The Longaberger Company, manufacturer of handcrafted baskets and pottery, said it started transitioning production of its full product line back to "U.S.-Made," which the firm estimates will create more than 500 jobs at its Dresden, Ohio, facility.
Tami Longaberger, CEO and President, speaking at the company's annual national
sales convention in Columbus, Ohio, said, "We're coming home. I've directed our team to begin the process of making us a completely American-made company again."
Longaberger said, along with its trademark baskets, the company has been offering an extensive line of pottery, serving pieces and tabletop merchandise. In the early 2000s, Longaberger's source of American-made pottery moved its manufacturing overseas.
"I've thought long and hard about who we are and what makes us special, I keep coming back to something fundamental. Our company was founded in America's Heartland. We stand for American values. We want to create more American jobs. We want to help rebuild our country," she said.
The company estimates that its transition to U.S. sourcing for its entire line will create at least 500 American jobs, and could create more, as sales volumes grow. The transition will take place over a period of several years. An internal team has already begun work on a plan for converting the product line to U.S.-made, in an effort the company named Project Eagle.
Longaberger said its Dresden, Ohio complex has enough space at its basket making campus to house a pottery-making operation, and that partnerships with existing vendors may help speed the process.
"We're a company that can set an example for the country to follow. I believe Longaberger can be a beacon," Ms. Longaberger declared. "We have 30,000 entrepreneurs in thousands of communities. Through them, we'll help rebuild America one community at a time."
While information the company's proposed investment, or incentives the firm might qualify for was not immediately available, JobsOhio and the Ohio Tax Credit Authority provides tax credits based on job creation.