Power Technology of Little Rock, Arkansas is an experienced exporter in the high-tech laser industry. When searching for ways to further increase their exports they found assistance from the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program. Through this opportunity Power Technology found ways to expand into their highest growth global market.
Founded in 1969 by Thomas Burgess, just nine years after the invention of the laser, Power Technology is one of the oldest laser manufacturers in the industry. The company, now managed by Burgess’ twin sons Walter and William, exported to 30 countries in 2012 and more than 40 countries in the last decade. When William heard about the STEP Program he saw an opportunity to expand and strengthen Power Technology’s Asian market.
“Lasers are a global product. Asia represents the highest export growth opportunity for the future,” says William Burgess. “Asia is a critical part of our ongoing growth strategy. The STEP program allowed us to address this growing market in ways that would have not been possible otherwise.”
The $576,404 STEP program grant was awarded to World Trade Center Arkansas from the U.S. Small Business Administration last year. The program is designed to help Arkansas-based small businesses increase exports over a 12 month period. This was part of a $30 million program in accordance with the National Export Initiative which seeks to double U.S. exports in five years.
Recently Power Technology participated in Trade Winds Asia, a U.S. Department of Commerce led multi-sector trade mission to Asia. The STEP grant helped offset the fees associated with the trade mission, allowing small businesses to grow exports. The mission was led by the U.S. Department of Commerce and targeted Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.
“I provided the Department of Commerce information on the types of companies I wanted to meet with and they went out and found those types of companies,” William said. “I had 15 face-to-face meetings during my two-week trip. I would not have been able to find the contacts they found. I also had the opportunity to meet with my distributors in the area, which further strengthened our existing relationships in Asia.” He expects 60 % of the meetings from the mission to turn into future business relationships.
Power Technology has a long history of keeping jobs in America; they employ over 50 people at their headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. “All of our products are made in the U.S. We believe in American manufacturing” says William. “Many of the products in our industry are imported, so we believe it is important to continue to increase our exports. The STEP program helped us to continue that mission in a cost effective way.” Power Technology was awarded the 2011 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Global Trade and continues to find ways to lead the export community in Arkansas. The company’s most recent international activity was the purchase of Klastech GmBH in Dortmund, Germany in January of 2013. This acquisition will be support by the addition of several US based jobs.
Tom Burgess, CEO
William Burgess, Vice President of Operations
Walter Burgess, Vice President of Sales and Engineering
Power Technology, Inc.
P.O. Box 191117
Little Rock, AR 72219-1117