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SMALL BUSINESS | HEARD ON THE BEAT: SMALL BUSINESS

Westec 2000 Show to Focus on Recruiting

March 15, 2000|DENISE GELLENE and MARLA DICKERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

The giant Westec 2000 manufacturing trade show is coming to town next week. And while all those high-tech machine tools will take center stage, the industry is most concerned with finding skilled workers to run them.

In fact, work force development will dominate the show's workshops and seminars this year. Organizers have arranged for more than 500 local youngsters to visit the expo, hoping to start grooming the next generation of manufacturing talent. Companies will be trolling for employees at the WESTEC Career Fair, and manufacturers are hosting a VIP luncheon for high school counselors to encourage them to channel more kids into the manufacturing pipeline.

"Labor is the critical issue for our industry right now," said Dave Lipnick, spokesman for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, which puts on the Westec trade show.

Westec 2000 runs March 20-23 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For more information, go to the SME Web site http://www.sme.org and click on the Tradeshows icon.

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