RACINE, WI — Foxconn Technology Group, a contract manufacturer that produces electronics for Apple and other electronic companies, is looking at plant locations in Racine County, according to sources who did not want to be named.

The plant site could be as large as 1,000 acres, but a possible Pleasant Praire site in Kenosha County isn’t feasible, according to a story by the Journal Sentinel.

President Donald Trump hinted during a visit to Wisconsin this week that Gov. Scott Walker might be getting a “very happy surprise,” according to a story by the Caledonia Patch.

Trump told a WTMJ reporter, “Just backstage, we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions and I think they’re going to give the governor a very happy surprise very soon.”

Foxconn makes smartphones for Apple and Blackberry. A new plant could mean 50,000 jobs. Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made an unannounced trip to Japan earlier this month “to pursue an undisclosed economic development opportunity,” according to a story by CBS News.

But Foxconn’s labor history has been spotty.

“It has been the subject of complaints for years about its labor practices and worker suicides at plants in China that manufacture Apple products,” according to CBS.

M.T. Boyle, a spokesperson for Racine County, Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) and Mark Maley, public affairs director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, declined to comment when asked about the possibility of Foxconn coming to Racine County.

“WEDC doesn’t comment on potential or pending opportunities,” Maley said.

But Maley did tell a reporter with the Journal Sentinel that there would be land available “throughout the state” for a major economic development project.

Caledonia and Mount Pleasant could be potential sites since both communities have worked on installing water and sewer projects out to Interstate 94. Caledonia also has worked on an industrial park near Highway K and Highway V for several years, which includes a 764-acre tax incremental financing district.

But an official with Caledonia would not comment on whether or not Foxconn is a potential suitor for the area.

 

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.