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July 9, 2003

MSCI Central States Chapter to Conduct “Critically Important” Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing’s Decline on August 21

July 09, 2003

MSCI Central States Chapter to Conduct “Critically Important” Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing’s Decline on August 21

CHICAGO, Illinois, July 9, 2003 – The Central States Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute will conduct a town hall meeting in August on the decline of North American manufacturing and what can be done to counter it.

“This is the first of as many as a half-dozen town hall meetings that we plan for the U.S. and Canadabetween now and the end of the year,” said M. Robert Weidner, III, MSCI’s president and chief executive officer. “Our membership is committed to raising awareness about the crisis in North American manufacturing. This meeting will bring together experienced business executives from all parts of the manufacturing production chain, political leaders and others in a critically important forum to support our manufacturing base.”

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Drury Lane, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois.  Confirmed speakers include:

  • Donald R. McNeeley, president and chief operating officer, Chicago Tube & Iron Company, Chicago
  • David L. Lerman, chairman and chief executive officer, Steel Warehouse Company, Inc., of South Bend, Indiana
  • William M. Hickey, president, Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation, Chicago, and also chairman of MSCI’s manufacturing committee
  • John Licht, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Duraco Products, Inc.

In addition, all members of the Illinois congressional delegation have been invited, along with several members of Congress from Indiana and Grant Aldonas, the U.S. Commerce

– more –

MSCI Manufacturing Meeting Page 2

Department undersecretary who has been leading a nationwide series of roundtable discussions on manufacturing policy.

The town hall meetings are just one aspect of the MSCI initiative to support North American manufacturing.  The institute has joined the Coalition for a Sound Dollar, a group of 85 trade associations that seek an end to currency manipulation and other practices that have artificially lowered the value of foreign currencies.  MSCI advocates a coordinated approach to federal programs and policies that affect the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing, in such areas as taxation, trade policy, health care costs, federal procurement, access to capital, and export and import controls. 

“The most important first step is to raise awareness among politicians of the serious erosion we have suffered in our manufacturing base,” said Michael Petersen, MSCI’s chairman and president, Petersen Aluminum Corporation of Elk Grove Village, Illinois.  ”In the last several years, U.S. manufacturers have shed more than 2.5 million jobs as thousands of companies, large and small, have closed their doors or moved plants to low-cost offshore facilities.  Despite immense gains in productivity, efficiency and product quality, North American manufacturing – our customers – is slowly but surely disappearing, taking with it jobs, skills, taxes and an important element of our national security.”

Founded in 1907, the Metals Service Center Institute has more than 350 members operating from about 1,200 locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and elsewhere around the world. Together, MSCI members constitute the largest single group of metals purchasers in North America, amounting each year to more than 50 million tons of steel, aluminum and other metals, with about 300,000 manufacturers and fabricators as customers. Metals service centers distribute metals and provide first-stage fabrication services.

Contact:   Jon Kalkwarf, 773-867-1300 x105, Bob Weidner, 847-372-0537,

or Steve Weiner, 847-827-0002