Bottom line: It seems that Foxconn really likes Wisconsin. After choosing the state as the location for its $10 billion facility last year, the Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer is now set to establish its North American headquarters in Milwaukee.
Best known for supplying Apple its components, Foxconn has purchased a seven-story building in downtown Milwaukee from Northwestern Mutual. In a statement, the firm said that more than 500 people would work at the new headquarters, which will also house an innovation center to help startups develop applications for the LCD panels that will be developed just 30 miles south in Racine County.
Wisconsin tempted Foxconn to the state with a series of tax breaks that add up to $3 billion over the next 15 years. That's a lot of money, but the 20 million-square-foot factory it’s building, which is scheduled to open in 2020, could eventually employ over 13,000 people. As the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, Foxconn boasts more than one million employees.
In another link between the state and the company, Foxconn has announced an internship program with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). It will see UWM engineering students travel to Taiwan to study at the Chung Yuan Christian University and work at a Foxconn facility, before returning home to complete their degrees. The program starts this fall when five students will spend time at Foxconn in Wisconsin before traveling to Taiwan in February, where they will work on projects at one of the company's facilities until June.
Bringing thousands of jobs to Wisconsin will no doubt please local government and citizens, but environmentalists have expressed concerns over the effects of the manufacturing plant, which is set to drain 7 million gallons of water from Lake Michigan every day.