ROSEVILLE (WWJ) – Manufacturing is not dead. In fact, it’s alive and thriving.

That’s the message from hundreds of shops around the country holding open houses on “Manufacturing Day.”

On Friday, WWJ’s Marie Osborne visited Roseville’s National Bronze Manufacturing, which was hit hard by the recession.

Vice President Michael Russo said in 2008 the 100-year-old company was dealt a near fatal blow when it lost one of its customers.

He said the company quickly diversified and today has a customer base of 7,000, and their bronze bearings can be found in everything from trucks to home gym equipment.

Russo said he’d set his mind on a career in finance, never dreaming that he’d end up in the manufacturing field.

“In my mind I pictured a dirty plant, you know, oil and grease everywhere,” he said. “The fist time I walked through this plant, it was an eye opener for me.

“It’s high-tech; the technology is there. It’s clean … [I work] with educated people,” Russo said.

Russo is among those in the field working to change the image of manufacturing.

“One of the things that really kept me hooked here, is we’re actually making things,” Russo said. “We’re making products, and I can look at certain trucks that our products are in, I can look at certain equipment that our product’s in — so it’s kinda that feeling that, yeah, we made that.”

Russo even blogs about bronze bearings on his company’s website, HERE.

The second annual Manufacturing Day — a grassroots effort by manufacturers to enhance public perception of production in America — will highlight more than 550 organizations nationwide.

To find a Manufacturing Day open house near you, visit this link.


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