Walmart to Offer Grants for Innovation in Manufacturing

Walmart to Offer Grants for Innovation in Manufacturing

In a sign that even the biggest firms in the United States are invested in the future of American Manufacturing, Walmart is launching a fund to give grants to nonprofit manufacturing organizations.

Walmart, the Walmart Foundation, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors partnered together to create something called the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, which will offer grants of $100,000 or more to nonprofit manufacturing organizations.

Cindi Marsiglio, vice president of U.S. sourcing and domestic manufacturing for Walmart, had good things to say about this new innovation fund:

Through the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, we hope to help remove the barriers to revitalizing and growing U.S. manufacturing, creating jobs and building a stronger American economy. This is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s broader commitment to foster new ideas and jobs to promote strong communities and grow America’s manufacturing footprint.

And all of this, to add to that, is part of Walmart’s larger commitment to invest $250 billion (yes, that’s billion with a ‘b’) into American manufacturing over the next decade. This new innovation fund, however, is one of the first specific instances of this investment to be released by Walmart–and we expect to see more as time goes on.

Reshoring is something we’ve talked about here on our blog before, and although this move by Walmart hardly signals the end of their reliance on foreign-made goods, Walmart’s recent push for more American manufacturing-related investments is a good sign that things are headed in the right direction. This innovation fund is good for Walmart, of course, but it’s also good for the manufacturing community as a whole, which is going to need investment and increased participation in order to drive growth over the next several years.

We know that Walmart may not be the first name you think of when you think about American-made goods, but this new series of grants for innovation in manufacturing is a great move, and should have a great impact for those nonprofits it funds. We can’t wait to see what’s next!

photo credit: Walmart Corporate via photopin cc