Bentonville, Arkansas-based Redman & Associates and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) announced that Redman is establishing a toy manufacturing and distribution facility in Rogers, AR.
Redman will make 6V battery-powered ride on toys at this facility exclusively for Walmart.
The $6.5 million project will create 74 new jobs with average hourly wages of $18.
Mel Redman, founder and CEO of Redman & Associates, said they were extremely proud at being able to manufacture in Arkansas, and were looking forward to creating good-paying jobs.
The facility will be located in an existing 275,000-square-foot building, with production expected to begin early next year.
The ride on toys made will feature Disney and Marvel characters. Redman is licensed by Marvel to produce toys bearing Marvel characters, and produces Disney toys for Walmart through a licensing arrangement that Walmart has with Disney.
Redman’s battery powered ride on toy cars and Monster TRAX ride-on that can be driven by children are currently made in China. After Walmart announced that it would increase its purchase of U.S. made goods by $50 billion over the next ten years, Redman had been in talks with the state and Walmart to bring their manufacturing back to the U.S.
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe said that Americans want to buy goods that are made in America, and more Americans would be able to do so because of Redman’s decision to bring these jobs to the U.S. and Walmart’s commitment towards restoring U.S. manufacturing jobs.
The project and the arrangement with Walmart was put on the fast track as a result of Walmart’s U.S. manufacturing summit that was held on August 22, 2013 in Orlando, Florida.
Bill Simon, president and CEO for Walmart U.S., said this announcement was an example of what can happen when industry leaders, the government and companies work together for making production possible again in the U.S.
Simon said the agreement was a direct result of conversations that were held at the U.S. manufacturing summit. He said it reinforces their belief that American manufacturing can be revitalized and the middle class rebuilt with good-paying jobs that allow employees to become a part of the American dream once again.