The National Assn. of Manufacturers (NAM) is launching a comprehensive electronic marketplace, called the Universal Business Exchange, to help its 14,000 member companies and 350 affiliated trade associations conduct business over the Internet. In providing the new service, the giant, Washington, D.C.-based trade group is partnering with another Washington, D.C., organization, Unibex Inc., a provider of online marketplaces for small- and medium-sized companies. The exchange will enable users "to participate in the entire range of commerce activities online, including posting of unique business offers, conducting research, procuring products, and making deals," says NAM. "[It] will be particularly useful to our small- and mid-sized members who might otherwise find e-commerce beyond their reach." NAM also conducts an Internet training site, the NAM Virtual University.