Orthman Manufacturing, Inc. of Lexington are the recipients of the 2012 Innovation in Manufacturing Award for Nebraska.

The companies were honored at the Oct. 3 meeting of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry's Manufacturers Council held in Grand Island.

The Innovation in Manufacturing Award is sponsored by the State Chamber and McGladrey and is presented annually to Nebraska manufacturers who successfully implement new ways of conducting business through the use of products, processes, technologies and strategies.

"It's an honor to recognize Chief Industries and Orthman Manufacturing with this award," said Barry Kennedy, president of the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry. "The spirit of innovation implemented by both of these companies gives us another reason to be proud of our manufacturing base in Nebraska, and it illustrates why manufacturers are helping pave the path to economic recovery."

Gov. Dave Heineman has proclaimed the week of Sept. 30 – Oct. 6 as Manufacturing Week in Nebraska.

The state's manufacturing sector plays a vital role in Nebraska's local economies by employing nearly 125,000 Nebraskans and producing more than $10 billion in annual output, according to data collected by the Nebraska Chamber and its affiliate, the National Association of Manufacturers.

The State Chamber is Nebraska's largest business association, representing employers of all sizes, as well as local chambers of commerce and other associations.