Vibram USA partner Glacial Lakes Rubber & Plastics hosted U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) on a tour Monday of its new factory in Watertown, SD.
The tour provided Noem an opportunity to observe first hand the manufacturing of Vibram rubber soling used in footwear for the commercial market as well as for the boots and dress shoes worn by the United States Armed Services. Noem met personally with the men and women employed at the factory.
Vibram USA is the largest supplier of high-quality footwear soling to the U.S. Department of Defense. The Glacial Lakes Rubber and Plastics plant features multi-line capability with the ability to manufacture a broad spectrum of products, ranging from soling for high-performance athletic shoes to mountain combat boots for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces. GLRP also produces products for the automotive, industrial and agriculture markets with a variety of molding technologies.
“Vibram USA is pleased to expand our operations into South Dakota
through our partnership with Glacial Lakes Rubber and Plastics,” said Vibram USA CEO Mike Gionfriddo. “This region has tremendous technical
capability in our industry that is combined with a remarkably talented
workforce. I am pleased to have the opportunity to welcome
Congresswoman Noem to our newest domestic manufacturing operations here
in Watertown. Our Vibram brand has been manufacturing rubber soling in
the United States for more than 50 years and we are fortunate that our
members of Congress are working to help maintain a robust industrial
base in the United States.”
The tour comes at a critical time for the domestic footwear manufacturing industry, which is an essential component of the industrial base in the U.S. that helps supports those who serve our country.
“The partnership between Glacial Lakes Rubber and Plastics and Vibram is a true testament to the talented and dedicated workforce in South Dakota,” said Noem. “I am excited to welcome Vibram and I look forward to getting a behind-the-scenes view of all the hard work that goes into every sole produced.”
The event also provides an opportunity for Glacial Lakes Rubber and Plastics to showcase their new capabilities and continued commitment to growing their footprint in South Dakota. Company representatives have actively engaged both Congressional and Department of Defense leaders to ensure that the federal government continues to properly support the footwear needs of the Armed Services.
“I am delighted to welcome Congresswoman Noem to our new production facility here in her hometown of Watertown,” said Glacial Lakes Rubber and Plastics President and CEO Robb Peterson. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with a world-class brand such as Vibram, the recognized global leader in rubber soling. We are looking forward to growing our Vibram-branded business as we grow our industry footprint.”