Archive for the ‘Success Stories’ Category

h1

Global Investment Creates Extraterrestrial Innovation and Hometown Jobs in Alabama

August 24, 2017

By Sandor Galambos, SelectUSA Investment Specialist based in the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland.

RUAG space

Leaders from RUAG Space and the State of Alabama ceremonially open the Swiss company’s first U.S. manufacturing facility.

RUAG Space, a Switzerland-based company, recently cut the ribbon on its first U.S. manufacturing facility, taking a major step to propel growth in the United States. The 130,000 square-foot facility in Decatur, Alabama, will produce high-tech equipment for launch vehicles for outer space operations and will create opportunities for workers in Alabama.

RUAG announced the facility in 2015 and has already created 50 new jobs there, with a plan to increase to 100 jobs over the next two years. The Alabama facility is the beginning for RUAG’s investment in the United States; the company is also in various stages of starting operations at facilities in in Florida, Colorado, and California.

RUAG is expanding in the United States for many of the same reasons why other global companies look to grow their businesses here. RUAG facilities will be at the cutting edge of the space industry, and this level of technology requires a workforce that is both innovative and reliable—the kind of workforce we have in the United States.

The company will also be closer to many of its primary customers, which will allow it to be more responsive to the needs of the industry it serves.

SelectUSA and the economic development team in Alabama have been working with RUAG Space since 2015 to help the company find the best opportunities to expand in the United States. The company attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit in 2016, making more connections in the United States and gaining insight into the regulatory issues relevant to the aerospace industry.

This success story is important for the economic development community, and providing support to RUAG Space and sharing their positive results can help other companies find their own success opportunity in the United States.

To learn more about how foreign-owned companies like RUAG Space are supporting jobs in the United States, check out the data available at SelectUSA.gov.

h1

SHIPPING OUT: ITA Participates In Ceremony Celebrating the First Shipment of U.S. Thermal Coal to Ukraine

August 22, 2017

By Ryan Russell, Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service Pittsburgh, Pa. 

Ukranian Coal Blog photo

Deputy Chief of Staff for the Secretary of Commerce Performing the Duties of Under Secretary for International Trade Israel Hernandez, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Valeriy Chaly, U.S. Department of Energy  Acting Assistant Secretary Griffith Wells , and Ted O’Brien, Xcoal Energy & Resources Vice President of Capital Markets, at the Port of Baltimore celebrate the loading of the first shipment of Pennsylvania thermal coal to Ukraine on August 21, 2017.

With the backdrop of a large Panamax cargo vessel and the solar eclipse, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Secretary of Commerce Performing the Duties of Under Secretary for International Trade Israel Hernandez joined U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Acting Assistant Secretary Griffith Wells, the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, and Xcoal Energy and Resources executives at the Port of Baltimore to celebrate the loading of the first shipment of Pennsylvania thermal coal to Ukraine on August 21.

The ship will depart for Ukraine later this week and arrive in September. The ceremony came two months to the day after U.S. Commercial Service officials, in collaboration with the DOE, first introduced Ukraine’s state-owned utility, Centrenergo PJSC, to U.S. coal companies including Xcoal, and marks a historic new chapter in our commercial relationship with Ukraine.

Centrenergo approached the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv earlier this year seeking to diversify its coal suppliers and identify a reliable U.S. partner to meet its anthracite coal needs. The U.S. Commercial Service staff in Kyiv and their DOE counterparts requested the support of the U.S. Commercial Service offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and the Ukraine office in headquarters to organize a week-long visit to meet potential Pennsylvania coal and technology suppliers. During that June visit, Centrenergo met with Xcoal representatives at the company’s Latrobe, Pa., headquarters, and launched successful commercial negotiations.

On July 31, the Government of Ukraine announced that for the first time ever Centrenergo would purchase American thermal coal. In a joint statement by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary Ross lauded the momentous deal as “bringing enormous benefit to our nation’s coal communities,” and allowing “Ukraine to diversify its energy sources ahead of the upcoming winter.” Secretary Perry underscored that, “U.S. coal will be a secure and reliable energy source for Centrenergo and its electricity customers.”

The current contract between Xcoal and Centrergo calls for the supply of 700,000 tons of coal between now and December 2017. The landmark deal is estimated to support roughly 70 U.S. mining jobs and more than 300 jobs in shipping and logistics.

During remarks at the loading ceremony, Hernandez noted that “this shipment is part of a larger, positive trend that we’d like to see continue further.”

