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Foxconn Partners To Produce 10K Ventilators In Mount Pleasant

Jobs Wouldn't Be Eligible For State Tax Credits Under Current Contract

Foxconn headquarters in downtown Milwaukee
Foxconn headquarters in downtown Milwaukee. Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

Foxconn has partnered with a Minneapolis-based medical technology company — Medtronic — to manufacture ventilators at its Mount Pleasant plant. At least 10,000 ventilators will be produced over the next year as the demand increases due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

The ventilators will be marketed and sold by Medtronic and produced by Foxconn Industrial Internet (Fii), a business group within Foxconn Technology Group.

In April, Foxconn announced it started producing procedural masks in Mount Pleasant in response to the pandemic. The masks are created for general use by law enforcement, pharmacists, caregivers and medical professionals.

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If needed, Medtronic and Foxconn can increase production capacity to more than double the current Foxconn ventilator commitment, the companies said in a joint statement.

“Foxconn is a tremendous manufacturer of technologies, and we are the leading medical technology company in the globe, so this just made sense to give us flexibility and address the global pandemic,” said John Jordan, a spokesman with Medtronic.

It is unknown how many employees Foxconn has hired to work on production of the masks or ventilators. Foxconn did not respond to requests for comment.

Under Foxconn’s current contract with the state, those jobs will not count towards the company’s eligibility for state tax credits. Fii is not part of the original contract signed in 2017.

At that time, Foxconn promised to build a 22-million-square-foot manufacturing plant that would employ 13,000 people. State officials said late last year tax credits would not be awarded until the contract is amended. That has not yet taken place.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) would not comment on current contract negotiations. The state Department of Administration did not respond to requests for comment.

In April, Foxconn announced the company had invested “hundreds of millions” of dollars in the development of the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park in Racine County and have met the state’s pay-for-performance criteria.

An independent third-party auditor was expected to verify Foxconn’s investment and job numbers by May 15; however, Foxconn asked for a 60-day extension “to accommodate the difficulties in performing the Agreed Upon Procedures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.” WEDC granted the request.

The new deadline for Foxconn to provide WEDC with the auditor’s report is July 14, said Meredith Traudt, an attorney with WEDC.