In an earlier blog entry called, “We’re Not Dead Yet,” John W. Kennedy, NJMEP’s COO, combated the notion that “manufacturing is dead in the U.S.” He discussed how the industry is changing, rather than dying, and conveyed the need to attract the next generation of manufacturing workers. Click here to read his full comments.
The manufacturing community has to rise above the notion that manufacturing is “dying,” and a lot of this has to do with messaging. We need everyone… the media, pundits, government officials, school counselors, students… the general public… to understand that manufacturing is vital to our economy and to support local manufacturers. Consider these facts from an infographic released by NIST MEP:
- For every $1 of goods produced, manufacturing generates an additional $1.43 for the economy
- Each manufacturing job creates at least 2.91 more jobs in other sectors
- Manufacturers are responsible for almost two-thirds of all private sector R&D
This message is particularly relevant now. During the holiday season, we often hear people say, “Buy local!” This includes eating at local restaurants and buying holiday gifts from local vendors. This message is of course, correct. A study from American Express found that consumers spent approximately $5.5 billion at locally-owned stores and restaurants on last year’s Small Business Saturday alone. Could you imagine the impact on our economy if we considered every day to be Small Business Saturday?
Local First Arizona also discussed some statistics showing the benefits of buying local:
- For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $73 remains in the local economy and $27 leaves
- For every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, $43 remains in the local economy and $57 leaves.
Again, this message is correct and powerful…but we need to expand upon this message. We shouldn’t just buy local during the holiday season, and it shouldn’t just be limited to retail and restaurants. All year round, we should look to buy products, parts and supplies from New Jersey’s manufacturers. With New Jersey’s diverse group of manufacturers, it’s the perfect “supply chain destination” as NJMEP CEO, Bob Loderstedt, would say.
You can check out New Jersey’s wide range of manufacturing capabilities on our Made in New Jersey directory.
“Keeping it local” is the way to go. Not just during the holiday season, but in every season. And consumers agree. Studies show that “97% of Americans have a favorable view of goods manufacturers in the United States.”
So whether you’re a shopper looking to buy a last minute holiday gift next week, or a business looking to improve its supply chain next July, choose New Jersey!