Walmart’s U.S. sourcing initiative nets 74 jobs in home state

A manufacturing facility in Rogers, Ar., operated by Redman & Associates plans to hire 74 new workers as it increases domestic sourcing of ride-on toys sold at Walmart.
Arkansas governor Mike Beebe and Redman Associates CEO and former Walmart executive Mel Redman announced plans for the increased hiring on Monday along with a $6.5 million investment in an existing 275,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility. The facility will produce 6-volt battery powered ride on toys featuring characters from popular Disney and Marvel franchises including: Disney Princess, Classics, Disney∙Pixar and  Spider-Man. Production is expected to 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.
“We are extremely proud to be able to manufacture right here in Arkansas,” said Mel Redman, founder and CEO of Redman & Associates “This agreement was completed through working collaboratively with the state and Walmart and was accelerated following Walmart’s U.S. manufacturing summit in August. We look forward to starting production and creating good-paying positions with average hourly wage of $18.” 
Walmart held its domestic sourcing summit on August 22 and Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., said Redman’s decision was the direct result of conversation which happened at the event in which Beebe also participated.
“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,” Simon said. “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.” 
Redman & Associates was founded in 1995 by former Walmart executive Mel Redman. He spent 20 year with Walmart in a variety of capacities in operations, store planning, merchandising and international operation. He was responsible for installing the first scanning and POS ordering systems to Wal-Mart in 1984 and lead Walmart’s entry into Canada in the early 90’s, according to the Redman & Associates Web site.