Foxconn Construction Jobs Rise in 2018, Company Misses Hiring Goal

Foxconn Technology Group spent $200 million on building early phases of its manufacturing plant in 2018, creating more than 800 construction jobs for people from 52 Wisconsin counties, the company announced Friday.

In a letter to Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. CEO Mark Hogan on Thursday, the Foxconn executive Louis Woo said the company has completed the construction of its first structure, a 120,000-square-foot multipurpose building, and would begin work this spring on buildings to house the company’s manufacturing operations.

Foxconn, however, did not create enough jobs in Wisconsin to qualify for state tax incentives last year. The company had previously said it could ultimately create up to 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin. But in its letter to WEDC, the company said it has “adjusted” its recruitment and hiring timeline. Last year, the company hired 178 employees in Wisconsin who qualified for hiring targets set by WEDC — 82 short of the minimum number required to claim credits in the project’s  first year.

As a result, Foxconn said it is not seeking state incentives for its hiring in 2018. As part of an incentive package worth $4 billion, the company could ultimately receive $1.5 billion for meeting its hiring commitments.

“As a company with operations around the world, we need to have the agility to adapt to a range of factors including global economic conditions,” Woo wrote in the letter to WEDC. “We have done so while simultaneously progressing on other aspects of the project and achieving our foremost priority for 2018 — creating a solid foundation upon which the Wisconsin project can continue to grow further.”

Work on Foxconn’s $10 billion manufacturing plant continues in 2019. The company said it will hold additional information sessions for contractors in coming months and intends to break ground this spring on buildings to be used for work on advanced displays, manufacturing and 8K+5G research and development.

Contractors working on early phases of the company’s plant moved 4 million cubic yards of dirt last year, the company said. The company awarded contracts to 93 companies in 17 Wisconsin counties last year and said 95 percent of all its construction contracts to-date were with Wisconsin companies. In addition, nearly 16 percent of contracts went to companies owned by women, minorities and veterans.

The company has also open a number of satellite offices around the state, in Racine, Eau Claire and Green Bay and opened its North American regional headquarters in Milwaukee.