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Plastics exec featured at Obama's State of the Union address

By: Gayle S. Putrich

January 28, 2014

WASHINGTON – The plastics industry was represented in the House gallery at President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight – right in the First Lady’s box. Andra Rush, founder and CEO of Detroit Manufacturing Systems, was a guest of Michelle Obama’s.

In his speech, President Obama singled out Rush in his call to Congress to do more to “speed up growth and create more jobs” by pushing programs that emphasize training and re-training workers for jobs U.S. employers actually need and connecting companies with vocational schools and community colleges to design training programs to fill specific needs.

“[Rush] knew that Ford needed parts for the best-selling truck in America, and she knew how to make them. She just needed the workforce. So she dialed up what we call an American Job Center – places where folks can walk in to get the help or training they need to find a new job, or better job. She was flooded with new workers. And today, Detroit Manufacturing Systems has more than 700 employees,” Obama said. “What Andra and her employees experienced is how it should be for every employer – and every job seeker.”

In 2012, Rush started Detroit Manufacturing Systems Ltd., which manufactures and assembles injection molded trim pieces for automotive interiors, with Ford’s F-150 truck and Mustang line among her earliest customers. DMS grew to more than 600 employees in it first year and Rush was appointed to the U.S. Manufacturing Council, the primary private-sector manufacturing committee advising the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.