A new toy manufacturing and distribution facility is bringing more than 70 jobs to Northwest Arkansas.
During a news conference Monday (Oct.7), Governor Mike Beebe, Redman & Associates, and Walmart announced Redman will open a manufacturing and distribution facility in Rogers. The company will invest $6.5 million in the facility and employ 74 people, according to a news release.
“We’re going to start, over a three year process in converting all this merchandise from overseas to Rogers Arkansas,” said Mel Redman, Founder and CEO Redman & Associates.
Redman, a Bentonville based company, is a leading manufacturer of ride toys. The new plant will produce six volt battery-powered ride on toys exclusively for Walmart. The toys will feature characters from popular Disney and Marvel franchises.
“We are extremely proud to be able to manufacture right here in Arkansas,” said Redman. “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.”
At $18.55 an hour that’s $3 million dollars in wages that`s put back into Northwest Arkansas, according to Redman.
A This company is part of Walmart’s promise to buy an additional $50 billion dollars in U.S. made products over the next ten years.
“So once you build a plant and you get it in place, the eco system that it creates, the distribution capabilities, the component suppliers allows it to expand so, Mel’s courage and the governors vision could help build a manufacturing hub right here,” said Bill Simon, CEO of Walmart U.S.
“This happens to be the first of that activity in Arkansas but hopefully there are a number of others that will be forthcoming soon, I know there are a lot in the pipeline,” Arkansas Governor, Mike Beebe.
The new manufacturing and distribution operations will move to an existing 275,000 square foot building on North Dixieland Road.