All Blogs

Giving Credit Where It’s Due: Celebrating the Unsung Heroes of Manufacturing

Brad Surak
Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Hitachi Vantara

June 02, 2020

Many people’s jobs have put them, unwittingly, on the front lines of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Most of us know these individuals as the medical providers, grocers and delivery people who are bravely ensuring we have access to necessities like medical care, food and medicines, which are often delivered right to our door.

Like these other frontline workers, factory workers around the globe are also doing vital work. But factory workers’ efforts have largely gone on with little public recognition.

Throughout the early and uncertain days of the pandemic, many of these workers continued reporting for duty in an estimated 10 million factories around the world. These mothers, fathers, sons and daughters have been going to work each day to make the food, medicine and millions other things that are necessary to our everyday lives, especially in these challenging times.

Within Hitachi’s family of companies alone, there are more than 400 factories powered by 140,000 employees around the world. We are so inspired by their dedication and resilience that we wanted to create a special tribute to them and to share their stories. You can watch it here:

Our gratitude doesn’t stop here. We want to help share the stories of other manufacturing heroes who are powering manufacturing operations around the world. A key part of our company’s charter focuses on social innovation and powering good. What better way to live that charter than to shine a spotlight on these “other” frontline workers and share their stories?

So, today we are launching a “Heroes of Manufacturing” initiative to help factory workers industrywide get the accolades they deserve.

Heroes of Manufacturing was conceived by Hitachi Vantara together with our collaborator Scott MacKenzie at The Industrial Talk Podcast, but we hope this initiative will go far beyond our two organizations. We invite all like-minded organizations to join us in honoring frontline factory workers, who are keeping our global supply chains strong throughout this pandemic.

Already, more than a dozen organizations have volunteered to join us as founding collaborators in supporting the Heroes of Manufacturing movement. They include:

Ericsson, Microsoft, Toyota, JR Automation, Team NEO, Industrial Internet Consortium, MAGNET, Manufacturing Works, Smart Manufacturing Cluster of Northeast Ohio, Additive Manufacturing Cluster of Ohio, Rocket Wagon Venture Studios, Hitachi America, Ltd., Hitachi Europe, Manufacturing Leadership Council

We hope your manufacturing organization will consider joining us in recognizing the unsung heroes who are helping to sustain families, communities and economies through their work on manufacturing plant floors.

Visit the Heroes of Manufacturing website now to see and hear inspirational stories about some of the heroes that have touched and inspired us – and share the stories of your own Manufacturing Heroes.

Who’s your Manufacturing Hero?


Brad Surak

Brad Surak is Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Hitachi Vantara.