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Purdue MEP Assists Historic Marion Manufacturing Company Develop New Products and Increase Market Sustainability


What started as Marion Shoe Company in Marion, Indiana, manufactured, cut and sewed soft goods, for over 100 years. The company’s manufacturing operation is considered part of the manufacturing heritage in Grant County.

Marion Shoe Company was sold by Frank L. Butterworth, Sr., creating Butterworth Industries. The  company’s current manufacturing capabilities includes automated and robotic paint finishing systems, protective masking covers, clean-room wipes, and gloves.

The Challenge

Butterworth Industries required skilled guidance to provide professional resources to reduce internal limitations for regulatory compliance of new products. The company found itself contending with an urgent plurality of complex and somewhat overwhelming information streams and compliance requirements, while responding to a significant market need.

The Purdue MEP program is an extraordinary resource for our small, closely held business with limited resources. Extending vital, yet in many cases otherwise unaffordable or out-of-reach technical expertise, is key to economic growth and development in any geography. In a rapidly changing global market, wherein accuracy and responsiveness are crucial to commercial success, Purdue MEP has risen to such important needs by providing timely, sophisticated, and easily accessible knowledge and expertise.

Purdue MEP promptly listened to our plight and arranged for immediate support from an industry expert. We were surprised, humbled and grateful. While many of the necessary activities remain in developmental stages, our quick response to urgent market needs and subsequent evolving trends escalated and will remain more efficient and productive. We highly recommend Purdue outreach programs for small businesses needing more expertise than internal resources allow.
— Frank Butterworth, President and Chief Operations Officer

MEP's Role

Butterworth Industries sought regulatory compliance and guidance from Purdue MEP,  part of the MEP National Network™, and the organization responded by assisting Butterworth Industries with expertise the company did not possess. Specifically, for developing new products and market sustainability that would improve timing, increase market awareness, increase job growth, and economic development.

With Purdue MEP’s assistance, an understanding of Butterworth Industries’ current condition resulted in an improvement of core competencies, the development of new products, and the development of emerging opportunities, which will result in growth and job creation in the near future. 

Created August 1, 2020, Updated July 12, 2021