Wisconsin’s multibillion dollar bid for a flat screen display plant and thousands of jobs comes before state senators Tuesday in a critical week at the Capitol.
In addition to this first Foxconn Technology Group factory, Wisconsin is also competing with other states for another undisclosed potential investment from the Taiwanese company, state records show.
When senators consider the display plant Tuesday, they will weigh two great considerations — the chance of up to 13,000 jobs at the proposed factory and its potential cost to taxpayers of up to $2.85 billion in cash.
No jobs deal in state history — and few around the nation — have come close to the size of subsidies being offered by Gov. Scott Walker’s administration.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is supposed to make sure Foxconn keeps its end of the deal to create jobs in its proposed manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin in exchange for tax breaks and other incentives.
But WEDC has a terrible track record of holding corporations accountable to their job creation promises, critics of the deal and representatives of liberal advocacy group Citizen Action of Wisconsin said in a media call Monday. That makes the Foxconn deal “a scandal waiting to happen,” they said.
“It’s already scandalous how badly WEDC’s existing tax credit programs have been managed,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action Wisconsin.
WEDC called Citizen Action Wisconsin’s statement “misleading and incomplete.”
A Pulaski yacht manufacturer that cut 1,000 positions during the Great Recession now strains to fill 70 openings.
In Neenah, a business consulting company replaces print shop workers with tech-savvy programmers, some of them working remotely in other states.
At a Lancaster dairy farm a robot milks the cows 24 hours a day.
A Madison restaurant has raised pay for entry-level chefs in recent years more than 50 percent to $14 an hour, but still closes on Sunday evenings — not because of a lack of customers, but because workers are scarce.