Apr 27, 2016
The image of the American factory floor is as classic as Henry Ford’s Model T assembly line and just as enduring in the popular imagination. For decades, manufacturing jobs have been the ladder to the middle class for Americans of modest means and education.
So when Made in NYC, a group that promotes local manufacturing, began an advertising campaign this spring, its goal was more than just to draw attention to items produced in the city. Supporters of that group and others like it around the country are trying to redefine what American manufacturing means in the 21st century. They hope to capitalize on a newfound embrace of artisanal and handcrafted goods and urge consumers accustomed to big-box globalization to think of their shopping habits in the context of local economic investment.
“Urban manufacturing creates opportunity,” said Adam Friedman, director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, which developed Made in NYC. “We’re coming out of a recession, which really drove home the point that you need a strong manufacturing base to create jobs.”