There is definitely a “Made in America” movement afoot. It’s a topic I examined last summer when meeting the Crispin-refugee founders of Boulder’s Made Movement, an agency dedicated to promoting American manufacturing.
As I conduct an internal “audit” of Oregon’s largest privately held companies and begin to assess their marketing needs (a first step in approaching them with innovative solutions), I see there are lots of manufacturers operating in the Beaver State.
Some of the more high profile things being manufactured in Oregon today (by hundreds of small privately held companies) include wine and beer. Combined, Oregon’s beer and wine industries generate $5 billion in revenue per year. Mix in the service sector tourism dollars that Oregon’s agribusiness attracts, and you’ve got an even bigger source of jobs, tax revenues and opportunities for contractors of every stripe.
What other tangible real world products are being made in Oregon, USA today? Here’s a quick look at a few B2C and B2B examples:
- Drift boats
- Municipal streetcars
- Knives and tools
- Heavy-lift helicopters
- Pumps and compressors
- Sheathing grade plywood
Interestingly, what’s not being made here are Nike or adidas shoes, or any of the sportswear that’s such an important part of Portland’s economic past, present and future. Sure the gear is designed here, but it’s made cheaply overseas. That’s not going to change overnight, but millions of American consumers (and some staff and trusted partners) would like to see it change, regardless.
Oregon-made is already a distinct mark of quality in food and beverage, software, advertising, TV and film, sustainable business and indie music circles. I’m suggesting we add our industrial sector makers to this list of sexy and promote “Made in Oregon, USA” to a wider audience and new markets.