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In Oregon, The Future is NOW

July 26, 2011
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Nicole Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services within the International Trade Administration.

Some people across the country claim that manufacturing is dead, and that the U.S. doesn’t make things any longer.  Well, aside from the fact that the manufacturing sector has led the economic recovery over the past two years, with more than 230,000 jobs added since the beginning of 2010, I can tell you first hand that manufacturing is alive and well in Oregon. 

This past week, I traveled to Portland for a meeting of the Manufacturing Council. This is a Council of private sector executives representing a variety of industries, including steel, textile, superconductor and solar panel manufacturers and whose products support a diverse range of industries in, among others, the automotive, aerospace, apparel and energy efficiency sectors. At their meeting, members deliberated on letters of recommendation ranging from their support for the Colombia and Panama Trade Agreements to creating a clean energy standard and filling the skills gap that currently exists in the manufacturing workforce.

While in Oregon, I also had the chance to visit a number of manufacturing facilities where I saw how cutting edge innovations are spurring job growth.

Companies such as PCC Structurals which manufactures advanced castings used for aircrafts, automobiles and medical devices.  PCC employs over 2,600 people and is currently exporting all over the world with plans to expand to even more markets with the help of the local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

At Chris King Precision Components, I learned how this small business is able to use forward-thinking, innovative and sustainable methods to become a leader in the production of high-end precision aluminum, steel and titanium bicycle components.  Not only are its parts currently being used in the Tour De France, but nearly 40 percent of the company’s products are exported to Europe and Asia.

Finally, I had the opportunity to visit United Streetcar, a company that designs and builds modern streetcars and is positioned to be a pioneering force in increasing urban transit options throughout the United States. Chandra Brown, the President of United Streetcar and Vice Chair of the Manufacturing Council, noted that once the streetcar propulsion system is installed, the vehicle will be made with over 90 percent of U.S. content!

So is manufacturing dead?  Not if Oregon has anything to say about it.

83 comments

  1. Excellent work, not only to reduce poverty, but also provide jobs for the unemployed, not to mention economic growth


  2. Manufacturing in the USA may not be dead. But, it’s gotten closer to that point since the advent of NAFTA. Today’s unemployment news is but another harbinger of that message. I’m glad to see Manufacturing is buzzing and alive in Oregon. But, I would be remiss to say Oregon is the exception and not the rule.


  3. Jobs are created with manufacturing sector in U.S.Right now economic has improved and hope to create more jobs.


  4. I don´t think so!Many people in many countries are living today thanks of manufacturing companies


  5. it is clear that the future is here. Thanks to these innovative scientists and people who help make our lives easier and more comfortable.

    Thanks, good job


  6. I’m glad to see that the production is brisk and lives in Oregon. But I would be remiss to say that Oregon is the exception, not a rule.


  7. This does seeom the be the future of things, thanks for the post.


  8. Good! We seriously need something to jumpstart this economy. Things have fallen and we’re no longer a Triple A country. :(


  9. We need to keep working on improving the scope for providing better paying jobs and the manufacturing industry should be revived up.


  10. I visited Portland a some years ago. What a wonderful city. Hearkening back to a gentler kinder time. (I have been resident in Los Angeles). I may retire there. Good to know the city is still advancing.


  11. New products need to be innovated, manufacturing going overseas isn’t the problem. It’s like complaining the invention of the car took jobs away from carriage drivers.

    No innovation = no jobs. Bill Clinton was blessed with the tech revolution. Without another leap in technology America will never recover from this recession/depression, and more financial “innovation” is not the answer.


  12. You are correct, manufacturing is not dead, it has just shifted to other things. The US still exports more than 1 trillion worldwide..dead? don’t think so.


  13. I, too love Portland! It’s one of those great American cities that has both the modern conveniences and the feel of a cozy small town! We visit there almost every summer and always find fun things to do with kids!


  14. Very exciting, makes me want to move to a more technically progressive city such as Oregon. Keep the ball rolling buds


  15. most products are made in china now and shipped in.


    • Cutting all incentives for companies to do business abroad would instantly create more jobs at home and give us a sustainable economy for decades to come.


      • The problem is not is much that they do business abroad but that we trade with countries that are using something similar to slave labor. The West can never compete against countries like China because we have basic human rights.


  16. totally agree with you…. manufacturing can help a lot country to recover his economy and it gives a great competition to the market on any products and buyers have lots more option when the want to buy something. anyways.. nice article and thanks for sharing.


  17. From my perspective, it’s good to see our nation investing in its own prosperity more and relying on exports less – the more money we can keep from going into offshore accounts, the better off we’ll all be.


  18. American made products are definitely the way to recovery. Oregon is definitely on the right track with that!


  19. Personally I think the manufacturing sector of our country has begun to rise again by little, this according to reports I’ve read about the rise of new employees who are involved in this sector, this I think is a strong indication that the sector manufacturing is quite stable yet another indication that the manufacturing sector is good is that in recent months has not reported the failure of any major company.


