October 1, 2012
Princeton Tec, which has three factories in New Jersey, moved half of its manufacturing jobs to China five years ago to cut costs. While there were some savings, Princeton Tec executives grew uneasy with the lack of control regarding the production and delivery schedule. As a result, Princeton Tec started bring those jobs back to New Jersey, and now 90 percent of the 1 million flashlights and other portable light fixtures are once again made here.
“We need to bring back a renaissance in manufacturing — creating products that we can sell to compete with other countries and businesses abroad,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said during a visit to Princeton Tec’s factory in Mansfield. “I just have to commend the owner of this plant for keeping the faith and making sure his product was made here.”
Federal officials recently announced an initiative dubbed “Make it in America” to provide tax incentives the help encourage more insourcing.
The return of jobs to the U.S. has led Princeton Tec to double its staff to 160 employees, and more hires are expected, company officials said.
“We’ve seen a small increase in profits since we got back. Nothing drastic,” Princeton Tec Vice President David Cozzone said. “I believe our quality got better, we could control output, and we kind of won people back. The ‘Made in USA’ thing is a big sell.”
As the U.S. continues to recharge its struggling economy, a resurgence of the “Made in the USA” commitment by consumers would help embolden companies like Princeton Tec to bring jobs back home. Federal and state tax incentives like those touted by Solis also provide a needed financial boost to companies that might otherwise opt to send jobs overseas.