Foxconn, the Electronics company that makes Apple iPhones and Amazon Kindles and Echo Dots have denied reports it wants to import Chinese workers to work on its Wisconsin plant project.
The Taiwan-based electronics company have restated its commitment to hiring workers from Wisconsin and other parts of the United States.
‘We can categorically state that the assertion that we are recruiting Chinese personnel to staff our Wisconsin project is untrue’ Foxconn said. ‘Our recruitment priority remains Wisconsin first and we continue to focus on hiring and training workers from throughout Wisconsin. We will supplement that recruitment from other US locations as required.’
The Wall Street Journal article reported Tuesday the company is having trouble finding the engineers it will need at the plant, and that it is trying to get staff at some of its plants in China to move.
The project is already facing a barrage of criticism from Democrat Tony Evers, among others who feel the tax breaks and government assistance it has received is taking away from other state projects, such as road repairs.
Spearheaded by Governor Scott Walker, the Wisconsin legislature gave Foxconn a rich package of tax breaks and government assistance estimated to be worth more than $4 billion.
The Wisconsin plant will build flat screens. When it was announced in 2017 Walker promised it would help to create a Silicon Valley of good paying tech jobs in Wisconsin.
But with the state already enjoying record low unemployment, it will be difficult to find Wisconsin workers to fill the 13,000 jobs that Foxconn anticipates hiring. Wisconsin unemployment was at 3.0% in September, well below the national average of 3.7% and close to the record low reached earlier this year.
There is also concern that Foxconn will create labor shortages for other established Wisconsin businesses trying to hang onto the employees they have. Foxconn is expected to pay an average of $53,000 for all the workers at the plant.
The company has announced a $100 million gift to the University of Wisconsin’s main campus at Madison in support of its engineering program.