Thursday, July 19, 2018

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Walker hints at potential Foxconn investment in Eau Claire

  • Scott-Walker-28

    Gov. Scott Walker addresses an Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday at The Florian Gardens.

    Staff photo by Eric Lindquist
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Gov. Scott Walker hinted Wednesday to Chippewa Valley business and government leaders that Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn may announce some type of investment in Eau Claire in the next couple of weeks.

The governor dropped what he called the “tease” during a speech at an Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at The Florian Gardens. He mentioned the potential announcement after making the case that Foxconn Technology Group, which is building a massive $10 billion manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin that it promises will employ 13,000 workers, will provide a tremendous boost to Wisconsin’s economy. State and local governments have pledged about $4 billion in subsidies for the first phase of the project.

After discussing Foxconn’s recent announcement that it plans to buy a former Younkers and H.C. Prange department store building in downtown Green Bay and open an innovation center there by the end of the year, Walker remarked, “I would watch in the next week or two because something somewhat close to that might happen in Eau Claire.”

The governor declined to elaborate, saying, “I’m not going to jump the gun and step on their announcement.”

David Minor, president of the Eau Claire chamber, also declined to comment on Foxconn’s potential plans in Eau Claire.

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has said the Green Bay facility will focus on developing applications for new display technology and the education, medical, health care, entertainment, sports and securities industries. More than 200 people are expected to work at the Green Bay innovation center.

Such investments make sense, Walker said, because the company needs to find ways to connect with potential workers across the entire state.

Contact: 715-833-9209, eric.lindquist@ecpc.com, @ealscoop on Twitter


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