    • It is interesting to hear that manufacturing is alive and well in Oregon. I live in Europe and here in the problems in the manufacturing business growing rapidly.


  20. It’s great to see that manufacturing is still alive and prospering in Oregon. Automotive manufacturing used to be the backbone of the U.S economy a few decades ago. More jobs in this sector will help to improve and stabilize the economy.


  21. Parts being used in the Tour de France isn’t promising for basing an export economy on, but the aerospace and medical machine production in USA is definitely the bright spot. Whatever imbalances we have with other countries in general, these specific sectors are where the USA is exporting a lot more than importing. And exporting such highly finished goods is something to be proud of. We also have a lot of raw natural resources that could be sent out though


  22. some places manufacturing is rather dead however this doesnt seem to be the case in Oregon. Well done its great news.

    As we all know theres always going to be competition so we have to constantly strive to bring out new innovative products and ideas. we all know that china are now one of the biggest manufacturing countries and there econemy is booming.

    we here in the uk need to improve our manufacturing the same as the US and we need to start exporting more and importing less in my opinion

    good article though and thanks for the information

    regards

    paul


  23. Great start. I believe this will help to improve current US economy in some way. Keep it up.


  24. I’ve been a manufacturing/design engineer for over 20 years and whenever an American company wanted to be competitive in a global manufacturing market – it was usually successful. With modern automation, we can be just as competitive as the Chinese.


  25. I agree with your article, because the manufacturing sector contributes greatly to the country’s economy. Very good vision on your part in writing this great post,


  26. is very important to encourage the creation of such companies, helping greatly in the economy of a country and unemployment rates are lower


  27. Clearly the manufacturing sector is more alive than ever, pointing to the care of the environment, an issue that includes us all.


  28. When is Oregon going to go after the tax-free cash economy? Why do I see so many people buying money orders to pay their bills so they don’t leave a paper trail with a bank account?

    And, likely a significant majority of these tax cheats steal social services by claiming little to no income.

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  29. it’s good to see that manufacturing sector has led the economic recovery over the past two years,but i have a question here, is the situation very suit to other states? what your opinion about the other states.


  30. great post, its important to continue to support smaller businesses and up and coming businesses too. China is one of the world leading manufacturing countries so we have to continue to be innovative and push forward

    its great that you doing so well

    thankyou for the post
    joyce


  31. I agree with your article, because the manufacturing sector contributes greatly to the country’s economy. Very good vision on your part in writing this great post,


  32. Our economic model and federal policies from the 1980s were a huge mistake and we as a nation are only beginning to realize this as we see are national economy falter. We need to have states like Oregon and the federal government change our policies to favor US manufacturers and jobs. Creating tax incentives for US manufacturing and discouraging outsourcing is the real answer here.


  33. although its important to change certain policies and we need to look at the US economy as a whole because it doesnt matter if certain areas are doing well, this will not help our country to recover. We need to cut spending and elect ron paul, he will sort things out :)

    good blog btw


  34. I totally agree with you. Small business is the main motor of development, This is the case not only of Oregon but whole US.


  35. We need more programs like this. Give the resources to the people to help bring the economy back, not to the big organizations where the resources will never reach the people.


  36. We need to keep working on improving the scope for providing better paying jobs and the manufacturing industry should be revived up.


  37. Glad to see this. Americas best days are still ahead of us. Manufacturing is not dead and I hope it continues to grow in Oregon and in the rest of the nation.


  38. Glad to see this. Americas best days are still ahead of us. Manufacturing is not dead and I hope it continues to grow in Oregon and in the rest of the nation.


  39. We should look at Great Britain whose manufacturing industry is non-existent due to Margaret Thatcher and her policies of Union confrontation, cheap foreign imports with very little regulation and no financial support for what little industry they have left. Lets learn from this what not to do.


  40. Congratulations on the excellent work. We need more jobs for everyone, but above all with good quality that can be exported.
    Andrea


  41. Great post. I think it’s very important to support smaller businesses and up and coming businesses too.


  42. As we all know, there’s always going to be competitive we have to fight constantly to bring new products and innovative ideas. we all know that China is now one of the largest countries and econemy manufacturing is booming, the Chinese market is very important for the U.S. economy and jobs U.S. companies continue to experience healthy growth in China market. Eighty percent of companies surveyed reported double-digit growth in revenues in 2010 and 40 percent had revenue growth of more than 20 percent of this you are saying


  43. Development is everything, and in this case oregon is leading with its innovations, the manufacturing sector will always be a pillar for the development and this is where it is shown,
    I’m anxious to see what’s new in the future will bring us.


  44. Manufacturing is not dead. The show made in America proves that it is not dead. I think that’s just something people do not see. To get a product you need a manufacturing facility. Is it dead? My answer is no. Great topic.


  45. Like everyone else says this is a great topic. Manufacturing is not dead at all. It’s just had to adapt like anything else. We really need something to jump start our economy back to where we were. Manufacturing could be part of the answer.


