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Today is Independence Day! Really.. It is.

Independence Day

We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. But July 4, 1776 wasn’t the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776).

It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775).

And it wasn’t the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn’t happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).

So what did happen on July 4, 1776? [click to continue…]

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July’s Montauk Chair Gratitude Giveaway!

Win a FREE Montauk Chair from Manchester Wood! Tell us what you’re grateful for!

Montauk Chair by Manchester WoodWrite a comment on this blog, on our Facebook page, or mention us on Twitter (@manchesterwood) with what you’re grateful for, and you’ll be entered to win a FREE Montauk Chair in July’s monthly giveaway raffle drawing.

This July reminds us of the joys of summer, and also 4th of July when we celebrate Independence Day as a Nation. We may reflect on those who have sacrificed their lives, who have served in bettering our communities and armed forces, the fireworks, food, and parades. Although our November giveaway is typically about gratitude in honor of Thanksgiving we feel July marks another great occasion to do so.

Let us all know what you’re grateful for. You’ll be entered into our monthly raffle drawing for a FREE solid wood furniture piece from Manchester Wood; you might just walk away with our new Montauk Chair.

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Does Walmart ‘Made in the USA’ Work?

In an effort to win customers, Walmart pledged in a TV ad to buy $250 billion in US-made products over the next decade. But as many of us in the ‘Made in USA’ manufacturing industry know, finding quality, terribly low-cost goods is proving a challenge when the American workforce is fairly waged and environmental regulations are in place.

Walmart 'Made in USA'

The Christian Science Monitor reports Walmart has to grapple with a host of challenges, including a shallow pool of component suppliers, an inexperienced workforce, and other shortcomings that developed during the country’s long industrial decline.

“A lot of the tribal knowledge and skill sets are gone because the humans who used to do that work have either retired or died,” says H. Kim Kelley, the CEO of Hampton Products International, a privately held maker of locks, lighting and other household hardware. The Foothill Ranch, California-based company began selling products made in Asia to Walmart in the 1990s and is now supplying it with some U.S.-made products.

The Made in USA “reshoring” issue is so widespread that Walmart is making it the focus of a two-day summit it is hosting in August.

Walmart’s critics say the company bears some responsibility for the diminished capability of U.S. manufacturers. For years, its relentless insistence that suppliers cut costs prompted companies to shut domestic plants and shift production to low-wage countries.

Now, the retailer is asking companies to come back home – though they need little prompting. The forces pulling production back to the United States are powerful and real and include lower domestic energy prices, increasingly competitive wage rates, the benefits of greater automation, and a renewed appreciation for the value of being able to respond quickly to shifting U.S. customer demands. -The Christian Science Monitor

What do you think? Can Walmart and it’s suppliers can pull off a ‘Made in USA’ comeback? Join the discussion below!

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