Some companies learn products make better exports than jobs

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Some companies have learned the hard way that products - not jobs - make the best exports. That's according to some international trade specialists at Southern Illinois University.

In recent years - several manufacturers closed their Heartland plants and moved jobs out of the country including Technicolor universal in Pinckneyville and Maytag in Herrin.

"At the time you had a lot of accountants doing the analysis of the bottom line showing there could be cost savings," said CFO Jeff Bohleber of Elastec American Marine, Inc. in Carmi. "But a lot of those cost savings turned out to be false savings because of the hidden costs they didn't' realize at the time."

SIU international trade specialist Anthony Cambas says lately - he's seen some of those outsourced jobs coming back.

"I've heard many cases of companies bringing back some of the jobs into southern Illinois they had originally moved to Mexico or other countries," said Cambas.

Bohleber says years ago his Carmi-based company considered shifting some production to Mexico; but when he crunched the numbers, the savings didn't add up.

"Some companies may have learned the hard way, but we did the analysis and found that the best way to go was to stay right here," Bohleber said.

Now Elastec American Marine is growing. It's among the top oil-spill clean-up, boom-producing companies in the world - and exports its products around the globe.

"What we find overseas is that people still want to buy U.S. Products," Bohleber said. "It's the perception and the reality of the quality of our products as compared to products made throughout the world."

At SIU'S International Trade Center businesses can find a boost to get their U.S. made products into the global market place.

"You have economic expansion in a number of places such as Brazil, of course China," said Cambas. "That opens up opportunities for our manufacturers to sell our products make in Illinois to other countries."

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