Enticing manufacturing -- and jobs -- back from overseas to United States' shores is a passion for Harry C. Moser, founder of Reshoring Initiative.
Relocating manufacturing plants to places like China and Mexico where wages are lower has been a severe problem for decades, he said.
"I kept saying somebody should be doing something about it and about two and a half years ago I decided I was the right guy," he said, adding succinctly, "It all comes down to jobs."
Moser will be the keynote speaker for the Tri-City Development Council's 10th annual Smartmap Expo, which focuses on a "Made in the USA" theme. The expo is free and billed as a chance to see the latest technologies, locate new suppliers and customers, network, and learn about advanced manufacturing.
There are a lot of people talking about the problem of manufacturing moving overseas, Moser said. You can find at least two conferences a day somewhere in the country addressing the problem, but there's not enough getting done, he said.
Moser's solution was to create the Kildeer, Ill.-based Reshoring Initiative, a nonprofit (made up of one person, him) with a single mission: Helping manufacturers recognize the profit potential of utilizing local sourcing and production and the critical role they play in strengthening the economy.
To get the word out, Moser gives about 120 presentations across the U.S. each year and has a website, www.reshorenow.org, with free online tools companies can use to figure the true costs of relocating outside the U.S.
"They figure in the cost of wages and pricing on their products but tend to ignore about 25 other costs like duty, freight, packaging and risk to intellectual property," he said.
Moser's online worksheet, "Total Cost of Ownership Estimator," is for small- to medium-size companies.
"The big guys, who have billions invested, hire consultants to do the same thing," he said.
If just a quarter of those companies who've relocated overseas used his estimator, Moser believes the nation could recapture more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs. And that figure could double because down the line there are manufacturers making pieces other manufacturers use to build their products, he said.
"By buying from U.S. companies they would be creating demand here, which means more jobs for Americans," Moser said.
Moser will speak at the Haskins Steel Power breakfast today and give a free workshop afterward.
The breakfast runs from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Cost is $25 for TRIDEC members, $30 for non members. Pre-registration is required. Go to www.smartmapexpo.org.
Moser's free workshop, Reshoring Manufacturing Back to the United States, runs from 9 to 10 a.m.
"We already have 120 signed up for it," said Gary White, director of business retention and expansion for TRIDEC. "If necessary, we'll add a second workshop later in the day."
There will be six other free workshops during the expo. Topics include: how to maximize job shop profits, team building, product development, innovation and growth and effective Occupational Safety and Health Administration training.
There also will be 115 to 120 exhibitors from Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
"Harry Moser is also one of the vendors, so you'll have a chance to talk directly to him during the day. Where else do you get the chance to talk one on one with the keynote speaker," White said.
The Advanced Inspection and Manufacturing Mobile Training Unit, a 53-foot classroom on wheels, also will be at the expo and offering 15-minute tours.
The concession stand at TRAC will be open, and the expo will run continuously with no breaks for lunch.