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Supporters, skeptics at odds two years after Foxconn announcement

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Foxconn and supporters of the deal between the Tiawanese company and the state remain confident that the project can revitalize manufacturing in the state. 

But skeptics and industry experts say there are more questions than answers.

On July 26, 2017, President Trump announced Foxconn's plans to invest $10 billion in southeastern Wisconsin with a Gen 10 LCD plant and the potential to bring 13,000 jobs to the region.

But since then, much of what was originally promised has changed. The Gen 10 facility changed to a Gen 6 plant, affecting not only what would be produced, but the size as well. The types of jobs shifted from primarily blue-collar assembly line jobs to more engineering, high-skilled jobs.

Foxconn and its supporters maintain that the company will deliver, but critics like Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz are skeptical. He wants to see Foxconn held accountable and believes the next head of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which the Evers administration is actively looking for, can do that. 

"The first thing we need is someone that's gonna hold Foxconn accountable and make sure that we get some answers on what the project is going to be, have some transparency and accountability, and maybe right size the scale of anything that is going to happen," said Rep. Hintz, D-Oshkosh.

In a statement to CBS 58, Foxconn says they're proud of the progress they've made in the year since groundbreaking, and that they plan on having the Gen 6 plant starting production in late 2020.

The Evers administration has hired a LCD industry consultant. In an email, he said that if Foxconn does plan to have production up and running by late next year, he would expect to see orders for equipment now. However, he says he has not seen such orders being made as of yet.

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