Foxconn rep envisions reversal of brain drain in years to come

The director of U.S. strategic initiatives for Foxconn envisions a reversal of the “brain drain” trend as the company’s planned manufacturing hub takes shape in southeastern Wisconsin.

Alan Yeung spoke to attendees of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Business Day in Madison yesterday, addressing concerns about the cost of labor rising in coming years.

He says he was pressed on this issue at a Wisconsin Technology Council event in Beloit, where an attendee noted difficulty with hiring workers like developers, programmers and project managers due to the low unemployment rate. Yeung was asked if Foxconn coming to the state would crowd out local businesses and lead to higher labor costs.

“My answer to that is, I hope not. I hope we actually work together, collectively work to expand the workforce,” Yeung said.

Yeung got an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from UW-Madison in 1984, and went on to get a doctorate in chemical engineering from Stanford University.

He heads up the “Flying Eagle” project — the name for the Foxconn development — and was part of the team that evaluated possible options for its location.

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