As Americans prepare to celebrate the 238th anniversary of our founding document, there’s hope for a renaissance in technology manufacturing in the land of opportunity. I explain why and list examples in this column.
It seems overly optimistic looking at the economic data since it shows the last decade hasn’t been kind to domestic computer and electronics manufacturing, with employment off over 20% from its pre-recession peak and shipments down a staggering 62%. Employment is still trending down, but production has bottomed the last few years; however after a generation of domestic offshoring and the rise of a myriad of foreign technology powerhouses, it would be easy to assume the business of building electronics had left the U.S. for good.
Yet tech manufacturing never entirely left and a variety of factors, including higher foreign wages, favorable exchange rates, concerns about theft of intellectual property, increased need for agile development and production cycles and mass customization mean that the collapse in U.S. tech production is over and net job creation will hopefully soon follow. I outline why in this column and include a list of U.S.-made tech that would make that great inventor of 1776, Ben Franklin, proud here are some notable, if not always well-known, products made in America.