Walmart Hosts U.S. Manufacturing Summit In Bentonville

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) - The second day of the summit drew in thousands of entrepreneurs and suppliers, and all of them are interested in creating jobs and products in the U.S.

Media relations specialist Scott Markley said 32 states were represented at the summit.

Jon Chadwell is the executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission. He attended the summit, and said he's trying to help people in Jackson County, AR chase the American dream, including a man who invented a line of rubs and spices.

"They get to see a success story, this is somebody who started with a dream thought about it and we helped them get their business open and now they're making product and selling product and something that he did just as a hobby turned into a business," Chadwell said.

He said for mom and pop businesses across the nation, making a deal with Walmart is like making it to the big leagues.

"It's validation when they can get into Walmart, what it tells them is this product that I know is good really is good, and other people want it and that's the best validation for somebody who invents something," Chadwell.

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.

"I've had three companies that do business with Walmart say they're considering  reshoring, bringing their manufacturing from overseas here," Hutchinson said.

This is the first time the U.S. Manufacturing Summit has been in Bentonville. To watch the general session for summit, click here.