37 Wisconsin companies awarded Foxconn contracts
Nine from Waukesha County; three each from Washington, Ozaukee counties

By Nicholas Dettmann

July 25, 2018

WEST BEND — For the largest project ever to come to Wisconsin, why not be a part of it any way they can?

That’s the mindset for several companies throughout Wisconsin as the Foxconn project in Racine County gets going.

On Tuesday, 37 companies — all with operations in Wisconsin — were awarded contracts to be involved in constructing a multipurpose building at Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park. Among those companies, three are from Washington and Ozaukee counties and nine are from Waukesha County.

“We’re delighted and honored to be a part of it,” said Mike Pilgrim, president of Systems LLC in Germantown. “We’re ecstatic that they got Systems involved, a Wisconsin-based company.”

In May, Foxconn announced 27 Wisconsinbased companies were selected to perform site preparation at its display manufacturing facility being built in Mount Pleasant, near Racine. Among those was Michels Corp. in Brownsville.

“We have many skill trades in this area,” said Mary Kinateder, president of KMI Construction Inc., in Brookfield. “For (Foxconn) to utilize the talent of our men and women in this area is a good thing.”

Washington, Ozaukee, Waukesha county companies

The Washington County companies selected were (with specialty): ASC Pumping Equipment in West Bend (fire protection pumping equipment), Professional Systems Analysis Inc. in Germantown (test and balance) and Systems (loading dock equipment).

The Ozaukee County companies selected were (with specialty): HVA Products Inc. in Mequon (gas unit heaters and air curtains), Paul Reilly Co. in Mequon (overhead sectional doors) and SiteOne Landscape Supply in Mequon (irrigation material supplier).

The Waukesha County companies selected were (with specialty): Builders Hardware in Menomonee Falls (hollow metal doors, frames, hardware supplier), Halquist Stone in Sussex (decorative stone), Johnson’s Nursery in Menomonee Falls (plant material supplier), Kevco Inc. in New Berlin (caulking), KMI Construction, Precise Contractors Inc. in Brookfield (excavation), Scott’s Pressure Washing Services in Muskego (final panel washing), Vyron Corp. in Waukesha (make up air units) and Wolter Power Systems, a division of Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp. in Brookfield (generator supplier).

In the last month, Foxconn announced facilities to be built in Green Bay and Eau Claire.

“Today’s announcement reflects Foxconn’s continued commitment to a ‘Wisconsin First’ plan by working with companies all across the state,” said Dr. Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn founder and CEO Terry Gou in a news release. “We are proud all of these companies have Wisconsin operations, and it is good to see that many are from Southeast Wisconsin, as well as some from the Madisonarea, the Fox Valley and West Central Wisconsin.

“Part of the reason we selected Wisconsin is the quality of workmanship we find here. We look forward to our continued partnership with companies here as we invest $10 billion and create 13,000 jobs that will pay an average of $53,875 annually.”

The multipurpose building is a 120,000-square-foot facility and the first building being constructed on the Foxconn campus. The structure will serve as office space for construction companies building the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park. It will also house research and development facilities focusing on advanced display technology and applications in all aspects of smart lives. It will contribute to the development of the AI 8K+5G ecosystem that Foxconn is building across the state.

Systems and KMI

“This is a small start for what they have planned long-term,” Pilgrim said. “Getting in on the ground floor like this allows us to prove ourselves and grow.”

Systems was founded in 1961 and its common clients include grocery, trucking, retail or warehousing and distribution. It’s based in Germantown, but also has a facility in Malvern, Arkansas.

In 2017, the company was bought by Chamberlain Group.

Systems’ brands include Poweramp, DLM Docks, McGuire and Allied Dock Solutions.

Systems employs more than 260 people, such as machinists and welders and most are in Wisconsin.

KMI Construction was founded in 2011.

“I think we are a company that we feel has the best skilled masons and laborers,” Kinateder said. “Contractors want to use us. We do great work.”

KMI will provide the mason work for this phase of the Foxconn project.

“I think it says a lot for Foxconn for using the area businesses,” Kinateder said. “So why not utilize the trades in this area?”

More information sessions planned

A second round of informational sessions are planned for construction-related companies in southeastern Wisconsin that want to learn more about becoming a vendor, subcontractor, supplier or professional service provider for the Foxconn project.

Hosted by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Gilbane Building Company and M+W Group, the two sessions will take place Aug. 1 at Gateway Technical College’s SC Johnson iMET Center, 2320 Renaissance Blvd., Sturtevant.

For the first session, registration is 11:30 a.m.-noon, followed by the informational session from noon-1:30 p.m. For the second session, registration is 2:30-3 p.m., followed by the information session from 3-4:30 p.m.

An update on the construction schedule with a focus on the next 12 months and a detailed timeline for the next anticipated round of bidding will be provided. Representatives will also explain how the project is being broken down into smaller segments to allow smaller companies opportunities to participate as part of the “Wisconsin First” approach.

Representatives from WEDC, Gilbane Building Company, and M+W Group will be available to answer questions about the project and the opportunities available to Wisconsin companies. The sessions are free, but registration is required at www.wisconnvalley.wi.gov.