Factories Return to the US




proud crank out manufacture
lake floor (2) do-does/did/done
wood veteran unemployed
display product say/said/said
inc. workforce incorporated
quality customer quality control
lobby perceive enthusiastic
skill assembly make/made/made
wage motivated cheap/cheaper/cheapest
cost profitable expensive/less expensive/the least expensive
benefit precision expensive/more expensive/the most expensive
fade outsource find/found/found
stock commit bring/brought/brought
place renaissance think/thought/thought (2)
sector definitely rise/rose/risen
senior appropriate fast/faster/fastest
cheap level (3) attractive/more attractive/the most attractive (2)
hope out of work come online (2)
tie (4) cut/cut/cut bottom line (2)
sort of blue-collar white-collar
laborer fellow (2) service-sector
remain rather than middle-class
still (2) challenges pathway (2)
employ Iwo Jima make a difference
shake crank (20) shake my hand
flag move (2) bring/brought/brought
here to stay






Workers are cranking out precision machine parts at the Komo Manufacturing Plant in Lakewood, New Jersey.

Two years ago, this work was done by Chinese laborers in the city of Nanjing.

Today, production and jobs have moved back to the United States. More than fifty people are now employed here, many of whom were unemployed a few years back.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Mike Kolibas, Komo Machine Inc.: “I said, ‘I need to go get these products back here. That’s what our workforce wants, that’s what the customers want.

One big reason, quality control. Customers of Komo’s metal and wood and cutting machines perceive products made in China as cheap. And while Chinese labor is less expensive than in the US . . .

Mike Kolibas, Komo Machine Inc.: “What I find is that when I hire a skilled mechanic assembler or one electrical assembler here, I would need five over in China. I mean, that’s the skill difference.”

Bottom line . . .
Mike Kolibas, Komo Machine Inc.: “We have become more profitable, I think, because of this move.

Komo is not the only manufacturer (Ford, General Electric, Master Lock, Maytag) bringing jobs back to the US.

As wages in low-cost factories centers rise, the cost-benefit of outsourcing is fading fast. Apple says it will make more computers here. And Walmart is committed to stocking more American-made products.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Martin Nell Baley, Senior Fellow, Brookings: “The renaissance is definitely there. America is now a more attractive place to manufacture, partly because the dollar is at a more appropriate level and also we’ve got a lot of cheap energy coming online.”

A renaissance maybe, but times have changed.

Fifty years ago, manufacturing was the pathway to the middle-class for many Americans, even if you didn’t have much of an education, if you were highly motivated and smart, you could succeed.

But experts say the future of manufacturing in America may look very different.

Martin Nell Baley, Senior Fellow, Brookings: “A lot of the jobs that are tied to manufacturing now are sort of “white-color jobs, if you like, are service-sector jobs, rather than the factory floor jobs.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Challenges remain, but with millions still out of work, any job returning to the US can make a big difference for communities.

Mike Kolibas, Komo Machine Inc.: “He came into the lobby. He was a veteran of World War Two — from Iwo Jima. And he just wanted to come and shake my hand, and thank me for bringing manufacturing back to the United States.”

The American flag is proudly on display, again, at Komo. Many in the US hope that it’s here to stay.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


Factory, Manufacturing Plant. The Komo Manufacturing Plant assembles smartphones and laptops. True or false?

Factory Floor. Have precision machine parts always been manufactured in the United States?

Assembly Line. A thousand employees work at the Komo Manufacturing Plant. Is this right or wrong? Have they worked continuously at Komo since they finished vocational-technical college?

Automation. Is the quality of Chinese products better than American products? Do all American customers and clients prefer Chinese-made goods?

Quality Control. Komo is the only manufacturer to increase production in the United States. Is this correct or incorrect?

Robotics, Industry 4.0. Is manufacturing work today the same as it was in the 1950s?

Lunch Break. An American US war veteran wanted to work at Komo. Do you agree?
Engineer, Technician. There are many factories and manufacturing plants in my city. Yes or no? If yes, what do they produce?

Supervisor, Boss. Has the situation changed over the years? Were there more, fewer or the same amount of factories as there are today?

Manager. Do people like to work in factories? What kind of people work in factories? What kind of education or training do you need to work in a factory?

CEO, President. Do your friends or family members work in factories? Would you and your friends like to work in a factory?

Clock In, Clock Out. What might happen in the future?

Quitting Time. What could or should people, businesses and governments do?

Comments are closed.