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Harford-based Dunlop Protective Footwear to expand production

Dunlop Protective Footwear, a leading global manufacturer of protective footwear based in Harford County, is planning to expand its United States-based production to meet market demands.

With assistance from a $100,000 training grant provided by the Maryland Department of Commerce, the company expects to nearly double the number of PVC boots and more than triple the number of Purofort boots it manufactures by 2020. Dunlop provides protective footwear for workers in various industries including food processing, oil, gas and mining, as well as agriculture and construction.

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“Thanks to the diligence of our CFO Michael Witte and partnership with the state, we are extremely excited to continue to innovate and staff our American-based manufacturing plant with this grant,” Mary Steinebrunner, general manager of Dunlop Protective Footwear USA, said Tuesday in a news release. “We have been fortunate enough to have generations of families be part of Dunlop and this investment will help us to continue to grow the business and ensure that the next generation will be part of the Dunlop family as well.”

Dunlop Protective Footwear started its American manufacturing as Bata Footwear in 1939, and moved to its current location in Havre de Grace in 2001. Today, the company prides itself on innovating and manufacturing high-quality protective boots with a focus on safety and comfort. This year, Dunlop started producing its iconic Purofort boots in the USA, and the company’s products are available in more than 50 countries throughout the world.

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Maryland Commerce’s grant is through the Partnership for Workforce Quality (PWQ) program, which will be used to help train employees in software development and integration. The PWQ program was established in 1989 to invest in workforce training, particularly in the manufacturing and technology fields. After not receiving funding for a number of years, the program was recapitalized with $1 million in Maryland Commerce’s FY2018 budget and was part of Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 Maryland Jobs Initiative.

“Workforce training is a critical tool in fostering an innovative economic climate where businesses can grow and add jobs,” Hogan said. “With $1 million in the PWQ program, we will be able to work closely with companies to ensure their employees have the skills needed to meet the demands of a 21st century workforce and compete in an innovation economy.”

“Harford County has a historic relationship with Dunlop Protective Footwear and we are proud to be the American home of this innovative manufacturer,” County Executive Barry Glassman said in the announcement. “We also welcome this expansion and investment in their own workforce to make products that are protecting workers around the globe.”

“We are excited to help Dunlop expand production of its signature protective boots,” Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill said. “This training grant will provide the company’s workforce with the latest technical skills to boost productivity as well as increase its competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

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To learn more about Dunlop and its future developments, visit dunlopboots.com.

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