Monday, June 23, 2014

Reshoring Initiative June 2014 Newsletter

In the News

Surveys reveal data on reshoring trend
The Entrada Group conducted a single blind study and found “Re-shoring getting more attention by the day.” Some of the conclusions they found:
  • 62% of respondents rank the United States and Mexico ahead of China now as top “low-cost” manufacturing locations
  • Offshore cost savings are not always realized — companies that expanded to a “low-cost manufacturing location” achieved their goals to a large extent only half of the time, with half of them realizing just moderate savings or worse.
The MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation announced recently that it has launched its 2014 global manufacturing survey. To participate, click here. The survey will follow up on the 2012 survey and report with Supply Chain Digest, "U.S. Re-shoring: A Turning Point."

Manufacturing worker hours reflect a stable economy
Pointing to the higher average work week in manufacturing that hit 42 hours in November and March (a level not seen since July 1945), Nobel laureate and Yale University economist Robert Shiller deduces that the odds of a recession are very low (, exemplifying yet another correlation of how a healthy economy depends on a robust industrial sector.

National Manufacturing Day, and further characteristics of the trend
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reports that manufacturing supports more than 17.4 million U.S. jobs. Thanks in part to reshoring, that number is growing. In acknowledgement of National Manufacturing Day, NIST published a table of informative statistics: What Manufacturing Really Looks Like: Celebrating Manufacturing Day. Check it out and decide how you will participate in the next Manufacturing Day scheduled for October 3, 2014.

Reshoring is included in Industry Week’s report: These 5 Manufacturing Trends Are No Joke:
  1. Increased reliance on automation and robots
  2. Reshoring
  3. Rapid prototyping
  4. Smaller orders
  5. Leaner factories. 


Skilled Workforce Update

With manufacturing returning in force and with modernized operations, companies continue to find it challenging to acquire the right workers. The Reshoring Initiative believes the skills gap is the greatest barrier to successful ongoing reshoring. Happily, we are starting to see great efforts being made to improve the situation. Here are just a few informative discussions on the subject:

On May 8 in Windsor, CT, Harry spoke to high school students about careers.
MazakCorp Northeast reported a "Great day for the student summit," and Clement Fucci, Manufacturing Technology Instructor for 31 years at Westfield Vo-Tech High School, tweeted: @harrymoser was awesome!!


Recent Event Highlights

Massachusetts is one of the many states poised to benefit from reshoring. Harry was the keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Summit, presenting immediately after Governor Deval Patrick.

The 2014 Manufacturing Leadership Award for Industry Advocacy was presented to the Reshoring Initiative on June 5th.


Data Update

With the constant outpouring of reporting on reshoring, our database is growing. We continue to manage and analyze it to track the trend. Here are some of our latest numbers.
Note: We extend a special thanks to graduate students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison QRM Center for identifying additional articles for the Library.

Have a story to tell? Submit your reshoring success story at, and we will also highlight it here.


2014 Upcoming Events

 Other Reshoring Events:
A complete list of upcoming Reshoring Initiative appearances can be found on the Upcoming Events page.

If you have a reshoring event and would like to include the Initiative, or be listed in our Newsletter, send us an email!


    Reshoring Resources


    Reshoring Initiative Sponsors:

    Congratulations to our sponsors, you are doing a great job of bringing manufacturing back to the United States!






    The Wessel Group


    Milltronics CNC Machines
    Royal Products
    TCI Precision Metals
    U.S. Bank


    Big Kaiser
    Swiss Machine Tool Society


    California Metals Coalition


    Mr. Moser,

    It was refreshing to hear the can do approach to bringing the economic engine of "making things" back to the US.

    Thank you again,
    Mitch Kennedy, ND, CEM, LEED-AP
    Design with Nature, LLC


    All reshoring successes depend on actions. Please consider posting a link to the Reshoring Initiative on your website, and/or donating your time, talent or dollars. You can download our logo at the website. Contact us for more information on how you can help or how the Initiative can help you.

    As always, thanks for your support.

    Harry MoserReshoring Initiative (847) 726-2975

    Millar Kelley – Newsletter Editor and Research Analyst

    Join our mailing list.


    1. I am pleased to see the United States is once again a world leader in the manufacturing industry. This brings more jobs here and helps boost the economy.

    2. Recently, I was thinking back about my time as a mechanical engineering student at UC San Diego. Back then, just like nowadays, the career services people at the university emphasized internships as the path to useful work experience.

