Red. Yellow. Green. What LED traffic signals don’t say: Made in USA.
That is changing. Dialight Corporation, an LED lighting manufacturer with U.S. corporate offices in Farmingdale, New Jersey, and a parent company based in the U.K., invested nearly $3 million into renovating their 75,000-square-foot production facility in Roxboro, North Carolina. With these improvements, Dialight's Roxboro plant is projected to scale up production by 400 percent.
“Bringing manufacturing back to America is a win-win scenario,” said Roy Burton, Dialight’s Group Chief Executive. “We’re helping the economy by creating new jobs, and at the same time we’re finding it more cost-effective to have these operations in Roxboro.”
To date, Dialight has manufactured nearly 4 million LED signals—which include red, green and yellow traffic balls, traffic arrows and pedestrian crosswalk signals. Many major U.S. cities are using Dialight’s technology, including Miami and Chicago.
The Buy American provisions of the Recovery Act aim to keep jobs in the U.S. by ensuring whenever possible, projects utilizing any Recovery Act funds use U.S. manufactured materials.
Unless the Assistant Secretary for EERE approves a waiver for non-availability, unreasonable cost, or because the implementation of the provision would be inconsistent with public interest, EERE projects utilizing Recovery Act funds must use only American manufactured goods, iron and steel.
Before Dialight started manufacturing these LED traffic signals in Roxboro, a non-availability waiver had been issued, allowing grantees to purchase these products from international sources. As a result of the increased output of U.S. made LED traffic signals, the waiver has been withdrawn, once again requiring EERE Recovery Act grant recipients to purchase U.S. made LED traffic signals.
With Dialight’s expanded capability, more than 100 jobs have been created at their Roxboro plant over the past two years - more than doubling the facility’s headcount with engineering, management and direct labor positions.
“We intend to strategically move more operations to our Roxboro facility in the coming months in the hopes that we will create even more new jobs involved in the production of clean technology lighting,” said Burton.
“These improvements mean a lot of change. More equipment, more people, and a different atmosphere,” said James Sargeant, the Roxboro plant manager who joined the company in May. “These new jobs have really brought some excitement back to the plant.”
Lindsey Gsell is a Staff Writer for Energy Empowers.