U.S. trade with Ukraine is up 80 percent through the first half of 2017 compared to last year, and the International Trade Administration is working every day with U.S. exporters seeking additional business opportunities and partnerships with Ukrainian companies to continue that momentum.

h1

Maritime Trade Partnership Leads to Big Returns for Small Businesses

August 17, 2017

By Patrick Morris, Intern, Office of Strategic Partnerships

The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Global Marine Technology Team has been working since 2010 to help grow U.S. exports of marine technology. This specialized team helps U.S. marine technology companies take advantage of worldwide sales opportunities and engage in partnerships with U.S. maritime industry leaders. A mutual interest to support U.S. marine technology exports has forged a notable Strategic Partnership between ITA and The Maritime Alliance (TMA) that is yielding big wins for small businesses.

California-based firm, Blue Robotics, pitches their product to potential buyers at Ocean Business.

California-based firm Blue Robotics pitches its product to potential buyers at Ocean Business.

TMA, a non-profit industry association based in San Diego and an ITA Strategic Partner since 2014, represents one of the largest marine technology communities in the United States and the world. TMA promotes sustainable, science-based ocean and water industries to create jobs and encourage the development of marine or ‘blue’ technology. TMA and ITA collaborate on education, policy and technology resources, information sharing, networking, and outreach to promote innovation and economic development to expand the blue economy.

In 2016 TMA was selected as a recipient for ITA’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), and received $297,000 from ITA to enhance exports from U.S. marine technology firms.

TMA used this funding to launch the first U.S. Maritime Technology Export Initiative (USMTEI) – a three-year project supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their trade promotion endeavors. Through USMTEI, funding goes directly to U.S. companies to offset the total cost of participation in trade events by up to 50 percent.

Arizona-based firm, Hydronalix, demos its technology during the Rotterdam stop of the trade mission.

Arizona-based firm Hydronalix demos its technology during the Rotterdam stop of the trade mission.

In 2017, USMTEI supported U.S. companies at three separate events: the inaugural Oceanology International North America trade show in San Diego, Ocean Business in Southampton, UK, and a trade mission to Europe.

Oceanology International North America attracted 3,100 visitors, 161 exhibitors, and conference delegates from 39 U.S. states and 46 countries.  TMA organized 75 business-to-business matchmaking meetings between USMTEI companies and potential foreign partners. To complement the matchmaking program, ITA trade specialists working in European, Latin American, and Asian markets participated in nine export counseling meetings with USMTEI companies and conducted more than 25 additional individual consultations with other U.S. companies at the show. In addition, ITA organized a conference session highlighting marine technology opportunities in Brazil, Denmark, Mexico and Singapore, and assisted TMA in recruiting potential foreign buyers to the show.

Ocean Business and the trade mission to Europe showcased export programs, business-to-business matchmaking, and policy discussions between TMA and its European counterparts. A total of 11 U.S. SMEs participated in both activities, and each company benefitted from the trade leads obtained at the events.

Mark Gundersen, President and CEO of Marine Advanced Research commented, “TMA and ITA exceeded my expectations with the USMTEI. We had a packed schedule before, during, and after Ocean Business, meeting with companies and organizations in our industry. You would be hard pressed to find another way to open as many doors in such a short amount of time.”

While Rusty Jehangir, Founder of Blue Robotics, said “As a young, small business, the programs offered by USMTEI, TMA and ITA provided us with an invaluable opportunity to reach new customers and companies.”

As for the future of the USMTEI, TMA intends to support 12-16 U.S. companies to exhibit in the U.S. BlueTech Pavilion at Oceanology International 2018 in London, and lead a follow-up trade mission to Europe.

Online applications to participate in the USMTEI’s 2018 European programs are live, and those who are interested in expanding their company’s export opportunities are encouraged to apply: https://bluetechexports.org/the-maritime-alliance/. For more information on the work of ITA’s Global Marine Technology team and the role ITA plays in promoting blue technology please visit http://2016.export.gov/industry/marine/ or contact Maryanne Burke at Maryanne.Burke@trade.gov.

 

h1

Congressional Office Commends e-Commerce Firm During ‘Made in America’ Week for Facilitating Medical Exports

August 1, 2017

Susan Crawford is a Communications Specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service Pacific North Network. The U.S. Commercial Service is the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

VIA Global Health receives U.S. Commercial Service Export Certificate

VIA Global Health receives the U.S. Commercial Service Export Certificate for their achievements. Pictured from left to right: U.S. Commercial Service Seattle Director Diane Mooney, Rep. Jayapal’s District Director Rachel Berkson, International Trade Specialist Bob Deane, VIA Global Health President Noah Perin, Global Healthcare Team Director Tembi Secrist and Office of Health and Information Technologies Senior International Trade Specialist Gerry Zapiain.

