Entries in Overseas (2)


US Manufacturers Get Boost from Overseas Customers

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A few years ago, Signature Systems Group, which makes portable flooring and fencing products, had $10 million in annual sales and only sold its products in the U.S.

Now, more than half of the Bronx, N.Y., company’s customers are overseas, annual sales have reached $70 million and the company has quadrupled its workforce.

During the opening ceremonies of this summer’s London Olympics, Elton John even performed on one of Signature Systems Group’s floors.

“I could see the floor,” said Arnon Rosan, CEO of Signature Systems Group. “I know they put stuff on top of it but I could always see where the floor was. It was exciting.”

But what’s truly exciting is the comeback that companies like Signature Systems Group are experiencing.

The Boston Consulting Group estimated last year that as many as 3 million new American jobs would be created by 2020. Now, it’s bumped that number to as many as 5 million jobs.

For the first time since the 1930s, U.S. manufacturers have an advantage in exports.

With the most productive workers in the world, U.S. labor is now 20 percent to 45 percent cheaper than foreign competitors. New technologies like fracking are unlocking energy reserves and pushing down energy costs. Even shipping from U.S. ports is cheaper.

“The container ships are coming to the U.S. full,” said the Boston Consulting Group’s Hal Sirkin. “Those containers have to go back anyway, so the U.S. is able to put goods in that container and the shipping companies don’t charge them that much more.”

Many U.S. companies said they can now compete globally.

  • At in Los Angeles, business is up 600 percent and its products are now sold in 24 countries.
  • Hurd Windows and Doors of Medford and Merrill, Wis., said it has customers overseas.
  • Cali-Bowl, which is designed in California, now reaches customers in Korea.
  • Even Oklahoma City’s Lady Americana told ABC News it was hiring.

Economists said that the boom in manufacturing could drive down unemployment by two percent or three percent by the end of the decade.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


College Grads Head Overseas for Jobs

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- After graduating from the University of Florida in May, Henry Jaeger knew it would be tough to find a job in the middle of a recession.  So instead of looking for work in the U.S., Jaeger, a political science major, posted his resume on two websites looking for English teachers in China.

He received more than 30 job offers in a week.

"I had offers all over China as well as Korea and Japan. As opposed to my limited job options in the U.S., I got to choose the ideal job for me, which happened to be in Shanghai,” Jaeger wrote in a Facebook message.  

As the U.S. economy continues to lag, a growing number of college graduates are looking outside the U.S. border for work.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund predicted that U.S. economic growth will stand at 2.6 percent, lagging behind the global growth rate of 4.8 percent this year.

Opportunities to teach overseas or join the Peace Corps are increasingly appealing options.  Last year, the Peace Corps reported 15,386 applicants, an 18-percent increase over the previous year.

Echoing the call for a global work force, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw told BlogTalk Radio that young people today should consider looking for work in the Middle East, India or China.  

“I’ve talked to a number of senior American executives who need people willing to pack up,” Brokaw said.  

At a book party in New York City, Daily Beast editor Tina Brown suggested journalists start their career by going to India. 

Ross Friedman is one of those willing travelers.  After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in business administration and Chinese, he found a job with China Direct Inc., an American company selling industrial commodities like mineral ore and scrap metal to businesses in China.  His job takes him to Asia and South America several times a year, and he said he couldn’t be happier.

“The typical corporate America job is going out of style.  I feel 100-percent welcome in these countries, despite being a foreigner.  There is just so much business with growing industrial powers like China,” said Friedman.

Despite the enthusiasm recent graduates show for working abroad, others caution that finding a job in a foreign country is much easier said than done.

Rocky Rockwell, study abroad advisor at University of Florida’s International Center, says people often hold a romanticized view of international work.

“There are a number of restrictions Americans face when working abroad, everything from strict visa requirements to extreme culture shock,” said Rockwell.   “People often think they can just get up and go, but it’s not that easy.”

Even Jaeger, who now lives in Shanghai, says the distance from home is sometimes difficult to handle.

“You really do start to miss your family. My salary is nice, but I can’t afford to go home more than once a year,” he said.

It is a sacrifice more people are willing to make in this global economy.

“Goods and services know no boundaries.  Good brains are the same.  People will seek the best opportunities,” said Dr. David Sammons, University of Florida International Center dean and professor of agronomy.  “Often that means going somewhere besides their home country.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio