Blake W. Krueger: Huizenga, Moolenaar step up for manufacturing in Western Michigan

To the editor:

Elected officials in Washington often talk about the need for creating quality, good-paying manufacturing jobs here in the United States, but not all of them take action to make this a reality. As a company, we are fortunate to have our members of Congress here in West Michigan, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-2nd District) and Rep. John Moolenaar (R-4th District), engaged and working hard to expand opportunities for companies like Wolverine Worldwide to create good-paying, American jobs. Wolverine Worldwide produces 100 percent Made in the U.S.A. footwear at our manufacturing facility in Big Rapids with support from our global headquarters in Rockford.

Rep. Huizenga and Rep. Moolenaar have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to the local community by supporting initiatives to increase manufacturing opportunities that help grow our workforce in Big Rapids. Their hard work on behalf of western Michigan has had a major impact on our ability to create jobs and manufacture the highest-quality, American-made footwear for servicemen and women in each branch of our Armed Forces. These jobs are critical to the economic vitality of our local community and the health of the American manufacturing industrial base.

As evidence of their hard work and continued commitment to manufacturing in our region, we were pleased to have Rep. Huizenga and Rep. Moolenaar join us in Big Rapids last week to break ground on an expansion project at our manufacturing facility. Built in 1964, our facility originally produced Wolverine and Hush Puppies branded footwear. Today, this 80,000-square foot facility produces American-made footwear for the military as well as quality Made in the U.S.A. footwear for our Wolverine, HyTest and Merrell brands.

Last week Tuesday, Oct. 11, we broke ground on a 16,000-square foot expansion to our Big Rapids manufacturing facility, adding a new raw materials receiving warehouse. Thanks to the support of Rep. Huizenga and Rep. Moolenaar and the rest of our Michigan delegation, we have added more than 250 new jobs in our plant over this past year and this expansion provides much-needed additional manufacturing capacity, while creating opportunities for Wolverine to operate more efficiently.

We are grateful to Rep. Huizenga and Rep. Moolenaar for their continued support in Washington and for making this growth opportunity a reality. We look forward to creating good-paying manufacturing jobs in Michigan long into the future.

Blake W. Krueger

Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President

Wolverine Worldwide

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