Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:11 pm
Foxconn Technology Group today announced plans to establish a technology hub in Eau Claire, by acquiring an historic office building and creating innovation and test centers in that city’s downtown.
The company said the plans are “part of its initiative to spur innovation, attract talent and connect with supply chain partners,” and will “foster entrepreneurship.”
The new centers, to be named Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley, will create at least 150 high-tech jobs in Eau Claire, the company said. The employees will work with companies that will become part of Foxconn’s supply chain and contribute to the development of the AI 8K+5G ecosystem that Foxconn says it is building across the state.
Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley will include two properties. The company has entered into an agreement to acquire ‘The Grand,’ a six-story, 89-year-old building at 204 E. Grand Ave. in downtown Eau Claire. The building will be updated and converted into an incubator and laboratory for next-generation technological solutions.
Foxconn said it has also purchased over 15,000 square feet of co-working space at 200 Eau Claire St., in Haymarket Landing, which is a part of the Confluence Project a public-private partnership aimed at redeveloping the center of downtown Eau Claire and its riverfront. Foxconn will use this space as an innovation center that will be part of a talent and innovation network for the AI 8K+5G ecosystem that Foxconn is creating.
Foxconn said it plans to close on the Eau Claire properties later this year and have its operations there open in early 2019.
“We are excited to expand our Wisconn Valley footprint to the Chippewa Valley and West Central Wisconsin. Our goal in establishing Foxconn Place here is to help inspire innovative ideas, attract talent and catalyze cutting-edge solutions in this part of the state,” said Alan Yeung, Foxconn’s director of U.S. strategic initiatives and president of FEWI Development Corp. “Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley will play a key role in building a vibrant AI 8K+5G ecosystem in the U.S., with Wisconsin at the center of this vision.”
Yeung announced the Foxconn expansion to the Chippewa Valley at a news conference today with Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. secretary and CEO Mark R. Hogan, Momentum West executive director Steve Jahn, and Eau Claire city manager Dale Peters.
“Once again, we’re seeing how Foxconn’s historic investment in Wisconsin is impacting every region of the state as the company makes yet another commitment to both create jobs and support entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Walker. “This is another example of the ‘Foxconn Bonus’ that goes well beyond the company’s $10 billion advanced manufacturing campus in Racine County.”
“Foxconn’s investment in the Chippewa Valley is great news for the region and the entire state as the company continues to demonstrate how its presence in Wisconsin will truly be transformational,” said Hogan. “From the day Foxconn announced it had chosen Wisconsin as the site for its campus, we have talked about the ripple effect that decision would have throughout the state. Today we are again experiencing that ripple effect here in west-central Wisconsin.”
The Eau Claire plans are the second announced by Foxconn for parts of Wisconsin outside of the southeastern region of the state. In addition to its plans for a $10 billion LCD screen manufacturing complex in Mount Pleasant, and its North American headquarters in downtown Milwaukee, the company in June announced plans to create an innovation center in Green Bay.
“Establishing Foxconn Place (in downtown Eau Claire) will connect Foxconn to UW in Eau Claire and Barron County, Chippewa Valley Technical College and the talented workforce across the Valley. In addition to investing in talent development at Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley, we are also turning this technology hub into a smart building and a smart place to learn, work and create.” said Yeung. “This initiative represents a major milestone in Foxconn’s plans to create significant high-tech jobs in Wisconsin, and contribute to Wisconsin’s transformation into a global hub for entrepreneurs and technologists alike – ensuring that our contributions go well beyond the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park in Racine County, our North American headquarters in the City of Milwaukee and Foxconn Place at The WaterMark in Green Bay.”
“Although we are early in the process of Foxconn’s development in the state, the company’s commitment to the state as a whole is evident with today’s announcement,” said Steve Jahn, executive director of Momentum West, the regional economic development organization encompassing 10 counties in west-central Wisconsin. “We look forward to additional opportunities for business and industry in the Momentum West region of west-central Wisconsin to capitalize on the addition of Foxconn to the state.”
“Eau Claire is a great place for Foxconn’s newest Innovation Center – and Haymarket Landing, one of many UW-Eau Claire innovative partnerships and student residences, provides a vibrant hub for students, faculty and Foxconn employees to connect and create together,” said Chancellor James C. Schmidt of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. “UW-Eau Claire has long been an economic driver for western Wisconsin, providing talented graduates in everything from healthcare to high-tech. We are excited to be a partner with Foxconn in exploring together a ‘smart future’ for the Chippewa Valley and for Wisconsin.”