Washington—Walmart is putting its money where its mouth is. The nation’s largest retailer has been a champion of encouraging Made in USA merchandise. Today Bill Simon, president/ceo of Walmart U.S., told 280 of the nation’s mayors at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Meeting that the retailer will fund a program for innovation in American manufacturing.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will fund the five-year, $10 million program and work in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to launch it in March. The fund will provide grants to innovators in the manufacturing sector and seeks to create new processes, ideas, and jobs that support America’s growing manufacturing footprint.
‘Identify and Award Leaders in Manufacturing’
“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,” said Simon. “The $10 million fund will identify and award leaders in manufacturing innovation and help us all work together to create opportunity.”
Last year Walmart announced that it will buy an additional $50 billion in American products. That’s $50 billion more than it does today 10 years from now. Walmart estimates that its $50 billion pledge, in the 10th year, will result in Walmart buying an additional $250 billion cumulatively over the next 10 years. This pledge is in an effort to grow U.S. manufacturing and encourage the creation of U.S. jobs.
The Boston Consulting Group predicts that this $250 billion investment will create one million jobs, including the jobs in manufacturing and related services.
Walmart also announced that it will host its second U.S. manufacturing summit in Denver in August. One focus of this year’s summit will be connecting manufacturers in need of component parts to factories with excess capacity.
“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,” said Simon. “This will help rebuild the American supply chain to support U.S. manufacturing and create more jobs.”
Walmart’s first summit in August 2013 brought together more than 1,500 attendees, including 500 suppliers, 34 states and government officials to discuss opportunities to create jobs, restore communities and drive economic growth.
Additional supplier information:
●72% of Walmart suppliers believe that manufacturing in the U.S. will be cost favorable within four years or less.
●40 different departments at Walmart are in active discussions with suppliers to manufacture here.
For additional information about Walmart’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing, see https://corporate.walmart.com/ us-manufacturing.