Bob Staudinger is someone who embodies the idea of working hard to get to the top; he began his career as a machinist on the shop floor and progressed to become the president and CEO of National Manufacturing Co., a Chatham-based original equipment manufacturer serving worldwide markets.

Staudinger brings that same work ethic to NJBIA’s board of directors and as a member of the Association, serving as a forceful advocate for manufacturing and developing innovative programs that help industry succeed.

On Tuesday, NJBIA recognized his efforts, presenting him with the Leonard C. Johnson Award at its signature event, the Impact Symposium. The award recognizes leaders who have distinguished themselves in their efforts to improve New Jersey’s business climate for employers and encourage job growth.

“Bob is a tireless champion for New Jersey’s $44 billion manufacturing industry,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka, who presented the award. “He serves as co-chair of NJBIA’s Manufacturing Coalition, which works to make sure manufacturers have the resources they need to succeed in New Jersey by helping to create the workforce development and apprenticeship programs needed to train workers capable of 21st century manufacturing jobs.”

Staudinger was instrumental in developing the NJBIA Basic Skills Workforce Training Program in partnership with NJBIA and other stakeholders, as well as the Advanced Manufacturing Training Initiative. The program helps the unemployed learn the skills to earn nationally recognized credentials for well-paying manufacturing jobs in metal fabrication, CNC machining, and production technology. It’s one of the most successful training-to-hire programs ever in New Jersey.