Wisconsin welcomes Foxconn today at Milwaukee Art Museum event

Walker, company chairman to sign memorandum of understanding

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:56 pm

State and business leaders will welcome Foxconn Technology Group to Wisconsin Thursday with an event planned at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

At the event, Gov. Scott Walker and company founder and chairman Terry Gou are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding establishing the outline for Foxconn’s $10 billion investment in a new LCD manufacturing campus in southeastern Wisconsin. Foxconn will be eligible for up to $3 billion in tax incentives over 15 years. Earning the maximum amount will require the creation of 13,000 new jobs at an average salary of $53,875 and spending $10 billion in the state.

The deal also requires legislative action to provide guidelines for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to underwrite the transactions. The agreement will also be subject to approval from the WEDC board and a contract to be negotiated between WEDC and Foxconn.

An exact location for the campus, which will cover more than 1,000 acres with 20 million square feet of floor space, has not been announced, but commercial real estate sources familiar with the project said the location of the Foxconn plant will likely be east of I-94 along Highway 11 in Racine County. The land is in the village of Mount Pleasant, bordering the village of Sturtevant. Boards from both municipalities met jointly in closed session in July to discuss a major economic development project.

Gov. Scott Walker and other elected officials have said the deal will be transformative for southeastern Wisconsin and the state, with House Speaker Paul Ryan, in an interview with WISN-TV Channel 12, calling it a “huge game changer.” Business leaders have also welcomed the new facility.

Blake Moret, Rockwell Automation president and chief executive officer, said it would be good news for business, workers and customers.

“This partnership with Foxconn will put Wisconsin at the center of next generation manufacturing for the foreseeable future,” Moret said.

Todd Teske, Briggs & Stratton chairman, president and CEO and chair of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, said Foxconn would be “joining a strong group of established, high-performing and agile companies that call Wisconsin home.”

The massive employment at Foxconn will make the area’s labor market more competitive.

“The project will require us all to raise our talent game and take our workforce to the next level,” Teske said.

The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors predicted the deal would lead to significant gains in new home construction, sales and increased values of the deal.

Jim Villa, CEO of commercial real estate development organization NAIOP Wisconsin, said the project would have an impact “on every facet of the state’s economy.”

“The creation of more than 10,000 jobs and over $10 billion in investment in southeastern Wisconsin will be a catalyst for expansion and growth like nothing we have seen in decades or possibly longer,” Villa said.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers manufacturing for 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.