NextGen Illumination, Inc. and the Cherokee Nation have announced a partnership to manufacture solid state lighting products at Cherokee Nation facilities in Oklahoma. This partnership will re-shore manufacturing jobs to the United States which are currently performed overseas. The partnership will bring jobs to both Oklahoma and Arkansas and is the beginning of a new technology based industry for the region. NextGen plans to transition the manufacture of its line of LED lighting to the United States through a long term partnership with the Cherokee Nation. This partnership is part of a plan of Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker to expand and diversify the Cherokee Nation’s economic base through the creation of high tech manufacturing jobs for its members.
NextGen had been looking for the best way to bring production back to the United States to take advantage of savings in shipping and duties and to offset rising labor costs in Asia. With the help of the Northwest Arkansas Council, NextGen was introduced to the Cherokee Nation. “The beauty of working with the Cherokee Nation is their extensive knowledge of manufacturing and production, which allows us to improve on our practices and streamline processes,” said Jerry McCormick, vice president of operations for NextGen Illumination and Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) board member.
NextGen Illumination, Inc. is an Arkansas based designer/manufacturer of solid state lighting (LED) for the commercial, industrial and agricultural industries both in the United States and internationally. It is a member of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association
Cherokee Nation Industries is a Cherokee Nation company. It was established in 1969 to serve as the economic and work-force arm for the Cherokee Nation, according to its website. It specializes in aerospace and defense manufacturing but also works in telecommunications and distribution services. It operates a 120,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Stilwell. Key clients include Boeing and Lockheed Martin.