STIHL Inc. hosted Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank on Tuesday, who announced a $40 million multi-agency competition, the Make it in America Challenge, to accelerate the trend of insourcing, where companies are bringing jobs back and making additional investments here in America.
The competition, which is being funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST-MEP) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), will build upon the administration’s bottom-up approach to strengthening the economy and creating jobs by partnering with state, regional, and local economies.
Acting Secretary Blank pointed out that more and more businesses are choosing to invest, create jobs, and make things here in America, and that the new initiative was designed to promote that trend. “This administration’s top priority is creating American jobs, and through the Make it in America Challenge, we will be supporting business’ efforts to expand here at home. By making competitive investments, the Challenge will help communities across the U.S. accelerate economic growth, attract business investment, and create jobs.”
Virginia Beach-based STIHL Inc., one of several manufacturing facilities in the STIHL Group, is the headquarters for U.S. operations and embodies the American built mentality. The company has steadily increased its investments in America since its founding in 1974. Starting with 50 employees that assembled only one model of chain saw, today, the company employs approximately 2,100 people nationwide, with 1,900 in Virginia Beach, Va., and manufactures more than 270 model variations of chain saws and power tools for sale in the U.S. and around the world. The majority of STIHL products sold in America are also built in America* and STIHL Inc. not only exports products to more than 90 countries but produces the majority of STIHL units for the world market.
“While many American companies have chosen to move their operations overseas in pursuit of cheap labor, since 1974 we have chosen instead to reinvest in our technology, our workforce and our infrastructure right here in Virginia Beach. As a result, we have since become the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America,” said Fred Whyte, president of STIHL Inc., who accompanied Acting Secretary Blank on a partial tour of the more than two million square feet of STIHL manufacturing facilities.
“Some people may say that American manufacturing cannot compete in the world economy. I beg to differ. American innovation, technology, and the American worker are second to none and we are proving it,” said Whyte.
The national competition announced today will help provide the critical infrastructure, strategic planning, capacity building, technical assistance, and workforce skills training necessary for American communities to be the desired home for more businesses.
About STIHL Inc.
STIHL Inc. manufactures the number one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment in America,* as well as the number one selling brand of chain saws in the world is the headquarters for U.S. operations for the worldwide STIHL Group. STIHL products are sold through servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast – not mass merchants. Headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va., STIHL Inc. exports to over 90 countries around the world, and the majority of STIHL products sold in America are also built in America.* STIHL products sold through U.S. STIHL dealers are for distribution in the United States only. For more information or for the name of a local STIHL retailer, call toll free 1-800-GO STIHL (1-800-467-8445), visit stihlusa.com or text your zip code to 78445.
*A majority of STIHL products are built in the United States from domestic and foreign parts and components."Number one selling brand" is based on syndicated Irwin Broh Research as well as independent consumer research of 2009-2011 U.S. sales and market share data for the gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment category combined sales to consumers.
STIHL is pleased to support the work of Independent We Stand, the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), National FFA, Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and the National Association of State Park Directors.