WASHINGTON, D.C.-A group of seven senior executives of small manufacturing companies, all members of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), recently attended the launch of the President’s new Economic Recovery Advisory Board, chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

The chief executives of two NAM member companies, James W. Owens, chairman and chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc. (Peoria, IL), and Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric Co. (Fairfield, CT), are among the 16 corporate leaders who comprise the board.

The advisory panel was convened as part of the Obama Administration’s outreach effort to make certain it receives broad-based information and advice from all sectors of the economy, including manufacturing. At the White House ceremony, President Obama signed an executive order formally creating the board, and used the occasion to urge Congress to act on pending stimulus legislation.

“It is encouraging that President Obama is reaching out to manufacturers for advice on his economic strategy,” says John Engler, NAM president and chief executive officer. “Manufacturing is a key engine of economic growth. Over the past two decades, the manufacturing sector has accounted for 15% of our country’s economic growth. This is greater than any other sector of the economy. We fully share the President’s commitment to economic growth, and look forward to a stimulus package that jumpstarts the economy today while laying the groundwork for a vital and competitive economy in the future. A strong manufacturing economy is key to our country’s success. Working together, we will build a strong and prosperous America.”

The new advisory council is intended to be an economic sounding board for President Obama, and will report to him directly, meeting with him regularly. Its mission will include responding to specific requests from the President.

For more information about the National Association of Manufacturers, visitwww.nam.org.