Walmart and The Hershey Co. came together to celebrate their commitment to increasing U.S. manufacturing jobs.
The celebration was joined by senior executives from both companies as well as government stakeholders and included a tour of Hershey's West Hershey factory in Hershey, Pa., that employs more than 1,100 skilled workers.
From left to right: Todd Tillemans, US President at The Hershey Company; Steve Bratspies, Chief Merchandising Officer at Walmart; Matthew Weir, Derry Township Supervisor; Michele Buck, President and CEO at The Hershey Company; Senator John DiSanto; Representative Tom Mehaffie; Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, Russell Redding; Photograph courtesy of The Hershey Co.
Over the past year, Hershey has invested more than $150 million in its U.S. supply chain, opening up 350 new jobs. Hershey officials said the initiative was made possible through partnerships with retailers such as Walmart, which promises a $250 billion commitment to buying products that support American jobs by 2023.
Michele Buck, president and CEO of Hershey, said investments in supply chain capabilities "impacts a broad range of consumer experiences from packaging and merchandising to e-commerce assortments."
“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," she added.
Steve Bratspies, Walmart's chief merchandising officer, said about two-thirds of what the company buys and sells is sourced in the U.S., "but we want to do more."
Buck talks with Steve Bratspies, chief merchandising officer at Walmart.; Photograph courtesy of The Hershey Co.
The retailer is on track to reach its $250 billion commitment, which it made five years ago, Bratspies added.
"When we invest in these products, we invest in America," he said. "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."