McClatchy Newspapers visits McLanahan Corp., a Hollidaysburg company that makes equipment for the mineral and farming industries, as an illustration of the current upswing in manufacturing.
In the 1990s, as environmental regulation stiffened on the U.S. mining industry, McLanahan refocused the company to take advantage of export opportunities. Back then, about 10 percent of the company's product went overseas. Today it's about 70 percent.
Mineral-rich Australia is a big customer, and McLanahan has benefited greatly from that country's high labor costs and weaker manufacturing base.
"We can build here and ship into Australia for cheaper than they can make it there," said (CEO Michael) McLanahan. He laments that mining in the United States has shrunk so much and with it, domestic sales opportunities. "I knew that the future of our company depended on a robust export effort."
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