Over the past few weeks, controversy has surrounded many of the surprising changes to Foxconn’s plans for a new electronic manufacturing campus in Racine County.
First announced in July 2017, the Taiwanese company’s original plan called for investing $10 billion dollars into a Generation 10.5 plant that would manufacture 65″ to 75″ liquid crystal display (LCD) screens and create an estimated 13,000 new jobs.
In June 2018, however, things started to change. What was originally a Generation 10.5 plant became a smaller, less-costly Generation 6 plant. This is apparently the first “phase” of their proposed manufacturing campus, with the promise of the initial Generation 10.5 plant to follow somewhere in the future. However, Foxconn has not given any clear details on how and when they will achieve that goal.
This sudden change in construction plans drew some criticism from Democratic representative and WEDC Board Member Dana Wachs. “It’s critical that the governor pay attention to what’s going on with taxpayer dollars and make sure that the public investment is sound and makes sense,” he said. “What in the world is going on? This could be the mother of all bait and switches.”
Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz voiced similar concerns, saying that Gov. Scott Walker should provide taxpayers with updated investment figures, job numbers and compensation estimates.
Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., responded to these criticisms by saying that Foxconn needs flexibility to respond to changing markets. He is not concerned that the company has changed its plans.
Should Foxconn be more transparent with their plans? Are you still in a ‘wait and see’ mode with Foxconn? Will it influence your vote for Governor in Nov? Let us know in the comments below or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.