American Made Movie Highlights Homegrown Manufacturing

At the age of 19, Mark Andol opened his first business in his father’s garage. He named it “Mark’s Small Engine and Repair Service”.

Years later, Andol is owner of General Welding & Fabricating, Inc., headquartered in a 46,000 square foot facility in Elma, New York. His products—plows, trailers, and truck equipment—are all 100 percent American made.

Andol is one of many manufacturers featured in the new American Made Movie, which aims to highlight entrepreneurs and established companies alike in their attempts to keep manufacturing local.

The film—which ran in Boston this past weekend—is being shown across 32 U.S. cities prior to its national release on Aug. 30.

Over the past decade, the U.S. has lost an average of 1,276 manufacturing jobs per day and a net of 66,486 manufacturing establishments have closed, that’s according to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

American Made Movie sheds light on how some U.S. companies are managing to keep all or most of their manufacturing onshore, while others outsource overseas in order to remain competitive in a cutthroat market.

Boston-based footwear and sports apparel manufacturer New Balance is one of the companies featured in the film. New Balance is the only athletic shoe company that manufactures footwear in the U.S., with 25 percent of its goods coming from New England facilities.

“We understand why businesses offshore their production, but we also fundamentally believe that knowing how to make things and making them here is critically important to the long-term health of our company and , I believe, to this country,” says New Balance CEO Robert DeMartini.

Another company featured in the movie is Viking Range Corp., a Greenwood, Mississippi-based manufacturer of upscale kitchen appliances for the home.

Over the past decade, Greenwood, a town of 18,000, lost more than 2,000 jobs as top employers outsourced their manufacturing to Mexico. But Viking refused to follow suit, and many Greenwood residents hail the company as a savior in an economy that hasn’t seen such dramatic job loss in manufacturing since the Great Depression.

“It gets back to just being good business to invest in your community,” says Viking founder Fred Carl, Jr. “I think community development is everyone’s job. And the local employers, I think, have a responsibility to contribute to that.”

American Made Movie is showing in Washington, D.C. tonight and then moves onto Baltimore, Maryland. For a full list of venues visit the American Made website.

Photo Credit: Screenshot from American Made Movie teaser on Vimeo

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