Karen: This is the PKF Texas, the Entrepreneur’s Playbook, and I’m Karen Love, the host and co-founder. Today I’m here with Jeff Applegate, president of Blackwell Plastics and the chairman of the Greater Houston Manufacturing Association. Welcome back to the Playbook, Jeff.
Jeff: Thank you, Karen.
Karen: Now up until now, we’ve been talking about the GHMA and the involvement of manufacturing in Houston, etc. What I’d like you to do is give me a perspective from your position as the president of Blackwell Plastics, as far as manufacturing in Houston and the manufacturing association.
Jeff: In Houston, naturally with the explosion of the energy business and manufacturing it around the energy business, we’re seeing a natural growth in our energy-related business, but we serve a lot of different industries. We serve the medical device. We serve electronics. We serve appliance. We serve a lot of industries, and so what we’re – in those industries, we’re seeing investment across the board. So that’s a good indicator for the economy because we’re seeing new products being developed, new products coming online. Another trend that we’re seeing is re-shoring, and you may have heard of that, but so much of our manufacturing business was off-shored and sent out to the far east primarily, but we’re seeing the re-shoring, where people are working –
Karen: Coming back.
Jeff: – to try to bring their products back to the United States. So we’re excited about that. It’s good for America. It’s good for Houston.
Jeff: In fact, Walmart – I hear that they have an initiative at – by the end of 2014 to have a percentage – I think it’s something like 15% of their products manufactured in the United States.
Jeff: So that’s driving a lot of investment, and so we’re seeing some of that. Even though those aren’t necessarily our customers, but we’re seeing a lot of interest in that.
Karen: Fantastic. Back to the made in the USA.
Jeff: That’s right.
Karen: Well, thank you for that perspective, Jeff. Appreciate it.
Jeff: Sure. Thanks for having me.
Karen: Thank you. This has been another Thought Leader production brought to you by PKF Texas, the Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.