The heartbeat of small towns like ours (Chestertown, MD, population: 5,000+) is the businesses and industries that call them home. The industrial plants and brick-and-mortar buildings you drive past every day may not seem noteworthy from the outside, but they’re pillars of the community, sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of your neighbors and friends. Manufacturers are also hubs of innovation and economic resilience for the broader region.
At Dixon, like many of our fellow businesses and manufacturers in small towns across America, we feel a strong sense of responsibility toward our community. We have been a proud U.S. manufacturer for over 100 years, and have been located in Chestertown since 1976. We know firsthand that our success as a company is interdependent with the success and stability of the region we call home.
Here are a few ways that local manufacturers contribute to the well-being of local economies:
1. Job Creation: Manufacturers serve as crucial employment hubs in small town economies, offering diverse job opportunities across a variety of skill sets. From the people on the manufacturing line, to the payroll officers, to the sales representatives, to facilities maintenance personnel, and everything in between, an industrial plant offers a plethora of job opportunities. But the job creation doesn’t stop there: Secondary jobs are generated through supporting industries (such as the network of suppliers the manufacturer partners with), and in the surrounding community as workers spend their money in local businesses (restaurants, retail, real estate, and more.)
2. Professional Development: As technology advances, the skills needed to perform manufacturing jobs evolve with it. Contrary to what some might think, more automation in manufacturing doesn’t necessarily mean that jobs disappear. It often means that the job responsibilities require new levels of education and a different set of skills to keep the plant running efficiently.
Manufacturing jobs are becoming more highly specialized and technical all the time, giving employees new opportunities for career growth and greater financial stability, which benefits their families and community. At Dixon, we value our people and take every opportunity to invest in their professional development so that we can continue to innovate our processes and products.
3. Economic Stability: Beyond job creation, manufacturing plants contribute significantly to the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP), revenue streams, and tax base, acting as a catalyst for economic stability in the region. These contributions support essential services like education, medical care, public safety, infrastructure development, and various community programs. According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), “For every $1 spent in manufacturing, there is a total impact of $2.69 to the overall economy.” With so many links to other sectors, the output of manufacturing plays a vital role in stimulating the economy. As a result, a thriving manufacturing sector can enhance the well-being and overall development of a community.
4. Supply Chain Resilience: In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current war in Ukraine, we’ve seen how risky it can be to rely completely on imported goods. It’s important to keep manufacturing within the United States so that we’re not entirely reliant on global supply chains, which can be fractured by events like a global pandemic. When manufacturers establish their home base in small towns across America, they can foster supply chain “hubs” of ancillary suppliers and partners within the region, establishing an integral role for their community in the regional, state, federal, and even global economies.
5. Infrastructure & Services: When a manufacturer establishes a facility in a community, they contribute to the development and maintenance of essential local infrastructure like energy, water supply, transportation systems and roadways.
6. Community Support: Manufacturers often extend community support beyond job creation and infrastructure by engaging in community-driven initiatives through sponsorships, donations, development projects, and local events. At Dixon Valve, we consider ourselves integral partners in fostering growth and contributing to the social fabric that binds our town together.
Helping Our Small Towns Thrive for Generations
Beyond the immediate economic impact that manufacturers provide, the long-term effect is that our small towns can thrive.
When people have stable employment, they feel safe to stay where they are and invest in their community in a variety of ways. They buy a home, start a family, volunteer at the local food pantry, put down roots, and get involved in local politics.
The reverberation can be felt for decades to come, as younger generations benefit from the economic stability of their families and community, as well as the support they experience in their schools, libraries, after-school programs, and more.
At Dixon, We Aim to Give Back
For nearly 50 years, we’ve been active in the Chestertown community, working to ensure sustained growth and resilience for our employees, families, and neighbors. We consider our role in the Chestertown community just as important as our role in our industry.
With an optimistic outlook on the trajectory of American manufacturing, our objective remains to foster the creation of employment opportunities within our community. We look forward to serving Chestertown and the surrounding counties for future generations. We encourage more businesses to work toward transforming small communities nationwide into centers of economic stability and innovation.
For more information about Dixon or to schedule a time to visit, visit dixonvalve.com or contact us at 877.963.4966.
● https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/community-impact-manufacturing-ficosa-north-america#:~:text=Manufacturing%20 facilities%20provided%20 communities%20with,will%20thrive%20as%20a%20result