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Thursday
Jun302011

Made in America: Companies Bringing Jobs Back Home

Dynamic Graphics/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Candy lovers looking to satisfy their sweet tooth with an American-made treat received good news on Wednesday.

Mars Chocolate announced it's building its first new chocolate factory in the U.S. in 35 years.  The factory will be in Topeka, Kansas, a $250 million investment that will create 200 jobs immediately and possibly as many as 1,000 jobs in the future.

"I hope it tells Americans that we can build jobs, and we can be highly competitive and the best.  Consumed in the U.S., made in the U.S.," said Mike Wittman, vice president of supplies at Mars North America.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback called the new facility, expected to be completed in 2013, "sweet news" for his home state, while the executives at Mars highlighted their desire to keep this new facility as efficient as possible.

"We want this plant to be a bellwether, an icon, a role model for other companies," said Wittman.  "Our intention is to design and build a facility to meet LEEDS [Leadership in Energy and Environment Design] Gold standards for construction and building efficiency as well as to take advantage of sustainable energy resources that the state of Kansas has to offer."

And it isn't just candy that is seeing a resurgence of American-based manufacturing.  In the past 12 months, the manufacturing sector has added 173,000 new jobs. That is nearly twice the rate of jobs that have been added to the U.S. economy as a whole.

The trend can be seen across every industry.

Hair care company Farouk is assembling their hair dryers and curling irons in Houston rather than China, creating 1,200 jobs in the process.  Computer chip maker Global Foundries recently built a $7 billion facility in Saratoga, New York, and has already created 550 jobs.  They expect that number could rise to 1,400.  And Milwaukee-based Master Lock, the largest lock maker in the U.S., has transferred 75 to 100 manufacturing jobs from China to Milwaukee in the past 12 months.

"We can't afford to have labor and management fighting all the time, at a time when we're competing against Germany and China and other countries that want to sell goods all around the world," President Obama said during a press conference Wednesday.  "There are more steps that we can take right now that would help businesses create jobs here in America.  Today, our administration is trying to take those steps."

And it will take lots of steps: 2.3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since the economic crash.  So far just 240,000 have come back.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio