#NN14: Netroots Nation

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) flew to Detroit for the ninth annual Netroots Nation conference.

Check it out here.

via Storify http://sfy.co/ampl -- July 23, 2014 at 12:07PM


Drink Up With an American-made Tervis Tumbler

Originally published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Looking for a way to cool off during the hot summer months? A Tervis tumbler will keep your drink cold in the heat.
Founded in Detroit in 1946, the family-owned and operated company is famous for its insulated plastic cups for both cold and hot beverages. The brand’s unique name comes from its founders, engineers Frank Cotter and G. Howlett Davis, who combined the last three letters of their last names to create the word, “Tervis.”
The drinkware company’s products are now crafted by a team of more than 900 people in North Venice, FL, where the company is headquartered. Kathy Greif, vice president of Marketing, explains that the company's Made in the USA commitment is good for business:
Not everybody knows that we make our products in America. And when they hear that, they’re just so proud to hear that we’ve been making our products in America since 1946, since we were created.
The company first launched by offering customers a tall, cylindrical tumbler. Today, Tervis features a selection of eight sizes and an infinite array of customizable color and design selections, so anyone can find a tumbler to fit their personal style.

And when you buy a Tervis tumbler, not only are you making an investment in American production — the hand-assembled products also come guaranteed a lifetime warranty.
Tervis continues to grow. In 2011, the company opened nine stores and employed hundreds of new workers.  Tervis also debuted a new design in 2013 that features the phrase, “I Support ‘Made in America.” As Greif says:
We hear over and over how important it is to buy made in America. It has created jobs for us at Tervis. And with the economy… it’s extra important. It’s creating jobs in America.
Check out the Tervis line of products (or design your own!).
AAM intern Lauren Pak authored this post.
Photo credit: Frankenmuth River Place Shops.


So Excellent, So Bodacious: Check Out Some American-made Smartphone Style

Originally published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Bodacious Cases, the waterproof, protective, and customizable iPhone casemaker, wears its American-made heart on its sleeve. Founded on July 4, 2012, the company is headed by a partnership between CEO Arianna Russell, a young entrepreneur passionate about the Made In America cause; and Precise Mold and Engineering, which specializes in injection molding, thermo plastics, and thermoset plastics.
The partnership has gotten some press, too; the Precise plant in Missouri was visited in December 2012 by ABC News, which featured the company and the casemaker as a part of their Made in America series.
But why so American-made? Russell’s dedication to domestic manufacturing came from her father, a Vietnam war veteran. She explains that keeping it American-made is a way of thanking him and other veterans for their service.
I feel manufacturing overseas is a great idea if, as the owner, I want to make a few extra bucks,” Russell has explained. “But to me, it’s about more than just money. Those few extra dollars kill jobs, which is the next generation, and I do not want to see that happen. I would rather make less money and create more American jobs.”
Bodacious Cases turned two years old this past Independence DayIts birthday wish? To create 100 new American jobs by next year.
People were saying, ‘Just go to China. You can’t do it in the U.S. It’s going to be expensive,’” Russell said. “I found a way to do it here. I proved them all wrong. And it means a lot to me. Our packaging, our cases, our screens – every little thing, even our T-shirts – are 100 percent made here in the U.S.A.”
Shop Bodacious’ iPhone Cases or customize your own here.
Photo courtesy Bodacious Cases and the Made In America Store.

This post authored by AAM Intern Lauren Pak.


Let's Build a Bridge and Fix the Highway Trust Fund

Originally published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

The clock is ticking. We’re nearing the final months before the end of the 2014 fiscal year, and Washington still has some unfinished business: the Highway Trust Fund.

The fund is expected to go broke by the end of the summer. That’s bad news, since it finances vital infrastructure projects for the Interstate Highway System. If a fix isn’t put in place soon, hundreds of projects nationwide will be halted and 700,000 workers will be out of jobs.
A lasting solution demands bipartisan support, but it’s not a big secret that there is a lot of animosity between the President and Congressional Republicans right now, especially after House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced plans to file a lawsuit against the President. When President Obama spoke about rebuilding infrastructure a few weeks back, his remarks were a little antagonistic:
Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me. As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.
Despite the animosity, there are signs of movement, as the White House has made the Highway Trust Fund a priority. On Monday, the administration published an interactive transportation map that displays local road and bridge conditions and asks constituents to submit photos and descriptions of roads, bridges, and traffic issues.
Meanwhile, the House is slated to vote on a temporary fix today that would extend highway funding through the middle of next year.
What's needed are not temporary bandages, but a lasting solution. There isn’t time to waste. More than 70,000 bridges and roads are structurally unsound, earning American infrastructure a D+ grade last year.
America needs repairs — and Buy America policies are a key part of that effort.
It’s time that Washington gets to work.
AAM Intern Lauren Pak authored this post. 


Cleveland Rocks (and so does this Clothing Manufacturer)

Originally published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

The GOP picked Cleveland, and now LeBron is heading back. While time will tell if Democrats will follow the leadwe’re happy in the meantime to shine the spotlight on one manufacturer helping to lead Cleveland’s manufacturing renaissance.

