Lighting the way

A Taiwanese lighting manufacturer with $31 million in annual retail sales opened its North American headquarters in Conover.

And company leaaders say the decision to come to Catawba County was driven, in part, by payback.

"This is our opportunity to pay back for the many years of prosperity our company has enjoyed doing business in the U.S.," said Smart Electric Works, Co. LTD CEO Jerry Yang. "Establishing this facility and headquarters for (Smart Electric N.A.) in Conover will now provide more job opportunities for American workers. It is our goal to build on this foundation of mutual cooperation and employ more American workers as our business expands."

At the official opening of Smart Electric N.A., Yang said it is time for companies to begin bringing jobs to the United States — instead of the other way around.

"I want to bring  jobs here, instead of moving factories out of this country. We felt it isn't fair for the American people, when you buy some product you support jobs overseas. It is very unfair," he explained. "We want to change the situation. People, when they get a product from here, they feel like they can have confidence because it is from quality, it is from our own hands."

To read more of this story, pick up the print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.