WASHINGTON—Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer with nearly 1.5 million associates in the U.S., plans in 2017 to add an estimated 34,000 jobs and to train roughly 225,000 associates, the company announced at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in January.
Walmart is planning $6.8 billion of capital investments in the U.S. in the coming fiscal year, which includes construction and remodeling of stores, clubs, and distribution centers, as well as the expansion of new services such as Online Grocery Pickup. The company and the Walmart Foundation, in conjunction with The U.S. Conference of Mayors, also announced grants through the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund to advance sustainability and innovation in textile manufacturing.
“Walmart is investing to better serve customers,” said Dan Bartlett, Walmart executive vice president for corporate affairs. “With a presence in thousands of communities and a vast supplier network, we know we play an important role in supporting and creating American jobs. Our 2017 plans to grow our business—and our support for innovation in the textile industry—will have a meaningful impact across the county.”
Bartlett discussed the company’s investments in job creation and associates, and announced Innovation Fund grants to support the U.S. textile sector, at the 85th Winter Meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.
The company’s investment in American jobs includes a 2013 commitment to purchase an additional $250 billion in American-made, grown, assembled, and sourced products through 2023. The company said that based on data from Boston Consulting Group, the investment is estimated to help create one million jobs.
Under the initiative, Walmart works with suppliers to help them gain access to the retailer’s shelves in stores and online. One example is California Innovations, producer of the Ozark Trail “super cooler.” The Canadian company with U.S. operations is moving production of the cooler from China to a factory in Atlanta, Ga., creating 350 jobs. Another is Edgewell Personal Care, a maker of personal hygiene products, which is bringing production from Canada to Dover, Del., creating 272 jobs. And Renfro Corporation will reportedly create a total of 442 jobs as a result of a deal to produce athletic socks in Fort Payne, Alabama.