The Impact of Overseas Manufacturing of Locking Tools
For nearly 60 years, manufacturing operations of high-quality locking tools took place in the quaint town of DeWitt, Nebraska. However, in 2008, the plant was shut down, and jobs were outsourced for overseas manufacturing, despite the repercussions. According to the Economic Policy Institute, American corporations have outsourced more than 5 million jobs and 91,000 plants since 1998. Malco thinks differently. For decades, we have been manufacturing quality tools of the trade at our Annandale, MN headquarters. As an employee-owned Specific Benefit Corporation (SBC), we value strengthening our communities and economy by keeping jobs in America. When an opportunity arose to expand our operations for Eagle Grip® locking tools in Nebraska’s heartland, we knew it was meant to be. We are proud to bring American-made quality back to manufacturing.
3 Overseas Manufacturing Outcomes
1. Increase in American Unemployment
Jobs that move offshore usually don’t come back. Without new domestic jobs, unemployment rises, and a higher base unemployment rate becomes the standard. In the meantime, more Americans are out of work with few prospects of landing a job. This was proven true in DeWitt when the last factory shut down. Generations of families had worked there, and suddenly, everything changed. Eagle Grip Engineering/Quality Manager Jose Almazan’s father worked for a refrigerator/freezer manufacturing plant for 18 years before he lost his job to foreign outsourcing. Jose noted, “I strongly believe that manufacturing needs to stay in America because of the large number of workers that are passionate, innovative, valuable, and enjoy the job as part of their day. I wish companies would be more optimistic and creative to find ways to keep manufacturing in the USA.” By buying domestically made tools like Eagle Grip, you are contributing to a hard-working American’s wages.
2. Negative Impacts on Local Communities
When jobs are outsourced, and facilities are shut down, it affects not only the employees but the local community and the supply chain. Administrative Assistant Kristi Rahe was a former human resources employee for the previous factory. She said, “Business slowed down for most of the companies in DeWitt, and we had this big building in town that was no longer taken care of. The parking lots grew up in weeds, and the building was starting to become an eyesore.” After the Eagle Grip facility opened, she noted, “Business in town picked back up slowly, and the building now looks great! A lot of pride came back to the town. The local restaurant, bar, and grocery store have seen an increase in business, with people going for lunch and stopping by after work. I’ve also saved about an hour and a half of time away from home daily.” When overseas manufacturing takes priority, businesses in the supply chain that produce the raw materials, packaging, etc., are negatively impacted. All Eagle Grip tools are made from American steel, and we utilize local vendors in Nebraska for other services to finish our products. These companies include Lincoln Plating in Lincoln, Liberty Boxes in Omaha, and Nebraska Machining in Beatrice.
3. Our Reliance on Foreign Countries
When we rely on other countries for labor and materials, we weaken our nation’s independence. If we utilize our own resources, including our workforce, we can promote industrial growth and bring more business to our country. We strive to preserve American manufacturing, quality, and ingenuity. Many of the current employees of the Eagle Grip facility are former employees of the previous plant. They bring valuable skills and experience uniquely suited to our industry and product offerings. Midwest values of hard work and ownership are baked into every tool that comes out of our building.
Through Malco, Eagle Grip is committed to domestic operations without the need for overseas manufacturing. “We look forward to continuous improvement, innovations, and future expansion of our manufacturing capabilities, so we can continue to keep and bring back manufacturing to America,” said Jose