July 29, 2016 06:31 PM
Next Friday, August 5, every American athlete will be wearing a blazer made in Rochester.
News10NBC went to Hickey Freeman to get a look at the blazers.
The 450 people working at Hickey Freeman on Clinton Avenue feel a lot of pride about this. The company’s executives believe this is a big step for a company still working past recent issues.
Don Wray grew up in Genesee County watching the Olympics. Now, he is the manufacturing operations manager at Hickey Freeman. To him, this means he does a little bit of everything. This includes work on the blazers Team USA will be wearing at the opening ceremony.
Wray: "I tell my family and friends that we did this for the country and for Ralph Lauren and we're extremely proud. And everybody in the factory is extremely proud. They can't wait to see it on TV."
The blazers were unveiled Friday morning on the Today Show. Senator Charles Schumer was at Hickey Freeman Friday morning to make the official announcement. He says this show is a new focus on creating jobs in America.
Schumer: "We didn't protect American workers. Even our Olympic uniforms were made overseas. That's bad."
Hickey Freeman is a company that has battled two bankruptcies within the past seven year. A new owner took over three and a half year ago. The CEO says things are moving in the right direction.
Stephen Granovsky (Hickey Freeman CEO): "Ralph Lauren doesn't choose partners that might not make it. When six months ago they told us we needed to start designing or producing their goods, they had to do an investigation that was extraordinary."
Now, with this order, the pressure is on the employees.
Wray: "There sure is because you know billions of people are going to see your product. So you want to make sure it's perfect. So we did everything we could here to make sure it was perfect."
Hickey Freeman is also making the shorts Team USA will wear during the closing ceremony. The blazers will be sold in Ralph Lauren stores and online.
Updated: July 29, 2016 06:31 PM
Created: July 29, 2016 03:50 PM
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