Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last week, Wisconsin’s Gov. Jim Doyle visited our plant and made some great comments about Allen Edmonds. While he spoke, I was able to see his staff-prepared notes and noticed he wasn’t really using them. So his remarks were especially impressive and uplifting, given that they were so well delivered in his own words. Our production people take great care and pride in what they do. Having the Governor praise their efforts the way he did was just terrific for them to hear. Below is the link to a video of his visit…

The occasion was to announce a $1.5 million Economic Development Loan that the State of Wisconsin and Ozaukee County together have awarded to Allen Edmonds to help fund investments in our manufacturing capacity and increased employment in Port Washington. If we hire 200 or more people, the loan will be converted to a grant. Currently, we have about 285 full time employees in our Port Washington facilities, so an additional 200 represents significant growth in jobs in the area. Here’s what’s happening:

We’re expanding manufacturing capacity with an entirely new shoe production line that will be located in our building on the west side of Interstate 43. This line brings handsewn shoe production to Port Washington for the first time (it’s a different construction than our existing welted shoe manufacturing), and we’ll be able to produce some 50,000 handsewn pairs a year. With the growth in demand for our welted American Classics dress and casual shoes, we will be expanding employment on our welted line as well. We’re also adding employment in Wisconsin to our Recrafting, shipping, inventory management and headquarters operations as we grow our business.

None of this would be happening, of course, without the support of our loyal customers. We’re grateful to the Governor, the State and the County for helping us make these investments more aggressively than we might have otherwise. And we’re grateful to you, our supporters, for the momentum that makes this growth possible. It’s a great feeling to be growing American jobs again. Thank you!

Best wishes,

Paul D. Grangaard
President & CEO
Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation

Read the Press Release