Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Walmart Foundation announced a new fund for innovation in U.S. manufacturing and a new supplier commitment to bring the production of bikes and jobs to South Carolina.
Bill Simon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S. announced the $10 million fund during the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C
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Providing grants to innovators in manufacturing
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) created the fund to provide grants to innovators who seeks to create new processes, ideas and jobs that support the growing manufacturing footprint in the United States. The company’ program will last five years, and it will be implemented in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayor. The launching of the program will be in March.
“If we want to grow manufacturing and help rebuild America’s middle class, we need the brightest minds in our universities, in our think tanks, and in our towns to tackle obstacles to U.S. manufacturing. The $10 million fund will identify and award leaders in manufacturing innovation and help us all work together to create opportunity,” said Simon in a statement.
Wal-Mart to invest $250 billion in American products
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) promised to buy additional $250 billion in American products cumulatively over the next ten years. According to the company, its pledge is part of its effort to help grow manufacturing and encourage jobs creation in the United States.
The Boston Consulting Group estimated that the $250 billion investment will create one million jobs including manufacturing jobs and related services.
U.S. manufacturing summit
The world largest retailer is hosting its second U.S. manufacturing summit in Denver, Colorado on August, 2014. According to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), one of the objectives of the event is to connect manufacturers in need of component parts to factories with excess capacity.
Simon said, “Many factories aren’t operating at full capacity. By working together, we have an opportunity to repurpose or help add production to some of these communities.” He added that the will help rebuild the American supply chain to support U.S. manufacturing and create more jobs.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) started its first manufacturing summit with 1,500 participants including 500 suppliers, 34 states, and government official in August last year.
Meanwhile, Kent Bicycles decide to move its overseas production Clarendon, South Carolina after the retail giant made its commitment to manufacturing. The company assembles 500,000 bikes every year, and estimated that it would create 175 jobs. Its production is expected to start in the fall of 2014.
“We look forward to bringing production to South Carolina. Our company moved all manufacturing overseas in 1990 because it was so much more cost effective. When Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) made its commitment to U.S. manufacturing last year, it opened our eyes to restarting some manufacturing here. We attended Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)’s August manufacturing summit and were able to focus our efforts quickly and make things happen with South Carolina,” said Arnold Kamler, owner of Kent Bicycles.