      It occurred to me that, at least for mechanical engineering students, there is a good alternative to an internship: temporary or summer jobs doing mechanical assembly. Listings for assemblers at have examples of the work I'm referring to. These are especially desirable if the student is unable to find an internship, or needs paid work but only finds unpaid internships.

      I suggest this because my UCSD coursework focused heavily on the science behind engineering formulas, not the practice of mechanical design. I did have two design classes at the end of my time there, but my design ability was limited by not knowing how things are built. I believe that other students were limited also, and suspect that this hasn't changed since then for later students. I'm assuming that the situation is similar at other universities.

      If students do assembly or other fabrication work, it will give them the tacit knowledge that can be gained only by physically doing tasks to create devices. That knowledge will help them dream up innovative and buildable product designs and then set up a manufacturing operation (hopefully here in the USA).

      I mentioned temporary short-term work because students will learn more by skipping around to different companies and building a variety of different products. Students will end up having a portfolio of building skills to show future prospective employers.

      Implementing this idea could be as simple as suggesting assembly work to students, and giving them a flyer that explains the benefits. The right time to do that would be the moment they choose the mechanical engineering major.

      It would help if universities first contacted manufacturers in their county, and convinced them to accept college students even though the students will lack assembly work experience and often will work only part-time.

      Students can start doing this work during their freshman year. An extra benefit is that the work will help students decide, early in their schooling, whether a mechanical engineering career will suit them.

      I appreciate your attention to my idea. I have no vested interest in seeing this happen, other than the potential satisfaction of doing something helpful.

      If you have doubts about all this, then maybe it would be enlightening to hear the opinions of any practicing engineers you happen to know.

    3. We need a national program that walks mechanical and manufacturing engineering university graduates through design and manufacturing case studies, with hands-on experience with a variety of manufacturing processes.

      I wish I could have participated in such a program when I graduated college. My mechanical engineering university education was much too theoretical. Frankly, my ability to do real-world design engineering is limited by that.

      Undergraduate engineering degrees are professional degrees in reality, even if not officially. Other professional schools (e.g. law, business) use case studies, but engineers are expected to function without the benefit of a similar collection of experience. This must change.

      Unlike software engineering university programs, mechanical engineering curricula typically offer inadequate chances for hands-on learning. I'm guessing that's due to the cost of equipment, energy, materials, and liability insurance. Sure, sometimes a student can land an internship at a company, but that gives a student exposure to only one manufacturing line or engineering business.

      Big corporations sometimes have money for training, sometimes they don't. Even if they have money, training means they risk spending a lot of money training people who could quit to work for another company, so those big companies may be reluctant to invest much in training. Keep in mind the kind of training I'm talking about would be extremely expensive, because it would be deliberate­ly diverse and extensive to give engineers many ideas for innovation­.

      Also, I've read that new jobs are typically generated by small businesses or brand new businesses­, not big corporatio­ns. How do those businesses get creative and skilled people trained? They can't do it readily.

      Some private enterprises do permit students to work in their facilities and learn valuable skills that are not part of typical college curricula - "internshi­ps". They seek out and sometimes pay these students, and have them working side by side with engineers solving real world problems.

      But that only gives a student exposure to one manufacturing line or engineering business; I believe that is far too narrow. And those engineers can only pass on knowledge based on their own training and experience, which may be incomplete or confined to a very specialized area.

      There was a TV show on the Discovery Channel called How It's Made, that sort of did this for the TV viewer. Imagine actually visiting the factories they show, instead of watching on TV. Imagine being coached and doing each step of the process, single-handedly manufacturing the product as much as possible. That's basically what I'm looking for, for the manufacturing part of the training anyway. A discussion of the history and evolution of that process would be a really helpful addition, to understand why the process is set up the way it is.

      It seems unlikely that private enterprise factory owners would permit students to actually handle their equipment. They sometimes will allow factory tours, but that's not enough. Also, I suspect that few, if any, universities could afford to maintain their own set of factories. If I'm right, then this makes it very difficult for people to get the broad experience that would make them highly effective innovators.

      We need one separate educational organization, funded by the U.S. government. That organization should purchase appropriate factories or equipment, and move them to suitable locations. It then would take American graduates and students from any U.S. university, and let students visit the factories that interest them. Each student would be trained to do each step of the manufacturing process.