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Batavia shoemaker lays off 45 workers as it gives traditional footwear the boot

P.W. Minor will no longer produce high-end boots and traditional dress shoes at its Batavia factory, so it has laid off the 45 workers who used to make them.

Going forward, the company will solely produce orthopedic and diabetic footwear with its remaining 40 workers, focusing on a growing industry in the domestic and international market, according to Brian Benedict, vice president of sales at the company. All remaining manufacturing will stay in Batavia.

The company shut down its Goodyear Welt line, machinery that stitches a strip of leather or rubber around a shoe's outsole. The old-fashioned process, which automated hand-stitching, was invented in 1869 — two years after P.W. Minor opened.

The 151-year-old company makes and sells footwear under its own name and under private label contracts at independent shoe stores and medical footwear clinics.

Restoring a shoemaker’s soul

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