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The Foxconn factories in Wisconsin are still empty, but not for coronavirus

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Foxconn's Wisconsin buildings – structures where Apple's largest electronics manufacturer and supplier was expected to hire staff to employ 13,000 people with expected operations by 2020 – continue to be empty and desolate.

To report that nothing changed in Wisconsin The Verge. Already last year, the US site verified that the Wisconsin facilities destined for the electronic component manufacturer by discovering a series of empty buildings, with jobs very far from being finished.

With an event with great pomp, in July 2018 Donald Trump arrived in the Great Lakes Region to celebrate the construction of a maxi-factory and other structures in which Foxconn had promised to invest 10 billion dollars. The Chinese company had promised the creation of 13,000 jobs over a few years with an average wage of $ 54,000 a year.

Already in November 2018 the first problems emerged, highlighting difficulties in finding qualified personnel for the new plant but ensuring that the hiring plans did not change, also because the hiring of workers, their wages and investments were linked to economic aid offered by the authorities state and local; Wisconsin had promised $ 3 billion in tax and other incentives, and an additional 764 million would come from other local authorities.

The Verge has checked the situation again and reports that basically everything has stopped. Photos of the facility in the municipality of Eau Claire (county seat of the same name in the state of Wisconsin), show the bare concrete interior and construction material set aside, waiting to be used. Matt Jewel, an engineering professor who took some photos, reports that he has not noticed any activity on the property.

Foxconn's Wisconsin buildings continue to be empty and desolateThe interior of the Foxconn innovation center in Eau Claire (Wisconsin) as it appears in April 2020. Photo: Matt Jewell / The Verge

Of the two glazed buildings by Eau Claire that were to be used as "innovation centers", offices and facilities dedicated to research, only one state was actually purchased by Foxconn and there is no construction permit for the transformation of the other building. Even from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, to which they should have "tapped" to recruit staff, they report that there is no news. All the other projects that should have started in Green Bay also seem to be blocked, and Wendy Townsend, Project manager in charge of the Green Bay Department of Community and Economic Development, reports that she has learned nothing from Foxconn.

The search for permits in other cities of Wisconsin (Madison and Racine) has not revealed anything new and the only sign of activity has been noticed in Mount Pleasant (city of Green County), where a much smaller structure is emerging than that announced and where LCD displays should have been born.