The company, which took steps to downsize and cut costs at the end of last year, said that it has recently experienced a stronger-than-forecast demand for its work boots.
Red Wing Shoe Company, Inc., recently announced that it plans to resume a second shift at its Red Wing manufacturing facility in early summer and hire up to 80 new employees.
The Red Wing-based company, which manufactures federally required safety shoes, also will add temporary summer positions at the plant.
“Since the start of the year, we have been experiencing a stronger-than-forecast demand for our premium work-boot products,” Dave Murphy, president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “It’s the result of our retailers rebuilding their inventories and, more importantly, an increase in retail demand from consumers returning to stores in search of new boots.”
Hurt by the economic recession, Red Wing Shoe in November took steps to downsize and cut costs—including eliminating the second shift at the Red Wing manufacturing plant. The company also offered early retirement packages to select union workers at its Red Wing plant and announced plans to close a Kentucky plant in order to cope with the shrinking number of employed blue-collar workers—its staple consumer group. Those measures together were expected to eliminate about 200 positions, including 60 in Minnesota.
Statewide, the manufacturing and construction industries were both hit hard by the recession. Between March 2009 and March 2010, Minnesota’s manufacturing sector lost 14,000 jobs and the state’s construction sector lost 9,100 jobs.
The hiring for Red Wing Shoe’s soon-to-be-added positions will be handled by the Minnesota Workforce Center in Red Wing.
Red Wing Shoe is a privately held company that has two manufacturing facilities—one in Minnesota and another in Potosi, Missouri. It distributes its shoes in more than 100 countries internationally and markets five product lines: Red Wing Shoes, Carhartt Footwear, Irish Setter, Vasque, and WORX.