Once in a while, you find a video that is so well done, so compelling, that you must share. This video, from American Made Matters is a great example. It will make you think twice about where products are made; knowing that the simple act of buying American-made products can have a profound impact on our economy. It's all about creating jobs. Jobs that are secure and well-paying. Jobs that can help re-build our middle class.
What is the "Maker Movement"?
The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of CNC tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses a cut-and-paste approach to standardized hobbyist technologies, and encourages cookbook re-use of designs published on websites and maker-oriented publications. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them to reference designs.
The great recession underscored some inherent weaknesses in the U.S. supply chain. We have an employment skills gap, an uncoordinated approach to nurturing innovation, and an export imbalance. Since 2011, the federal government focused on changing this paradigm and made American manufacturing a priority. Under the guidance of the Department of Commerce/NIST, they developed an infrastructure with dedicated funding to rebuild our manufacturing sector.
While US manufacturing has been hit hard by nearly two decades of policy failures that have damaged its international competitiveness, it remains a vital part of the U.S. economy.
The US manufacturing sector employed 12 million workers in 2013, or about 8.8 percent of total US employment. Manufacturing employs a higher share of workers without a college degree than the economy overall. On average, non-college-educated workers in manufacturing made 10.9 percent more than similar workers in the rest of the economy in 2012–2013.
Typically I don't make New Year's resolutions. Maybe that s because I never seem to be able to keep them, but now I know I'm not alone in this. According to a study at the University of Scranton, only a tiny fraction of us actually keep our resolutions. Their research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. I guess I'm considered in the majority here.
What if for once we came up with a resolution that was easy to keep and benefited our country at the same time? Sounds great, right? As a consumer, think about all of the purchases you make every year. All that "stuff" that we, as Americans love to buy. A lot of that "stuff" is sadly not made in this country, however the U.S manufacturing revival is happening and every week, American entrepreneurs are coming up with new ideas of things to make here. The problem is most people have no clue how to look for it or where to buy it. We can help with that.
According to the website Made in the USA.com, “If every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S.-made products, it would create almost 10,000 new jobs. And, if every builder used just 5 percent more U.S.-made products, it would create 220,000 jobs.” It is clear, that each one of us can have a positive impact on our economy by simply making the decision to buy products made at home.
Starting this holiday weekend, we encourage everyone to start a tradition of buying American-made products. Just like the nutrition labels on food that tell you about the contents of the product, country of origin labeling tells you where the contents came from and where they were assembled. With a few exceptions, the government does not require this labeling; however companies are proud to display their Made in the USA origin. These businesses understand American consumers want to purchase products made here and support jobs throughout our country.
Tips on buying American-made
On June 17th, the White House hosted a summer forum titled “Reinvesting in America, Creating Jobs at Home.” This program is part of a larger initiative called SelectUSA, which focuses on the many advantages the U.S. has to offer businesses both foreign and domestic. The White House along with business leaders and economists gathered to discuss the importance of innovations and entrepreneurship in growing our economy. The agenda featured speakers from government and industry including our own President and CEO, Michael Araten.
Our friends at the Manufacturing Extension Partnership introduced a new infographic that underscores the importance of manufacturing in our economy. This interactive visual highlights some fascinating facts about the impact of manufacturing. In addition, you can follow links to manufacturers throughout the country who participated in Manufacturing Day in October 2013.