Tag Archives: Foxconn

Evil Foxconn Gives $100 Million to UW

Boy, I sure hope that Evers can kill the Foxconn deal. /sarcasm

Foxconn Technology Group will invest $100 million to UW-Madison that will go toward establishing an interdisciplinary research facility for the College of Engineering, the largest research partnership in the university’s history.

The Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology, or FIRST, will collaborate closely with the company’s Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park near Racine.

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou joined UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank for the Monday announcement, signing several agreements formalizing their relationship.

The gift is one of the largest in the school’s history, Blank said, and will help develop Wisconsin’s research and engineering talent.

Foxconn Will Only Benefit Southeast Wisconsin

Oh, wait

Foxconn Technology Group is buying a historic downtown Eau Claire building and space in the Haymarket Landing building as part of an expansion that will create 150 jobs.

The company announced it is expanding its Wisconn Valley Innovation Network to west-central Wisconsin as part of its initiative to spur innovation, attract talent and connect with supply chain partners, according to a statement. Foxconn plans to close on these properties later this year and open new operations in early 2019.

The new centers, to be named Foxconn Place Chippewa Valley, will create at least 150 high-tech jobs in Eau Claire. Employees will work with companies that will become part of Foxconn’s extensive supply chain and contribute to the development of the AI 8K+5G ecosystem that Foxconn is building in Wisconsin.

“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 Corporation. “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.”

I will remind the gentle reader that every single Democrat running for governor has spoken against the Foxconn deal. I actually think that if one of them would break with the pack and champion Foxconn, they would stand a better chance of winning the general election, but it would kill them in the primary.

Foxconn Expands in Green Bay

Great.

GREEN BAY – Foxconn, the Taiwanese tech company building a sprawling manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin, will become the new owner of The Watermark building in downtown Green Bay.

Foxconn Technology Group CEO Terry Gou was joined by Gov. Scott Walker on CityDeck Friday to announce the company’s pending purchase of the building, the former Younkers department store at 301 N. Washington St.

Foxconn plans to open an innovation center in the building by the end of the year. It will be part of a network supporting its Racine County manufacturing plant. More than 200 people are expected to work at the Green Bay location.

Gou said the Green Bay center will focus on developing applications for the AI 8K+5G display technology it is developing, as well as applications for the education, medical, health care, entertainment, sports and security industries.

Foxconn Awards $14 Million in Contracts for First Building

Great!

Foxconn Technology Group and M+W|Gilbane awarded $14 million in contracts to eight prime subcontractors for the construction of the first building at Foxconn’s planned LCD manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant.

Four of the contracts for a 120,000-square-foot multipurpose building went to companies based in metro Milwaukee. Those firms included precast work by Waukesha-based Spancrete Inc., concrete by Butler-based Superior Masonry Builders Inc., electrical work by New Berlin-based Pieper Electric Inc. and mechanical, plumbing and fire protection work by Pewaukee-based Total Mechanical Inc.

“We are pleased that a team of companies with strong track records in Wisconsin has been assembled to support the development and construction of our first building in the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park,” said Alan Yeung, Foxconn director of U.S. strategic initiatives and president of FEWI Development Corp.

All eight firms have a Wisconsin presence. Schofield-Tased Merrill Steel is providing structural steel and miscellaneous metals work and the Milwaukee offices of Pennsylvania-based Bright View Landscape Development Inc. and Connecticut-based Otis Elevator Co. will handle landscape and elevator work respectively.

Foxconn Considering Venture Capital Fund for Wisconsin Startups

This would be most welcome. Wisconsin lags the nation in attracting venture capital and an infusion of funds would be a boon for startups.

Several Wisconsin and Milwaukee-area entrepreneurship and venture capital sources have told BizTimes Milwaukee that Foxconn Technology Group is working on forming a large venture capital fund – some have pegged it at $100 million – to invest in Wisconsin startups.

The Taiwanese LCD screen manufacturer, which is building a massive campus in Mount Pleasant, already invests in startups via its HCM Capitalprivate equity arm, which currently has nine portfolio companies in China, California, Massachusetts and New York. Last month, it invested in a $7 million Series A round for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Cambridge Blockchain.

Foxconn could potentially house portfolio companies from the Wisconsin venture capital fund in its new North American headquarters in downtown Milwaukee, where it has previously said it will provide office space for startups. The headquarters will include the Wisconn Valley Innovation Center, a hub for the 8K+5G “ecosystem” the company is trying to foster in Wisconsin and the U.S.

