Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced Thursday it is creating a $10-million fund to help support and spur innovation in the U.S. manufacturing sector. The retailer and its foundation will fund the five-year program which will make grants to universities and projects aimed at creating new processes, ideas and jobs.
Walmart said it has established a partnership with The U.S. Conference of Mayors, the official non-partisan organization for cities with populations exceeding 3,000, to advance the mission of the fund and help create more manufacturers based in the U.S.
"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 Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill Simon. "The $10 million fund will identify and award leaders in manufacturing innovation and help us all work together to create opportunity."
The program is set to launch in March.
The announcement was the latest in Walmart's efforts to support U.S. manufacturing. In January 2013, the company vowed to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made products over the next decade. Yesterday, Kent International, a global supplier of bicycles, also said it would be working with Walmart to build its new bicycle-manufacturing facility in South Carolina to supply the retailer with its first U.S.-made bicycles.
For more see:
-this Walmart press release
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