1,000 manufacturing jobs are coming to Suffolk. NewsdayTV's Shari Einhorn reports. Credit: Anthony Florio

A supplier of cellphones, laptops, mobile hot spots and other telecommunications equipment for customers such as Verizon wants to move its manufacturing from China to Long Island, creating 1,000 factory jobs over the next five years, a top executive told Newsday.

Orbic Electronics Manufacturing LLC is pursuing a multimillion-dollar “Made in America” strategy at the behest of its customers who want their supplies to be made domestically in order to avoid a repeat of the shipping backlogs that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic with imported goods. The customers also hope to stand out from their rivals with American consumers, said Mike Narula, CEO of Hauppauge-based Orbic.

“China has dominated [the telecommunications industry] when it comes to manufacturing and supply chain … We decided to go down a different path in building the Orbic brand and to set ourselves apart from the competition by having ‘Made in USA’ on our products,” he said in an interview. “Also, our top customers, like Verizon, are asking us to do this.”

While production activity will move to Long Island, Narula said Orbic will continue to rely on engineers in India for research and development work.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • A Hauppauge company, Orbic Electronics Manufacturing LLC, plans to shift production of its cellphones, laptop computers, mobile hotspots and other telecommunications devices from China to Long Island.
  • About 1,000 factory jobs will be created over five years, with the first factory opening in October at 555 Wireless Blvd. in Hauppauge.
  • Orbic won $2 million in tax breaks from Suffolk County and is seeking help from New York State and local utilities, said CEO Mike Narula.

The company has annual revenue of about $100 million, according to its application for tax breaks from the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency. Narula said the best-selling products are mobile hotspots used in school buses and elsewhere by students doing their homework, cellphones for senior citizens and Chromebook computers for students.

In Hauppauge, Orbic plans to convert 60,000 square feet of space at 555 Wireless Blvd. into its first factory. The eight-year-old company now uses the rented 70,000-square-foot building for warehousing and offices. 

Narula said retrofitting the space for production will begin early next year and cost $30.8 million. He said he hopes to start turning out 5 million phones, hot spots, Chromebooks and other electronic devices per year, starting in October. All will bear the Orbic name.

The expansion project won preliminary approval this month for $2 million in tax breaks over 20 years from the IDA. Much of the savings — $1.1 million — will come from a sales-tax exemption on the purchase of construction materials and equipment, according to the agency.

In return, Orbic has pledged to add more than 500 people to its payroll of 73 in the next two years. The new jobs will pay, on average, $46,250 per year, according to the company’s IDA application.

Without the tax breaks, the expansion "will not be feasible and we would either seek an alternative location in a different state or maintain our current manufacturing and assembly operations" in China, Orbic officials wrote in the application.

Besides the Wireless Boulevard building, Narula told Newsday that Orbic eventually will have factories at 120 Commerce Dr. and 155 Adams Ave., both in Hauppauge, and at 1560 5th Ave. in Bay Shore.

He said Orbic is seeking help from Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency, and its Job Development Authority. The company is also exploring ways to reduce its electricity bills.

"We are in touch with the company and look forward to a continued discussion regarding their plans on Long Island," ESD spokeswoman Emily Mijatovic said on Wednesday.

Orbic, which is owned by Narula's wife, Ashima, an architect, is joining more than 5,000 companies that have shifted production from overseas to the United States. Together, the businesses have created 1.7 million jobs as of Jan. 31, 2023. Nearly 500 of the firms have operations in New York State, according to the Reshoring Initiative, a Sarasota, Florida-based advocacy group.

In March, Bedgear LLC, a Farmingdale-based maker of mattresses, pillows and sheets, announced plans to move more of its production from Asia to a company-owned factory in Rock Hill, South Carolina. 

At Orbic, Mike Narula said, “Our goal is not only to elevate the awareness of the Orbic brand but to deliver value to the American consumer through products that are made in this country.” He added the company plans to pursue contracts to supply computers and other devices to public schools in New York City and elsewhere.

Orbic is among more than 2,000 manufacturers that call Suffolk home, said Kelly Murphy, acting executive director of the IDA. “We are excited for what the future holds and we are proud to support this project.”

IDA board member Joshua Slaughter, an official in the Mason Tenders union, agreed, adding, "It's great to see jobs coming here from overseas because for decades [the trend] has been in the opposite direction."

Nassau gun permits … Roslyn bank renamed … What's up on Long Island Credit: Newsday

Mysterious green light in Albany ... Nassau gun permits ... LI home sales rise ... Boxing bus driver

Nassau gun permits … Roslyn bank renamed … What's up on Long Island Credit: Newsday

Mysterious green light in Albany ... Nassau gun permits ... LI home sales rise ... Boxing bus driver

Latest Videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME