This is a question I’ve asked several times on social media but apparently not here. But beyond the potential $3 billion in tax credits and the sales tax holiday and the infrastructure build outs…is the state of Wisconsin and Governor Scott Walker prepared to fund the 21st Century educations needed to run with the modern economy? We’ll see as the University of Wisconsin says it needs more funds:

The University of Wisconsin System says with more state money, it can boost engineering enrollments and training for other workers needed by a Taiwanese electronics company that has big plans to build a factory in southeastern Wisconsin.

With the state budget still in flux, and the UW System’s funding along with it, the clock is ticking for the public university system to detail what it would need to quickly help fill workforce demands for Foxconn’s planned investment of $10 billion in a massive display panel plant in Kenosha County or Racine County that could eventually employ 13,000 people.

And here is part of the issue…the state budget is still in ‘flux’…rather nice way of saying that it is five weeks late. And that is a big deal for all of the schools and school districts in Wisconsin. They have no idea what kind of funding they will have for the 2017 – 2018 school year.

But back to Foxconn. One of the rumors around the plant is that it will be incredibly automated. That it will require employees with degrees and advanced degrees to run and maintain some of the equipment. Is the state really prepared to fund a 21st Century educational system? If they really want to become Wisconn or Dairyland Valley or whatever, top ranked universities and technical colleges are going to be a necessity. And there really isn’t much time to waste…if they want employees ready by the time the plant is ready.

btw: think they’ll import Chinese trades people to build the plant? So far I don’t think there is anything preventing that. It’s the MO of many Chinese companies to do exactly that when building in Asia or Africa.

6 Responses to Is The State Ready To Invest In Education For Foxconn?

  1. Gregory says:

    From the testimony this past by the UW-System and separate campuses along with tech schools there is every degree of confidence that those trained people required not only for Foxconn but also a host of other jobs of the future to be spun off can be educated in this state. The biggest hurdle, as I see it, is to help people to understand that the last book they read in high school is not the last they need to read. The whole tech issue and the way it relates to the economy is a matter that needs to be spoken more often by candidates for office. The pace of change is fast and most average folks are not prepared for it and will simply be left behind. We need to force the change for the greater good but try also to engage those who feel left out. Not easy.

    • onevote says:

      Well, if baseball required 32 bases to score a run, you’d touch them all to be the mature guy and score a run.

      It seems you’re kind of condescending to point at those who “understand that the last book they read in high school is not the last they need to read.”

      I took some time off from college, and became a bona-fide welder, because the business owner then understood that I had the brains to learn a basic job. I learned to weld in the course of a few days, the employer showed me how to do it, and it’s no magic lack-of-training situation.

      My dad was an agent for the National Federation of Independent Business, and he always told me that employers “just couldn’t find the right people,” meaning they complained that those bad workers had no desire to work for someone who paid them poverty wages.

      Education is fantastic, but has to be truly connected to getting a job worthy of your educational experience.

  2. Gregory says:

    I am simply pointing out a true statement. Read any Thomas Friedman book or column and the themes I made reference to in my comment are also penned by him. Talk to any person who sits on a tech school board and the same themes will be heard. The Sunday edition of my Wisconsin State Journal wrote of a point you raise. They wrote that at one time a person could get a job where someone taught a skill that can be learned quickly. But those type of jobs are not in the main anymore. In a tech based world–and that is where we are and will be more-so in the years to come–computer skills and a raft of other connecting skills will be required. Talk to those who organize job fairs and the same conversation can be heard. I am not being condescending but rather just honest. Education is a lift-time learning exp. ATT has made continuing education the way they will be keeping employees and getting skilled ones. They pay for classes, employees take the courses on their own time, and as new openings occur the hires will be come from within. There is a checklist of what one needs to know to work at the company and they will assist in gaining those skills. If someone is not interested they can leave the company and work elsewhere. It is that model that is the future.

  3. AJ says:

    Wisconsin does not have 3 billion extra to spend without first legalizing home grown cannabis.

  4. AJ says:

    Any Democrat that votes for this Foxxcon Deal in any size shape or form needs to be sent packing in the August Primary so we can send the Republicans that vote for Foxxcon out of office in November.

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