[Congressional Record Volume 150, Number 16 (Tuesday, February 10, 2004)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E133-E134]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                    IN RECOGNITION OF JACK T. GENTRY


                             HON. ROY BLUNT

                              of missouri

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, February 10, 2004

  Mr. BLUNT. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a man who has 
distinguished himself in southwest Missouri by his commitment to 
improving our manufacturing sector and expanding our markets abroad. 
Jack T. Gentry of Springfield, MO, is a builder, creator, innovator, 
and motivator. He has worked aggressively to give manufacturers a voice 
in their community and government. Ten years ago, he was the driving 
force in creating the Springfield Area Manufacturers Association 
(SAMA), the region's first manufacturer's association, and then served 
as its president. In September 2002, SAMA broadened its focus to 
include 40 manufacturers throughout southwest Missouri, and the name 
was changed to the Southwest Area Manufacturers Association. Today the 
organization represents more than 60 manufacturing companies.
  The association's mission and Jack Gentry's aim is to represent the 
economic, political, educational, and social interests of southwest 
Missouri area manufacturers and their employees, while promoting the 
betterment of the local economy and the environment, as well as the 
well being of the manufacturing industry in southwest Missouri.
  Jack Gentry has always been ahead of manufacturing trends and issues. 
More than a decade ago, Jack and the Manufacturing Association began 
taking action on issues that are center stage in manufacturing today. 
With his leadership, the Association developed awareness programs about 
how to find, create, and train a literate labor force. The association 
contributed $37,000 to public schools for technology and provided 
career awareness opportunities for high school students by hosting 
plant tours, internships, and school-to-work initiatives. In 1993, 
Positronic Industries, Jack's company and a founding SAMA member, began 
working with the U.S. Department of Labor and Ozarks Technical 
Community College to develop company-paid apprenticeships in order to 
meet the need for a skilled workforce. To date, 128 employees have 
completed their training in nine areas and received Department of Labor 

  The association also initiated discussion about the impact of taxes, 
workers' compensation, and health care costs on the manufacturing 
sector with government leaders. It was the first time in southwest 
Missouri that manufacturers spoke with a unified voice about their 
  Positronic Industries, founded by Jack in 1966, embodies his 
manufacturing philosophy--work smart, expand markets, keep ahead of 
trends, and deliver a reliable, dependable product. The bedrock of that 
philosophy is a workforce of skilled employees. Positronic employs 800 
individuals worldwide manufacturing high performance, high reliability 
electronic connectors in ten facilities located throughout southwest 
Missouri, Puerto Rico, France, and Singapore.
  In the face of adversity, Jack has demonstrated repeatedly both his 
commitment to his employees and his refusal to quit. When the Positonic 
plant in Rogersville, MO, was

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destroyed by fire in 1983, Jack promised to rebuild and put the 200 
employees back to work quickly. He kept his promise. In 6 weeks, the 
plant was back in full production with full employment. In the two 
decades that followed, Jack's superior management skills enabled 
Positronic to flourish in an unpredictable economic environment.

  At the same time, Jack gave his time and energy to benefit those 
following in his manufacturing legacy. During his service on several 
boards and agencies, he has offered the government invaluable advice on 
policy and practices. Over the course of his career, Jack has served as 
a Technical Advisor on Electromechanical Components for Electronic 
Equipment to the International Electrotechnical Commission, which sets 
worldwide standards for electronic equipment, and as the Secretariat of 
the International Electrotechnical Commission committee. In addition, 
he has been appointed to the Industry Sector Advisory Committee, which 
establishes policy for imports and exports for electronic components 
and was chairman of the Rectangular Connector Committee for the 
Electronic Industries.
  Jack Gentry is a member of the President's Council of the National 
Association of Manufacturers and a strong advocate for American goods 
in the international market. He will be honored for his work and 
leadership by the Southwest Area Manufacturers Association on February 
18, 2004, and awarded lifetime honorary membership in SAMA as President 
  These honors are a fitting tribute to Jack Gentry's untiring effort 
to advance manufacturing, expand markets and improve the economies of 
southwest Missouri and the United States.