$10B WI Project Misses Hiring Goals, Tax Breaks
Foxconn Technology Group has reportedly missed the mark for job creation in 2018 regarding its $10 billion construction project in Racine County, Wisconsin. As a result, the company will miss out on $9.5 million in tax credits.
In April 2018, Foxconn named Providence, Rhode Island-based Gilbane Building Co. (which has a Milwaukee office) and global firm M+W Group (Stuttgart, Germany) as its lead contractors on the 20 million square feet of building space that will eventually house a flat screen manufacturing complex and employ 13,000 people.
Officials announced the first round of contracts in early July, worth $14 million, that went toward a multi-purpose building on the site that the company says is now complete.
Later that month officials awarded nearly 40 more contracts, though those financial terms were not disclosed at the time.
Foxconn is under an agreement with jobs agency Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to create up to 13,000 jobs over the course of construction, which would then qualify the company to be awarded up to $3 billion in tax credits.
The 2018 goal for fulltime employees was 260 jobs; Foxconn ended up only creating 178.
“To protect state taxpayers, WEDC’s contract with Foxconn clearly states tax credits will only be awarded when Foxconn meets its annual job creation and capital investment requirements,” WEDC secretary and CEO Mark Hogan said in a statement. “Since that did not occur in 2018, the company will not receive any credits this year.”
Foxconn said in a press release detailing construction progress that it still expects to meet its end goal of 13,000, but had to “readjust its recruitment and hiring timeline.”
“As a company with operations around the world, we need to have the ability to adapt to a range of factors including global economic conditions,” Foxconn said 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.”
The contract with WEDC extends well beyond the completion of construction. Over the first 15 years of the contract, which ends in 2027, the minimum hiring number dips to 10,400 and the company must continue employing that many people through 2032.
Despite the setback in number of hires, Foxconn says the project is still on schedule with the multi-purpose building complete and 4 million cubic yards of dirt cleared for the site.
It also noted that 95 percent of all contracts awarded (93 companies total) went to Wisconsin companies with 16 percent of those going to minority- , women- and veteran-owned businesses.