  46. Manufacturing propelled the United States to where it is today. But if you look at it closely it was more of innovation than manufacturing per se. That’s where the lack is. As long as the country innovates and provides value added products to the markets, the economy will thrive. Instead of real value addition, if there is only more and more credit and inflated values, it will go bust. Seems to be pretty simple, isn’t it?


  47. Good to hear that manufacturing jobs are being created in Oregan, these are the lifeblood of a country. With so many manufacturing jobs being sent overseas by companies over the last 10 years, its worrying to think these are the cornerstone of any healthy economy.


  48. Yes China’s economy is now the biggest and it is booming


  49. I don´t think so!Many people in many countries are living today thanks of manufacturing companies


  50. I live in Oregon. This was so refreshing to read something like this. You figure only bigger states are of primary focus, but glad to hear we are thought of.

    Great.


  51. Automotive manufacturing used to be the backbone of the U.S economy a few decades ago. More jobs in this sector will help to improve and stabilize the economy. Great article!


  52. Its good to see something positive being done at last!


  53. They are doing positive things and that is admirable, we should unite cultures to create a strong development potential and entrepreneurship.


  54. Oregon has been of the states in America which leads to the new technology. This is an opportunity to their people to generate more jobs.


  55. I agree with your article, because the manufacturing sector contributes greatly to the country’s economy. Very good vision on your part in writing this great post,


  56. Great reading, innovation is needed to drive the economy forward, as a bonus it also makes my life easier! Keep it up guys!


  57. Yeah the economy of china is growing, i think we are getting behind them. We have to do more stuff like this one in Oregon


  58. I agree 100%. Manufacturing made us a strong country and it will be what helps us turn this economy around. Great article…


  59. The manufacturing jobs in Oregon is some good news. Now if the rest of the country can follow suit.


  60. American made products are definitely the way to recovery. Oregon is definitely on the right track with that!


  61. Manufacturing sector in America is not only important for American people but to also rest of the world. And if it is on right track, it is good for everyone.


  62. It certainly going to be a slow struggle into the ‘black’ again for most companies. It’s good news that this does seem to be happening. Obviously Oregon has made the right choice to follow down the technologies route.


  63. I am surprised to notice that Unitedstreetcar is the only streetcar manufacturer in the USl. I just visited their website. They really look great and definitely have possibilities for the future !


  64. This is a debate that we are having in France this year, especially important as we come up to the Presidential election in May. It is important to differentiate between old-style manufacturing with dirty smokestack industries and workers slaving over a production line … and modern, clean industries where computer power, know-how and technilogical prowess are used. That appears to be what’s happening in Oregon and what should be happening in France.


  65. Like everyone else says this is a great topic. Manufacturing is not dead at all. It’s just had to adapt like anything else. We really need something to jump start our economy back to where we were. Manufacturing could be part of the answer.


  66. I agree with your article, because the manufacturing sector contributes greatly to the country’s economy. Very good vision on your part in writing this great post,

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  67. wow!! Two lakh jobs in two years from manufacturing sector is really amazing..US is still the leading exporter world wide..I don’t think manufacturing industry would die..


  68. It’s great to see that Oregon continues to lead the way in manufacturing technologies and practices. Hopefully there will be a trickle down effect that spreads to other states. Thanks.


  69. Production might help a great deal nation to recuperate their economic climate also it provides excellent competitors towards the marketplace upon any kind of items as well as purchasers possess much more choice once the are interested some thing. anyhow..


  70. Along with spurring job growth, I’m glad to see that the Manufacturing Council is also trying to further education in order to fill the skills gap created by the development of new technologies. Thanks.


  71. Like everyone else says this is a great topic. Manufacturing is not dead at all. It’s just had to adapt like anything else. We really need something to jump start our economy back to where we were. Manufacturing could be part of the answer.


  72. It certainly going to be a slow struggle into the ‘black’ again for most companies. It’s good news that this does seem to be happening. Obviously Oregon has made the right choice to follow down the technologies route.


  73. totally agree with you. Small business is the main motor of development, This is the case not only of Oregon but whole US.


  74. Good to know the city is still advancing. Maria


  75. Great reading, innovation is needed to drive the economy forward!


  76. Manufacturing is not dead and I hope it continues to grow in Oregon and in the rest of the nation. We need to have states like Oregon and the federal government change our policies to favor US manufacturers and jobs.


  77. If not dead, it has definitely declined to the point of non-existence. If you look at China and Japan, the comparison becomes even more stark.

    ford sacramento


  78. Wow i would have loved to have been able to visit United Streetcar, sounds like a great place for a car enthusiast to visit thats for sure. The post is an interesting read, things sure have changed even in the couple of years since this post.


  79. Good to know the city is still advancing. Maria


  80. “So is manufacturing dead? Not if Oregon has anything to say about it.”

    This is really the sentiment of everyone not only in Oregon, which is one of the avant-garde in the manufacturing field, but also of many other locations in the US. That’s something to be really proud of. I am.

    Keep the taps flowing.

    Jock Wiz



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