year Robotics Automation Apprenticeship in PA that we announced in April. Deputy Secretary Sheila Ireland and Apprenticeship Office Director Tara Loew accepted the award on behalf of the Department and Office.

Wolfgang Confectioners, a 100-year-old candy manufacturer, received the Manufacturer of the Year award. This year Wolfgang announced an investment of more than $3.5 million in a building expansion, which will add another production line, and will add nearly 100 more new jobs. In the past few years Wolfgang has built a new factory, expanded four production lines and has grown from 19 full time employees to over 400 full time employees. Accepting on behalf of Wolfgang Confectioners was Michelle Finch, Director of Operations.

The Manufacturers' Association is on a mission to ensure that our region's manufacturing can compete at a global scale. We exist to ensure that critical knowledge is preserved, expanded, and shared with the manufacturing professionals of tomorrow. Since 1906, we have been a voice for hundreds of member organizations and partners in South Central PA and Northern MD. We support manufacturers with the knowledge they need to operate, hire, and train smarter.

Visit our website at

For Immediate Release Contact:
Tom Palisin
Executive Director
Phone: +1-717-843-3891

More from Electronic Components & Devices

All Topics