KEEN CEO James Curleigh attended the “Insourcing American Jobs” Forum at the White House hosted by President Obama and Vice President Biden yesterday. KEEN had a seat at “the roundtable,” and was one of a select group of CEOs across multiple industries attending that represented those that have “brought jobs back or decided to make significant investments in the United States.”
Statement from James Curleigh, CEO of KEEN
“As a young company KEEN has always taken a proactive and pioneering approach. Today the President asked those companies invited to the Forum to share our stories as examples of those that are innovating and investing in America ahead of the curve with regards to insourcing. He challenged the CEOs to tell our stories to encourage other businesses to do more.
While the President is focused on job creation, businesses have a strategy to drive growth, creative innovation and expand opportunities for our brands, which results in new jobs.
In 2011, KEEN grew from 95 to 130 employees in Portland, OR with innovations including building a Portland Factory that has a new automation platform, creating a new category called “Utility,” our first retail store, and expanded capabilities of our marketing team and logistics center.
In terms of the government’s role to help small businesses to successfully insource, I think about where we will be tomorrow and the importance of balancing protection and competition. That is about intellectual property, innovation, the digital platform, as well as manufacturing. The government can best support businesses by helping turn what has traditionally been an obstacle course to doing business into an opportunity course. We can look at ways to protect innovation in an increasingly complex environment that is globalized and digital, and make sure that the playing field is fair so we can compete with regards to innovation and technology protection, and an educated and energized workforce.”