Wal-Mart urges producers to begin manufacturing products in the US, and Michigan could benefit.

Wal-Mart To Bring A Quarter Million Jobs Home From China — Manufacturing For This Everyday Item Michigan-Bound

Wal-Mart execs say they can bring 250,000 manufacturing jobs back home from China, and many of them are home-bound for Michigan, a state rich with manufacturing history. The corporate giant has committed $250 billion to be spent on products made in the United States, and has already talked Ranir into moving production from China to its manufacturing facility located in Michigan. This is said to be only one of many shifts of jobs from China back home.

Ranir is the largest producer of store brand toothbrushes and other oral care products. Last November, the manufacturing company with a large West Michigan presence acquired Oralys Dental, which was France’s largest supplier of toothbrushes, according to MLive.

Thanks to a request from Wal-Mart, the company will be manufacturing an extra 400,000 toothbrush heads for power toothbrushes every single month in its facility in West Michigan. With the challenge from Wal-Mart, Ranir invested $3 million into purchasing new high-tech equipment and has begun hiring new employees. Wal-Mart, according to MLive, will be tracking employee statistics for the company to assess its progress towards adding more jobs to the American workforce.

“We committed to spending another $250 billion on products made in the United States over 10 years, and in the long run we think that can create 250,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States,” Joe Quinn, a Wal-Mart executive and senior director of public affairs and government relations for the corporation, said.

Tuesday, Quinn was present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Ranir’s expansion in Kentwood, Michigan. Quinn said that Wal-Mart, which about two and a half years into the initiative to bring product manufacturing back to the states, doesn’t plan on giving up its position as a price leader among retailers, but can meet its “Made in the USA” goal through the use of new technology, simplification of the supply chain, and speed from manufacturing to the shelves. Ranir’s move is expected to bring more suppliers to Michigan as well.

“The reality of Wal-Mart is that you walk through a Wal-Mart and you see tens of thousands of items,” Quinn explained. “Behind every single item you see, there is a massive supply chain like this and there is inevitably a company like this that is thinking about what the electric toothbrush of the future should look like and what is the technology and how you can bring it back from Asia.”

Ranir’s Senior VP of Marketing and Business Development Greg McCormick says that, thanks to Wal-Mart’s challenge, its supply chain is simplified, according to WZZM.

“So, to have manufacturing in Grand Rapids, we can meet all our North American customers within hours.”

According to Quinn, Michigan’s “huge heritage of manufacturing” means Michiganders can comprehend the usefulness of a trained workforce. There is now a large demand for engineers and a workforce with technical training, thanks to the push from Wal-Mart to bring these manufacturing jobs back home to U.S. soil.

[Photo via Ranir]

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