Wal-Mart and its foundation offer grants to grow manufacturing initiatives

Nonprofit organizations looking to help manufacturers bring back business to the U.S. or looking to help grow businesses in the U.S. can apply for grants from Wal-Mart Store, the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM).

Together they launched the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, announced March 13 at the retailer’s Year Beginning Meetings underway in Orlando, Fla.

The program allows eligible non-profit organizations to apply for grants up to $100,000 or more, funded by the Walmart Foundation. This money can be used to help companies trying to onshore or grow their U.S. manufacturing operations.

The first year of the initiative will focus on innovation in textiles manufacturing and common manufacturing processes that apply to a broad range of consumer goods, including small motor manufacturing and tooling for injection molding, the release notes.

“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,” said Cindi Marsiglio, vice president of U.S. sourcing and domestic manufacturing for Walmart. “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.”

The announcement is part of the retailer’s 10-year commitment to buy an additional $250 billion in products that support American manufacturing.

The Boston Consulting Group estimates the initiative will add 1 million jobs in the United States over the next decade.

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Applications are due April 22. Selected proposals will receive grants ranging from $100,000 and above for award periods of at least one year, with the option of reapplying for continued funding. Each applicant will need sponsorship from the mayor of a USCM member city.

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