MOUNT PLEASANT - Foxconn Technology Group on Thursday announced contracts totaling nearly $34 million to five Wisconsin companies for utility and road work at the site of Foxconn's planned manufacturing complex here.
Contracts for utility work are going to Giles Engineering Associates Inc., of Waukesha; Staff Electric Co. Inc., Menomonee Falls; and Hoffman Construction Co., Black River Falls.
Contracts to build internal roadways at the Foxconn site are going to Giles and Hoffman, as well as to A.W. Oakes & Sons Inc., of Racine; and Payne & Dolan Inc., Waukesha.
The awards represent a relatively small but tangible step forward on the much-watched project. The $34 million involved amounts to less than 1 percent of the billions Foxconn has said it will spend.
Originally announced as a $10 billion investment in a massive flat-screen manufacturing complex that would create 13,000 Wisconsin jobs, the planned development was plunged into uncertainty last year as Foxconn downscaled its factory plans, and again about two months ago with reports that the company might not build even the downsized factory in Mount Pleasant.
Those reports prompted President Donald Trump to contact Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou, with the company on Feb. 1 subsequently renewing its earlier pledge to build a manufacturing plant — though one that will be smaller and less costly than what was initially announced and specified in Foxconn's contracts with state and local government.
Foxconn has said it has changed its plans in response to changing market conditions. The company, meanwhile, has stopped mentioning $10 billion in investment in its statements but continues to say it will create 13,000 Wisconsin jobs.
Should it hit those marks, Foxconn stands to receive more than $4 billion in public financial assistance.
The announcement of the contracts Thursday is "just more validation that this is actually happening," Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said.
Adam Jelen, senior vice president with Gilbane Building Co., Foxconn's construction manager, announced the new contracts on the huge building pad — many acres of flat, compressed gravel — where Foxconn plans to build its display-panel facilities.
Giles Engineering will do testing work at the site. Hoffman will handle construction of water and sanitary utilities. Oakes will build concrete roads, and Payne & Dolan will do asphalt paving and pavement marking. Staff Electric will install temporary electrical systems to support later construction of buildings.
Foxconn will seek bids in May for construction of the display panel manufacturing plant.
Information sessions for contractors interested in that work will be held April 3 at the S.C. Johnson iMet Center in Sturtevant; April 10 at the Madison Area Technical College Truax Campus in Madison; April 17 at Chippewa Valley Technical College / Gateway Campus in Eau Claire; and April 18 at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay.