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Foxconn construction affects infrastructure projects in North Wisconsin

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 19:29:41-04

Foxconn infrastructure is progressing in Southeast Wisconsin, but workers in other parts of the state aren't thrilled.

Terry McGowan, President of Operating Engineers 139 says the demand for workers is high.

"Well the impact for us as a statewide union means that all this money, all the resources from the state have been pulled down to Southeast Wisconsin, I mean if I get north of HWY 21 my members aren’t real happy,” he said. “They feel like a lot of their infrastructure is being ignored up there.”

Motorists have definitely noticed the detours, slowdowns and upgrades on I-94, it might be a headache but it’s also a boom for the economy.

The union is working with its members in Northern Wisconsin to find work in the Southeastern part of the state.

The current boom in Racine County is also connected to our long winter.

“Obviously we had a very wet spring and so in order to maintain a timely manner they’re going to two shifts, two 12 hour shifts which is a little unusual in the construction industry but our guys are up to it,” McGowan said.

Racine Mayor Cory Mason says the project connected to Foxconn has created 11,000 jobs.

“You can easily say this is an historic time for jobs in the building trades in the area,” Mason said. “It’s a really exciting time to be in Racine.”

There’s no timetable on when things will pick back up on fixing the infrastructure in other parts of the state.

The union says it all depends on when the next transportation budget comes out.

Racine has also received a $1.5 million grant to train people in the city with enough skills to get those construction jobs.