Sam Walton’s promise to “Bring it Home to the USA'' is about to hit new heights at Walmart. On Wednesday, the company announced that its support of American jobs will grow its workforce by 750,000 over the next 10 years as part of a $350 billion investment on items made, grown, or assembled in the U.S.
The big box retailer’s growth plans are centered on six priority categories: plastics; textiles; small electrical appliances; food processing; pharmaceutical and medical supplies; and Goods Not For Resale (GNFR).
Walmart’s commitment will mean an increase in spending and support for small businesses and diverse suppliers and sellers based in the U.S., and it will provide an opportunity for 9,000 entrepreneurs to become Walmart suppliers and sellers through the company’s annual Open Call events. Environmental concerns will also be addressed through initiatives like lowering CO2 emissions by sourcing closer to the company’s customers.
“We invite basically ANYONE with a shelf-ready product that supports American jobs to pitch it to us,” John Furner, President & CEO, Walmart U.S. said in the company’s announcement.
Introducing “American Lighthouses”
Furner says Walmart is also launching a concept it calls “American Lighthouses.” That concept’s blueprint calls for the company to identify key stakeholders in specific regions of the country to identify and overcome top-down barriers to U.S. production.
Once those “lighthouses” are established, the trickle-down intent is that they will bring together participants from the supplier community (including manufacturers and non-governmental organizations) with others from the academic community, government, and local and state economic development groups.
“By bringing together key regions and various stakeholders, we can make the supply chain more efficient. The aim is to bring U.S. manufacturing back in a sustainable, long-term way,” Furner said.
This has to make the Biden administration happy
Furner is certainly singing to the Biden administration’s choir and the president’s recent executive order aimed at strengthening American manufacturing sector.
“U.S. manufacturing really matters. 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,” Furner said.