GRAFTON — Local economic efforts are targeting FoxConn
as a source of future jobs and business expansion.
Officials from the Milwaukee 7, a collaboration of
economic development efforts between Milwaukee, Ozaukee,
Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Kenosha and Racine
counties, spoke to the Ozaukee County Board Wednesday
about plans for the next few years, in light of the
recent deal to bring FoxConn to Wisconsin.
“(Milwaukee 7) is on its way to creating a globally
competitive region,” said Jim Wall, Milwaukee 7 vice
president of investor relations and business
FoxConn bill creating incentives for the company to
select Wisconsin as its newest location passed in the
state Assembly in mid-August, and again in the Joint
Committee on Finance last week. It is on the Senate
schedule for consideration today.
FoxConn is expected to hire an estimated 13,000 people
in the state, including engineers and skilled workers.
Source: Wisconsin Economic
Milwaukee 7’s goal is to attract FoxConn to companies in
the seven-county area, specifically, for material and
supply needs. Exactly where the company will locate its
facility has not yet been decided, but once that
location is chosen, other businesses will be affected.
FoxConn is the world’s largest contract electronics
manufacturer, making a wide variety of items for other
companies, including Sony, Apple and Nintendo, among
“They’re a manufacturing company. They do a lot more
than iPhones. … They’re in a lot of different areas,
they’re very diverse,” said Logan Dawson, Milwaukee 7’s
director of corporate expansion and attraction.
FoxConn comes to Wisconsin, other companies that create
the materials Fox-Conn needs for its manufacturing will
be needed as well.
“They’re thinking somewhere between 100 and 150 new
suppliers coming into the region,” Dawson said.
“When that conversation starts, we’re going to be ready
with a list of companies,” he added.
Several County Board supervisors had questions about
what that means, but the answers are vague at the
moment. Pat O’Brien, executive director of Milwaukee 7,
and Dawson pointed out that the plant, wherever it ends
up being located, will not be completed and running for
the time for FoxConn to kick off its operations draws
near, Milwaukee 7 intends to promote those companies in
its sevencounty area which could become a part of that
100plus company supply chain, such as Milwaukee Tool or
Rockwell Automation, among many others.
challenge here is to gain the confidence of Fox-Conn,
and get inside the engine,” O’Brien said.
While O’Brien conceded that the FoxConn deal is on a
different scale than Milwaukee 7’s previous projects, he
and Dawson pointed out that attracting business is
something with which the group is very familiar.
“We’ve never done anything this big, but the deal is all
the same, just a couple more zeros,” O’Brien said.
Milwaukee 7 was formed in 2005 to promote economic
development and business expansion throughout the region
as a whole. According to information from its website,
the FoxConn plant planned for southeastern Wisconsin is
projected to support 16,000 jobs during its four-year
construction and employ 13,000 people once completed, as
well as supporting as many as 20,000 more jobs in the
state once the plant is fully operational.
Efforts beginning now to provide pieces of the supply
chain in the Milwaukee 7 region are part of the group’s
ongoing efforts across the past 12 years.
“Milwaukee 7 is so much more than economic development,
it leads the rally cry for our entire region,” Wall
FoxConn is based in Taiwan, with plants in Europe, Asia,
Brazil, India and Mexico, manufacturing electronics for
major technology companies in America, Canada, Finland,
Japan and China.