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Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (WTAAC)

Success Stories

Custom Finisher

 This company was a custom finisher of computer and consumer electronic components with capabilities that included decorative printing, painting, EMI/RFI shielding, and die cutting. Having all these capabilities under one roof enable the company to be the only "one-stop" finisher in its market. Its products were sold primarily to large Arizona based OEM customers.

 The company faced increasing competition from low cost manufacturers located in the Western Pacific Rim. These competitive pressures resulted in a 17% decrease in employment to 25 and a 71% decrease in profitability over the two years before certification in the TAA Program. The company, with assistance from the University of Southern California’s Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (Western TAAC) became certified as trade impacted by the US Dept. of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Western TAAC and the company’s management developed a strategy focused on expanding its geographic market outside of Arizona focusing on the consumer electronic OEMs. In order to counter their decreasing market trend, the firm intended to exploit the increasing trend of shifting consumer electronic manufacturing from the Pacific Rim to Mexico, commonly referred to as Maquiladora operations.

The company began participation in the Post Approval phase of the TAA program. Over a 15 month period, Western TAAC and the company’s management implement one marketing project to assist management in developing and implementing a marketing and sales approach to the Pacific Rim based consumer electronic OEMs, their respective manufacturing operations located in Mexico along the United States border, and their respective supporting design and engineering firms located in the United States.

Three years after program completion, the results are remarkable. This project along with other strategy implementation led to outstanding growth and stability for the firm. As a result, in the 4 1/2 years since the firm began working with the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program, sales increased 416% to $7.5M, employment increased 700% to 200, and profitability increased more than twenty times.

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