The Importance of American Manufacturing – K`NEX CEO Michael Araten
In this section, I will be interviewing American citizens about the importance of American Manufacturing. The truth is, we are all citizens before we are businessmen, celebrities, athletes, servicemen, or politicians. This segment is a place where all types of American citizens can come together to share ideas, insights, and offer ways to benefit our economy. Notice I said our economy. There are many ways Americans can come together and support a great cause. I hope this is one of them.
Our first guest is K`NEX CEO Michael Araten. Michael has contributed to many American jobs and the memories of many childhoods with the K`NEX toy brand.
- Please tell us a little about yourself. I am the President and CEO of K’NEX Brands (the toy manufacturing, marketing, design and distribution company) www.knex.com and The Rodon Group (a highly automated plastics injection molder with a focus on small parts used in over 100 industries, including food, beverage, consumer packaged goods, construction and toys) www.rodongroup.com . K’NEX is distributed to over 30 countries, and over 95% of the component parts are made at The Rodon Group. K’NEX and Rodon were recently named one of the top 100 companies of 2012 by Smart CEO Magazine.Check out this short video which gives you some great insight into our business, specifically who we are and what we do: http://youtu.be/QFOcvQHZRdQ
- Why is American Manufacturing important to you? We’ve learned that the more items we are able to manufacture at home, the more people we can employ. If every American were to spend just $64 a year on things Made in the USA, 200,000 new jobs would be created. Spending our dollars on Made in the USA goods enables our whole economy to get stronger and with that our whole country becomes stronger. You just have to take that extra second and look at the label. Together, we can build a better America.
- Where did your passion for USA manufacturing begin?Founded in 1992 K’NEX has always been committed to manufacturing in the United States—over 90% of its parts are manufactured by The Rodon Group. In business since 1956, the Rodon Group makes billions of parts each year in its 125,000 square foot eco-friendly facility and is one of the largest family-owned and operated injection molders in the United States. We’ve learned that manufacturing in America can actually be more cost effective than manufacturing overseas. Our nation was founded on an entrepreneurial spirit, we have the ability to shape our own growth by inventing and making everything we use. Continuing to shed our manufacturing base is akin to trying to run a race without running shoes – you can do it, but you are at a tremendous disadvantage.
- How have you expressed that passion throughout your life? Since the Great Recession, I have been driven to do all I can to make American manufacturing as strong as possible. It is why we are founding members of American made matters; why I speak regularly on the topic through the Philadelphia and Bucks county chambers of commerce; why I accepted the nomination to the council of economic advisors for the Philly federal reserve bank; and why we work relentlessly to make products here in the USA
- What is your favorite quote? “Walk tall- dream loud.”
I would like to thank Michael Araten for taking the time to share his thoughts on the importance of American Manufacturing. I hope you all enjoyed this segment and that you too, will share the importance of American manufacturing with someone you know.