A new factory for making battery-powered, ride-on toys will open in Northwest Arkansas early next year, creating 74 new jobs in the region.
Redman & Associates, a family-owned business established in 1995, as well as Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe and Walmart announced today that the manufacturing and distribution facility will be located in a existing 275,000-square-foot building at 130 N. Dixieland Road in Rogers. The company expects to invest $6.5 million in the facility.
The Redman & Associates announcement was related to Walmart’s domestic sourcing initiative aimed at bringing back American manufacturing jobs. The company in January said it would buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. products over the next 10 years.
“Today’s announcement is an example of what can happen when companies, industry leaders and government work together to make production in the United States possible again,” said Bill Simon, President and CEO for Walmart U.S. “This agreement was a direct result of conversations held at our recent U.S. manufacturing summit. It reinforces our belief that we can revitalize American manufacturing and help rebuild the middle class with good-paying jobs that will allow employees to be a part of the American dream again.”
Mel Redman, the founder and CEO of Redman & Associates, said his company is “proud to be able to manufacture right here in Arkansas.”
"This agreement was completed through working collaboratively with the state and Walmart and was accelerated following Walmart's U.S. manufacturing summit in August," Redman said. "We look forward to starting production and creating good-paying positions with average hourly wage of $18."
Redman & Associates makes its six-volt, ride-on toys exclusively for Walmart. The toys feature characters from popular Disney Princess, Classics, Disney-Pixar and Spider-Man. Production should begin in early 2014. Redman is licensed by Marvel Characters B.V., and Redman produces Disney character ride-on toys for Walmart under Walmart's license with Disney.
"Americans want to buy manufactured goods made in America," Beebe said. "Walmart's commitment to restoring U.S. manufacturing jobs and Redman & Associates' decision to bring these jobs to the U.S. allows more Americans to do just that. With rising business costs overseas, Arkansas has the ideal location and workforce for compnies looking to manufacture and distribute products throughout the U.S. and the world."
Today's announcement follows Walmart's U.S. manufacturing summit held Aug. 22 in Orlando, Fla, which was attended by nearly 1,500 government officials and suppliers. The summit underscored Walmart's commitment to buy more U.S. made products.