Senior executives from Walmart and The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) came together to celebrate a shared commitment to increase U.S. manufacturing jobs. The event comes in the week leading up to the busiest day at U.S. retail for candy sales.
During the previous year, Hershey invested more than $150 million in U.S. supply chain advancements that resulted in 350 new jobs across Hershey manufacturing and its suppliers. This type of expansion is possible because of strong retail partnerships. Walmart’s $250 billion commitment to buy products supporting American jobs by 2023 is a significant contributor, enabling U.S. manufacturers to accelerate growth.
The U.S. supply chain employs 44 million people, representing 37 percent of all jobs. These jobs account for much of the innovative activity in the economy1. As part of Hershey’s growth ambition, it is focused on expanding its manufacturing capabilities and capacity through its U.S. supply chain.
“Our investment in U.S. supply chain capabilities impacts a broad range of consumer experiences from packaging and merchandising to e-commerce assortments,” said Michele Buck, president and CEO, The Hershey Company. “These advancements enable business growth that helps to maintain and create jobs across the entire value chain – from manufacturing to fulfillment centers to the retail floor.”
“U.S. manufacturing matters to Walmart just as it does to our customers and our communities. Today, about two-thirds of what we buy and sell is sourced, grown or made here in America, but we want to do more,” said Steve Bratspies, Walmart chief merchandising officer. “Five years ago, we made a commitment to source an additional $250 billion in goods that support American jobs, and we’re on track to meet that target. When we invest in these products, we invest in America. We give customers what they want, and we fuel economic growth by helping provide jobs to hard-working Americans. Our partnership with Hershey is a great example of what’s possible when we work together."
Walmart and Hershey leaders were joined by government stakeholders to celebrate the manufacturing investments and tour Hershey’s West Hershey factory in Hershey, Pa. The plant is the largest and most technologically advanced chocolate-making factory in North America, employing over 1,100 skilled workers and producing many of Hershey’s beloved brands like Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, Hershey’s Cookies n Crème and Hershey’s Syrup.
1 Harvard Business Review. (2017, October). The Supply Chain Economy: A New Framework for Understanding Innovation and Services. Retrieved https://hbr.org/2018/03/the-supply-chain-economy-and-the-future-of-good-jobs-in-america