Marquette Wire

Foxconn hopes to reach students with downtown MKE building

Foxconn+is+looking+to+reach+out+to+educational+institutions+in+the+Milwaukee+area+with+its+new+downtown+building.
Foxconn is looking to reach out to educational institutions in the Milwaukee area with its new downtown building.

Foxconn is looking to reach out to educational institutions in the Milwaukee area with its new downtown building.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

Foxconn is looking to reach out to educational institutions in the Milwaukee area with its new downtown building.

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Foxconn Technology Group is opening its Wisconsin headquarters in a downtown Milwaukee building located at 611 E. Wisconsin Ave., according to a Feb. 6 press release.

Genevieve Chow, a spokesperson for Foxconn, said a closing on the property and an opening of the building is expected later this year.

The release said Foxconn opted for this specific location to attract recent local graduates. The company has not disclosed the purchase price of the downtown building.

Doug Fisher, director of the Center for Supply Chain Management at Marquette, said in an email that Foxconn’s downtown Milwaukee headquarters offers opportunities for students and is an economic prospect for Milwaukee.

Fisher said Foxconn’s Milwaukee location could benefit the city in many ways. Foxconn has the potential to create an “ecosystem” of innovation similar to other clusters like Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue and Wall Street, Fisher said.

“A strong economy, a very large global electronics company locating in the area, the stimulus of (Foxconn’s) proposed Innovation Center and our long and successful heritage in manufacturing all afford the opportunity for ‘Wisconn Valley’ to become one of the most interesting places to work in the nation,” Fisher said in an email.

Brian Dorrington, university spokesperson, said he is optimistic about the opportunities that Foxconn’s downtown location offers Marquette students.

He said Foxconn’s investment in Wisconsin has the potential to offer “transformative” opportunities, but also necessitates support from local educational institutions like Marquette.

“Marquette University will (support this economic opportunity) by capitalizing on its existing strengths, specifically including our engineering experts and highly-ranked supply chain management program,” Dorrington said.

When Foxconn held a showcase at Marquette in October, 750 students attended throughout the day and 250 students submitted resumes to the company, Dorrington said.

Chris Procak, who graduated from the College of Engineering in December, was one of those students.

Procak said he was attracted to Foxconn because of their jobs in data science and engineering. He also said he liked the fact that Foxconn is a bigger company that would allow him to connect with more people in the industry.

“(Foxconn’s downtown office building) would be very appealing for Marquette students because it’s just a couple blocks away,” Procak said. Many of the jobs Foxconn is offering in advanced manufacturing require a minimum of a four-year degree, Dorrington said.

Although some express support for the technology company, Foxconn’s arrival in Wisconsin has been contentious. A poll conducted by Marquette Law School in October 2017 indicated that 48 percent of residents in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha counties said Foxconn is not worth the $3 billion it received in state aid.

Foxconn has also generated controversy in Wisconsin politics. In September, Wisconsin State Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca stepped down after disapproval from fellow Democrats regarding his endorsement of legislation incentivizing Foxconn’s opening of a display screen plant in Racine County.

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