ThinkPad manufacturing back in the U.S.
Lenovo to expand North Carolina facility, add 115 manufacturing jobs
The company announced this week that it would expand its distribution center in Whitsett, N.C. to include a $2 million PC manufacturing site, its first manufacturing facility in the U.S. The move is expected to add about 115 jobs to the plant, according to NewsObserver.com in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. area.
David Schmoock, president of Lenovo’s North American business, told NewsObserver.com that the area’s “Excellent education and training infrastructure,” were key factors in expanding the existing Whitsett site. He said the move also “Reflects our confidence in the U.S. PC market.”
Although the IBM name went away in 2005 when Lenovo acquired the business, they did retain the ThinkPad brand. While manufacturing initially moved to China, Lenovo has been expanding its manufacturing to Brazil, and now has returned to the U.S. in a move that places it in a position to further challenge in what already is a challenging personal computer market with companies such as Hewlett Packard, Dell and Apple.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.