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October 10, 2003

MSCI Mid-South Chapter Conducts Town Hall, Meeting on Manufacturing in Atlanta on October 9

October 10, 2003

MSCI Mid-South Chapter Conducts Town Hall, Meeting on Manufacturing in Atlanta on October 9

ATLANTA, Georgia, October 10, 2003 – The leaders of three metals companies will be the primary speakers on October 16 when the Mid-South Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) conducts a Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing in Atlanta.

Speakers include Bill Jones, president and chief executive officer of O’Neal Steel, Inc., of Birmingham,Alabama; Stephen E. Makarewicz, president of Ryerson-Tull – South, and Steve Almond, president, Phoenix Metals Company, both of Norcross, Georgia. The session will be moderated by M. Robert Weidner, III, president and chief executive officer of MSCI, the Chicago-based trade association for the metals service center industry.

“Although manufacturing is finally beginning to revive a little in some parts of the country following a long slump, manufacturing employment continues to decline because so many plants have closed or relocated elsewhere during the last several years,” said Bill Hellstein, chief financial officer of Phoenix Metals and president of the Mid-South Chapter.  “The South has been particularly hard hit, with the textile, furniture and metals industries, among others, damaged by Asian currency manipulation and trading policies that work against U.S. interests.  Nationwide, we’ve lost more than 2.7 million manufacturing jobs in the last several years.  We need to talk about what we can do to retain our surviving manufacturing base and then return to a strong growth path.”

 “The grass roots campaign in support of North American manufacturing is beginning to have an impact,” said Weidner. “Responding to our efforts and those of groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers, resolutions have been introduced in Congress calling on the administration to enforce our existing trade agreements, work to establish a free market value for all currencies and speak out against unfair trade practices. The Atlanta Town Hall Meeting is another important step in the process of raising public awareness of these issues.”

The Atlanta Town Hall Meeting begins with an optional 6:00 p.m. dinner followed by the 7:00 p.m. Town Hall Meeting at the Westin Atlanta North at Perimeter Mall, 7 Concourse Parkway, Atlanta.  It is one of a series sponsored by MSCI chapters this year.  Similar meetings have been conducted in Chicago andCharlotte, North Carolina, and another, sponsored by the Southern California Chapter, will be held inIndustry Hills, California, on October 21.   The Northern Ohio Chapter has scheduled a Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing for December 2.

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, or Bill Hellstein, 770-447-4211