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Higher education willing to partner with Foxconn

Foxconn will need trained workers to fill the 3,000 to 13,000 jobs that are expected to come to Wisconsin.

A number of area universities and higher education institutions have volunteered to partner with Foxconn and each other. 

"We're talking about 13,000 jobs. That's a significant workforce the whole region needs to help develop. From the technical colleges all the way to the universities, we need to help prepare our students to move into the jobs Foxconn is going to be generating," said President Mike Lovell, Marquette University.

Marquette University started having meetings last week. They're already looking into research and curriculum. They have made calls to UW-Madison and Gateway Technical College.

Tom Heraly teaches electronics at MATC, and says some of what Foxconn does is in already their curriculum. Depending on Foxconn's needs in the plant, some of the students could jump right in. 

"What's the mix on research and development? What's the mix on manufacturing, and what's the mix on support? For my students we'd be more of the support role, they would come in and fix and repair and text and would be in the high end type of manufacturing," said Heraly.

Heraly also says students in the area have probably never worked in a lab like Foxconn's, which is supposedly ten times cleaner than a surgical lab.

"A lot of the production areas we have, the students aren't working in clean rooms. They don't have to wear the gowns, things like that. When Foxconn comes in, now you have 10 particles per square meter, you have to have that kind of clean room environment," said Heraly.

With higher education now invested in Foxconn, that could change. 

"They've never been in this region of the country, so we don't know what their needs are. W we need to have those conversations fairly quickly with them to see how we can invest help," said President Lovell.

Herzing college says they're also willing to work with Foxconn.

“We will be a resource to Foxconn and the community, helping to train residents for quality jobs... from positions on the associate or diploma level that require custom training to management jobs that necessitate bachelor’s and master’s degrees in project management, technology management, HR and accounting, " said Renee Herzing, Herzing University President.

The president of the Wisconsin Technical College System has already spoken to Foxconn about their needs, and Marquette says they're now reaching out after yesterday's announcement.

 

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