In 2010, Harry Moser launched the Reshoring Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing manufacturing jobs back the United States. After noticing the negative effects the offshoring movement had on the U.S. economy and people, Moser was determined to help companies shift collective thinking from “offshoring is cheaper” to “local reduces the total cost of ownership.” That year, about 6,000 manufacturing jobs moved back to the U.S.
The movement has slowly gained momentum over the course of the last decade. Last year, the U.S. gained back more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs – and the trend is projected to continue upward.
“While there was a slight decline in reshoring in 2018 and 2019 because of the trade war, companies are starting to reshore again because the pandemic has exposed issues for importers,” said Moser. Last year, more than 60% of manufacturers cited Covid-19 as a reason for reshoring.
Moser explains that recent reshoring trends are due to two main components of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Companies in the medical industry that traditionally make PPE and other necessary medical equipment are reshoring to make sure the U.S. has enough supplies without depending on other countries. Along with that, many new domestic PPE manufacturers are seeing the opportunity to produce domestically.
- Manufacturers in other industries are seeing the pandemic’s effects on the medical industry and taking precautions to reshore their supply chains before any disruption can happen.
Regardless of the reason, manufacturers see the value in reshoring now more than ever.
“The Reshoring Initiative is booming because of that increased demand for stability in the supply chain,” said Moser. “More manufacturers see the benefits of domestic production.”
The Reshoring Initiative’s role in the movement is to give companies the knowledge and resources to move production home. Their website features an extensive list of case studies and research conducted in support of reshoring. Their Total Cost of Ownership Estimator (TCO) can determine a company’s profit and loss impact of reshoring vs. offshoring.
Once a company commits to reshoring, they can use the Import Substitution Program as a resource to find importers that could be persuaded to buy their domestic materials and products. The tool helps manufacturers see where companies are importing from, how much they’re spending, and how much money they could save if they chose to source domestically.
“Our objective is to educate companies and let them do the work,” he said. “They’ll almost always be more profitable if they bring the work back.”
But, while the Reshoring Initiative is looking up, there’s one major element missing: skilled workers.
“Right now, there’s an excess of college graduates with liberal arts degrees that will have trouble finding work,” He said. “Instead, the government needs to make apprenticeship programs and skills training programs a priority over a 4-year college degree.”
In fact, skilled workers like welders and precision machiners can make more than the typical graduate from a 4-year liberal arts university.
Moser says the way to fix this is by increasing loans in apprenticeships instead of universities and encouraging young people to go into trade programs instead of pushing them to go to a 4-year college. While many people think an apprenticeship is meant for teenagers, the average apprentice is 23, giving young adults a chance to enter the field after college if they choose to do so.
Moser created a Skilled Workforce Development Program to change some of the misperceptions about manufacturing workers and help communities develop the skilled professionals they need to reshore manufacturing to the U.S.
Moser is excited to bring his expertise and resources to Louisville, Kentucky in October for Made in America 2021!
Opportunity to find new customers and bring manufacturing home!
The Reshoring Initiative (RI) will provide its Import Substitution Program (ISP) service to two Made in USA 2021 exhibitors. The winning exhibitors will each identify one product that they are especially good at making. RI will then identify the largest importers of the products and train the exhibitors to use TCO to convince the importers to buy from the exhibitors. The service will work best for companies that are very competitive in making a product and have significant import competition. This service works for brands and job shops.
To apply, email [email protected] for an application form.
See this flyer for more information on RI.