Weekly Debrief: Foxconn picks Ohio, Fiserv expanding in New Jersey

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Lauren Anderson, Arthur Thomas and Andrew Weiland discuss news from the week on the BizTimes MKE Podcast, including Foxconn’s plans to buy a car plant in Ohio instead of making electric vehicles in Wisconsin and Fiserv’s decision to expand in New Jersey. 

“The disappointing news just keeps coming out of Foxconn for Mount Pleasant,” Weiland said. “This was really supposed to be a game changer for Wisconsin’s economy.”

While the Foxconn project did help spur the creation of the Higher Education Regional Alliance, a collaboration amongst 18 southeastern Wisconsin colleges and universities known as HERA, Anderson said in the higher education realm the Foxconn project no longer receives the same level of attention.

“A few years ago, you couldn’t have an interview with a college leader from the region or go to an event involving universities without hearing about Foxconn and having to prepare people for these jobs,” Anderson said. “Sort of the thud of the whole thing right now is you don’t hear colleges talking about it anymore.”

Fiserv’s news was perhaps less concerning for the region. The company is in the midst of restructuring its real estate into seven hubs, according to New Jersey officials, and selected the Garden State over its location in Georgia for the expansion.

Fiserv officials said the company’s headquarters and current workforce will remain in Brookfield.

“It’s really a great growing company, it’s just disappointing to see it growing somewhere else, but it shows you what we’re up against, it’s very competitive, these other regions have a lot to offer in terms of the talent that’s there,” Weiland said.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.