Being tagged ‘Made in the USA’ has come to mean a lot to consumers as emphasis on U.S. manufacturing and its many benefits to supporting a strong American economy has come to the forefront of media attention. It also means something to moldmakers as well.
R&D/Leverage, a mold manufacturer and Structural Brand Development Company headquartered in Lee’s Summit, MO, is the first U.S. moldmaker to be officially certified “Made in the USA,” according to Robert Schiavone, Global Marketing Director for the company. R&D/Leverage is a full-service plastic production development and solutions company that created the “Idea to Mold” business model.
The announcement from Made in USA Certified, an independent third party assurance verification for genuine Made in USA products and services, underscores the acceleration of U.S. onshoring of manufacturing and the concurrent rise of interest in U.S.-sourced products and services among customers, the general business community and current and future employees.
“We are proud of our Made in the USA designation, for both our own accomplishments and because it represents the strength and innovation of the U.S. plastics industry,” said Schiavone. “Belief in our country’s manufacturing prowess has never been greater. Frankly, the scope, strength and innovation of our homegrown plastics industry is a beacon to all industrialized nations that the U.S. is firing on all cylinders.”
Schiavone told PlasticsToday that the U.S. has such a strong history of mold innovation, technology and manufacturing that moldmakers need to promote the industry. “That’s what we’re trying to do by working with Made in USA Certified. We’re trying to promote the industry in the U.S.” he said. “There’s some good data that work is returning to the U.S., and while some purchasing people are still quoting overseas mold manufacturing they’re finding it’s not cheaper when they look at the hard numbers that include cost of quality, wage increases, shipping costs and other factors. I think a lot of people don’t know the truth of these offshore procurement channels until somewhere along the way the product suffers.”
Schiavone added that this certification isn’t just about sales and marketing, but the company is hoping it will promote employment in moldmaking. “There’s a workforce development issue in our industry, and we’re using this Certification to reach out to schools and let them know about the career opportunities available,” he said. “This is a banner that will help us attract the best and brightest of tomorrow’s plastics industry superstars, and re-ignite interest in U.S. industry among young people entering the workforce.”
Made in USA Certified’s CEO and co-founder, Adam Reiser, commented, “The United States has always dominated the plastics industry. Our country is known the world over as having undisputed quality, workmanship, design and production. This is one leadership position the United States should strive fiercely to protect. We are so pleased to have R&D/Leverage as the very first Made in USA Certified mold manufacturer in the U.S.”
What R&D/Leverage management likes about the Made in the USA Certification is that it makes it real. “Anyone can say their products are made in the USA, but maybe they’re not totally made in the USA,” said Schiavone. “Before this organization, there were no standards to qualify ‘Made in the USA.’ This program creates a standard. There’s a true audit behind the certification, which makes it unique.” Schiavone added that R&D/Leverage is on the leading edge of this promotion for the plastics and moldmaking industry, and believes it will be good for everyone in the industry and help promote manufacturing in the USA. “A lot of brand owners are looking to get ‘Made in the USA’ certified and to do that they have to have ‘Made in the USA’ certified suppliers.”