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In Brief

Skilled Workforce, Advanced Technology Draw Companies to U.S.

25 June 2014

Two men looking at large yellow robots on flatbed semitrailer (AP Images)

More and more companies are choosing to establish operations in the United States, and with good reason, says Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

More and more companies are choosing to establish operations in the United States, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said in a June 19 newspaper commentary. Earlier in June, A.T. Kearney’s annual Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index ranked the United States the top investment destination for the second year in a row.

More than just managing costs, Pritzker said, successful manufacturing is about finding the right competitive advantages — “and that’s where the United States really shines.”

“We have one of the most skilled and productive workforces, and we’re making it a priority to build the skills that are in high demand,” she said.

Above, a Michigan community college receives a donation June 16 of two robots no longer needed in General Motors assembly plants because of revised processes. They will be hands-on training tools for students learning robotics and automation technology before joining the workforce.

The United States is the most innovative place in the world, Pritzker said, home to more than a third of global research and development investment, as well as 15 of the top 25 research universities. It produces nearly 30 percent of all patents worldwide, and its government works hard to protect intellectual property rights. Advanced technology in the United States — including robotics and 3-D printing — enables manufacturers to drastically cut time to market and make better, more customized products.

Companies with a manufacturing base in the United States can rapidly reach more than 317 million U.S. consumers — and some 425 million more through free-trade agreements and the most rapid export clearances of all countries surveyed by the World Bank, she said.

The U.S. government stands ready to help businesses choose the United States, she said, because, to quote President Obama, “When you bet on America, that bet pays off.”