The panel of outside judges was impressed by a strong field of nominees for this year’s awards — a testament to the innovation occurring throughout the New North.
The winners for 2015 include:
United Way of the Fox Cities
United Way Fox Cities launched PATH, a school-based program designed to increase access to therapy for youth who experience barriers to mental health care.
PATH, which stands for Providing Access to Healing, today collaborates with three mental health agencies and 10 school districts. It has served nearly 1,000 students and achieved measurable success. More than three- quarters of participating students have reported improved relationships with family and friends, reduced symptoms and increased functioning and generally “feeling better about life.”
Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County, Inc.
Delivering meals to the elderly, disabled and home bound happens in practically every community in America. But since 2012 Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County Inc. has been doing it differently — and better. It’s the first meal delivery program in the country to grow much of its own food or use donations of produce from local farmers and gardeners to prepare fresh, nutritional meals for its clients.
As such, the organization has been able to control costs, greatly improve the quality of its meals and be a near- zero waste facility by using sustainable practices.
C3 is an Appleton-based engineering firm providing machinery, integration services and data collection to manufacturing companies in unique industries. By focusing on engineering systems that produce a better product for consumers, the company uses technology to gather data and design systems to save space, increase throughput and produce an end product that satisfies consumers.
A notable, recent project is the CWU2000. This machine compresses and packages a foam mattress without folding, down to the size of an over-sized golf bag. As a result manufacturers reduce shipping costs, increase e-commerce capabilities and boost storage capacity.
Wisconsin Film & Bag
Once it’s used, plastic film for packaging is often full of contaminates that render it useless for reuse. But a Shawano-based company figured out how to clean such material, and as a result has turned recycled plastic film into 25 percent of its sales — and does right by the environment, too.
Wisconsin Film & Bag, which employs 172 and specializes in polyethylene film for packaging, has patented its process for cleaning and recycling post-consumer plastic commonly used in industrial applications such as pallet wrapping. Such a process had not been developed before to produce a resin from post- consumer scrap film with properties of the clarity, strength and appearance of virgin resin.
With its new product, “ECO Blend,” Wisconsin Film & Bag increased its employment by 57 percent and invested $8 million to improve and expand its operations. It now has the capacity to recycle 7,000 tons of post-consumer film scrap each year.
SPECIAL AWARD: UNIQUE SOLUTIONS
Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center
As a result of a successful, $66.5 million public referendum that passed in 2012, FVTC built a new, $35 million, 95,000 square-foot Public Safety Training Center.
The nation’s first fully-integrated training facility for law enforcement, fire service, and emergency response personnel, includes nearly 40 projects in one and combines classroom training with extensive hands-on, tactical experiences. A wide range of public safety personnel can be trained in areas such as crime scene investigation, firefighting, technical rescue, vehicle pursuit, on-board aircraft emergencies, and more.
For additional details about the 2015 Insight Innovation Award winners, please visit the Insight on Business website, www.insightonbusiness.com/thinc-2015