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Mayor Jim Schmitt says Foxconn announcement 'benefits' Green Bay

(WBAY)
Published: Jan. 31, 2019 at 4:58 PM CST
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Japanese media outlet, Nikkei Asian Review, reports Foxconn Technology Group is suspending and scaling back its Racine County project for at least six months.

This news comes as Foxconn announces plans to possibly focus on research and development at the southern Wisconsin site instead of building liquid crystal display panels as first promised.

"They're in a very competitive industry, right? Manufacturing of technology projects. We're fine with the announcement because actually that benefits Green Bay," said Mayor Jim Schmitt, City of Green Bay.

Last June, Foxconn entered an agreement to purchase Green Bay's Watermark Building to create a tech hub of engineers, product developers and marketing experts.

"The engineers, the marketing people, they're bringing in are for new product development," said Schmitt. "It wasn't like the interview was, 'What do you know about TVs?' It was, 'What do you know about our technology, and how can we leverage that into new products and new markets?'"

Mayor Schmitt says those 200 employees are not hired for the product but for the purpose.

He believes a majority of products that will be made at the Foxconn plant in Racine County have not even been invented yet, and he is confident those product ideas will stem from the tech hub in Green Bay.

"That doesn't throttle back on anything that we're committed to or they're committed to doing here in Green Bay," said Schmitt. "As a matter of fact, I think it enhances and puts a little bit more pressure on Green Bay to get running and get these new products going so that manufacturing can be successful."

Schmitt anticipates a faster timeline for hiring the employees at the Green Bay tech hub. That hub was initially expected to open last year.

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