The outsourcing of jobs to lower-cost Asian studios has long plagued America’s shrinking animation industry, but at least one company, Bento Box Entertainment, has done its part to keep work in the U.S.
U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez officially recognized that effort Aug. 22, when he dropped by Bento Box’s Atlanta studio to commend its job-retention efforts, especially its use of the department’s on-the-job training program, which subsidizes its teaching the staff new skills.
North Hollywood-based Bento Box, which specializes in TV animation, set up the Atlanta office in 2012 to avail itself of Georgia’s production incentives, says chief operating officer Brett Coker. “We were looking to expand to a place where we could do digital animation economically,” he says. “We found that the Georgia incentives, combined with the OTJ training incentive, plus the local pool of creative talent, made Atlanta the right place.”