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Wal-Mart announces $10 million fund to support U.S. manufacturing


Washington, D.C. -- Wal-Mart Stores announced that it has created a $10 million fund to support manufacturing in the United States. In a joint announcement, Kent International, a New Jersey-based bicycle maker and one of the chain’s suppliers, said that it will move its production from overseas to Clarendon, S.C.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will fund the five-year 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 manufacturing footprint.

“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 Bill Simon, U.S. president, Wal-Mart, at the United States Conference of Mayors' winter meeting in Washington, D.C. "The $10 million fund will identify and award leaders in manufacturing innovation and help us all work together to create opportunity."

Wal-Mart also announced that it will host its second U.S. manufacturing summit in Denver, in August 2014. 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."

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