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September 18, 2003

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

Donald Evans, US Commerce Secretary, Calls on Maine Manufacturer to Help “Level the Playing Field” in the Global Economy

Westbrook, ME - Donald Evans, Secretary of the US Department of Commerce (DOC), visited D&G Machine Products, Inc. of Westbrook during a recent trip to Maine. The Secretary met with a cross section of D&G employees representing every department and function of the company to discuss their perspective of issues confronting US manufacturers, as well as how the federal government might work collaboratively with small and medium-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs) to help them compete more effectively in the global marketplace.

D&G Products employs more than 130 highly skilled workers and offers custom tooling and die fabrication, high-tech turning and milling, as well as prototype design and engineering analysis. D&G is fully ISO-9002 certified with world-wide recognition of their quality assurance program.

Secretary Evans reaffirmed his commitment to the US manufacturing sector as well as the commitment of his department to help US manufacturers be more effective in world markets. He was interested in learning, from the perspective of the rank and file D&G employees, what sorts of frustrations the company was experiencing and how the federal government might help level the playing field.

“Small manufacturers are the backbone of the US manufacturing industry,” said D&G president Duane Gushee, “so we were particularly pleased that the secretary came right to the source for first-hand information.” The D&G staff was candid about frustrations the company had working with the federal government and especially about having an opportunity to bid on federal contracts. Gushee referenced a new supply chain integration effort being developed by the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) – a program that is partially funded by the DOC – as being among the most important new opportunities available to SMEs in Maine.

While a keynote speaker at a luncheon hosted by the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce, Secretary Evans presented the US Department of Commerce Export Achievement Award to Winderosa Gaskets, Dixfield, ME. Winderosa CFO, Lisa Bonney, accepted the award. Winderosa Gaskets, a manufacturer of small engine gaskets employing 14 people, distributes performance gaskets to over 40 countries.

LoLisa Bonney, Secretary Don Evans, Rod Rodrigue - CEO, Maine MEP

Both D&G and Winderosa have received technical and strategic assistance from the Maine MEP, whose sole purpose is to help Maine-based manufacturers compete more effectively in the 21st Century global marketplace.

The Maine MEP is an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. The national MEP is a network of manufacturing extension centers that provide business and technical assistance to smaller manufacturers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. For more information on the Maine MEP program call 1-800-637-4634.