An article posted on BuilderOnline.com, states that the American Dream is to have both a home and a job and that builders across the country would like to help create both.
The article goes on to state that a “Made in America” label can mean anything from assembly in the U.S. from parts produced overseas to a product that, stem to stern, was churned out on U.S. soil. And while new homes are indisputably American-made, they generally fall into the former category. But as high unemployment rates continue to plague the nation, a growing group of builders across the country has decided to take a closer look at where the building products they use are made and bring those purchases back home.
The trend toward promoting American-made products in new homes attracted international attention last year when ABC News did a story on Anders Lewendal, a Bozeman, Mont.-based economist-turned-builder, who began working on his first Made in America house last year. Lewendal analyzed reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and determined that if, in a “normal” building year, every builder in the country increased the number of U.S.-made materials used in new homes by 5%, it would create more than 200,000 jobs across the country. That estimate was later confirmed by economists at The Boston Consulting Group.
Lewendal says that his all-American home was meant to raise awareness not only among home builders and home buyers, but also the national community at large. If all American consumers switched 5% of their purchases to American-made products, he projects the number of U.S. jobs it would create would swell into the millions. He and other builders also point to the environmental benefits of buying closer to home, such as less fuel spent on transportation.
According to Richard Elkman, president of PR firm Group Two, with Congress stuck in gridlock over a job creation bill, there’s never been a better time to be touting home features that bring U.S. jobs home. To capitalize on that, his company recently launched the “All American Healthy Homes” program to help builders market homes made up of at least 60% U.S.-made materials. “This is a great opportunity for builders to build on all the political talk going on about the need for job creation,” he says. “It’s the perfect time.”
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