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Western Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (WTAAC)

Success Stories

Fabricated Metal Products Manufacturer
Arizona

This company manufactured metal components for industrial mining and commercial construction. Products included dust collection systems, environmental enclosures, traffic control and air distribution structures, and architectural and artistic metalwork. The company faced increasing foreign competition from low cost competitors primarily located in Mexico. In the two years prior to the firm's certification as trade impacted annual sales decreased 16% to $6.5 million and employment decreased 8% to 60.

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 focusing on improving its manufacturing technology and cost competitiveness, while increasing sales through the repositioning of its product lines. Over a 4 1/2 year period, Western TAAC and the company’s management implement three production engineering projects to improve plant layout and production efficiency, three information technology projects to implement an integrated accounting/manufacturing control information system and one marketing & sales project to assist in developing a sales strategy.

Three years after program completion, the results are remarkable. These projects along with other strategy implementation led to outstanding growth and stability for the firm. As a result, in the 8 years since the firm began working with the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program, sales increased 148% to $16.1 million, employment increased 192% to 175, and profitability increased over 10 times.

 
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