The Reshoring Initiative could be part of the answer.
Officials say that Mississippi and other states across the country have taken a beating the last several years in the manufacturing sector, in particular the furniture industry.
This gathering of interested officials is interested in hearing how to turn that trend around.
They found answers from people like Jay Moon, the C.E.O. of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association.
“I think what we can do is lower the costs of what manufacturers in the furniture industry have. Lower the regulatory costs and enhance their ability through workforce training of their employees so that they can produce world-class products in a global marketplace,” said Moon.
The organizers of today’s event say that bringing those jobs back to Mississippi and the United States as a whole will not be easy, but they say it’s a job that can be done, if they get the right kind of support.
Enter the Reshoring Initiative.
It’s a program featured at this event that offers free advice to manufacturers looking for a way to keep the manufacturing jobs at home.
“The Reshoring Initiative helps companies understand what it really costs them when they off-shore, when they produce or source in another country. When they understand that cost they decide to bring that manufacturing back. So specifically we find that about 25 percent of what’s been offshore would come back if companies looked at the total cost of ownership,” founder of the Reshoring Initiative Harry Moser said.
Moser adds that when they decide where to buy, they generally decide based on price.
Doing business with the U.S. is generally more expensive than with China, but he says, on average, the total cost is the same.
That’s why he believes when companies take a closer look they will come back.
Besides, he says Chinese companies have geared up so much for the furniture industry, that there is now a shortage of workers which is driving up wage rates.
Moser says that is closing the total cost gap between the U.S. and foreign manufacturers.
Jay Moon says North Mississippi has fared reasonably well despite global manufacturing trends, but he says the state can not, in his words, rest on its laurels.