BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Walmart announced Wednesday a goal to invest $350 billion in the “future of U.S. manufacturing” over the next 10 years.
The Bentonville-based retailer said in a company press release that it estimates this spending will support more than 750,000 new U.S. jobs.
“U.S. manufacturing really matters,” said John Furner, President & CEO, Walmart U.S., who made the announcement at Techtronic Industries (TTI) in Anderson, S.C. “It matters to our suppliers, to entrepreneurs and to the environment. It matters to our customers – more than 85 percent of which have said it’s important for us to carry products made or assembled in the U.S. And most of all, because of the jobs it brings, it matters to American communities and the people who live in them.”
According to Walmart’s release, the company identified six priority categories on which to focus its investment: plastics; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale (GNFR).
The retailer estimates the commitment could result in a reduction of as much as 100 million metric tons of CO2 emissions avoided by sourcing closer to customers.
Walmart also announced the launch of a new concept called “American Lighthouses,” which the company says aims to support U.S. manufacturing in a sustainable, long-term way.
The retailer said it plans to unite “key stakeholders” in specific regions of the country to identify and overcome barriers to U.S. production. The Lighthouses will reportedly bring together participants from the supplier community, including manufacturers and NGOs, as well as others from academia, government and local economic development groups.
In 2013, Walmart announced a commitment to invest $250 billion in products made, grown or assembled in America. The company says it’s on track to deliver on that commitment and expand on it with Wednesday’s announcement.