iPhone maker's new US factory starts recruiting – but are there enough workers?
- Although the ink on the deal to build the plant is barely dry, tech giant Foxconn has hosted a technology showcase and recruiting event for students and alumni at Marquette University in advance of opening its state of the art facility in Racine, Wisconsin, next year.
- A $3 billion dollar state subsidy package assured the Asian electronics giant would break ground for the $10 billion industrial complex, covering over 20 million square feet, and employing up to 13,000 workers to manufacture state-of-the-art Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panels and ultrahigh-definition screens.
- In China, Foxconn employs over 1 million workers who assemble iPhones, PlayStations and touch-screen tablets. Headquartered in Taiwan, Foxconn's production volume ranks it as the world's largest contract manufacturer.
Foxconn is looking to employ a range of candidates in engineering, supply chain, IT, data science, analytics, business and more. But some have said the area lacks not only enough qualified applicants, but also the sheer number of workers needed.
The company plans to use training programs and partnerships with local educational institutions to meet its recruitment needs. But it also may need to consider the possibility of poaching workers from other parts of Wisconsin or even Illinois. To that end, the company has discussed the possibility of building affordable housing with Wisconsin’s governor to entice workers. The company agreed it could support the initiatives if the state and locals find them acceptable.
Foxconn's impending talent difficulties may be larger than those other employers are facing, but they're hardly unique. Others have turned to apprenticeships, upskilling and even automation to address what they say is a skills gap.
- Marquette University Marquette University to host Foxconn Technology Showcase and Recruitment Day