Joe Biden

Fact Sheet: President Biden to Highlight $3.3 Billion Investment in Racine, Wisconsin, and How His Investing in America Agenda is Driving Economic Comebacks in Communities Across the Country

May 08, 2024

Six years ago, the prior administration touted a $10 billion investment by Foxconn that never materialized – now Microsoft will build a new AI datacenter on the same land, powering industries of the future in Wisconsin

Today, President Biden will travel to Racine, Wisconsin – the same location as the failed Foxconn investment that the prior administration visited six years ago – to showcase a community at the heart of his commitment to invest in places that have been historically overlooked or failed by the last administration's policies. President Biden will announce a $3.3 billion investment by Microsoft to build a new artificial intelligence (AI) datacenter in Racine, creating 2,300 union construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs over time. Microsoft will also provide skilling opportunities for thousands more Wisconsinites in the digital economy. The datacenter will be built on the same land as a failed $10 billion investment from Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn six years ago, which left behind Wisconsin residents and workers.

President Biden's Investing in America agenda is growing the economy from the middle-out and bottom-up, giving Americans more breathing room, and unleashing hundreds of billions of dollars of private sector investment in industries of the future, including AI, clean energy, semiconductors, and more. Breaking from failed trickle-down policies of past administrations, President Biden's agenda is bringing innovation hubs to every corner of the country. President Biden is delivering on his promise to create good jobs that will have a lasting impact on communities and families.

Delivering on promises for Racine workers and families

From after the Civil War through the 1960s, manufacturing powered growth in Racine, Wisconsin. At its peak, manufacturing employed roughly half of Racine's workforce, but over the years, trickle-down economics wore that away. Manufacturers shut down and shipped jobs overseas.

Six years ago, the prior administration touted a $10 billion investment by Foxconn that would purportedly create 13,000 manufacturing jobs in Racine. But after 100 homes and farms were bulldozed to make way for the manufacturing plant and over $500 million in taxpayer dollars were invested to prepare the site, no such investment materialized. Foxconn abandoned plans to manufacture LCD screens in the state and created only a fraction of the promised jobs. In fact, in the four years prior to President Biden taking office, 1,000 manufacturing jobs left Racine, and 6,000 manufacturing jobs left Wisconsin.

President Biden promised that unlike his predecessor, he wouldn't leave communities like Racine behind. Since President Biden took office, nearly 4,000 jobs have been added in Racine – a third of them in manufacturing — and 177,000 jobs have been added in Wisconsin. With new business applications up 68% from pre-pandemic levels, Racine has experienced some of the strongest new business growth in the state under President Biden's leadership. And, President Biden's Investing in America agenda is attracting industries of the future, investing in workforce pipelines that leave no community behind, and helping Racine power the AI and innovation economy.

Building an AI ecosystem in Wisconsin

On the land left vacant by Foxconn's failed investment in Racine County, Microsoft will invest $3.3 billion in a new datacenter. Microsoft is committed to creating good-paying jobs with growth pathways and comprehensive benefits such as paid family leave. Microsoft will pair its datacenter investment with a commitment to investing in innovation and workforce in Racine and statewide. Microsoft will partner with Gateway Technical College to develop a Datacenter Academy that trains 1,000 Wisconsinites for datacenter and STEM roles by 2030, and will employ up to 2,000 people in permanent roles at its Racine facility. And, Microsoft will build a Co-Innovation Lab in southeast Wisconsin, as well as team up with the startup accelerator Gener8tor to train 1,000 business leaders to adopt AI in their operations, so that Wisconsin manufacturers can seize AI's promise. Together, these investments will position the industrial heartland to lead the way in industries of the future.

President Biden has acted boldly to ensure America leads in AI innovation, driven by communities like Racine. The President signed a landmark Executive Order on AI last year that directed actions to provide AI entrepreneurs access to technical assistance and resources, help small businesses commercialize AI breakthroughs, and expand grants for AI research in vital areas like healthcare and climate change. In January, through the new Regional Innovation Engines (NSF Engines) program, the Biden Administration announced 10 awards for place-based research and development partnerships, including ones with a focus on advancing AI. And, President Biden has taken bold steps to ensure workers and organized labor are front and center in the growth and development of AI. The President's landmark Executive Order on AI directed new protections for workers, including the release of guidance to assist federal contractors and employers with complying with worker protection laws as they deploy AI in the workplace. As part of Microsoft's efforts to build an AI ecosystem in Wisconsin, their training programs will help introduce workers to AI skills and technologies, helping them access and benefit from the AI economy.

