For those of you who are waiting to read “Made in USA” labels on everything you buy, keep a look out because some new beauty products are going to be reading just that. People often believe that America does not have a chance in competing with the Asian market in manufacturing due to the low cost benefit in places like China. This is not exactly the case, however, especially with booming gas prices and increased employee wages in Asia. The truth is that China’s main advantage happens to be the convenience of having multiple factories in one central location. A former Apple executive describes the situation as,
“The entire supply chain is in China now. You need a thousand rubber gaskets/ That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”
Well now this same advantage, called “Leaner manufacturing,” is being introduced to New Albany, Ohio.
A new Personal Care, Health and Beauty Park is a 1.4 million square foot home to multiple design, manufacturing and packaging companies. With its predicted success, the park is set to create 1,500 full time jobs and hundreds of part-time positions.
The park currently includes eight companies that bring their expertise together to manufacture candles, shower gels, soaps, cosmetics, toiletries, air fresheners, and packaging for all. The idea came from Asia’s efficiency of cutting costs and shortening the time needed to get products fully manufactured. The new Personal Care, Health, and Beauty Park includes opportunities for a supply chain, manufacturing and innovation, and cluster development, something which was unknown to America, and something that will finally provide them with the opportunity to compete with Asian markets.
Accel, one of the companies housed in the beauty park has a staff of about 800 in a typical day working on 40-50 assembly lines. Unlike employees in many Asian factories, employees are provided all the required benefits and do not have extensive working conditions. Typical full time employees work 9 ½ hour shifts four days a week with two half-hour breaks and are required to be paid at least minimum wage, which in New Albany, Ohio is $8.25 an hour.
As an incentive to have companies join the park, the city of New Albany is offering 100% property-tax abatements for 7-15 years. The length of the pardon is dependent on expected payroll that is generated by each company, therefore the more they generate; the longer they don’t have to pay property tax.
New Albany is focused on more than just bringing jobs and revenue back to the United States; they want to ensure that all new ventures are thinking about the future in terms of going green and being sustainable.
Any company that is interested in receiving the 100% property tax abatement must meet the Energy and Environment design requirements by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership. This means that companies need to be aware of how they source and recycle materials and make sure the building includes high-efficiency heating and air conditioning, as well as motion activated lights to avoid unnecessary electricity use.
With more ventures like the Personal Care, Health and Beauty Park and more companies interested in bringing back their manufacturing to the U.S., America has the potential to regain its quality-manufacturing label, and do it while being environmentally conscious.