Decision on Foxconn site is ‘imminent;’ starting salary at $20 per hour, WEDC CEO says

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Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Mark Hogan said a decision on a site for Foxconn is “imminent,” with an announcement likely coming within the next few weeks.

Hogan, taking questions from members of the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy, also said the Taiwanese technology company is ready to start building, although the Senate and Assembly are at-odds over whether to do the Foxconn special session bill or the budget first.

And he said the average salary would be $20 per hour, and 9,000 of the 13,000 jobs would be filled by hourly operators making at least that, plus benefits.

Meanwhile, Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel said the Foxconn payroll could reach $800 million annually “when fully up to speed.”

Asked by Rep. Bob Kulp, R-Stratford, what the incentive packages looked like from other states, Hogan said that was never a topic of discussion, adding that they were “focused from day one about what Wisconsin has to offer.”

And Neitzel said Foxconn was drawn to Wisconsin because they saw “people who are committed to growing the state.”

“It’s us, it’s the state of Wisconsin, it’s the people of Wisconsin,” he said.

Hogan also declined to go into specifics on clawback provisions, after being asked by Rep. Joan Ballweg, R-Markesan, saying WEDC and Foxconn haven’t yet had formal conversations on that topic yet.

Meanwhile, Rep. Christine Sinicki, D-Milwaukee, asked Hogan why there isn’t a minimum requirement for Wisconsin workers being outlined, saying “we are pretty much opening our doors to them and giving them whatever they want.”

Hogan said while they’ll fill as many jobs as possible with Wisconsin workers, putting a minimum requirement in legislation or a contract isn’t an “effective way” for a company to manage its business.

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