A growing band of US manufacturers is on a mission to restore The American Dream—by helping consumers understand why buying American made matters, and how to choose wisely.

 

December 15, 2010, Adamstown, PA – At a time when saving American jobs is more important than ever and the economic recovery needs a boost, a growing group of American manufacturers have come together to form American Made Matters™. The mission of this newly-reinvented organization (formerly SaveAnAmericanJob™) is to stimulate American manufacturing by promoting a broader understanding of why purchasing American products is vital to our future, and enabling consumers to easily identify goods that are American made.

America’s settlers came to this country seeking a place where they could establish a better life. They came with hopes and dreams and the belief that anything was possible: a safe and secure life for their families, an education for their children, owning a home. For generations, this has been the American Dream. But amidst our struggling economy, the hope of realizing “The American Dream” is becoming more and more illusive for many Americans.

“Buying American is more important than ever,” says Don Rongione, the organization’s Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Bollman Hat Company, America’s oldest hat maker. “Simply put, stimulating manufacturing here at home will save jobs and increase the pool of job opportunities, but it is also the only way we will get to a sustainable economic recovery and secure our independence. The most valuable service our group can deliver is to make it easy for shoppers to identify products that are made in America.”
American made products matter to different people for different reasons, and so on its new website (www.americanmadematters.com), the organization provides consumers with a comprehensive education on the impact that buying American has on our economy, consumer safety, our national security, our independence, our planet, and more. In addition, the website speaks to the potential long-term ramifications if we don’t start supporting manufacturing here at home. The site also offers lists of, and links to companies rooted right here in the U.S.—companies that offer world-class products that are safer, more reliable, more innovative, more environmentally friendly and superior in quality to comparable imports.

The cold, hard truth says Rongione, is that most Americans don’t really understand that purchasing less expensive goods manufactured in foreign countries—no matter how much they spend—isn’t going to help “stimulate” the U.S. economy; it’s actually a losing proposition. Over the last 10 years, more than 5.5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the U.S. Add in the documented “ripple effect” of four to five jobs lost for each single manufacturing job, and this translates to some 30 million American jobs lost. Tens of thousands of American factories, unable to compete with lower cost producers, have closed their doors and laid off workers, or been forced to move their jobs offshore to compete with lower-priced foreign alternatives.

Less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing at the end of 2009, the lowest number since 1941. More than 40,000 U.S. manufacturing plants closed their doors in 2008 alone, putting hundreds of thousands of hard working men and women in the unemployment line. And at the moment, there aren’t any indicators that American manufacturing will recover any time soon—during November, only 39,000 jobs were added (with the number of manufacturing jobs falling), a sharp drop-off from the 172,000 jobs gained in October, and this year’s average monthly gain of 86,000. And the jobless rate jumped to a seven-month high of 9.8% in November.

Yet despite the belief of many Americans that the “heyday” of American manufacturing is long gone, it is still possible to turn things around. “We have become too dependent on foreign manufacturing for what we use and what we wear,” says Rongione. We need to start regaining our independence by bringing back the quality craftsmanship and manufacturing that have been the keystones of the American economy.”
Inspired by our current economic climate and his own experience with the painful process of cutting jobs, Rongione decided to ramp up his original concept for the organization, which was first launched in July 2009. American Made Matters™ will offer a higher level of consumer engagement through its newly designed website and friendly, informative Facebook page. The organization itself, acts as a member-based “consortium” of like-minded U.S. manufacturers and sponsors, and as a public forum for consumers to obtain information on high quality, American-made products. Benefits for members include networking and partnering opportunities, access to blog posting, a branded link to members’ websites, and participation in regular promotional campaigns designed to heighten awareness of U.S. made products. Member companies are authorized and encouraged to use the American Made Matters logo on products where at least half of the cost and the final assembly or transformation takes place in the United States. Plans are currently underway for a major public marketing campaign, as well as an educational program specifically designed for schools.

More information is available at www.americanmadematters.com; companies interested in membership should contact Don Rongione, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bollman Hat Company, at 717-484-6230, or email drongione@americanmadematters.com.
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