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October 20, 2003

MSCI Southern California Chapter Conducts Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing in City of Industry on October 21

October 20, 2003

MSCI Southern California Chapter Conducts Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing in City of Industry on October 21

SOUTH GATE, California, October 20, 2003 – The leaders of three metals companies and a manufacturer’s representative will be the primary speakers tomorrow when the Southern California Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) conducts a Town Hall Meeting on Manufacturing.

The meeting will be held at Pacific Palms Resort 1, Industry Hills Parkway, in City of Industry, with a 6:30 p.m. dinner followed by the 7:30 p.m. Town Hall Meeting.

Speakers include Maurice S. “Sandy” Nelson, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Earle M. Jorgensen Company, of Brea, California; William Hickey, president, Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation, Chicago; Anthony Vinter, vice president and general manager, Shultz Steel Company, South Gate, California; and David Stanyo of Micro-E, a Los Alamitos-based manufacturer’s representation firm. 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.

“Manufacturing has been the weakest sector of the economy, and since July 2000, more than 2.8 million manufacturing jobs have been lost,” said Thomas J. Sharpe, president, Bergsen, Inc., of South Gate. “We have found company after company cutting back, closing down or relocating to the low-cost centers of Asia or Mexico.  If our politicians don’t awake to the problem, the damage to our manufacturing sector, communities, tax base and even our national security may become irreversible.”

The Southern California Town Hall meeting, Sharpe said, is one of a series of meetings conducted by MSCI chapters to raise awareness of the issue and to find ways to respond. It is open to anyone interested in the future of manufacturing.

“Manufacturing has historically been the backbone of American productivity, economic growth and innovation,” said Weidner. “Now, however, we are confronted with currency manipulation by Asian countries and unwillingness on the part of our government to enforce the fair trade provisions of our own law. With an election year approaching, now is the time to raise awareness of the issues and urge politicians to act.”

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 Thomas Sharpe, 562-861-8272