VIA Global Health is filling a gap in the worldwide healthcare market with its innovative e-commerce healthcare technologies distribution platform. Through this platform, the Seattle-based company is addressing the needs of nearly six billion people in emerging markets around the globe.

The firm has worked with its local U.S. Export Assistance Center to more than double its distribution network to cover 21 African and South Asian nations. It recently received a U.S. Commercial Service Export Achievement Certificate in recognition of its success. District Director Rachel Berkson from U.S. Representative for Washington’s 7th District Pramila Jayapal’s local office participated in the presentation.

“Medical professionals in developing countries did not have access to innovative products, and innovators were struggling to sell their devices in these markets,” says VIA Global Health President Noah Perin. “We decided to offer a solution, a global platform that would function like the Amazon of the medical supply world.”

VIA Global Health has more than 160 distribution partners spread across 21 countries in Africa, and also in India and Bangladesh. The e-commerce platform offers medical devices, medical supplies, lab supplies and consumables.

“Exporters supported 375,000 jobs in Washington in 2015 and I commend Via Global Health for creating a platform that enables medical technology manufacturers in Washington and the United States to sell their products in the international marketplace,” Berkson said.

Perin contacted the U.S. Commercial Service offices in Seattle and Africa for help. Perin obtained intelligence on demand for medical technologies in Africa, met with potential distributors in Africa and was introduced to the Washington State Department of Commerce which provided funding for Perin’s participation in two African health expos.

“We’re here to take the guess-work out of selling to foreign markets,” said U.S. Commercial Service Seattle Director Diane Mooney. “We counsel local companies on all facets of exporting, help them determine the best export markets for their goods or services, identify and arrange meetings with potential foreign partners or distributors and assist with removing trade barriers.”

Exporters can access healthcare sector resources from the U.S. Commercial Service Global Healthcare Team and e-commerce best practices from the E-Commerce Export Resource Center. To learn more about exporting, please contact your local U.S. Commercial Service office.

h1

Arlington County, Va.: Showcasing at SelectUSA

July 20, 2017

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development. 

By Natalie Monkou, Business Development Manager, Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington Economic Development logoAs a region, the Greater Washington area is a prime destination for international companies that want to expand and grow in the United States. Arlington’s location, just across the Potomac River from Washington, allows companies, both regional and international, unparalleled access to the entire region and the world.

For the past three years, Arlington Economic Development (AED) has attended the SelectUSA Investment Summit (Summit), using the event as an opportunity to showcase Arlington, Va., and its community, businesses, and infrastructure. International companies interested in expanding or locating to the Washington region will find that Arlington has many tangible benefits including:

  • Strategic East Coast location within a two-hour flight time to major business centers in the United States
  • Easy access to three international airports (Washington Dulles International Airport, Ronald Reagan National Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport) that connect to markets representing 80 percent of the world’s economy
  • Closest proximity of any Virginia jurisdiction to U.S. federal government, international organizations, and institutions
  • Highest percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds in the country with the majority working in the professional, scientific and technical services industries

As we look to grow and expand our business community, Arlington views SelectUSA as a great convener of subject matter experts that discuss topics of interest to our mission and community. Currently, Arlington is focused on attracting companies in high technology markets such as cybersecurity, energy, health, education, and big data. The Summit provides an ideal platform to engage with compatible businesses and organizations.

This year, as a kickoff to the Summit, we co-hosted a regional dinner with the Greater Washington China Investment Center and our partner EDOs from Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia. During this event, AED representatives engaged with 120 Chinese delegates and investors and local companies that are currently doing business or are interested in expanding their business to the United States.

The Summit is also a great platform to attract international companies. During our first visit to SelectUSA in 2015, AED met with representatives from Arktis Detection Systems, Inc., a Zurich, Switzerland-based company that develops cutting-edge radiation detection systems. The company has received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which also happens to be headquartered in Arlington, to continue work on its advanced range of detectors. As a result of those discussions, in April 2016, Arktis opened its first U.S. subsidiary in Arlington. The Arlington location has given the company a home base in the United States to support and grow its operations. It was especially rewarding this year to see and listen to Rick Muntz, acting president of Arktis, speak on the “Preparing for and Managing Sustainable Growth: Exploring U.S. Soft Landings” panel at the Summit.

