Award FAQs

Welcome to the Award FAQs. Here, you will find answers to some of the most common questions about our award program, including eligibility criteria, nomination and application processes, and evaluation methods. Whether you are interested in applying for an award or nominating someone else, this page has all the information you need to get started. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Can I nominate more than one person for an award?

You can only nominate one person at a time using the nomination form, but you can submit as many nomination forms and nominate as many people as you would like. Nominating the same person more than once does not increase their odds of winning.

I have been nominated for an award! Does that mean that I am automatically entered into the award program?

No, a nomination means that someone thinks you would be a good candidate for an award. That’s an exciting start!! However, you are not entered into the award contest until you complete and submit your application.

Do I need to be nominated to apply for an award?

No. You can apply for an award without someone nominating you.

Who is eligible for an award?

For the Outstanding Manufacturing Student award, you must be a current high school or college student or enrolled in a learning program through a Vocational Education Center. For the Outstanding Manufacturing Educator award, you must be currently teaching manufacturing to students. Public, private, and home schools are eligible. With both awards, the applicant must reside in either Cook, DuPage, Will, Kendall, Kane, McHenry, or Lake County in Illinois.

How are the applicants being evaluated?

Outstanding Manufacturing Students are being evaluated on their:

  • Passion or commitment to manufacturing
  • Clear manufacturing career plan or goals
  • Ability to overcome barriers, if they had any, to pursue a career in manufacturing

Outstanding Manufacturing Educators are being evaluated on their:

  • Passion and commitment for the manufacturing field in and out of the classroom
  • Commitment to developing their students’ technical skills, as well as their core skills, such as interpersonal skills, time management, problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills.
  • Use of creativity and innovation in the classroom
  • Teaching of current trends and technology within manufacturing
  • Bringing real-life manufacturing to their students, such as inviting manufacturers into the school to speak with students or arranging manufacturing tours

When you have determined the award winners, will you notify all applicants, even those who did not win?


Do you need to attend the VIA Spark awards if you win?

We strongly recommend that winners attend the VIA Sparks awards to receive their awards and recognition. For the students, especially, this event is a great way for you to meet heads of industry within manufacturing and start networking for your future career.

Do you have a question that wasn’t answered on this list? Contact us to ask your question.