When the MMAC and the GMC, seven counties and the city of Milwaukee came together as a region 12 years ago to market our assets and build our capacity, the result was M7. We had great expectations of economic growth, but never could have predicted that M7, MMAC and WEDC would land the biggest economic development opportunity in US history. This project will dramatically change the economic future here for generations to come. Wisconsin landing the Foxconn development shows the impact of regional economic development alignment through M7, the MMAC and the impact of WEDC as a core investor and partner. It takes an amazing amount of dedication, agility, negotiation and coordination to respond as a region as well aligned and seamlessly as we have. This puts us squarely on the radar of other significant opportunities. In our data work with MKE United, we found that we lost 20,000 jobs in the last decade throughout Milwaukee County. One of our developing goals is to replace those jobs over the next 10 years. To replace half of those jobs in a few years would be a godsend to this region and Milwaukee. How to deal with the transit and workforce needs will be a challenge, but a challenge starting from a position of great hope and opportunity for many people seeking economic mobility.
To say this is a game changer is an understatement. Milwaukee lost 45,000 jobs coming out of the 1970s and the ability to gain this level of opportunity is generationally transformative. The proposed creation of 13,000+ jobs can rebuild Milwaukee’s and the region’s economy, and offer significant economic mobility for those who are unemployed and underemployed.
Just having the jobs available will change the story of survival in Milwaukee for many unemployed and underemployed people. Coordination and alignment of the educational, transportation, housing and childcare sectors will all be critical to create the necessary infrastructure for people to access these jobs.
Training opportunities, from automation to engineering, along with accessible housing and childcare is also an important factor of economic prosperity. Alignment of the technical training colleges, high schools and local colleges will all be important and critical to our success.
At the Greater Milwaukee Committee, we focus on three pillars of work: economic prosperity, vibrancy of place, and innovation and talent. We commit to working diligently to align our resources to ensure that everyone in our community benefits and contributes to the region’s success. Through initiatives such as Teachtown, Reimagining High Schools, MKE United, Scale Up Milwaukee, and The Commons, we are able to provide solutions for mass transit, education, business growth and support, and a region filled with capable and sought after talent.
Welcome to Wisconsin, Foxconn.
Greater Milwaukee Committee