Exports, Competitiveness, and Synergy in Appalachian Industry Clusters

Author(s): Stuart A. Rosenfeld
Author Organization(s): Regional Technology Strategies, Inc.

This report analyzes seven industry sectors pre-selected by the Appalachian Regional Commission on the basis of their importance to the region’s economy and export potential. The seven clusters are: miscellaneous plastics parts (SIC 308)*, electronic components (SIC 3670); household furniture (SIC 2510); knitting mills (SIC 2250); medical devices (SIC 3840); industrial machinery (SICs 3540, 3550, 3560, and 3590); and environmental technologies (see appendix for sector classifications). The targets of this analysis are small and mid-sized manufacturing enterprises (SMEs), which have been found to be slow to modernize and hesitant to export. These SMEs cluster, dominate many rural economies, and, with the downsizing of so many large corporations, comprise a potential source of growth.