Thursday July 7, 2015 – Economic Developers from around the state attended the third year of the high-profile Walmart “U.S. Manufacturing Summit” this week in Bentonville, Arkansas. “This is a great opportunity to speak to suppliers who are considering reshoring back to the U.S. Having Governor Asa Hutchinson attend and speak sends a loud message that Arkansas is ready to play a role in this initiative”, said Megan Greeson, Economic Development Manager with the Hot Springs Metro Partnership.
Walmart announced in 2013 they were investing $250 billion over a 10-year period in American-made products. Governor Asa Hutchinson attended the summit, and said companies are interested in moving production back to the U.S.
The event kicked off with the “Open Call” sessions on Tuesday. This gives suppliers the opportunity to present their U.S. made products to buyers from Walmart, Walmart.com and Sam’s Club. The day also included an evening reception where suppliers were able to network with state economic officials and other industry leaders.
On Wednesday, attendees heard from Walmart U.S. President and CEO, Greg Foran, as well as Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson discuss how today’s trends and tomorrow’s innovations impact the American Jobs initiative. Pre-scheduled meetings were held throughout the day between suppliers and economic developers. 32 states were represented at this year’s summit.
The Hot Springs Metro Partnership is the economic development organization working toward new jobs and new capital investment for Hot Springs, Garland County, and the region.