Summer in America brings with it all the staples we associate with American culture – quality time spent with family and good food. It is also a time to celebrate our national independence and all the things that make our country great. Over the past decade, we’ve experienced a “Great Recession,” subsequent economic recovery and social adjustments too numerous to mention. It has been a time that has both torn us apart as well as brought us closer as a national community.
If we look closer at the fabric that has been woven into the American dream, we see countless small businesses that have been started by a person with a dream and a few dollars in his or her pocket. We see small manufacturers and distributors that have become the cornerstone of their local communities and are integral to the livelihood of the people that reside in those communities.
Manufacturing and distribution companies have long been essential to the economic growth we see on a state and national level in this country. We count on these businesses to manufacture and deliver essential goods and services when and where we need them and to provide employment to our current and future generations. American manufacturers will continue to be a large, important and growing sector of the U.S. economy. According to a study conducted last year by Forbes, our energy and manufacturing sectors have sparked major new investments by both domestic and foreign producers, which has led manufacturers to plan new factories in the U.S. due to electricity and feedstock costs that are now well below those in Europe or East Asia.
With this new boom in American manufacturers, new hot beds for industry innovation have emerged. Among these, Forbes recorded that Houston, Texas, for example, leads the list of areas of renewed interest for manufacturing and energy production. Since 2010, Houston has added 23,000 jobs specifically in the energy production sector, with the state of Oklahoma following in a close second with a 15 percent growth in manufacturing related jobs.
Even in the traditional “rust belt,” locations like Grand Rapids, Michigan, are now redefining manufacturing with over 60 different factories producing American-made products.
According to reports conducted by Ball State University and Conexus Indiana on America’s manufacturing sector, U.S. manufacturers attained record levels of production in 2014. From their analysis, manufacturing has continued to grow, and it remains a large, important and growing sector of the U.S. economy. This growth includes the demand for locally manufactured goods.
So why choose American manufacturers over their foreign counterparts?
The answer is in the name- America thrives most when we all pitch in. American wholesalers and manufacturers make up such an integral part of our economy, to deny them the right to thrive would be to deny our country’s history.
For the remainder of this summer, when we set out on our American-made pontoon boats, jet skis or paddleboards, or take that bike we cherish so deeply on a trip through the mountains, we should look back on the companies that made these all-American experiences possible. Happy summer, and let us not forget where and how deeply our roots grow and the small businesses that help us sustain the American dream.