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Workshops meant to draw small contractors to Foxconn project

State officials plan to hold two workshops in August aimed at prodding small contractors to pursue work on Foxconn Technology Group’s massive factory in Mount Pleasant.

So far, contractors certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, which are often owned by women, minorities and veterans, have been reluctant to seek work on the $10 billion plant, fearing a lack of capital, equipment or employees could make the project hard to handle, a recent survey from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development found.

So state officials plan to hold two information sessions in Racine and Milwaukee to connect those types firms with workers, larger contractors and banks who cna provide them with loans to help them get started.

The hiring goals set for the Foxconn project call for trying to ensure minority-, veteran- and women-owned companies get at least 10 percent of the work.

The sessions, which are meant for certified small and disadvantaged businesses, lending institutions, chambers of commerce and other business groups, are scheduled for:

In addition, representatives of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority will go to the sessions to tell those in attendance about its Contractors Loan Guarantee program, which provides small and disadvantaged businesses with access to capital needed to compete for construction contracts.

The sessions are organized by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and WHEDA, in conjunction with the National Association of Minority Contractors, the Legacy Redevelopment Corporation, Racine County, and the Racine County Economic Development Corporation.

“These capacity building workshops are designed to help level the playing field for our small certified and disadvantaged businesses by ensuring they have the tools they need to hire and retain qualified workers,” said Ray Allen, Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development.

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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