Foxconn appears to be trying to add more workers in Wisconsin. The controversial tech firm that's building a factory in Racine County has kicked off a series of hiring events, including Thursday at its headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.
Foxconn missed qualifying for state incentives last year, falling short of the requirement to have 260 workers in Wisconsin. By the end of 2019, the company must have at least 520 certified jobs and meet spending targets to qualify for millions of dollars in both job creation and capital expenditure tax credits.
The company took out a large ad in last Sunday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, announcing a half-dozen hiring events during the next three months. The first interviewing session began Thursday morning.
On his way into the Foxconn building, Milwaukee resident Kenneth Luckett said he'd like to help the company make TV screens. He's followed the controversies over whether Foxconn is truly committed to Wisconsin, but he still came to the hiring event.
"I'm here, ready to venture out and see what Foxconn really be about," Luckett said.
Also applying for a job was Racine resident Aakash Desai. He says he has a marketing and business development background, with skills in data analysis. He has who a friend works at Foxconn — and Desai wants in too.
"They're creating a huge base in my hometown of Racine. Great company to get involved with. On top of that, I'm seeking a new opportunity and would love to work for a big corporation where I have the opportunity to grow myself and build a career," Desai said.
After meeting Foxconn officials at UW-Milwaukee last week, Ph.D. student Nabeel Hamoud also came in for an interview. He's applying to be a data scientist, and use a branch of computer science artificial intelligence.
"I'm sure we can build good things for the smart manufacturing they're building here, and improve their productivity," Hamoud said.
Some of the applicants appeared to get lengthy interviews. Kenneth Luckett came back out in just a few minutes, but he was happy.
"They have warehouse work out there [in Racine County], in shipping and receiving. The type of work I'm looking for. So, it went pretty good. They said they'd give me a call for a next interview out in Mount Pleasant. So, I'm looking forward to that," Luckett said.
Foxconn executive Alan Yeung walked by, but he politely declined an interview. A Foxconn spokesperson hasn't told us how many people the company currently employs in the state, including at the Milwaukee headquarters.
Support is provided by Dr. Lawrence and Mrs. Hannah Goodman for Innovation reporting.
Do you have a question about innovation in Wisconsin that you'd like WUWM's Chuck Quirmbach to explore? Submit it below.