When you hear my old radio colleague, Matt Lepay, say those words, it means good things. It
usually means something spectacular has happened and Wisconsin is winning. Wisconsin scored
a touchdown this week, with a vote to bring Foxconn to our state.
This project will transform our state in so many ways. The first step is in construction of the
Foxconn facility. Tens of thousands of construction workers and thousands of engineers will be
required to turn this dream into reality. The size of the Foxconn facility, over a thousand acres, is
hard to imagine. It’s large enough to hold 11 Lambeau Fields. It is one of the largest
manufacturing complexes in the world.
The project will require an estimated $10 billion of capital investment to construct and equip the
facility. Of this, an estimated $5.7 billion will be for construction and equipment sourced from
The economic impact from manufacturing goes much further than the Foxconn facility. The
company will need suppliers. Those suppliers will need suppliers. The employees will need
places to eat, shop, and live. The ripple effect this project will have is nearly impossible to
Inside, the facility will house 13,000 workers. People who will be earning an average salary of
nearly $54,000, plus benefits. We often talk about Wisconsin’s low unemployment rate. In fact,
more people in Wisconsin are working right now than ever before. But, let’s be clear, these
aren’t just jobs - they are careers.
With a deal of this magnitude, it is important that our investment is protected.
Foxconn will not get a dime of the incentive package until a shovel is in the ground and people
are hired. If they fail to live up to their obligations, or something changes, the state is protected
by either not paying out incentives or with the claw back provisions to get funds back.
Several people have reached out to me about environmental concerns. Steps have been taken to
protect our invaluable natural resources. All air and water standards still apply. In fact, if any
wetlands are effected, the mitigation is even better than current law. Mitigation for wetlands is
currently done at the ratio of 1.2 acres for every 1 acre disrupted. For Foxconn, it will be at a
ratio of 2:1.
Certainly southeastern Wisconsin has the most to gain in landing Foxconn. But the entire state
wins - other companies will follow and relocate here to be part of what is being called “Wisconn
Valley.” It is the future of manufacturing, and Wisconsin will be a leader in this technology. This
is about more than just attracting a company to our state – it is about bringing an entire industry
to not just our state, but our country. In fact, this will be the only LCD manufacturing facility of
its kind in North America.
I have said many times before that government doesn’t create jobs. Instead, we can create an
environment for job creation. The fact that this company even considered our state is validation
of the changes we have made in Wisconsin the last several years.
13,000 high paying jobs.
Job training across the state.
Transforming out economy.
Transforming our workforce.
Helping stopping the brain drain where our kids have leave this state for jobs for careers
“Touchdown Wisconsin” indeed.