Manufacturing Summit Educates the Public
October 25, 2012
For more information:
Jonathan Kalkwarf, vice president, finance and administration, 847-485-3007
Ashley DeVecht, director of communication, 847-485-3011 or 616-260-2785
Manufacturing Summit Educates the Public
Charlotte, N.C.–On Monday, Oct. 8, the South Atlantic chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) held its 2012 Manufacturing Summit Closing the Divide Between Jobs, Policy and Growth. The event, which was attended by more than 100 members and their customers, was moderated by MSCI president and CEO M. Robert Weidner, III, and hosted by Chapter President Joe Baucom, vice president of the Southeastern region at Marmon/Keystone.
The event took place at Renaissance Charlotte Suites in Charlotte, N.C. Panelists included: Bill Jones, vice chairman at O’Neal Industries, the largest family-owned group of metals service centers in the United States; Michael C. Arnold, president and CEO of Ryerson Inc., a metals distributor and processor headquartered in Chicago, Ill; James Darsey, executive vice president of Nucor Corp., which manufactures steel products and is North America’s largest recycler; and Maria Haughton is president and CEO of American Stainless Tubing, Inc., a service center headquartered in Cheraw, S.C. Also attending was U.S. Rep. Virginia Ann Foxx (R-NC, 5th District) and North Carolina state Sen. Bob Rucho, who represents the 39th District.
The summit was an opportunity for national and local manufacturing leaders, policy experts, employees and political candidates to discuss the most pressing issues facing the manufacturing and metal services sectors.
According to a study by MSCI, the metals industry has a direct impact on more than 500,000 jobs. While concerns about outsourcing and moving jobs overseas have dominated the news, manufacturing is actually one of the bright spots of the current economy. Manufacturing accounts for 11.7% of the U.S. GDP, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. However, significant challenges remain, including the rising cost of health care and the increasing costs the federal government has imposed on businesses.
Questions for the panel centered around MSCIs policy agenda, which includes positions on energy, trade, tax and regulation. During the discussions, panelists highlighted the importance of strong leadership and decisive action to support the growth we're beginning to see in the manufacturing industry.
The summit was just one of 11 being held across the country this year. The remaining host city is Los Angeles. MSCI hosts these events every election cycle, following an initial set of town hall meetings in 2004 and 2005. The program was expanded this year to more forcefully address the continued economic uncertainty many manufacturers and American industries face and to provide the leadership necessary to find workable solutions.
“The importance of good public policy relative to preserving and growing jobs is why we're here today,” said Weidner. “This year is a critical election year, at a time when manufacturing could play a very pivotal role in getting the nation back on track. We want to give our members and their communities a chance to learn more about the concerns of our industry and to understand where their local candidates stand on addressing those issues.”
Founded in 1909, the Metals Service Center Institute, based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., has more than 400 members operating from more than 1,500 locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and throughout the world. Together MSCI members constitute the largest single group of metals purchasers in North America, amounting each year to more than 55 million tons of steel, aluminum and other metals, with about 300,000 manufacturers and fabricators as customers. MSCI's membership also includes almost all ferrous and non-ferrous industrial metals producers in North America. Service centers inventory, process and distribute metals to manufacturing intermediaries and original equipment manufacturers.