Shale Crescent USA Spreads Word of Region’s Potential
Shale Crescent USA opened 2020 with excitement and expectation.
The organization had big plans for the World Petrochemical Conference in New Orleans in March. Representatives were set to speak at Select USA, a huge conference put on by the U.S. Commerce Department at Washington, D.C., in June. In late February, the group had a follow-up meeting with an Asian company in Houston. It had just incorporated in the USA and was planning to open an office in the Shale Crescent USA region in advance of manufacturing operations. A regional tour and meetings were being set up for April with an Israeli company that has a unique recycling process with a negative carbon footprint. Existing projects were moving forward.
When COVID hit, immediately all of the conferences with their speaking and networking opportunities canceled. New leads stopped. Visits to the region by the Asian and Israeli companies were canceled. Contacts were limited to conference calls and Zoom meetings. Existing projects slowed. Shale Crescent’s dream and mission to bring high-wage jobs back to the region and raise the standard of living for people living here were in jeopardy.
The pandemic impacted trade and travel globally. The United States suddenly had a shortage of health care personal protective equipment and medical equipment such as ventilators because the majority are made overseas. Americans learned 80 percent of our prescription drugs come from outside the U.S.
Many companies had to shut down manufacturing because of the pandemic, not because people were sick but because of global supply chains. They couldn’t get overseas supplies. Millions suddenly were unemployed.
In every challenge, there is opportunity if we look for it. Shale Crescent members were doing print media, radio and TV interviews and podcasts. We were speaking virtually at conferences including Pittsburgh Chemical Day, Petchem Update and internationally to Supply Chain Brain and investment banker groups. We had never had this level of media attention.
Regardless of politics or location, urban or rural, Americans want to see manufacturing come back to the U.S. Americans want the jobs. They don’t like being dependent on other countries for basic necessities like PPE and other critical products. Shale Crescent USA was able to explain why and how manufacturing and jobs can come back to the USA. People across the country need the hope of a brighter future that bringing back manufacturing can help give.
Advanced manufacturing methods, work force, energy and feedstock (the molecules needed to make stuff) give the U.S. huge advantages over the rest of the world. Manufacturing technology allows the USA to be competitive with cheaper labor overseas. The United State is the largest economy in the world. Products manufactured in the USA can be sold in the USA. The Shale Crescent region alone has almost twice as much natural gas as the nation of China. This is important for energy, but more important because the U.S. has the feedstock needed to make things. Renewables can be a source of energy, but they cannot create molecules for products.
Shale Crescent shared information on the manufacturing advantages of our region openly through the media. Some companies saw opportunity and acted. One West Virginia company began making parts for medical equipment, another opened a shuttered assembly line to make hand sanitizer, other companies started making PPE such as masks, gloves and face shields. A friend in Pittsburgh was approached to make components companies previously purchased overseas to get assembly lines moving again. This is now a permanent part of his business.
At Shale Crescent, the vision is to see businesses in the region expand and see other companies choose to come here to take advantage of our location on top of the energy and feedstock and in the middle of the largest economy in the world. Shale Crescent USA’s research gives companies hard data to justify expanding in this region. Its leaders expect to have live conferences in 2021 to generate new prospects.
They are speaking at Select USA and will be on the Plastics News Livestream Ask the Expert on April 14. Prospects continue to move forward despite the pandemic. Some have selected sites; others are expected to start construction in 2021.
Companies located here in the Shale Crescent USA can create shorter supply chains and greatly reduce carbon emissions. This is a win, especially when compared to products with long supply chains coming from overseas nations like China that must get their energy shipped to them from places such as Iran. To learn more about this, see the group’s latest whitepaper, U.S. Energy: Key to the Reviving of U.S. Manufacturing, at www.shalecrescentusa.com.