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January 15, 2003

For more information please contact:
Muriel Mosher
Tel: 207-623-0680

Maine Metal Products Association Announces New Collaboration with
Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Augusta, ME - Maine manufacturers in the metals industry will be the beneficiaries of a new collaboration announced today between the Maine Metal Products Association (MMPA), and the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP). The Maine MEP will help Maine-based manufacturers in the precision metals industries expand their capability to supply the nation's defense industry.

"This is a wonderful new opportunity for our members," said Lisa Martin, Executive Director of the MMPA, "and we want to be sure to capitalize on it from the start." "MMPA is partnering with the Maine MEP to help manufacturers in the metals industry take maximum advantage of opportunities to supply the defense industry. Even companies that are already supplying defense contractors will benefit from this initiative," Martin said, "by expanding their production capacity and having access to bigger contracts." She also indicated, "This initiative will impact the need for an expanded and educated work force."

"In the past, many Maine manufacturers have simply been too small to be very useful to defense contractors," said Dr. Terry Shehata, Maine MEP's Vice President for Strategic Planning. "We will help them team with other manufacturers that might have surplus capacity or some unique technology. Other teaming arrangements can enable small manufacturers to more easily meet Department of Defense technical specifications or even workforce diversity objectives which might not be possible on their own. We're pleased to be able to offer this assistance to all Maine manufacturers, in any field." Shehata went on to say that major defense contractors will also benefit "by having access to a whole new group of potential suppliers, without the need to invest huge sums in the process of identifying and qualifying new sources."

"Manufacturing is a vital component of the Maine economy," offered Speaker of the House, Pat Colwell, upon the announcement of this new partnership. "There is a great deal of under-utilized capacity here in Maine at the present time," he said. "Maine manufacturers are able to capitalize on an extraordinary work ethic, combined with access to world-class technology to create products that equal or exceed, in quality, anything available on the world market." The Maine MEP will help provide Maine manufacturers with the opportunity to become re-engaged in supplying the defense industry. "After all," added Colwell, "Some of Maine's biggest manufacturing employers are a vital component of the defense industry, and there are lots of other, smaller enterprises that could be making an equally significant contribution."

Precision metals manufacturers wanting detailed information about how to take advantage of this collaboration should contact the MMPA, a non-profit trade association dedicated to actively helping the metal products industry in Maine grow and prosper. The MMPA seeks to build strategic relationships with the legislature, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and the educational community to promote economic growth; champion business and technical education; and to continuously work to reduce the industry's impact upon the environment. The MMPA can be contacted by calling (207) 854-2153 or by e-mailing