Composites groups join forces for PR effort

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Composites One has partnered with the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) on a grass roots effort to make lawmakers and the local media more aware of the role played by the composites industry in America’s economy.

The effort kicked off on Aug. 17 when U.S. Representatives Donald A. Manzullo (R-IL 16) and Joe Walsh (R-IL 8) met with Composites One representatives Marcy Offner, Marketing Manager; Rick Hess, Technical Sales Representative; and Shari Schlau, Distribution Center Manager, at Composites One’s distribution center in Woodstock, Ill. The purpose of their visit was to gain a better understanding of the composites industry, which in Illinois alone accounts for more than 13,000 jobs and $2 billion of economic activity. Also present for the meeting was John Schweitzer, ACMA Senior Director of Government Affairs.

The group had other visits, including a warehouse, a kitchen and bath store, and a discussion on styrene.

For Congressman Manzullo, the visit served as a critical fact-finding mission into the challenges facing today’s composites industry. Of particular interest was the recent ruling by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in its 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC) which listed styrene as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Styrene is a compound found in 90 percent of today’s composites materials.

“That ruling could eventually lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the U.S.,” said Congressman Manzullo, who co-chairs the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus, an effort focused on strengthening U.S. manufacturing and helping employers put Americans back to work.

To further explore the matter, Congressman Manzullo has requested that a hearing be convened by the House Manufacturing Caucus, and asked for support from the House’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services.

“It’s very important that we visit companies like Composites One to find out how these issues impact their business, their employees and their customers,” he added.

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