Many residents in Racine County breathed a sigh of relief on Friday as Foxconn eased their worries about its commitment to southeastern Wisconsin.
The company is moving forward with plans for both a manufacturing facility and a high-tech innovation hub.
The company credits a conversation between Foxconn chairman Terry Gou and President Donald Trump for the decision to move forward with plans to manufacture small LCD screens in Mount Pleasant.
"Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility, which will be at the heart of the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park. This campus will serve both as an advanced manufacturing facility as well as a hub of high technology innovation for the region," Foxconn Technology Group said.
Congressman Bryan Steil held a listening session in Mount Pleasant just hours after Foxconn’s announcement went public. Among the questions from dozens of constituents in the crowd, not one came up about Foxconn’s future. The meeting could have taken a far different tone if Foxconn hadn’t put concerns to rest.
“I think what we saw was a lot of confusion over what the next step was, so I was following that closely,” Steil said. “I always want to see people coming and investing and creating jobs here in southeast Wisconsin.”
Foxconn doubled down on its commitment to southeastern Wisconsin after reports surfaced that it was reconsidering manufacturing at its Mount Pleasant facility. Another report out of Asia furthered concerns as it suggested Wisconn Valley construction may be suspended for 6 months.
“Definitely I was worried,” said former state representative Thomas Weatherston.
Weatherston, a republican who supported the Foxconn deal, said the company’s uncertainty brought great concern.
“A couple days ago it was like shock, we’ve got to fix this,” he said.
Foxconn’s announcement brings peace of mind to Weatherston.
“We need those blue collar jobs here desperately,” he said.
Mount Pleasant resident Paul Pham said he won’t be sold on the deal until Foxconn’s commitment to 13,000 jobs are fulfilled.
“I’d like to see when it’s materialized rather than just talking,” Pham said.
Local leaders in Racine County put out a joint statement Friday welcoming Foxconn’s announcement. Foxconn plans to hold public information sessions in the coming months of its construction plans moving forward.