Ellen Nowak

Ellen Nowak

Monroe County Economic Development will host a presentation on the impact of Foxconn in Wisconsin Monday, Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. at Cranberry Country Lodge in Tomah.

The presentation is titled “Foxconn in Wisconsin: What does it mean for my community” is free and open to all area businesses who have interests in providing services and products to the plant.

Leading the presentation will be Department of Administration Secretary Ellen Nowak. She will provide an overview of the project, timelines for construction and public infrastructure improvements and resources to help firms that want to conduct business with Foxconn.

Taiwan-based Foxconn has committed to building a $10 billion manufacturing campus in Racine County to manufacture liquid-crystal-display screens for televisions and other products.

The plant was lured with the promise of up to $4.7 billion in state and local subsidies.

“Foxconn has made such a huge commitment to Wisconsin, and their needs from the construction phase to the finished project require a tremendous amount of labor, materials, products and technology,” said MCED coordinator Steve Peterson. “Our local companies should make it priority to tap into that need with their products and services which could have such an impact on their bottom line.”

Peterson said the presentation will also include a question-and-answer session.

Critics argue the cost of the subsidies exceed the economic value of the plant and that Foxconn has a history of broken promises in other communities. Most economists have called the incentives unprecedented, and Michael J. Hicks, professor of economics at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, described the subsidies an “over-the-top bad deal for Wisconsin.”

Governor Scott Walker has promised that the subsidies won’t kick in until jobs are actually created and that every dollar in state incentives will provide a return of $18.

Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at steve.rundio@lee.net.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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