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View from around the state: Foxconn in Mount Pleasant is more than a ‘tiny town’ story

On July 26, 2017, Wisconsin gained national attention when President Donald Trump announced at the White House that Foxconn Technology Group might be coming to the state.

Over the months that followed, we learned the Taiwanese giant was not only coming to Mount Pleasant but was also proposing to build a massive $10 billion manufacturing campus that would create up to 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin.

Since that time, people all around the country and world have been paying close attention to the project, and Racine County.

They are coming at it from an outsider’s perspective, thinking: How could this huge company end up in this “tiny town?” Will Mount Pleasant be able to cope with so much development?

For instance, a recent Reply All podcast, an audio show that’s run by two journalists and that gets an average of 5 million downloads a month, started by saying: “There is this tiny town in Wisconsin called Mount Pleasant … a place where nothing really happens until last year when the village became the site of a completely unprecedented massive international experiment.”

As part of that podcast, they wrongfully cast Mount Pleasant Village President Dave DeGroot as the villain in this “small town” story.

They’re wrong. There is a lot they don’t understand.

For one, Mount Pleasant’s president was only one person seated at a table that included more than 50 people.

That local Foxconn team included attorneys, financial advisers, communication specialists, property-acquisition personnel, members of the Racine County Economic Development Corp, and representatives of Racine County as well as Mount Pleasant. It’s a team that has done commendable work bringing this development to Racine County and Wisconsin.

Outsiders also fail to understand that Mount Pleasant is not some tiny village filled with cornfields. It’s in the middle of a bustling corridor between Milwaukee, a metropolitan area of about 1.6 million people, and Chicago, a metropolitan area with about 9.5 million. Racine has long been regarded as part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area, both by the Census Bureau and by the federal Office of Management and Budget; the village of Mount Pleasant borders Racine to the south, north and west.

Racine County was due for some sort of big development. Foxconn has already brought new opportunities to this area and has led to the establishment of innovation centers in various parts of the state.

With so massive a development coming to our area, first announced by the president of the United States himself, it’s not surprising that outsiders are looking in and asking questions, just as The Journal Times is asking, and will continue to ask, questions to keep officials accountable.

Foxconn in Mount Pleasant is more than a “tiny town” story. This is a national and international story.

The team in place here has really done praiseworthy work. They should be commended, even as we hold them accountable.

— From The Journal Times of Racine

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

4 comments

  1. There is not a single investment bank or private equity group in the country who would take the risk the state of Wisconsin taxpayers took on with Foxconn, with no vote, technology obsolencence, and best case a 30 year break even payback. This was a political Hail Mary not sound smart business development. Foxconn will never employ 13,000 people at the site as the manufacturing landscape becomes increasingly automated. Sadly, history will prove this an embarrassing government boondoggle. Like any multi billion dollar handout to a foreign corporation…

  2. Abevigotasshartstainedtightywhiteies

    Are you upset that the millionaire liberals from New York that own the bucks got the taxpayers to build them a new arena? The Foxconn deal will be far greater deal for Wisconsin as it will result in jobs and supporting development far exceeding anything the arena delivered. Furthermore the taxpayers didn’t pony up anything for Foxconn. The tax breaks are tied to certain metrics being made and are tax savings on taxes that wouldn’t be collected if there was no Foxconn. But don’t let the facts get in the way of your liberal anti Walker babble.

  3. Tighty Whiteies… it is spelled tighty whities. Your spelling liberties are congruent with your use of “facts”.

    $1,774 paid for every taxpayer in the state of Wisconsin. There isn’t a chance the majority of taxpayers see anything but a loss on that “investment”. The Bucks arena public funding is as stupid and reprehensible as the Foxconn handouts.

    Facts? Business case called for gen 10.5 displays. Surprise, now smaller displays, smaller plant. less investment. Wisconsin Economic Development Corp did not have the aptitude or expertise to negotiate the deal. Now turns out Foxconn negotiated terms to include credit for remote (read not based in WI). That means Wisconsin taxpayers are subsidizing worker salaries in other states!

    Hardly liberal policies my friend. Time for you to start trading the JT for a reading of the economist. Or any other solid fact based right of center bias of your liking. This isn’t right or left, this is right and wrong. The state of Wisconsin sadly didn’t have their best and brightest among the 50 in the room… and got this one wildly wrong. Watch…

  4. Abevigotasshartstainedtightywhiteies

    I also misspelled shartstained, should read gerretstained.

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