Representatives from Roll-Kraft and Fredon Corp. recently met with a group of NE Ohio participants to discuss and evaluate the manufacturing future in the area. Skilled and unskilled workers from nearby counties attended a recent meeting with local business leaders to discuss the future of manufacturing and the skills involved to be competitive in the industry. The meeting featured speakers Roger Sustar, CEO of Fredon Corp., and Chuck Summerhill, VP of Operations from Roll-Kraft. Both have successful ISO 9001:2000 Certified manufacturing companies in Lake County (Mentor), OH. Each offered a brief introduction and descriptions of the various skill sets needed in all areas of their businesses, such as sales, engineering, and computer-controlled machining. The main message presented was that NE Ohio manufacturers and American companies, in general, must continue to lower their operational and production costs in order to compete in the global marketplace. Since labour costs, in general, are substantially higher than in many other markets, manufacturers must rely on high-tech solutions and continued process improvements to lower their costs. A question and answer session followed the presentations. Both Roll-Kraft and Fredon will continue to research various methods to improve production and lower costs, in the on-going effort to be competitive with other companies around the world.