Welcome to ‘Wisconn Valley’
Foxconn, state sign memo of understanding

By Hannah Weikel - Freeman Staff

July 28, 2017

 Foxconn founder and Chairman Terry Gou, left, and Gov. Scott Walker sign a memo of understanding Thursday at the Milwaukee Art Museum setting out the conditions under which Foxconn agrees to bring a plant to southeastern Wisconsin.
Kenny Yoo/Special to The Freeman

MILWAUKEE — Foxconn Technology Group officially became part of the Wisconsin family Thursday evening after Gov. Scott Walker announced and signed a multibillion-dollar memorandum that will bring a high-tech manufacturing plant to southeastern Wisconsin.

Walker and Foxconn founder and Chairman Terry Gou signed the deal that promises a $10 billion investment from Foxconn and will eventually create 13,000 jobs with the average yearly income at about $53,000. Wisconsin has also pledged $3 billion in incentives for the company.

“Foxconn, and particularly Terry Gou, today could be anywhere in the world right now, they could be anywhere in the country. They chose Wisconsin,” Walker said. “They chose Wisconsin not just because of the incentives we put on the table, but they chose us because we are ready, we have our act together.

Foxconn plans to make LCD screens for medical, automotive, aviation and entertainment industries at the plant in Wisconsin, and will be the first of its kind in North America.

 Gov. Scott Walker speaks Thursday at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Kenny Yoo/Special to The Freeman

The announcement was made in front of hundreds of business and technology representatives from the Taiwan- based manufacturer and others from across southeastern Wisconsin at an event held in the Milwaukee Art Museum on the Michigan Lakeshore.

In Washington D.C. on Wednesday night, rumors surrounding Foxconn’s interest in the state were confirmed during a widely broadcast meeting where President Donald Trump was credited for the massive investment Foxconn will make in Wisconsin.

Trump visited Waukesha County Technical College during his apprenticeship and job growth week last month and hinted the interest of a major manufacturer that would bring jobs to Wisconsin.

Walker has now dubbed the southeastern region “Wisconn Valley,” as Foxconn will bring talented and highly trained technology workers to the area — likening it to Silicon Valley, Calif. — while also creating 22,000 indirect jobs across the state.

The 20 million square-foot campus, or “ecosystem” as Walker calls it, has not yet been placed, but Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett alluded that it will use Great Lakes water in his opening remarks during the event, which means Racine or Kenosha Counties are likely.

 Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow is seen at the signing ceremony Thursday. He said all of southeastern Wisconsin would likely reap some benefit with the arrival of cellphone maker Foxconn.
Kenny Yoo/Special to The Freeman

Boon for Waukesha County

All of southeastern Wisconsin is expected to benefit from Foxconn’s development, said County Executive Paul Farrow, and supply chain organizers are already contacting manufacturing companies in Waukesha County to provide components and materials for Foxconn. Tim Casey, director of economic development for Waukesha County Center for Growth, Inc. said they are working to match Foxconn with manufacturers in the county based on the parts and materials the company needs.

Workforce Development Board President for Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties Laura Catherman said she’s excited about the kind of workforce Foxconn will attract to the area, including engineers to fill mid-to upper-level technology jobs. Michael Shiels, dean of Waukesha County Technical College School of Applied Technologies, said the school is hoping to expand enrollment with people who need the skills to fill the jobs Foxconn will create. WCTC offers degrees in electronics, electrical engineering and robotics programming and has a new integrated lab that gives students hands-on experience with high-tech equipment.

Email: hweikel@conleynet.com

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