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Battery recharges debate about U.S. manufacturinghttp://www.chicagotribune.com/business/feed/ct-biz-0516-green-manufacture--20100516-5,0,5228958,full.storyCan the manufacturing industry create jobs while 'greening' the environment?http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Green-Economics/2010/0510/Can-the-manufacturing-industry-create-jobs-while-greening-the-environmentInvesting in our Clean Energy Economyhttp://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/05/seam_act.htmlNew England Economic Indicatorshttp://www.bos.frb.org/economic/neei/neei.htmFactory Tours USAhttp://www.factorytoursusa.com/Saugus Iron Works National Historic Sitehttp://www.nps.gov/sair/index.htmWhat is the future of manufacturing in the United States? Some might say that is largely predicated on the high-end market, with a focus on specialty goods, whether specific types of manufactured steel or sneakers. For the most part, many pundits have written off certain sectors, such as high-end electronics and batteries, due to the movement of factories to various parts of Asia. There is hope on the horizon, however, and it comes from Yet-Ming Chiang, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Chiang has been working on a battery that can be used by electric cars, various tools, and other important devices. His company, A123 systems, has had a hard time finding factories that can make these batteries in the United States. While A123 had to give in and build its first several plants in China, the company is currently finishing up a plant near Detroit that will open in June 2010. In a recent interview, Professor Chiang said, "I'm an American citizen. We're an American company. It's an American-born technology." A123 challenges the view that the U.S. economy can prosper even when manufacturing moves overseas, as long as Americans produce the best research and ideas for high-value products. However, often big manufacturing complexes devoted to a single industry, can act as magnets for research and development facilities. Matt Rogers, a senior advisor to the Secretary of Energy, believes "Too often we've done the innovation, and we've outsourced the manufacturing....That's where A123 becomes important."The first link will take users to an article that appeared in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday which talks about Professor Chiang and his work. The second link leads to a piece from the Christian Science Monitor which talks about "green" manufacturing in the United States. Moving on, the third link leads to a thoughtful bit of commentary from Richard W. Caperton, Sima J. Gandhi, and Kate Gordon on "green" manufacturing in China, offered via the Center for American Progress. The fourth link leads to a timely set of research papers and updates on the state of the New England economy, courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Those persons looking to peer into the contemporary state of American manufacturing (green or otherwise) will find inspiration via the Factory Tours website. Here they can learn about interesting factory tours that take place all over the United States. The sixth and final link will take interested parties to the homepage of the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, which provides great insight into the earliest days of industrial manufacturing in the United States.
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