BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Congresswoman Nikki Budzinkski of Illinois will be in Belleville on Wednesday. She’s touring the Belleville Shoe Manufacturing Company to learn more about their operation.

The Rentchler and Weidmann families founded the business in 1904 to produce shoes; it is now the oldest and largest private manufacturer of military boots. It began with their first combat boot order in World War I.

Budzinski recently announced that a $7.8 million contract was awarded to the manufacturer to create new temperate-weather combat boots for the U.S. Army over the next two years.