Celebrating Pennsylvania's iconic American brands

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. 

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Staying Close to Shore: A look at manufacturers who never left the US.

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.

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Bringing Toy Manufacturing Back to U.S.

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.

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Congressman Fitzpatrick announces Made In America Act at The Rodon Group

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.

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The Rodon Group supports a great American athlete

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.

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STEM education getting the attention it deserves.

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.

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Reshoring Toys

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.

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American Made Plastic Parts in Your Home/Business

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.

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Infographic: Robots and Automation Bring Jobs Back to the US

Article credit: Kuka Robotics (http://www.kukaconnect.com/)

The rise of robotic automation in the manufacturing and packaging industry is often blamed for the steep job losses in U.S. manufacturing, along with the rampant outsourcing of labor to cheaper workforces. But a real look at the facts and stats show that things just aren’t that cut and dry.

Check out our infographic below and you’ll see the many ways in which robotics and the reshoring initiative can help increase manufacturing employment in the U.S. From providing improved safety measures in dangerous jobs, to introducing higher-paying, specialized positions that workers can be trained to fill, to laying out the true pros and cons of offshore outsourcing, this infographic sheds some light on the “other side” of the story.

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