Forma Apparel Manufacturing launched at the end of 2013 when Amanda Cowsert, Minh Suster, and Foroozan Alaeddini could not find anyone who could stitch clothing to meet their high standards. So they decided to launch their own company, managing its marketing, operations and everything in between. 
And though it may be small now, they’re looking to expand to 15-20 people. Alaeddini recently told the Plain Dealer:
We really had a heart for bringing manufacturing back to Cleveland. We really feel that we are providing a service that’s needed and rarely offered to designers.”
The three women behind Forma Apparel first worked together in 2011 for Orgava, a European-inspired, eco-friendly girls’ clothing line. They designed the fashions and sewed some samples that were sent out to big factories for mass production. 
The imported Italian wool returned completely ruined; the final products were misshapen and not well made. This inspired Forma Apparel Manufacturing to create products that will last for generations.
“Manufacturing requires a lot of technical knowledge; knowing about sizing, pattern-making, fit, and what needs to be done,” Suster said.
Forma Apparel Manufacturing handles every step of the process, from materials assembling to ironing and labeling, until a finished product reaches its final destination.  Suster's family skill in working with garments — her mother worked as a seamstress for about 30 years at the former Joseph & Feiss co. garment factory in Cleveland — in addition to Forma Apparel’s high standards, have driven the brand to place an emphasis on getting the details right.  Suster has even put some pieces deemed sub-par back on the crafting table.
The project-based brand’s attention to detail and to commitment to quality has been made possible only through a direct relationship between designer and manufacturer. As Alaeddini said:
“The community we’re in at one point was huge in manufacturing. There’s a lot of women who are very creative and who want to bring manufacturing back to Cleveland. I kept saying, ‘Why put the most valuable end product of your business in someone else’s hands when you know you could do better?'" 
AAM Intern Lauren Pak authored this post.


White House's Manufacturing Policy Guru Acknowledges that all Manufacturing is Advanced

Originally published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Manufacturing job loss is the top concern among voters, according to research conducted for the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM). On Wednesday, the third John White, Jr. Forum on Public Policy was hosted by the Brookings Institution and focused on the policies and possibilities of expanding manufacturing in the US.

Jason Miller, Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy at the White House, delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the importance and the broad scope of influence that the manufacturing industry has on the entire US economy. He advocated for research and innovation in all of manufacturing:
I actually don’t like the term ‘traditional manufacturing', because we generally think of advanced manufacturing as all of the manufacturing we do in the United States. All of this work operates as a part of a broader integrated system.
In a poll published earlier this year, AAM found that “favorability of American manufacturing drops 20 percent when the term ‘advanced’ is included.”  The consensus?  We need to focus on all of manufacturing.
Here at AAM, we’re also pretty excited about an announcement Miller made: A new manufacturing hub will be unveiled this fall. This fifth hub -- focused on digital manufacturing and design -- will join Chicago, Youngstown, Detroit, and most recently Raleigh as a part of President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.
Said Miller:
We’ve seen an overwhelming amount of support around the country, we’ve seen bipartisan support in Congress and enormous demand from industry. This work is still in early stages, but we’re proud of what’s been accomplished, but we recognize that this will be a big team effort and a big effort to make it last, to make it successful going forward.
There’s still plenty of room for progress. Manufacturing hubs are a good idea for America’s future industrial competitiveness, but as the last jobs report shows, we’ll need more than a few manufacturing hubs. We need strong public policy like infrastructure investment to seriously grow manufacturing employment.
You can watch the event online, and join the conversation at #USmfg on Twitter.
This post was written by AAM intern Lauren Pak.


Plan a Made-in-the-USA July Fourth Celebration

Originally published by the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

The United States celebrates its independence on July 4, and chances are that many Americans will be celebrating the holiday with a festive cookout. To help make sure you and your fellow revelers have the most patriotic day possible, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has put together a list of Made in the USA products to help make your celebration an all-American success.
Get fired up this July 4th with a grill made in the good ol’ USA!
The LazyMan brand was established more than 70 years ago, and the company has been making grills in the USA ever since. All of LazyMan’s stainless steel grills are handmade in their factory in Belvidere, New Jersey. Relax and cook your gourmet burgers, hot dogs, steaks and more on a Lazyman and shop here.
Portable Kitchen (PK) grills are “built for adventure” and are perfect for your backyard barbeque. The company uses recycled aluminum in its grill casts and assemble grills by hand in the USA. Check out PK’s popular “Grill & Smoker” here.

Nothing’s cooler than being American-made!

The Outdoor Recreational Company of America (ORCA) produces a line of coolers that are proudly Made in the USA using “100 percent American-made components.”  Along with supporting American workers, when you buy an ORCA cooler you also help a worthy cause, as a portion of every purchase goes toward conservation groups, wounded warrior programs, breast cancer research and women’s outdoor groups. Check out the company’s variety of cooler colors and sizes here.

With these Made-in-America products, it’s hard to contain your excitement!

Ball is committed to its effort to “Preserve America for the next 125 years” and manufactures its line of jars in Muncie, Indiana. Pick up some Ball Mason Jars here for your outdoor barbeque this July 4th – use them to store utensils, snacks, tealights or even for décor.
Apple Pie offers a wide range of American-made products that are perfect for your Fourth of July party, from dishware to water bottles and even apparel and furniture for your home and garden. Show your stars and stripes with tableware (and more!) made right here in the USA.

Baking and Décor
Rise up to the challenge of baking, decorating, and celebrating the all-American way!

Make your cake and eat it too with bakeware that is Made in America. Williams-Sonoma’s “Made in the USA” selection includes interior and exterior décor, cutlery and food in addition to their bakeware.
Martha Stewart also has a wide array of American-made goods and tools to keep you stocked this July 4th holiday. Check out her bakeware, linen napkins (also eco-friendly!), tableware, coasters, and more.

Fly to new heights on July 4 by raising an American-made flag!

Display your stars and stripes with a Made in the USA flag (you’d be surprised – not all flags are!). Annin Flagmakers is the oldest and largest flag manufacturer in the USA. Check out their variety of shapes, sizes and styles, perfect for decorating your barbeque this July 4th!  
Be sure to check out AAM’s All American July 4th Holiday Pinterest board for more outdoor barbeque ideas!
AAM intern Lauren Pak authored this post.