President Bill Clinton, Founder of the Clinton Foundation, visited Shinola’s Detroit factory on Saturday to help raise money for Michigan Democrats at the annual Jefferson Jackson dinner.
He stood at the podium for close to an hour, much of the time talking about voter turnout, which has been considerably low.
Clinton also paid tribute to Sen. Carl Levin, who was attending his last Jeff-Jack dinner, and the longest serving member of Congress, John Dingell, both who are running for reelection.
"Levin says he wants someone to succeed him to carry legacy of work. We will fail him by not voting," Clinton said.
During the visit, Clinton met Shinola’s watchmakers and craftspeople and toured the factory and newly-built leather facility.
Along with the addition of leather manufacturing, Shinola also recently supplemented its watch factory with two new lines. Shinola currently employs 260 people in total, with 136 in manufacturing.
"Shinola is a great example of how we can continue to build and expand America’s manufacturing capabilities while creating jobs," Clinton said. "It’s exciting to see how the brand is playing its part in the economic revitalization that’s happening in the city of Detroit."
Clinton has a long track record of supporting workforce development in the United States, including when he established the Clinton Global Initiative America in June. The group works to bring together leaders in business, government and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth and foster innovation in the United States.
"Having President Clinton visit our headquarters in Detroit was a great honor and true highlight for the team," said Shinola CEO Steve Bock. "We hope Shinola can act as a business model that can be replicated in cities like Detroit across the U.S."
The dinner Saturday raised $500,000 for the Michigan Democratic party.