The 2006 National Manufacturing Week Conference, to be held March 20-23 in Rosemont, IL, has become the place for small and mid-size manufacturers to go to better understand and foresee global manufacturing trends and opportunities, their impact on U.S. companies, and to develop solutions to help small and mid-sized manufacturers improve their manufacturing processes.

With an intensified emphasis on education, seminars, training and networking opportunities, the 2006 National Manufacturing Week Conference promises to deliver unmatched business building opportunities for U.S. manufacturers by bringing together more global manufacturing leaders than ever before. Eight top keynote speakers and 400 additional speakers will discuss topics covering the entire manufacturing process, from design to factory floor to customer fulfillment.

Among the stellar line-up of keynote speakers is Carlos M. Gutierrez, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and the voice of business in government, who will address the nation's manufacturing community on Wednesday, March 22, at 10 a.m. in Room 1. Prior to joining President Bush's economic team, Gutierrez was chairman of the board and CEO of Michigan-based Kellogg Co.

In addition, at 9 a.m. on Wednesday in Room 1, Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens will present remarks on "Manufacturing Leadership in the Global Marketplace,"