A Celebration of American Manufacturing

October 1st is the start of the new fiscal year for many companies as well as the US Government.

This year, it is also Manufacturing Day – typically celebrated on the first Friday in October each year. Manufacturing Day was organized by the National Association of Manufacturers to celebrate and inform the public about the careers and technologies used in modern manufacturing.

It is also a reminder, that many companies in this country still take pride in things built domestically; that’s a good antidote to the perceptions (and unfortunately, realities) of the many hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs off shored by greedy corporate executives over the decades; I’ve written before of the desperation of many of our citizens in what used to be the industrial heartland and its affects on our politics.

In any case, a bright spot in American manufacturing is the fly fishing industry, and its manufacturers who build their products domestically. To be fair, these are all businesses that in most instances are under 200 employees. But they are still businesses that take pride in their products and the wages they provide to their employees.

All the major rod makers (e.g., Orvis, Sage, Scott, Winston) make all of their top-end rods domestically; some import their lower end products due to cost considerations. It’s remarkable to visit any of the rods shops to see how they build the rods we treasure.

Similarly, high-end reels are build domestically. Abel, Orvis, and Ross are only examples of companies that built their high-quality machined reels domestically. Fishpond and others build packs and bags in US facilities.

Then there are waders. Most, even the high-end models, are built overseas – I assume given the complexities and costs of building waders.

But there is one company that has always built most of its waders here – specifically in a single facility in Bozeman, Montana. That is Simms, which has been manufacturing its waders domestically for 40 years.

The attached article talks about how they make their waders and the rigid processes they use to make what are considered one of the top waders available in the world.

As you read the article, remember that what is written about Simms is also true of the other manufacturers discussed above, and could be true of many other businesses and corporations if they brought manufacturing back to this country.

Read the article here.

Author: Tom

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