As you know, I had the great good fortune to visit the Allen Edmonds Shoe Company in September during my Mid-West research trip for my soon to be published book, Simply American, Putting Our Extended American Family Back To Work. When I was at Allen Edmonds, preparations were well underway for Allen Edmond’s 90th Birthday Party. The party took place on October 4th in Milwaukee’s Uihlein Hall; over 1500 people attended (current and retired Allen Edmonds workers and their spouses, business partners, customers, school-aged musicians and the public) and Allen Edmond’s President and CEO Paul Grangaard even got to conduct the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra!
Allen Edmond’s 90 years in business are particularly amazing given that over 98% of the shoes sold in America today are made overseas. But the experience of Allen Edmonds over the last two years provides an example of how you and I can be literal job creators for members of our extended American family just by the decisions we make as consumers. Let me explain. Over the last two years, Allen Edmonds has greatly increased their production of shoes. Not surprising since they make the best shoes in the world. Also not surprising is that to make all those new shoes, Allen Edmonds has needed to hire more members of our extended American to work at the Allen Edmonds plant in Port Washington, Wisconsin. 200 new employees to be exact. So the formula is, more demand for Allen Edmonds shoes = more members of our extended American family working at Allen Edmonds in Port Washington, Wisconsin. Wow, even I can remember that formula!
And the beauty is we can use that formula over and over and over to put millions of Americans back to work. More demand for Hart Schaffner Marx suits = more members of our extended American family working at Hart Schaffner Marx in Des Plaines, Illinois. More demand for Wigwam socks = more members of our extended American family working for Wigwam Mills in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. You get the picture. So the next time you are out shopping and are on the fence about what brand to buy, just remember the formula! Use of the formula is guaranteed to put members our extended American family back to work.
Now get shopping!