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Manufacturing Jobs Headed to China -- Where Bureaucracy Less Bureaucratic Than Here

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The good news--Lighting Science Group, a Satellite Beach, Florida, company that manufactures next-generation energy-efficient LED lighting, is looking to add capacity, meaning more good, quality jobs.

The bad news--those jobs won't be in Florida. In fact, they likely won't be in this country.

The last incandescent light bulb factory, owned by General Electric, is slated to close this month. Compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, are manufactured almost entirely in China. And, if Lighting Science is an early indicator, it won't be long before the US loses LED manufacturing altogether.


As much as Lighting Science would like to expand its operations in the US, China and Mexico are offering more attractive government incentives -- as much as $4 million in cash for capital equipment and labor.

The United States, in comparison, has offered money under the stimulus program, but the process "has proved too cumbersome for the company."

CEO Zach Gibler said, "Like any manufacturer, we have to look at our options."

And those options include looking to countries where the regulations are less onerous. Like China (!).

Why this is still so surprising, I don't know. It's not like we haven't heard this before.

A year ago, Elkhart County, Indiana, highway department manager Jeff Taylor, complained that, instead of working on already-approved projects, all his time was being spent working on slogging through all the paperwork necessary to access stimulus money.

What used to take five steps stretched to 50, he said.

“I’ve got an engineer full-time and that’s just about all he’s doing is red tape every day -- filling out forms, filling out forms. You will not see stimulus used until next year because this year is going to be all red tape."
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.