In response to previous questions about its plans to invest in Wisconsin startups, Foxconn referred to the Innovation Center: “The facility will house incubators, accelerator labs, venture capital activities and startup initiatives, and support Foxconn’s goal of cultivating a new class of vertical solution providers for advanced manufacturing processes and technologies, as well as for industries such as education, medical and health care, entertainment and sports, security, and smart community.”

Foxconn to Announce New HQ in Downtown MKE

Excellent!

MILWAUKEE — Foxconn officials on Friday, June 15 will announce plans for a new corporate headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

According to a news release, a Friday morning news conference will include Dr. Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Founder and CEO Terry Gou; Alan Yeung, Foxconn director of strategic U.S. initiatives; Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett; Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton; and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

It will take place near Van Buren and Wisconsin Avenue.

The news release says the announcement information about “hundreds of new jobs in downtown Milwaukee.”

Liberal Activists Organize Against Foxconn

From Matt Kittle at the MacIver Institute.

MADISON, Wis. – Left-wing activists committed to doing whatever it takes to stop Foxconn Technology Group’s massive manufacturing campus in southeast Wisconsin are planning to rain on the tech giant’s ground-breaking picnic.

Organizers held a conference call Sunday evening to talk about their plans for a rally and demonstration on June 28, the day Foxconn is scheduled to hold its ground-breaking ceremony on its proposed $10 billion plant in Mount Pleasant. MacIver News Service obtained the call-in information and covered the planning session.

The idea, organizers say, is to assemble a coalition of diverse progressive groups – from environmental organizations to civil rights leaders to Foxconn-hating politicians. While each group will bring its own social and environmental complaints to the table, they will all rally around their abhorrence of the Foxconn economic development plan, according to the coalition-building plan.

“We want to stop it in any way we can,” a coalition member told participants on the call. “If we can’t stop it, we want to give them bad publicity. We want to be able to, like, make them aware that the community is aware. We want to show that, ‘Hey, we’re not going to give you an easy fight here.” 

“Take a stand against Foxconn. For our fellow Wisconsinites, join the effort and help us SHUT FOXCONN DOWN,” a progressive coalition Facebook alert states.

The short-term goal is to stop Foxconn. The long-term mission is to fire up the liberal base to take out Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature that championed the largest development deal of its kind in U.S. history. 

Let’s think this through… the focus of these liberal activist groups doesn’t appear to be anything specific about Foxconn. In fact, they admit that they all have different issues that range from opposition to corporate welfare to generic environmental issues to… whatever. The driving force of organizing is political opposition to Scott Walker and an attempt to drive turnout for whichever Democrat wins the chance to challenge him.

So there you have it. Liberals in Wisconsin are organizing to try to blunt the greatest single economic development in Wisconsin in a generation for the purpose of ousting the governor who had the temerity to foster economic activity in the state. They don’t give a darn about all of the construction workers, landscapers, HVAC workers, quarry workers, truck drivers, etc. who will build the $10 billion facility – much less the thousands of future Wisconsin workers who will fill those jobs with an average wage of $53k.

Foxconn Development Spurs New Medical Center

Great!

The Foxconn Technology Group campus under development has triggered its first growth-related project. On Thursday, Advocate Aurora Healthannounced its plans to construct a new hospital and medical office project in Mount Pleasant. Expected price tag is $250 million.

The health care company has been on an upward growth curve since the Advocate Health Care-Aurora Health Care merger in April. It has set its sights on expanding in the growing communities of southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois.

The Mount Pleasant hospital will be Advocate Aurora Health’s first move into Racine County. In February, however, pre-merger Aurora announced plans to build a surgery center and medical office building in Pleasant Prairie, which is expected to cost $130 million.

An Advocate Aurora Health executive told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the new hospital will be smaller than Aurora-built hospitals of the past decade in Grafton and Summit. Several new clinics in the Racine area are also part of the planned expansion.

Foxconn begins to deliver on its promise

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Here you go:

While there is still a long way to go before Wisconsinites can evaluate the full impact of the Foxconn development, so far it is proving to be the economic boon for Wisconsin that Gov. Scott Walker and other supporters of the deal predicted. The official groundbreaking ceremony will be June 28, but the work has already started.

