But Governor Walker said…

On Monday, May 14, 2012 (before the recall election) Governor Scott Walker proudly announced an investment in Plexus Corp. of Neenah, Wisconsin. He said that with the support of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Plexus Corp. would create “up to 350 jobs in Neenah” and “reflect the positive direction Wisconsin is heading.” But today, July 26, 2012 (after the recall election) Plexus Corp. announced that it will lay off 116 workers.

From Walker’s May 14 announcement:

Plexus Corp., Neenah, is planning to create up to 350 jobs related to the company’s decision to establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Neenah. The company is eligible for $15 million in enterprise zone tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

“This is a tremendous job creation investment being made by Plexus Corp. with the support of the state and city of Neenah,” said Governor Scott Walker. “The decision by Plexus to do this major expansion and cement its operations in Neenah reflects the positive direction Wisconsin is heading.”

Plexus Corp.’s proposed 410,000 square foot manufacturing facility will be the showcase for U.S. operations and provide for the increased space needed for future manufacturing requirements. The facility will cement the Fox Cities as the company’s Americas Epicenter.

Plexus Corp. is a global leader in the highly competitive electronic manufacturing services (EMS) industry.  Plexus integrates innovative product conceptualization, design, commercialization, manufacturing, fulfillment and sustaining services for its customers in global markets.

The tax credits will be distributed annually in direct relation to the number of jobs retained, new, full-time positions created and filled, and capital investment over a seven-year period.

And from JSOnline’s July 26 report:

Contract electronics manufacturer Plexus Corp. has laid off 116 employees in the Appleton area.

Half of the layoffs are full-time salaried employees and half are temporary workers.

Plexus reported strong third-quarter earnings last week. But the company made the layoffs this week in response to a decrease in customer orders.

Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ginger Jones tells the Post-Crescent that, while the layoffs are unfortunate, they are “a small percentage” of the company’s head count in the Fox Cities.

Jones says the local overall workforce is about 2,000. The layoffs were at one of the company’s two sites in the Appleton area, but Jones did not specify which.

The layoff did not require the company to file a notice with the state Department of Workforce Development.

Hmm…is this the direction in which Wisconsin is headed? It doesn’t seem very positive, no matter what Governor Walker said.

(HT Jeff Christensen)


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12 thoughts on “But Governor Walker said…

  1. WEDC and its Indiana predecessor IEDC have both been notorious for having big headline announcements followed by no jobs created. Or in Plexus’ case, jobs lost.

    Can someone check to see if the Plexus folks dropped some coin on Scotty’s campaign? That’s another trend with the companies chosen for these special jobs announcements.

  2. Are we to conclude then that Plexus is still receiving its tax credits?

    And gosh, the reasoning behind the layoffs was… lack of demand? Kind of absolutely flies in the face of Conservative “reasoning” about how economics works doesn’t it??

    So, what is the ROI for $15 million?

    1. The question I ask is if Plexus and others have received “up front” money or credit or any other consideration that is unearned based on non-performance? And, if so, what is being done to seek reimbursement by WEDC and/or the state?

  3. This does not surprise me at all, considering Walker gave a speech there and announced this monumental occasion, just 1 month after Plexus reduced it’s workforce by about 100, this workforce reduction did not make it into the papers for some reason. Therefore it does not surprise me at all that after the media filled meeting that were included in the Walker meeting, that once again they would again reduce its workforce, so the question is how many jobs will be lost before they “gain” 350 new employees and receive the tax credits.

  4. FedUp- Good info. And what’s stopping them from taking the tax credits by saying ‘We’d have shut the whole thing down if it wasn’t for WEDC.’ And hiring peoplw at much lower wages as replacements to get the credits?

    Yet another example how the media was a willing accomplice to Walker’s campaign. How does FedUP have this information, but the people who are PAID TO FIND OUT AND TELL US THESE THINGS let it slide?

  5. Check out a very relevant report to this topic by state Senator Vinehout’s letter on June 19, “Disturbing lack of accountability in job creation programs.”


    As I wrote on June 19 to Senator Vinehout, “It appears the state and its citizens are being subjected to an epic scam in which public officials may be complicit by their gross negligence or worse.”

    I also questioned if a referral to the Department of Justice was in order and why no fines, penalties, or return of state funds for non-compliance by recipients had been made.

  6. Hmm….decreased demand leads to layoffs….they should have waited for those tax breaks b/c even with the decreased demand they would have kept the workers, right?

  7. Check the Post-Crescent from March 6:

    “Plexus Corp. will invest in two major building projects during 2012—one in China and one in Romania—but a third project in downtown Neenah has been shelved for a year.”

    The reason why? “The sluggish economy.” But apparently they need to hold off the $7 million Neenah project—even though they already spent $2 million to purchase the property and are paying taxes on it—but they have $25 million for the plant in China and $40 million for the plant in Romania.

    Furthermore, the plant in China will create 2,130 jobs and the one in Romania will have about 1,000. But apparently Scott Walker was proud that the new plant in Neenah would have 350 new jobs, warranting a $15 million tax break.

    Ginger Jones, senior VP and CFO said, “It will serve primarily new business for Plexus coming out of European manufacturers. It’s not in any way displacing jobs we’re doing here in the Americas. It’s new business that will support our customer’s that we’re winning in Europe.”

    If this is what corporations like Plexus want to do, then so be it. But it is shameful that Republicans like Scott Walker support these corporations and lie to the general public. Even worse—they fall for it.

  8. My friend has worked at Plexus for over 7 years. He was just canned this morning about 1 hour before his 3rd shift job was finished. Nice, very nice!!! Not!!!

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