Human Resources, Manufacturing, and Real Estate

Wolverine Worldwide expanding HQ

January 14, 2019
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Wolverine Worldwide fitness center rendering
A rendering of a basketball court and a volleyball court inside the fitness center. Courtesy Wolverine Worldwide

Wolverine Worldwide is adding three facilities designed to improve employee experience at its headquarters.

The Rockford-based maker of footwear and apparel said last week it will open an on-site childcare center, fitness center and dog day care facility for its employees at its global headquarters in Rockford, at 9341 Courtland Dr. NE, in the fall of 2019.

Wolverine said the project represents a “significant investment” in its employees and its campus, designed to enhance its efforts to attract and retain talent.

The company did not disclose the project cost.

“We know that what sets us apart is the tremendous caliber, passion and creativity of our people,” said Blake Krueger, chair, CEO and president, Wolverine Worldwide.

“Collectively, these projects demonstrate our continued commitment to our employees and to the community we’ve called home for more than 100 years.

“It’s important for us to continue to invest in our workplace environment in a way that aligns with our values as an employer of choice and enriches the daily experience and quality of life of our workforce.”

Childcare center

The new childcare facility takes a cue from the company’s Stride Rite brand, which in 1971, became the first company in the U.S. to offer employer-sponsored, on-site day care, according to Wolverine.

Wolverine is partnering with the Grand Rapids-based childcare provider AppleTree to offer “affordable early childcare and preschool education services” for Wolverine employees.

A company spokesperson said the day care’s rates are still being determined. Wolverine will defray a portion of the cost to employees as part of its employee benefits package.

Fitness center

Wolverine said the “expansive” fitness facility will be constructed alongside the childcare center and include basketball and volleyball courts, a rock-climbing wall, track, a pickleball court and several cardio, weight training and CrossFit spaces.

Use of the facilities will be free to all employees.

Dog day care

Wolverine said the dog day care is in line with its efforts to create “a pet-friendly work environment.”

The company is still in the process of selecting a dog day care provider for the project.

Firms on the project

The project’s architect is Andrus Architecture.

Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction is the contractor on the project.

Wolverine will handle the project’s interior design.

Wolverine Worldwide

Founded in 1883, Wolverine Worldwide makes footwear and apparel for a variety of markets: casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s and uniform.

In addition to its own portfolio of 10 brands — Bates, Chaco, Hush Puppies, HYTEST, Keds, Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Stride Rite and Wolverine — the company is also the global footwear licensee of the brands Cat and Harley-Davidson.

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