Leaders of the UW System spoke in favor of the Foxconn project last week, highlighting opportunities and making the case for greater state funding of tech-related educational programs.

UW System President Ray Cross, speaking at a public hearing for the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy, said the benefits of the proposed plan would be “enormous,” especially for students.

He said the system is ready to leverage the Taiwanese company’s “extensive global partnerships to tap into additional federal and/or private funding to create more opportunities for our UW researchers.”

“Students will also benefit with expanded internship opportunities,” Cross said. “Foxconn has already expressed interest in developing this relationship with UW.”

Ian Robertson, the dean of UW-Madison’s College of Engineering, called the plan “an excellent opportunity” for placing students in internships and careers, as well as for research partnerships.

Cross proposed that the new plant would help push back on the workforce issues plaguing the state, helping keep more of the 36,000 students that graduate from the UW System each year.

“The potential job opportunities with — or related to — Foxconn could help keep these highly educated graduates in Wisconsin,” he said. “This is particularly important given our long-term demographic challenges.”

See more at WisBusiness.com.

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