When Walker announced the deal with Foxconn, it marked the largest economic deal the state of Wisconsin had ever struck. Liberals vacillated between bemoaning corporate welfare and declaring that Wisconsin should have gotten a better deal. Conservatives cringed at the massive amount of tax dollars involved to lure one company to Wisconsin. Walker touted the deal as a transformational economic development that would benefit Wisconsin for generations. It is possible that everyone was right, but certainly Walker deserves credit for getting it done.

Before the first shovel could be put in the ground, nearly 500 subcontractors, suppliers, service providers, vendors and other companies attended an information session hosted by Foxconn for the projected $10 billion construction project. These businesses came from all over Wisconsin and the world for the chance to participate in one of the largest construction projects in United States history.

Late last month, Foxconn began announcing the contractors that they would use. True to their word, Foxconn officials strongly favored Wisconsin companies. Ninety percent of the contracts so far have been awarded to Wisconsin companies.

In just the first phase of the project, 27 Wisconsin companies and one Illinois company are sharing $100 million to do the preparation work for the site including excavation, erosion control, soil and water testing and stormwater management. A $100 million project would already be one of Wisconsin’s largest construction projects, and that is only 1 percent of what Foxconn is planning to spend to complete the project. Furthermore, as Walker predicted, the economic benefits are not limited to southeast Wisconsin. One of those Wisconsin companies already working is a Black River Falls construction company which has been tasked with moving about 325,000 dump truck loads of dirt and installing 120,000 linear feet of sewer. That company, Hoffman Construction, has indicated that they will need to hire about 150 additional seasonal workers to handle the work.

MJM Truckin’ LLC of Nekoosa, Wood County, Panacea Group LLC of Seymour, Outagamie County, and other businesses throughout the state are already seeing money flow from Foxconn into their businesses.

The reason that all of Wisconsin will benefit from Foxconn is simple. The Foxconn project is just so incredibly huge that southeast Wisconsin does not have the people or material necessary to complete it. Not only will Foxconn need to bring in workers from all over Wisconsin, they will have to bring people from all over the world to Wisconsin to work.

A study by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce estimates that Foxconn’s new Wisconsin plant will contribute about $51 billion to the state’s economy over the next 15 years. Calculating the exact economic impact of the massive Foxconn development is inherently difficult, but Wisconsin is already seeing a ripple effect spread across the state.

All of this positive development makes the stance of some of the Democratic candidates for governor even more puzzling. While some may disagree with the deal that Walker struck with Foxconn, it is done. The contracts are signed and both sides are obligated to honor their side of the agreement. Yet some of the Democratic candidates are hoping to see it all fail and rip a hole in Wisconsin’s economy as it does.

Rep. Dana Wachs has said “we will find a way to end it.” Matt Flynn said that he will end the deal, “no matter what.” Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Rep. Kelda Roys want to renegotiate the deal — whatever that means. Try to imagine a world in which one of these Democrats wins the governor’s chair and uses it to douse the Foxconn economic fire with a vat of cold water. Not only would it hobble the Foxconn economic juggernaut, but it would neuter Wisconsin’s ability to attract business for decades to come. What company CEO in his or her right mind would make a long-term commitment to Wisconsin if all it takes is a new governor to tear up the contracts?

The argument over whether or not the Foxconn deal was a good one for Wisconsin will be decided in the years to come. One would hope that whatever one thought about the terms of the deal, we could all root for it to live up to its promise. Fortunately for our state’s economy, so far it has.

Statewide Economic Impact of Foxconn

This is good to see.

A Black River Falls construction company will be in on the ground floor — and even below that level — of the massive Foxconn Technology Group development planned in southeastern Wisconsin.

Foxconn and its general contractor, Gilbane Building Co., announced Monday that Hoffman Construction Co. of Black River Falls is one of 28 subcontractors selected to conduct site development work for the up to $10 billion flat-screen display panel plant in Mount Pleasant in Racine County. The contracts awarded have a total value of $100 million.

[…]

James Hoffman, president of Hoffman Construction, said he couldn’t reveal the size of the contract to be the lead excavation and storm water management contractor on the project, but he indicated the work will require moving about 4 million cubic yards of soil — the equivalent of 325,000 dump truck loads.

The project, which also involves installing 120,000 linear feet of underdrain and storm sewer, is scheduled for completion by Oct. 1.

“It’s a very significant business expansion for our company,” Hoffman said of the contract, adding that he expects it to result in hiring 150 more seasonal workers than usual this year.

Foxconn Breaks Ground

Good news for Wisconsin. Wow. $100 million injection into the Wisconsin economy.

