The 2017 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are here – and the Alliance for American Manufacturing is excited to release our 2017 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide! 

Norman's Printery

This year’s list is filled with ideas from every state and the nation’s capital. We included picks at every price point and for a variety of people on your list, and we also aimed to include a number of American-made ideas that haven’t made the list before. We also shined the spotlight on makers who took part in our 10th Anniversary Celebration on Nov. 14, and included several suggestions from readers like you. 

But we have more exciting Made in America news!

We’re also unveiling our new Made in America Directory, which shines a spotlight on companies that manufacture their products in the United States. So, if you can’t find the gift you are looking for on this list, head over to the directory for even more great gift-giving ideas!

—Team AAM

Alabama

Exxel Outdoors and its 95 employees make 2 million sleeping bags at a factory in Haleyville every year. It wasn’t always this way; the Haleyville factory was on the brink of closing when Exxel bought it in 2000. But the company bet on Made in America, upgraded the factory – and found success. AAM 10th Anniversary Celebration Maker

Bonus: Veteran owned and operated, Redline Steel manufacturers custom home décor products at its shop in Huntsville. Popular items include family monograms and American flags. Reader Pick

Alaska

Artist and entrepreneur Paul Heflinger’s eco-friendly jewelry and artwork company, The Winking Moose, is inspired by the Alaska wilderness. The company is so committed to the environment that it uses as many recycled materials as possible when shipping its products.

Bonus: The Alaska Rug Company, which made our 2016 list, makes its unique household décor using recycled fishing line and rope. AAM 10th Anniversary Celebration Maker

Arizona 

All of the bags, wallets, belts and other accessories produced by Lifetime Leather Co. are handcrafted at the company’s workshop. Reflecting its moniker, the company’s products are designed to last a lifetime.

Bonus: Stuffed toy Trouble the Dog has brought comfort and hope to kids going through a hard time, from youngsters stricken with cancer to children impacted by tragic events like the Boston Marathon bombing and Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The sweet toys are made at the Stuffington Bear Factory in Phoenix.

For more, click here.

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From the AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Freight can’t wait

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities.

A freight train hauling lumber and nylon manufacturing chemicals derailed, caught fire and caused a 108-year-old bridge to collapse in Tempe, Ariz., this week, in the second accident on the same bridge within a month.

The bridge was damaged after the first incident, according to Union Pacific railroad that owns the rail bridge, and re-opened two days later. 

The official cause of the derailments is still under investigation, but it remains clear that the failure to modernize and maintain America’s railroad infrastructure is dangerous. 

In 2019, 499 trains that derailed were found to have defective or broken track, roadbed or structures, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s database of safety analysis.

While railroad workers’ unions have called for increased safety improvements, rail companies have also used technology and automation as an excuse to downsize their work forces.

For example, rail companies have implemented a cost-saving measure known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), which has resulted in mass layoffs and shoddy safety protocols. 

Though privately-owned railroads have spent significantly to upgrade large, Class I trains, regional Class II trains and local, short-line Class III trains that carry important goods for farmers and businesses still rely on state and local funds for improvements. 

But cash-strapped states struggle to adequately inspect new technologies and fund safety improvements, and repairing or replacing the aging track and rail bridges will require significant public investment.

A true infrastructure commitment will not only strengthen the country’s railroad networks and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. It will also create millions of family-sustaining jobs needed to inspect, repair and manufacture new parts for mass transit systems, all while helping to prevent future disasters.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work