Company Leaders Joined by U.S. Representative Bill Huizenga and U.S. Representative John Moolenaar to Begin Construction
Rockford, Mich., October 12, 2016 — Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW) yesterday broke ground on a 16,000 square foot expansion to the company’s Big Rapids manufacturing facility, adding a new raw materials receiving warehouse. Company leadership noted the support of Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-2nd District) and Rep. John Moolenaar (R-4th District) and the rest of the Michigan delegation, which has played a major role in adding more than 250 new jobs in the Big Rapids manufacturing plant over this past year. This expansion provides much-needed additional capacity while creating opportunities for Wolverine to operate more efficiently.
Wolverine Worldwide Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Blake W. Krueger said, “As a company, we are fortunate to have our Members of Congress here in West Michigan, Rep. Bill Huizenga and Rep. John Moolenaar, engaged and working hard to expand opportunities to create good-paying, American jobs. As evidence of their hard work and dedication to our region, our company again was able to host both Representatives to break ground on the first expansion project at our manufacturing facility.”
Krueger continued, “Rep. Huizenga and Rep. Moolenaar have repeatedly demonstrated their commitment to their constituents by supporting initiatives to increase manufacturing opportunities that help grow our workforce in Michigan. We are grateful for their continued support in Washington and for making this growth opportunity a reality. We look forward to creating good paying manufacturing jobs in Big Rapids long into the future.”
Built in 1964, the Wolverine Worldwide Big Rapids manufacturing plant originally produced Wolverine and Hush Puppies branded footwear. Today, this 80,000 square foot facility produces Bates brand American-made footwear for the military as well as quality Made in the U.S.A. footwear for the Wolverine, HYTEST, and Merrell brands. As a sign of continued commitment to the local community and the workforce in Big Rapids, Wolverine will be expanding the facility by 16,000 square feet. This expansion will increase the level of quality that Bates Footwear provides to our armed service men and women while expanding the Wolverine footprint in Michigan. Wolverine Worldwide is targeting completion of the expansion work in early 2017.