While our government may have come to a standstill last week on Friday, October 4th, Manufacturing Day at The Rodon Group continued with a few last minute changes. Absent were our local congressman and delegates from the Commerce Department. However, we still had a great turnout including educators, workforce development professionals and local business leaders. Our speakers included our President and CEO Michael Araten, the CEO of Bollman Hats and Founder of American Made Matters, Don Rongione as well as John Grant, Manager of Government Affairs for SPI, The Plastics Industry Trade Association.
Subscribe to Email Updates
Pennsylvania has a long history of industrial and manufacturing firsts. Scranton, in the northeastern part of the state was the first city in America to be electrified. Titusville Pennsylvania was the birthplace of the oil industry. Iron production first began in this state in 1716 and within 100 years coal was fueling industrial growth.
If recent headlines are any indication, business leaders and politicians alike are focused on the renewal of the manufacturing sector in the United States. The terms used to describe this resurgence include onshoring, reshoring and insourcing. Companies large and small are bringing their production back to America. After years of decline in these high wage jobs, it’s easy to see why people are getting excited.
While all companies should welcome this new patriotism, many manufacturers in this country never left our shores. These manufacturers have weathered wars, recessions, unfair trade practices as well as the invasion of cheap goods from China. And yet, they never wavered or considered taking their operations off-shore.
Michael Araten, President and CEO of K'NEX Brands, L.P. and The Rodon Group, was interviewed by Liz Clamen of the popular Fox Business After The Bell show on Friday, July 12th. Mr. Araten revealed a new intiative to market the K'NEX brand in China.
On Friday, July 12th, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick held a press conference at The Rodon Group hosted by Michael Araten, President and CEO. Local TV, radio and newspaper reporters were the first to hear about this new bill, The Made In America Act of 2013, which was introduced on Thursday July 11th by Congressmen Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania 8th District and Congrressman John Carney of Delaware. This bipartisan bill would encourage and educate consumers on buying “Made In America” products by creating an America Star Program. Similar to the Energy Star Program, this voluntary labeling program has several goals. First, the new labeling would provide consumers an easy way to identify American made products. Second, manufacturers would be encouraged to meet certain American manufacturing benchmarks, showing the percentage of the product made in the U.S.A. This bill recognizes the growing trend towards domestic production and consumption of American made products.
July Fourth is one of our favorite holidays. It is a time to reflect on how lucky we are to be Americans and create great products here at home. We have been on the forefront of the American Manufacturing renaissance and have witnessed the positive impact manufacturing jobs have had throughout the country. At The Rodon Group, these jobs are filled by some of the most professional and well-trained staff in the industry.
For years, The Rodon Group has supported STEM education. We know the importance of obtaining strong math and science skills throughout elementary and secondary education. Often described as "too hard", children need to be engaged and supported in the learning process by both teachers and parents. Math and science should be presented in creative and common sense ways to help spark and encourage curiosity. A well executed science experiment or a real life math problem can bring the "fun" back into the classroom.
Article originally posted on www.toybook.com , May 14, 2013
By Howard N. Aronson, Managing Partner, Lackenbach Siegel LLP
Like the proverbial child who runs away from home only to return before nightfall, an American toymaker is bringing most of its manufacturing back to the U.S.—after more than a decade of outsourcing in Asia. The decision of K’NEX Brands, a family-owned maker of plastic building toys, to boost manufacturing at The Rodon Group, its Hatfield, Pa. plant, is only one example of a major trend. Persuasive factors leading to the ultimate decision included quality control, overall costs, timeliness of deliveries, and intellectual property issues. Many are following the lead of K’NEX and rediscovering that home sweet home is the best place to make and distribute products after all.
Many products that are a part of everyday life go unnoticed, either because they are components of larger items or they are so commonly used that little thought is given to their existence. Items manufactured by plastic injection molding often fall into this category. Without them however, life would be void of a number of modern conveniences.
By looking around at home or business, one can better understand and appreciate the items that exist because of the injection molding process. Screwdriver handles, tool box casters, and plastic fasteners are likely to be found in the average garage. Appliances and plumbing systems normally include plastic components that are not seen. Visible items include toys, eyeglass cases, handles, and knobs. The list could go on and on but enough examples are given here to illustrate the point.