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Do the next right thing

We finally got back on the high school soccer field this week and played our first games of the season. I was really excited for the boys. They have worked hard in preparation not knowing if they would get to play. We even had Senior Night to recognize our seniors. I have been teaching leadership to our soccer seniors for over 20 years. One of the first things I teach is: Example isn’t the main thing it is the only thing. What you do speaks louder than anything you say. Your players are always watching you. As parents our kids watch what we do and say and then imitate us. Sometimes at the most embarrassing time.

Our seniors also learn early on, “When you make a mistake or have a failure do the next right thing.” When we do the next right thing, it starts to move us in a positive direction. At Shale Crescent USA, when all our conferences were canceled because of the pandemic, it wasn’t something we could control. We could see the jobs losses. Our mission is to bring in high wage jobs. People need hope and jobs now more than ever. We had to do something. We knew from our research this Region has an advantage over the world because of our economical and abundant energy and feedstock. We focused on our mission as a marketing organization for the region. Our next right thing was to reach out to our media contacts with a new message about how the pandemic showed bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. is essential.

When you do the next right thing, it can open doors or take you in directions you never thought about. We realized one of the problems the pandemic exposed is the danger of having long supply chains, especially global supply chains. Some companies had to shut down production lines because one or more of the components or parts they needed came from overseas where the virus had factories shut down. The longer the supply chain the greater the possibility of having a disruption. Our country needed a lot of PPE during the virus and we learned very little was manufactured here. We had to wait until China could send it to us.

COVID-19 and doing the right thing began the thought process of creating regional supply chains. It also got us to thinking about our carbon footprint and creating lower emissions because companies here are close to their customers.

Shale Crescent USA presented virtually at Pittsburgh Chemical Day this week. We were part of a panel with Pressure Chemical in Pittsburgh who makes specialty chemicals. Companies approached them to manufacture chemicals they couldn’t get from their overseas suppliers because of the pandemic. Pressure Chemical has become a regional supplier to many companies. A friend of mine refused to get the supplies he needs for his manufacturing process from China. He couldn’t send anyone to China to verify their quality so he is developing a local source.

Developing regional supply chains allows us to keep local jobs and grow new ones. Companies who were buying things like PPE and hand sanitizer made in China now have very competitive U.S. choices. We have been working with companies during this pandemic who are coming to our Region because of our location and feedstock advantages. They will manufacture products we are currently getting from overseas. These are high wage tech jobs. They will spend money in our local economy, helping small businesses. Each U.S. manufacturing job creates five additional jobs. We are setting an example for others to follow around the country.

We also learned Regional supply chains benefit the planet because of their lower emissions and carbon footprint. The products companies like Pressure Chemical manufacture are made with local energy and feedstock. They are made under U.S. environmental laws, some of the strictest in the world and then shipped locally with a minimal environmental footprint. The energy used in China will likely be shipped to them from the Middle East. Their manufactured products will then be shipped halfway around the world. That comes at an environmental cost.

Regional supply chains are the next right thing creating local jobs. They benefit local companies and the planet. We have groups with roots outside of our region that claim to be “environmental” trying to shut some of these projects down. If they succeed, China will benefit, global carbon dioxide and emissions will increase, the local economy and people will suffer.

Chinese emissions and carbon dioxide continue to increase. They have yet to peak. China will do what is in its economic self-interest. We can’t legislate Chinese environmental law. They have no incentive to change. Our region has the best opportunity to compete with China and begin to reduce global emissions. We can be leaders and set an example for others to follow. Every manufacturing facility built here rather than China is a win for the planet. Every product made here rather than imported from China is a win for the planet. We now know we can successfully compete with China and win. Our location in the middle of the largest economy in the world is a huge asset.

The Chinese are smart people. Only their government and economic system can hold them back. When we begin to take global market share away from them, maybe that will be the incentive their government needs to look at environmental policy differently.

Our Region can do the next right thing and set an example that will change the world. In the process, we can create jobs making people in our region more prosperous. We can give our young people hope for a bright future and a cleaner planet. Thoughts to ponder.

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Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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