Foxconn is coming to the United States. The Taiwan-based tech manufacturer, known for providing the requisite parts to bring many of your favorite Apple products to life, has always maintained a larger presence in Asia than in the west. And while that will likely remain the case, Foxconn is indeed extending its reach in the U.S., and is not only establishing a display factory in Wisconsin, but also setting up a brand new North American headquarters in Milwaukee. The tech firm is reportedly purchasing a seven-story building from Northwestern Mutual, and will ultimately employ 500 people to work in the new facility. Sure, that’s a whole lot fewer than the 13,000 jobs it’ll be creating at its display facility just 30 miles south, but it does indicate that Foxconn is serious about its American presence.
As Reuters reported, this recent announcement comes about a year after Foxconn revealed that it would be investing a hefty $10 billion over the course of the next four years in order to establish its 20 million square foot LCD panel plant. It’s a big move, but at scale with what one might expect from the Taiwanese company. After all, it is the world’s most prolific contract electronics manufacturer, and has an employee roster of more than a million people.
It’s not terribly surprising that Foxconn is doubling down on Wisconsin as its home base, either. Recently, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee launched a co-op program that encourages engineering students to travel to Taiwan in order to pursue further education at Chung Yuan Christian University, while working at a Foxconn facility before attaining their final degrees. This program will kick off come fall with a fledgling class of five students, who will first work at Foxconn in Wisconsin, and then travel to Taiwan in February. Foxconn is offering similar work-study programs to students in other midwestern universities.
Moreover, Wisconsin has been more than generous in welcoming Foxconn. In total, the state has offered $3 billion in tax breaks to play out in the next 15 years. But if Foxconn manages to bring the number of jobs it’s currently projecting into the state and increase domestic tech manufacturing, Wisconsin could have a lot to gain as a result.