BY MAHADEV DESAI
Pics.by Mahadev Desai
Atlanta, GA: An opportunity has appeared for all Indian-owned or Indian-run businesses in Georgia. Jason Moss has worked in the manufacturing industry for about twenty years. Moss strongly feels that “If there is one thing consumers get excited about, it’s buying local. Not just products made in America, but especially in Georgia.” So Moss decided to organize the first ever Georgia Manufacturing Expo, held on Saturday June 8, 2013 at the Gwinnett Center. “This is the first step to help Georgia stand out as the clear leader of the manufacturing renaissance in America.” The Expo is to increase awareness of products made in Georgia, to connect consumers and businesses with manufacturers, and to help Georgia’s job growth and economy.
Moss noted further, “Currently we have 9,500 manufacturing facilities in the state employing over 350,000 Georgians. … Georgia is perfectly positioned to capitalize on the predicted growth by having natural resources, transportation, and other infrastructure already in place.”
In interviews with Moss, he urged any Indian or Indian-American manufacturing company operating in Georgia to connect with this expo and participate in the future. Further, any business or company operating in Georgia that wishes to connect with such Georgia companies can find info here.
Moss introduced his new www.BuyFromGeorgia.com website, mobile-ready for smartphones and tablets, where anyone can search for items by brand name, category type, or product to find if they are made in Georgia. About 250 companies have been listed so far. Any GA manufacturer or business can get his/her product listed on the website, and Moss stated that he was hopeful to include Indian-American businesses among others. Some support companies such as insurance and law firms will also be listed. “With this website and expo, we have the tools we need to make educated purchasing decisions that will help grow jobs in Georgia.”
Two Indo-Georgian companies showcased their GA-made products in the nonprofit Inventors Association of Georgia booth. CocoaTown, which innovates, manufactures, and markets specialty equipment for (cocoa) Bean to (chocolate) Bar industry, displayed their Georgia-made mini Grindeur. A male urinary incontinence control device was displayed by UroMend.
About 50 Exhibitors participated in the Expo. Among them, America’s Mattress offered a prize of a Queen Sealy Perfect Sleeper mattress set to a winner in its draw. Anita’s Balm gave away samples of its balm made from natural ingredients. Okabashi, the only U.S. mass manufacturer of flip flops and sandals, offered a prize of a pair of sandals to the draw-winner every fifteen minutes. Strike Hold gave samples of its specialty cleaner and lubricant. And Cu’I took care of thirsty visitors by offering a sample of its refreshing and healthy watermelon drink.
Genius Robotics and Robugs team members showcased their impressive robots. Southern Polytechnic University displayed a Formula Race Car designed and built by students.
The Georgia Grown exhibit of the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture was very popular with visitors. The program promotes local products to connect farmers with consumers, suppliers, retailers, and agritourism opportunities. Fastest growing port of Savannah is America’s single largest gateway for poultry exports and Georgia is the leading producer of chicken. GA also exports onions, pecans, paper, lumber, etc.
Other exhibitors showcased plastics, decorative wood products, machining and welding tools, software technology products, controlled temperature packaging, sportswear, industrial brushes and brush machines, etc.
Congressman Rob Woodall (R – 7th Dist. of GA) spoke of the importance of encouraging manufacturing. He was very clear that he believes in free trade, not protectionism. He believes that U.S. manufacturing firms can be successful in worldwide markets due to the productivity and ingenuity of the American worker. He indicated that removing obstacles placed by government can be as effective or more effective than direct assistance from a government. He also advocated strong support for “The FairTax,” a bill before Congress that would eliminate all income and payroll taxes and substitute a nationwide flat sales tax collected at the retail level, and spoke of the enormous expansion of manufacturing in the United States this policy change would create.
Professional associations for manufacturing and technology had booths, and there were contacts for job openings.
The American Made Movie, an engrossing, insightful, documentary, had two special screenings at the Expo. This feature length film explores Americans working to support their families and employees in a global economy impacting their businesses and way of life, and shows why the lowest price is not always good for the consumer in the long run. The movie will tour 30 cities, promoting simple solutions everyone can do to create a better future for their communities and for America. This movie examines the decline of the American manufacturing workforce, its effect on middle class, and the role consumerism can play in helping the economy. The movie looks back at the boom time in manufacturing when there was a more balanced relationship between production and consumption. It deals with issues like technology, globalization, Protectionism vs. Free trade, role of government in helping manufacturing companies with tax incentives, subsidies, infrastructure facilities, etc. It explains why manufacturers outsource and offshore their operations. Finally it illustrates how some companies have been innovative finding solutions and helping local and national economies as a result. Executive Producer Clyde Strickland said that this movie is being screened in all Gwinnett schools and it will also be shown at Gwinnett Braves Coolray Field in Lawrenceville on July 5th at 9:45pm.