Another company joins the rolling wave to bring jobs back to America from overseas. This time, it’s Orbic Electronics, a tech device company with an eye for sustainability and environmental care. Just this month, Orbic announced a manufacturing migration from China to the United States.
Based in Long Island, Orbic is making moves to bring their production not only back to their home country, but back to their home state too. A location in New York has already been selected and coordinated through local agencies. Operations are set to begin in October 2024 with an initial 500 new jobs at their new location.
Look beyond the big box names (Apple, Samsung, etc) of the device world, and you’ll find Orbic. Their product lineup includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, wearables like smartwatches, Bluetooth earphones, and more. This range of products is available with Android OS and in partnership with Verizon.
So, how does a smartphone company differentiate itself in the ever-competitive world of tech brands? Made in America might be the answer. Before 2023, only one other smartphone was manufactured in the United States. Most smart device manufacturing occurs in East Asia, mainly China and Vietnam.
Now, Orbic is making strides to challenge this long-accepted norm and improve options for American consumers. Mike Narula, Orbic CEO and President, stated, “Everything you see right now is coming from China. Our goal is to manufacture all of this in New York.”
The Move Back
Orbic initiated its pilgrimage back to the United States by announcing its Project Patriot. In this effort, the company’s goal is to offer Made in America products to their consumers. The announcement was made at the end of 2023, and Orbic expects the transition to occur over the next five years.
Over 1,000 jobs will be created during that time to support Orbic’s American manufacturing goals. Previously operating out of India and China, the company has set its eyes upon Hauppage, New York, as its landing site here in the US. This location is primed for industry, as New York’s Suffolk County is already home to over 2,000 other manufacturing entities. Along with those new jobs, Orbic’s move is estimated to bring in a $30.8 million investment to the area.
According to Orbic CEO Narula, “Having our products read ‘Made in America’ is a tremendous point of pride for us, and it will also allow our company to bolster the local economy, helping other vendors in Suffolk County succeed alongside us.”
Once established, Orbic projects a 5 million unit per year output at their new manufacturing facility. The Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency has begun approval processes to aid Orbic in developing a 70,000-square-foot facility on a 5-acre lot. Although full production is expected in five years, the company is already moving forward and will begin initial operations later this year.
The Path Forward
Long has smartphone manufacturing been criticized for unethical practices, child labor, and exploitation. When you hold your mini computer in your hand, you don’t necessarily worry about how it came to be. Thanks to companies like Orbic, you might not have to. This is where corporate responsibility can make an impressionable difference on the future of society. Not just locally, but globally.
Image credit: Anthony Florio