Table: Alternative Path

How shoemaker New Balance keeps some production at home

-- U.S. employees get constant training, master a variety of skills, and work in small teams

-- Managers are creative in adapting new technologies to shoemaking

-- The productivity gains allow U.S. workers to produce a pair of shoes in 24 minutes, vs. 3 hours in China. That whittles the cost per pair of shoes to $4 in the U.S., vs. $1.30 in China

Data: BusinessWeek, New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc.

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