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Wal-Mart supplier to build, ship toys from Rogers

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October 7, 2013 01:13 PM EST | AP

ROGERS, Ark. — ROGERS, Ark. (AP) — A company that makes battery-operated vehicles that children can ride said Monday it will spend $6.5 million to renovate a Rogers manufacturing site and hire 74 workers who will build products exclusively for Wal-Mart.

Redman & Associates said production will begin in 2014. Workers will make an average wage of $18 per hour.

Wal-Mart said in August that it wanted to buy an additional $50 billion worth of American-made goods over the next decade.

The factory will make 6-volt battery-powered ride-on toys that will feature characters from Disney and the Marvel franchises.

In remarks prepared for delivery, Wal-Mart U.S. president Bill Simon said the project grew out of a manufacturing summit the company held in August with suppliers and government officials.

"This agreement was a direct result of conversations held at our recent U.S. manufacturing summit. It reinforces our belief that we can revitalize American manufacturing and help rebuild the middle class with good-paying jobs that will allow employees to be a part of the American dream again," Simon said.

Gov. Mike Beebe, also in prepared remarks, touted Arkansas as an affordable business location.

"Americans want to buy manufactured goods made in America," Beebe said. "Wal-Mart's commitment to restoring U.S. manufacturing jobs and Redman & Associates' decision to bring these jobs to the U.S. allow more Americans to do just that."

With rising business costs overseas, Arkansas has the ideal location and workforce for companies looking to manufacture and distribute products throughout the U.S. and the world."