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Aug 8, 201712:46 PMMaking Madison

with Buckley Brinkman

Foxconn signals start of 'big doin's' in Wisconsin manufacturing

(page 2 of 2)

What about the rest of us? There seem to be two choices: engage and ride the wave, or drown.

We know what to do, but there’s that whole horse/water/drink thing blocking our way. These new conditions carry serious implications for both companies and individuals.

Companies must find a way to grow with limited new employees. Demographics made this important before Foxconn. Now, action is even more critical. Business leaders must catalyze their strategies around talent, technology, and techniques to transform their companies. Only an integrated approach that fully engages employees, identifies and invests in new technology, and uses both of these elements in more effective ways will successfully position their organizations for the future.

Individuals will also need to expand and adapt their own skills in order to stay relevant. We are entering the strongest sellers’ market for skilled workers in my lifetime. In this market, Foxconn will drive another skills shift with new technology and more automation. People with the new skills will be in the most demand. The best-positioned people will proactively identify and develop these skills, staying current with the most valuable capabilities.

It’s an exciting time to be working in Wisconsin. The big doin’s with Foxconn creates opportunities for all of us. It’s a brand new industry for the country and Wisconsin will serve as its epicenter. Our success depends on all of us — companies and individuals — taking a proactive stance towards change and making the most of the accelerating trends. Together we will transform our future.

Grandma would be proud!

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Old to new | New to old
Aug 8, 2017 03:31 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

You drank all the Foxconn Kool-Aid. What about their factory in PA they promised in 2013? Or the other factories they've promised all over the world that have gone no where? I will believe Foxconn when I see the building and production start.

Aug 8, 2017 05:50 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I would guess that there will be SOME skilled jobs to keep the automation going but that the majority of these jobs will be basic production jobs in the $11 to $15 dollar range. They'll still use a lot of imported components. And a fair number of the workers will be from Illinois. Even if this comes to fruition, this is not the game changer that all the political hype leads us to believe. Bob

Aug 8, 2017 08:18 pm
 Posted by  P. Buckley

Thanks for your comment, Anonymous!

You're right! The Foxconn deal isn't done yet.

The Wisconsin effort differs from Pennsylvania's try. They signed an agreement with Foxconn, had a change in administration and tried to renegotiate, and Foxconn backed away. This will be Foxconn's first U.S. plant and some of the process is a bit unfamiliar to them. Our team here in Wisconsin is making it as smooth as possible for the company to meet all the requirements to build a new plant.

The early signs remain very, VERY positive. All of the incentives are performance based. The team working on the project knows what they are doing. We will know for sure this fall.

When this happens, Wisconsin will be the machine shop for Silicone Valley! That is exciting!


Oct 27, 2017 08:28 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

We will eventually find that the majority of promised workers will be minimal skilled and waged. Very unfortunate for a break-even 25 years from now. The Foxconn dog is wagging its tail with Walker / WEDC hanging on and obliviously facing its a-hole. Foxconn wrote the contract which would have left the taxpayers totally on the hook. In Pennsylvania, when they did not get the contract they wanted, they bailed out. Will they do the same to Wisconsin if they are held to a responsible expectation ??

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About This Blog

Buckley Brinkman is executive director and CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity and writes about the manufacturing sector in Greater Madison and throughout Wisconsin. He has a breadth of experience in helping companies drive growth, world-class competitiveness, and performance excellence, and has led efforts to save dozens of operations in the U.S. by finding new ways for them to compete. A Wisconsin native, Brinkman holds a business degree from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.



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