Foxconn denies recruiting Chinese personnel to staff Wisconsin plant

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Technology supplier Foxconn denied reports Tuesday that it is considering staffing its planned Wisconsin facility with Chinese workers due to the tight labor market in the state.

“We can categorically state that the assertion that we are recruiting Chinese personnel to staff our Wisconsin project is untrue,” Foxconn, which is based in Taiwan, told The Wall Street Journal in a statement.

{mosads}Sources familiar with the matter had told the Journal that Foxconn may bring in personnel from China to staff the facility, given the tight American labor market.

Particularly, the source said, Foxconn Chairman Terry Ghou is searching out company engineers that would be willing to move to Wisconsin.

Ghou is reportedly struggling to find employees who would relocate so far away and is frustrated by it.

Foxconn later told the Journal that its “Wisconsin first commitment remains unchanged.”

In an additional statement, it said that it still plans to hire 1,300 workers, most of whom “will work on high-value production and engineering assignments and in the research and development field.”

“We continue to focus on hiring and training workers from throughout Wisconsin. We will supplement that recruitment from other U.S. locations as required,” the company said.

President Trump touted the planned Foxconn plant in June, saying it “will provide jobs for much more than 13,000 Wisconsin workers.”

The labor market may stymie that in part, the Journal reports. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that job openings overcame unemployed workers by 1 million in September.

Foxconn is actively searching out talent at high schools and local colleges to try to find workers for its new facility, as other Wisconsin employers offer workers better benefits and perks to keep them from being poached by other states.

“All the technical schools and local universities are gearing up their programs, but I still think Foxconn is going to fall short in terms of finding the people they need,” Loretta Olson, the owner of an Express Employment Professionals staffing office near the plant, told the Journal.

“They’re going to have to recruit from outside the area.”

Tags China Donald Trump engineers Foxconn tight labor market Wisconsin
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