Operating bulldozers and other heavy equipment, crews Monday began shaping the site for Foxconn Technology Group’s planned, $10 billion manufacturing complex in Racine County.

More than 20 pieces of earth-moving equipment stood poised at the site along Braun Road in Mount Pleasant on Monday morning, as workers attended safety meetings and portable toilets were delivered.

By early afternoon, they had begun pushing serious loads of dirt — the most graphic sign to date that work is underway to build what Foxconn and government officials have said will be a 22-million-square-foot campus employing as many as 13,000 people.

A Foxconn spokesman said he anticipates a ceremonial groundbreaking within the next month or two, “when we can bring everyone together.”

Monday’s developments came as Foxconn and its general contractor, M+W | Gilbane, named 27 Wisconsin companies and one Illinois firm as subcontractors for the site-preparation work.

The companies — two of which were announced previously — have been awarded contracts totaling $100 million to handle such work as erosion control, mass excavation, stormwater management and testing. The site development phase of the project will require 500,000 hours of work and create 800 direct and indirect jobs, Foxconn said in a statement.

Foxconn To Announce Contractors

Fantastic. Emphasis mine.

Foxconn Technology Group will announce in the next two to three days the subcontractors for the start of its planned $10 billion project in Racine County, the company’s second-ranking executive said.

At the same time, Foxconn will start construction in two to three days on the first phase of the project, which will cover 752 acres in Mount Pleasant, Louis Woo said Wednesday afternoon in Milwaukee. He said the first phase will require 500,000 person-hours of work.

“We will let people know in the next couple days who will be the winners (of contracts),” Woo said. “I’m very pleased to let you know that 90 percent of the winners are from the state of Wisconsin.

Foxconn Meeting in Rhinelander

The economic impact of Foxconn will be felt well beyond SE Wisconsin.

A session is being held in Rhinelander next week for contractors, vendors, suppliers and professional services interested in competing for Foxconn contracts in the upcoming construction of the huge plant being built in southeastern Wisconsin.

The first phase of  Foxconn building will begin this spring, involving 1,000 acres of site work, with the vertical building phase to begin late this year or early next year.

President of Grow North Economic Development Corporation, Vicky Oldham, talks about what will be going on…

“…anyone interested in the construction phase of multiple buildings. There’s also material procurement going on and logistics preparation. Any one interested in the logistics part, construction part or any type of building construction material that they would be interested in being a part of that would want to come and learn more…..”

While critics have said the deal will benefit southern Wisconsin the most, leaving citizens away from the economic zone still paying tax breaks for decades, Oldham thinks businesses away from the region will also benefit….

“there’s a though among some that feel that it might not impact northern Wisconsin as the southern part of the state. Their supply needs are so huge that it will have a rippling effect throughout the entire state…..”

500 Businesses Show Up for Foxconn Meeting

Wow.

STURTEVANT — Nearly 500 companies were represented Tuesday afternoon at an information session for hopeful Foxconn Technology Group construction-phase subcontractors, vendors, suppliers and professional services providers.

Two weeks ago, Taiwan-based Foxconn announced that it had selected M+W Gilbane, CH2M and The Sigma Group to serve as the lead contractors and designers for the $10 billion Science and Technology Park it plans to build in the southwestern part of Mount Pleasant.

Tuesday’s session, at Fountain Banquet Hall, 8505 Durand Ave., was led by Adam Jelen, senior vice president of Gilbane Building Co.’s Central Midwest Division; Allen Ware, vice president of M+W; and Matt Moroney, strategic economic initiatives director for the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

Foxconn has committed to spending about $1.4 billion with Wisconsin-based suppliers.

Foxconn to Add $51.5 Billion to Wisconsin Economy

Granted, it is not from an uninterested source, but the numbers are not unreasonable considering the projected size of the facility.

A fully built Foxconn Technology Group plant would add $51.5 billion to Wisconsin’s gross domestic product over the 15 years the state pays incentives to the company, a new analysis by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce concludes.

That would equate to $18 of economic impact for every $1 spent by the state, the business group, which worked to help attract Foxconn, said.

Averaged over the 15 years, the MMAC’s estimate amounts to an additional $3.4 billion annually in state gross domestic product from Foxconn. That would tack another 1% onto Wisconsin’s current GDP of about $313 billion.

Since the recession, the state’s GDP has grown at an average of 3.6% a year.

