Letters To The Editor For February 2005

Keeping our talent at home; innovation's expansive reach.

Sound Off On Offshoring

Re " Before Offshoring, Try This:" It's in our best interest to keep manufacturing in the U.S. as it provides challenges for our current and future engineers, jobs for our local line workers, truck drivers, customer service personnel and advertising agencies. Continue to provide such articles to stimulate the minds of all of your readers. America must use its best minds to confront our future challenges and not give into the narrow-minded, simplistic answer of moving business elsewhere for the sole reason of reduced labor costs. All too often it is at the expense of quality, which directly impacts customer loyalty and future sales.

Austin Close, president
Total Packaging Concepts
Salisbury, Md.


Read the Original Article

Your column (" Before Offshoring, Try This") was a breath of fresh air after seeing so much publicity giving offshore outsourcing a thumbs up. My co-workers and I had to sit and watch while poor management decisions drove the company into the red, and they moved production to China. [In] the past the company had always been [able] to find solutions within, but with the banks hounding them and a tax-incentive carrot dangling under their noses, they chose a path that should have been a last resort.

That was almost a year ago, and now they're calling in former employees (as temps) to do the re-work the China facility has created. It's unfortunate that some actually chose to return to help the company that took away their jobs and benefits, but work is work. Fortunately, I found another job working full-time with benefits, but have yet to lose the nagging fear that they too will send production overseas.

John Fern, production worker
APA Cable and Network
Plymouth, Minn.


Read the Original Article

Innovation Found?

Re " Editor's Page -- Searching For Innovation's Source:" Bravo -- you are right on target. Those who say that innovation is simply new technology are extremely limited in their thinking. As an example, ask people what had the greater impact on the creation of the suburbs: the automobile, standardized housing design or the 30-year mortgage? One was a new technology, one was a new manufacturing process and one was a service. All were major innovations, and all changed the American landscape forever. Innovation comes in many shapes and forms. The sooner we get rid of the dangerous notions that manufacturing isn't innovative and that innovation is only the job of the scientists and engineers, the better.

Kenan Jarboe, president
Athena Alliance
Washington, D.C.


Read the Original Column


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TAGS: Automation
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