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Washington, D.C., 01/31/13 - The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) announced its new Board leadership for the 12,000 member organization today. Doug Oberhelman, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., will serve as chair of the NAM Board of Directors, and Gregg Sherrill, chairman and CEO of Tenneco Inc., will serve as vice chair for a two-year term. In addition, Al Lubrano, president of Materion Technical Materials, will serve as chair of the Small and Medium Manufacturers (SMM) Group, and Thomas Riordan, president and CEO of Neenah Enterprises, Inc., will serve as vice chair.

“Manufacturers in the U.S., big and small, play a critical role in the U.S. economy by employing millions of people and providing a wide range of goods that are not only used in the United States, but are also exported around the world,” said Oberhelman. “I am honored to serve manufacturers in the U.S. at such a critical time for our nation. The prescription of what America needs to remain competitive is clear—we must invest in our future to improve our infrastructure, reduce the tax burden on manufacturers, explore and develop our energy resources and continue to open new markets for U.S.-manufactured products. If we don’t act now, our competitors will. We’re ready to work together to solve our nation’s challenges and ensure America is the best place in the world to manufacture.”

“The future of America’s economy depends on the success of manufacturing,” said Lubrano. “Today, we are facing burdensome regulations, an outdated tax code and a shortage of skilled workers—which are hurting our competitiveness. Small and medium-sized manufacturers can lead job creation and innovation, but we need the right policies so we can lead the world.”

These manufacturing executives are committed to lead efforts that aggressively advocate for pro-manufacturing policies, which will grow jobs in the United States, attract direct foreign investment, lead the world in innovation, expand access to global markets to enable manufacturers to reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders and ensure manufacturers in the United States will have the skilled workforce that the 21st-century economy requires.

“These are proven manufacturing leaders who know firsthand what policies help and hurt the manufacturing economy,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “We’re confident that with their leadership, policymakers will listen. Manufacturers continue to face much uncertainty with the turbulent climate in Washington, in addition to mounting regulations. It is 20 percent more expensive to manufacture in the United States compared to our major trading partners. If we are going to compete globally, this must change. Manufacturers must continue to educate policymakers with one voice in addressing these challenges. Nearly 12 million men and women in manufacturing can’t afford for Washington to wait. They need action now if we are to maintain the mantle of global manufacturing leadership.”