Armstrong Flooring Plant Manager Swee Har Wilcox Receives STEP Ahead Award Recognizing Women for Excellence in Manufacturing

By: Steve Trapnell, Corporate Communications Manager on Mar 02, 2017

The Manufacturing Institute Will Honor Recipients at a Washington, D.C., Event in April


Swee Har Wilcox, Plant Manager for Armstrong Flooring in Jackson, TN, will be a recipient of The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Award honoring women for excellence in manufacturing. 

LANCASTER, Pa. – The Manufacturing Institute announced they will award Swee Har Wilcox, Plant Manager of the Armstrong Flooring Inc. facility in Jackson, Tenn., 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.

“I am honored to be recognized along with such a talented group of industry leaders,” Wilcox said. “Manufacturing provides significant opportunity for growth for people with diverse talents and aspirations. Through innovation, collaboration and continuous improvement, we are given a platform to transform ideas into tangible products.”

“Since assuming leadership of a 200-employee plant in 2015, Swee Har has been a strong customer advocate, surpassing service targets and engaging the entire workforce in quality through a system recognized as a model for our hardwood division,” said Michael Bell, Vice President, Hardwood Manufacturing at Armstrong Flooring. “We are grateful for her contributions to our company and excited to see her receive this well-deserved recognition of her achievements.”

“These 130 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, executive director, The Manufacturing Institute. “We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.”

Wilcox joined Armstrong in 2003 as Production Manager at the Jackson plant, which manufactures hardwood flooring. She worked there until 2007. After a stint at another company, she returned to the Jackson plant in 2011 as Human Resources Manager. She was promoted to Plant Manager in 2015. Wilcox serves as a board member for the Jackson Chamber of Commerce and volunteers in a number of career development programs for local students. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and an MBA from Arkansas State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

In April, 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.

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.

A recent survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that six out of ten open skilled production positions are unfilled due to the talent shortage. Closing the skills gap means closing the gender gap.


About Armstrong Flooring, Inc.

Armstrong Flooring, Inc. (NYSE: AFI) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of innovative flooring solutions that inspire spaces where people live, work, learn, heal and play. Headquartered in Lancaster, Pa., Armstrong Flooring is the #1 manufacturer of resilient and wood flooring products across North America. The company safely and responsibly operates 17 manufacturing facilities in three countries and employs approximately 4,000 individuals, all working together to provide the highest levels of service, quality and innovation to ensure it remains as strong and vital as its 150-year heritage. Learn more at  


About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation's manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit


Read more at Women in Manufacturing - The Manufacturing Institute .

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