Eau Claire company a nominee for WI Manufacturer of the Year - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire company a nominee for WI Manufacturer of the Year

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - A local company is competing against others around the state, hoping to lay claim to a title it missed out on last year. Realityworks is an Eau Claire company most known for making dolls that simulate child care for high school students. They're in the running for Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year.

"I think it's a great nomination for us to have, it really showcases some of the stuff that we do and the uniqueness of the company here in Eau Claire," said Timm Boettcher, President of Realityworks.

Realityworks is back in the running. It's the second straight year the business has made the list of nominees for Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year. It is an award sponsored by the business association of Wisconsin manufacturers and commerce.

"Awards like this are stuff that we want to be nominated for, that we like to strive for. Because it showcases how we're innovative, how we're different. How we go about doing business differently. It showcases a lot of what are employees are about as well," Boettcher said.

The award is broken down into five categories; four based on size and one for sustainability. Companies must demonstrate things like financial growth and stability, operational excellence and improvement, and also environmental impact.

"Probably the main drivers for us are more of the how we manage costs, but also the sustainability side. Making sure our products are recycled from 5 or 6 years in the field," said Boettcher.

Realityworks, which makes baby dolls for high school kids to learn first hand about parenting, recycles as often as they can. That includes the dolls themselves.

"So we've got 40,000 pounds of vinyl that we've recycled over the past few years," Boettcher said.

They've also gone paperless.

"We've taken all of our curriculum that has historically been sold inside the packages and converted that to electronic, eliminating thousands and thousands of pounds of paper," said Boettcher.

Realityworks says winning an award for manufacturer of the year would give them a marketing advantage. Since 2008 only one other company in the Eau Claire area has won one of the awards. It would also mean a celebration...

"I'm sure we will come up with something that will be a lot of fun, yes," Boettcher said.

Realityworks still has a while to wait on any possible celebration. The winner won't be announced until February 28th at a ceremony in Milwaukee.

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