A company that makes battery-operated toys that children can ride on says it will open a manufacturing plant at Rogers and hire 74 workers who will build products exclusively for Wal-Mart. Redman & Associates says it will invest $6.5 million in the plant at an average hourly wage of $18. Beginning in 2014, 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 a company goal has been to “revitalize” American manufacturing. Gov. Mike Beebe, also in prepared remarks, touted Arkansas as an affordable business location. Wal-Mart has said it wanted to buy an additional $50 million worth of U.S.-made goods over the next decade. 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Popular on MoneyWatch
If they win a medal for their country, you can always sign them to professional contracts at that time.” Tyson did not immediately return a phone call, and publicist Joann Mignano said he would not be commenting. Mignano confirmed, though, that Iron Mike Promotions signed Florida fighter Erickson Lubin on Tuesday, his 18th birthday. Lubin is a two-time Junior Olympic national champion and won the 152-pound division at the National Golden Gloves this year. In his USA Boxing bio, he said his goals were to win a gold medal at the Olympics, turn pro and win every title possible. “We want to be competitive and we want to increase our overall performance in the Olympic Games,” said USA Boxing executive director Anthony Bartkowski. “This is a new strategy of trying to make sure our Olympic-aged athletes are not poached by promoters. In the past, USA Boxing was passive and just accepted it.” Tyson isn’t the only promoter trying to lure amateurs to the pros. Last month, DiBella Entertainment said it signed highly touted 17-year-old Junior “Sugar Boy” Younan of New York to a contract and said he would make his pro debut in late October or early November, after he turned 18. Boxing promoters have long trolled the amateur ranks looking for talent, especially in recent years as the lure of Olympic gold has faded for many fighters. Winning in the Olympics was once a guaranteed way to make millions, but as U.S. Olympic boxing teams have faded so have the prospects for Olympic fighters. The last American man to win an Olympic gold in boxing was Andre Ward in 2004, and last year’s team in London didn’t even medal. USA Boxing, meanwhile, has undergone a series of shake-ups and its funding has been cut by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The executive director of the USOC said Tuesday that boxing, a sport once dominated by Americans, is still trying to find a way to replicate earlier successes.