Manufacturing News / Manufacturing Jobs

Will shoe manufacturing ever return to America?

By Alina Selyukh for NPR

Jun 19, 2019

For Douglas Clark, the darkest part of working for Nike in the 1980s was watching American shoe manufacturing "evaporate" in the Northeast in a mass exodus to Asia in pursuit of cheaper labor.

"As a true Yankee — and my father was a Colonial historian — you know, it was heartbreaking," he said.

Clark would go on to a long career in footwear, at Converse, Reebok, Timberland, then his own line of shoes at New England Footwear. And there, he would devote eight years to one mission: creating a model to make shoemaking in America profitable again.

This was a tall order. At a time when President Trump speaks of rebuilding American manufacturing, footwear is a telling example of how hard it is to turn back time.

To learn more, read "Why The American Shoe Disappeared And Why It's So Hard To Bring It Back" from NPR.

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