Followed by a movement of many sewing factories which relocated from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in search of cheaper labor, companies of other manufacturing industries are also following suit for similar reasons.
It is looking increasingly possible that the constant relocation of various factories may even lead to a formulation of a “manufacturing base” in Las Vegas.
“As sewing factories from L.A. are moving to Las Vegas, printing businesses as well as cutting and embroidery factories are also following,” said Korean American Fashion Association in Las Vegas (KAFA) chairman Yong-sun Lim.
“Factories that are moving feel that flocking one area with various manufacturers can create something of a synergy effect to boost their businesses.”
Lim said, “It is not just factories. Even mechanics and check cashing business owners contacted me recently about opening an office in Las Vegas. All these moves are starting to form a new Korean community in Las Vegas.”
Jay Lim, a Korean-American realtor in Las Vegas, explained: “More sewing factories are starting to move into the city, after the relocation began last year. Factories are now looking for bigger properties. Also, inquiries from printing and embroidery businesses are also a new trend.”
Recently, transportation has been made available by the affected businesspeople, which takes people from L.A. Koreatown or the downtown “jobber” market in the fashion district to Las Vegas through commuter buses, said Lim. Many people who also settled in Las Vegas, as they are satisfied with cheaper rent and overall cost of living.
“The relocation of [Korean-owned] sewing factories in L.A. is generally centralized in North Las Vegas,” said Sun-woo Jang, who has also moved to Las Vegas from L.A. for his sewing business.
“There are more than 20 factories that relocated already. L.A. is becoming a difficult place to work due to the rising minimum wage and the clampdown on labor laws. Las Vegas offers a better opportunity as workers compensation costs less while the cost of living is also not as expensive.”
It is also considered a positive that the relocation has created jobs in the greater Las Vegas area. “Large retailers like Ross, as well as other Korean jobber manufacturers are increasingly relying on sewing companies in Las Vegas. The workload is rising rapidly at the moment,” said KAFA’s Lim.
By Moon Ho Kim