A group of seven senior executives from small manufacturing companies attended the first meeting of the president's new Economic Recovery Advisory Board on Feb. 6, according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
The 16-member panel chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker includes manufacturing CEOs Jim Owens of Caterpillar Inc. and General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt.
The advisory panel was created as part of the Obama administration's effort to receive broad-based information and advice from all sectors of the economy.
In a statement NAM CEO John Engler said his organization is prepared to work with the president on "a stimulus package that jumpstarts the economy today while laying the groundwork for a vital and competitive economy in the future."
"It is encouraging that President Obama is reaching out to manufacturers for advice on his economic strategy," Engler said. "Manufacturing is a key engine of economic growth. Over the past two decades, the manufacturing sector has accounted for 15 percent of our country's economic growth. This is greater than any other sector of the economy."
The new advisory council is intended to be an economic sounding board for the president and will report to him directly, meeting with him regularly. Its mission will include responding to specific requests from the president.