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The Manufacturing Institute Honors Chroma Color Corporation’s, Chief of Human Resources, Cass Birchbauer

Cass Birchbauer, Chief of Human Resources

McHenry, IL, March 8, 2024: The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers—announced Chroma Color Corporation, Chief of Human Resource, Cass Birchbauer has been recognized as a 2024 Women MAKE Awards HonoreeThis annual national awards program honors 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.

“Receiving this award is incredibly humbling.   Without the dedication to excellence, innovation, and inclusivity of the company I work for—it would not have been possible” stated Cass Birchbauer.  I’m proud to contribute to our company’s success and thankful for the chance to lead impactful initiatives. This award validates why Chroma Color is really a unique company who never stops pushing boundaries and aiming for greatness.”

The Women MAKE Awards are part of the MI’s Women MAKE America initiative, which is the nation’s marquee program to close the gender gap in manufacturing. Women account for about half of the U.S. labor force but represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. Women MAKE America aims to build the 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering and inspiring women in the industry.

“The Women MAKE Awards showcase the vibrant, diverse and rewarding careers in the industry and how women have excelled as manufacturing leaders, paying it forward to inspire and uplift the next generation to pursue opportunities in modern manufacturing,” said Caterpillar Group President of Resource Industries and Women MAKE Awards Chair Denise Johnson.

The Women MAKE Awards gala honors 100 industry leaders (“Honorees”) and 30 rising stars (“Emerging Leaders ”) who have been nominated by their companies as the “go-to” women, recognized for their innovation, dedication, contributions and good counsel. Honorees are further rewarded with access to a two-day leadership development conference in Washington, D.C., in the days leading up to the evening awards gala. Since its launch in 2011, the program has honored and recognized more than 1,400 Honorees and Emerging Leaders.

“This accolade serves as a testament to Cass’ unwavering dedication, exceptional leadership, and profound impact on our organization’s human capital strategies within the manufacturing domain,” stated Shruti Singhal, President & CEO. “Through her tireless efforts, she has continually elevated our workforce, fostered a culture of innovation and inclusivity, and spearheaded initiatives that have propelled our company forward. Cass also played a pivotal role in creating a culture of ‘ONE TEAM,’ where our focus is on cultivating a safer workplace, encouraging recognition, enhancing communication, providing clear work instructions, promoting feedback, prioritizing training, equipping team members with necessary tools, and advancing an environment of genuine caring, where our team members feel they belong and are set up for success.”

“With more than 600,000 open jobs in manufacturing today and the continued need to fill millions more jobs by the end of the decade, it’s critical for manufacturers to engage the largest underrepresented pool of talent: women,” said MI President and Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “The 2024 Women MAKE Awards gala promises to be an inspirational, powerful event, where some of the brightest stars in manufacturing will be recognized for the incredible work they have done—both to grow our industry and to uplift others like them.”

On April 18, the MI will recognize 130 recipients of the Women MAKE Awards in Washington, D.C. The evening will highlight the story of each Honoree and Emerging Leader, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.



Chroma Color Corporation is a leading supplier of specialty color and additive concentrates, catering to various industries, including packaging, wire and cable, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products, among others. With the acquisition of Epolin, Chroma Color is now the foremost authority in the near-infrared (NIR) absorptive dye industry, creating exclusive blends tailored to meet the needs of light management applications.


The Manufacturing Institute builds, diversifies and strengthens the modern manufacturing workforce, with the goal of furthering individual opportunity, community prosperity and a more competitive manufacturing industry. The MI engages underrepresented communities and shifts perceptions about careers in modern manufacturing, leads skilled training and career development programs, provides thought leadership and research on the changing state of the workforce and builds partnerships to scale up its impact on manufacturing in the United States. As the 501(c)3 nonprofit workforce development and education affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, the MI is a trusted adviser to manufacturers, equipping them with solutions for the industry’s toughest challenges. For more information, please visit

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