Says in op-ed that Wisconsin’s bold reforms helped lead to largest economic development project in history of state
In case you missed it, Gov. Scott Walker wrote in an op-ed in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “Wisconsin is ready” for Foxconn’s historic investment because of the bold reforms our state enacted to balance the budget and create a strong environment for economic growth.
Foxconn’s investment is the largest economic development project in the history of Wisconsin. It will bring 13,000 jobs at a state-of-the-art facility, 10,000 construction jobs, and 22,000 additional indirect or induced jobs as a result of suppliers and other economic activity. You can read the governor’s op-ed here or below.
Walker: Foxconn is a transformational, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wisconsin
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Friday, Aug. 4, 2017
Transformational. The addition of 13,000 high-tech jobs and an investment of $10 billion will indeed be a transformational, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Wisconsin.
Foxconn, the global electronics manufacturing giant, will make an initial investment of $10 billion to build a 20 million square-foot high-tech manufacturing campus in Wisconsin. To put the massive size of this operation into perspective, you could fit 11 Lambeau Fields inside Foxconn’s planned campus. Now that’s big.
It will be the largest economic development project in state history and one of the biggest in the history of our country. In fact, it represents the largest greenfield investment made by a foreign-based company in U.S. history.
While Foxconn is best known for assembling the iPhone, employees at this new Wisconsin plant will manufacture liquid crystal display (LCD) panels and other components for a variety of industries. This will be the first time they are Made in America, and we are proud that they decided to make them in Wisconsin.
The new ecosystem will directly create 13,000 new jobs with an average annual salary topping $53,000 plus benefits. On top of the direct jobs that Foxconn will create, there will be an estimated 10,000 construction jobs created to build the campus. Construction companies from all over our state will be needed for this massive project. Plus, there will be an estimated 22,000 more indirect and induced jobs created because of Foxconn’s economic impact. These jobs will be created across Wisconsin.
Foxconn will have a transformational effect for generations to come in much the same way Silicon Valley transformed the San Francisco Bay Area and the Research Triangle transformed North Carolina. We’re calling it “Wisconn Valley.”
Wisconn Valley will be about more than the Foxconn ecosystem. It will represent Wisconsin’s willingness and readiness to evolve into a leader in high-tech advanced manufacturing and technology research and development. It will have an impact far beyond the site, as the company will require an estimated 150 suppliers to support its operations, potentially generating more than $1 billion annually in business for companies throughout the state.
Wisconn Valley will help us attract talent from across the country and around the world. It will motivate more students to pursue careers in advanced manufacturing. And it will help keep more of our talented graduates here in Wisconsin. Instead of a brain drain, we will have a brain gain.
Foxconn is coming to our state is because we are ready. Once a bottom 10 state for business, Wisconsin is now in the top 10 states for business. Our 3.1% unemployment rate is better than the national average and the lowest since October 1999. We also have one of the best percentages of people working in the nation. We’ve not only balanced our budgets; we’ve created budget surpluses. We’ve cut taxes so hardworking families and small business owners can keep more of their own money, we’ve made significant investments in worker training, education and infrastructure, and our government reforms have saved taxpayers billions of dollars. Wisconsin is ready for this moment.
Pay to grow is the focus of our incentive package. Foxconn invests $10 billion and creates 13,000 jobs paying an average $53,875 per year plus benefits. In turn, the state provides up to $3 billion worth of incentives. We believe that Foxconn will exceed its goals, but if it does not, it won’t get the full incentive package. There are plenty of safeguards for the taxpayers. State lawmakers now need to affirm the package.
The $3 billion is paid out over 15 years. During that time, Foxconn will invest $10 billion to create its new high-tech manufacturing campus, and the combined payroll for the 13,000 employees will exceed $10.5 billion. Bottom line: $3 billion worth of incentives brings $10 billion in investment and more than $10.5 billion in new payroll to the state.
By comparison, the State of Washington offered an incentive package to Boeing in 2013 worth $8.7 billion just to retain the company’s operations. Similarly, the State of Michigan offered General Motors a $2.3 billion package in 2009 to save 1,200 jobs. Wisconsin is offering $3 billion for a $10 billion investment and 13,000 direct jobs.
Foxconn’s announcement is outstanding news for the people of Wisconsin. The fact that this global corporation chose Wisconsin over every other state in America and every other place in the world should make us feel proud. Our future has never been brighter. Wisconsin is ready. We are ready for Wisconn Valley.
Scott Walker is the governor of Wisconsin.