Racine Politicians Insert Useless, Unenforcable Mandate into Foxconn Deal

At least they can feel good about themselves, I guess.

Embedded in the development agreement is a Good Faith Hiring and Contracting Efforts clause, which states: “Developer agrees to exercise good faith in striving to hire, retain and contract, whenever reasonably possible, with qualified individuals and businesses residing and/or based in the County as well as veterans and minority-owned businesses.”

I went ahead and put in bold the ambiguous words and phrases that make this clause completely meaningless. Don’t get me wrong… I’m glad that it is unenforcable, but it’s fun to highlight the useless pandering of politicians.

Engineering Wisconsin’s Roads for Autonomous Vehicles

Foxconn is pushing Wisconsin to the forefront of technology and innovation.

Spurred by Foxconn Technology Group and its plans for a mega-factory in Racine County, state highway planners are studying the possibility of including special lanes for driverless vehicles on I-94.

Should that come to pass — and at this point it is only something being contemplated — it would put Wisconsin in the vanguard of what many believe will be a key part of transportation in the future.

Driverless cars have been developed and are being tested, but there are no highway lanes dedicated to so-called autonomous vehicles, a spokesman with the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

[…]

One possibility, Sheehy said, would be driverless lanes between the Foxconn plant and Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport as a way to move supplies and products to and from the factory.

He said the fact that Foxconn executives brought up the use of autonomous vehicles indicated the vision the company is bringing to the project.

“We’re thinking about two years down the road; they’re thinking 20 years down the road,” Sheehy said.

WEDC Approves Foxconn Deal

Excellent. And the guarantee from Gou is icing on the cake.

The WEDC board approved the deal, 8-2, after protesters shouted at the agency’s directors as they voted to go into a private session. The pair of no votes came from state Sen. Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) and Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire), who is running in the Democratic primary for governor.

Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou will sign the 29-page contract Friday afternoon at SC Johnson with U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Janesville on hand. 

Coming after critics pounded an initial deal with Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan, the state’s final contract with the company includes greater requirements for job creation and calls for Foxconn and Gou to stand behind those job requirements to the tune of up to $500 million or more.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. head Mark Hogan said the Walker administration had always planned on tougher job requirements and didn’t add them in response to criticism. Hogan touted the personal guarantee from Gou as “highly unusual” but declined to say when the state had first asked Gou for it.

“It really speaks to the level of commitment and confidence that he has that this is going to be a great investment not just for him but for the state of Wisconsin,” Hogan said of Gou. 

Foxconn Chooses Mount Pleasant

What wonderful news for Wisconsin.

RACINE — Residents of the southeastern Wisconsin town where Foxconn Technology Group plans a massive display screen plant greeted the announcement Wednesday with excitement about the possible economic boost and wistfulness about the community’s changing landscape.

Foxconn announced the location of its planned factory after months of negotiations with the company and the village of Mount Pleasant in Racine County. The company has said it intends to build a campus with about 20 million square feet of office space over 1.56 square miles, eventually employing as many as 13,000 people to manufacture liquid-crystal display screens used on phones, televisions, computers and other devices.

Tammy Graceffa, 54, the owner of the Hiawatha Bar and Grill just south of the plant’s expected location, said the influx of workers and her land’s possible purchase could bring her financial gains. But still, she found the moment bittersweet.

“Where we grew up and were raised will no longer be farm fields. It will be concrete and industry,” she said. “You can’t go back and say, ‘This is the road where we used to play ball.'”

Walker Signs Foxconn Deal

Excellent.

STURTEVANT — Gov. Scott Walker signed a $3 billion incentive package Monday for Foxconn Technology Group to build a flat-screen plant in southeastern Wisconsin, a deal he says will provide thousands of jobs for generations.

The governor signed the bill during a packed ceremony at Gateway Technical College in Sturtevant in Racine County, where the plant likely will be located. Legislators from around southeastern Wisconsin attended the signing. So did dozens of supporters.

“This is about far into the future,” Walker said. “This is about ensuring our children and our children’s children will have generational opportunities. This is one of those things that’s transformational.”

The governor told reporters after the signing that next steps call for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to finalize a contract with Foxconn to execute the provisions in the bill. WEDC’s board is scheduled to meet Sept. 28 to approve the agreement. Foxconn executives will then likely reveal the precise location for the plant before the contract is signed in early October.

Walker told WTMJ-AM radio on Monday morning that he expects groundbreaking this spring. Foxconn hopes to open the plant in 2020.