Overall, this served as a reminder of the success and the support that international companies, especially early-stage startups, receive when locating or expanding to the United States and Arlington, Va.

Interested in learning more about Arlington, Va., or how Arlington Economic Development can assist with your company’s business move? Contact us at aed@arlingtonva.us.

 

h1

Small Medical Technology Firm Overcomes Shipping Challenges and Succeeds in International Sales

June 30, 2017

Pompeya Lambrecht is a senior international trade specialist in the U.S. Commercial Service Northern Virginia office and a member of the Global Healthcare Team. The U.S. Commercial Service is the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

Last year I met Patrick Cheng, CEO of eKare, Inc., when he was signing a distribution agreement to sell his firm’s medical wound imaging devices in Asia and other regions throughout the world.  This is a big success for the Washington, D.C., area start-up that wasestablished in 2014.  However, without previous international shipping experience, Cheng needed help figuring out how best to ship his products. tech

eKare’s products use machine intelligence and sensor technologies to deliver wound imaging directly to a mobile device at the point of care.  While the product looks like a tablet, it’s a medical device powered by eKare’s proprietary software.

High-tech medical devices such as these make our lives better, but they present special challenges in the international trade environment.  For instance, do you ship the device as a computer tablet or a medical device?  What product registrations does eKare need to comply with foreign government regulations?  What U.S. export regulations does eKare need to observe?

With the help of the U.S. Commercial Service and introductions to private sector volunteers like Kathy O’Keefe, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve on the Virginia/D.C. District Export Council, eKare completed its first international shipments.

“Exporting can be very complicated, and we couldn’t have done it without guidance from Pompeya and Kathy, and support from the U.S. Department of Commerce,” Cheng said.

Selling internationally can seem daunting.  Nevertheless, with management’s commitment and patience to sell overseas, even small companies like eKare can increase their international footprint.  There is a network of resources available to help small and medium-sized companies sell internationally.  These include other federal agencies like the EXIM Bank as well as local economic development partnerships, like the Virginia Small Business Development Center.  Healthcare firms can access sector-specific resources from the U.S. Commercial Service Global Healthcare Team. To learn more, please contact your local U.S. Commercial Service office.

 

h1

President’s “E” Awards Highlight the Importance of Exporting U.S. Goods and Services

May 24, 2017

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross kicked off World Trade Week by honoring 32 U.S companies and organizations during the President’s “E” Award. Winners of the 2017 “E” Awards represent diverse communities in 23 U.S. states and Guam. Among the honorees, 26 are small and medium-sized businesses and 11 firms are manufacturers.

This year’s recipients included Johnsonville, LLC  of Sheboygan Falls, Wisc. The company started as a small butcher shop by the late Ralph F. and Alice Stayer and has now expanded to become the nation’s No. 1 sausage brand.  Its products, which include bratwurst, Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, meatballs, and now chicken, are sold in all 50 states and 40 countries. The company’s international business has grown 233 percent during the past 10 years, and its leadership recently set a goal of doubling international sales within the next five years. Since 2008, Johnsonville has added 400 jobs, with many of those supported by its growing export business.

awarad

Johnsonville, LLC of Sheboygan Falls, Wisc recieved the E Star Award.

Davenport Aviation, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio, acts as an end-to-end procurement partner for each of its customers. It helps source aircraft parts, inspect for quality, consolidate orders and manage the lifecycle of their orders. Today, 95 percent of the company’s sales are outside of the United States, resulting in new jobs near its headquarters. Nineteen of their 20 employees support its export business.

Hoosier Gasket Corporation’s export growth shows how U.S. small business can win in today’s global marketplace. This Indianapolis-based company made its first export sale in 2007. Shortly after, the company began aggressively exploring other potential markets by using the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key matchmaking service. The company’s international sales now account for 15 percent of total sales, supporting 15 percent of the 140 jobs.

The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Winners of the “E” Award are authorized to fly a blue and white banner, to display the accompanying certificate of commendation which is signed by the Secretary of Commerce in the name and by the authority of the President. Employees of the company are also encouraged to wear an “E” lapel pin as a sign of achievement for their contribution to increasing U.S. exports.

This year’s awardees helped contribute to the United States’ exporting more than $2.2 trillion of goods and services in 2016, and the estimated 11.5 million American jobs supported by exports. For a full list of the 2017 E Award winners, click here.