Investing in Wisconsin and Investing in America

Today's announcement is part of President Biden's broader effort to invest in industries of the future and American workers in communities across the country. Already, his Investing in America agenda has unleashed $866 billion in private sector investments in clean energy and manufacturing, and the Administration has announced 51,000 infrastructure projects across the country. These investments are creating an environment where companies are building lasting relationships in communities like Racine. Under the President's agenda:

  1. The Department of Commerce designated the Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub as a Tech Hub under the CHIPS and Science Act. The Wisconsin Biohealth Tech Hub, serving the Madison and Milwaukee-Waukesha regions, aims to position Wisconsin as a global leader in personalized medicine, an emerging healthcare approach that tailors tests, treatments, and therapies informed by a patient's unique genetic code, medical record, and environment.
  2. Milwaukee has been named an Investing in America Workforce Hub—an initiative to bring together state and local elected officials, community leaders, and federal staff to drive evidence-based partnerships for place-based workforce development programs.
  3. Wisconsin has received $6.9 billion from the President's Investing in America agenda for infrastructure and clean energy. That includes $1.06 billion to replace the Blatnik Bridge — a 1.5-mile-long bridge that connects Duluth, MN and Superior, WI that cannot currently carry large or heavy trucks, causing lengthy detours for regional freight — $1.6 billion to deliver internet to everyone in Wisconsin, and $811 million to provide clean water across Wisconsin.
  4. The Grow Milwaukee Coalition was selected as one of 22 finalists for the Department of Commerce Recompete Distressed Area Pilot Program to invest in revitalizing Milwaukee's historic 30th Street Industrial Corridor and connecting the historically segregated Black community to economic opportunity across the city. Grow Milwaukee will compete for $190 million in total funding for locally-led economic development plans.
  5. Wisconsin has seen an influx of investments from industries of the future, including clean energy and advanced manufacturing.
    1. Last summer, thanks to President Biden's Made in America policies and commitment to ensure internet access for all Americans by 2030, Nokia announced a new partnership with Sanmina Corporation to create 200 jobs and manufacture fiber-optic broadband electronics in the United States for the first time in the company's history. The investment was in part spurred by the Biden-Harris Administration's investment of $1.1 billion to connect every home and business in Wisconsin to high-speed internet through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
    2. Ingeteam, a clean energy manufacturing company with a plant in Milwaukee, will begin manufacturing electric vehicle fast chargers this year, driven by the Made in America requirements for U.S.-made EV charging infrastructure funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Giving Racine families breathing room

In addition to keeping his promise to leave no community behind, President Biden's agenda is lowering costs for working families in Racine and across Wisconsin, including by:

  1. Saving 426,000 Wisconsin families $30–75 per month on their internet bills thanks to the Affordable Connectivity Program, which Republicans in Congress need to extend this month so these families' internet bills do not increase.
  2. Saving customers of a Milwaukee-based utility company around $2 billion on utility bills thanks to an investment in clean energy.
  3. Saving 1.3 million Wisconsin Medicare beneficiaries money on prescription drugs, insulin, and vaccines.
  4. Saving 266,000 people in Wisconsin hundreds of dollars per year on health insurance.
  5. Canceling student debt for 44,000 borrowers in Wisconsin, and announcing in Madison new plans to provide debt relief to over 30 million Americans.
  6. President Biden would lower housing costs by building more than 2 million homes.

Congressional Republicans have no plan to lower costs. In fact, their plan raises cost for working families in Wisconsin by:

  1. Increasing costs for health care, prescription drugs, and insulin by repealing the Inflation Reduction Act and Affordable Care Act and slash Medicare.
  2. Increasing utility bills and energy costs by repealing the Inflation Reduction Act.
  3. Cutting Social Security by $1.5 trillion and raising Medicare costs for seniors.
  4. Raising taxes for middle-class families by repealing the Inflation Reduction Act and Affordable Care Act.
  5. Raising housing costs by cutting rental assistance and programs to build new homes.
  6. Repealing the Biden-Harris Administration's SAVE Plan, which is helping millions of Americans save money on their monthly student loan payments.

Joseph R. Biden, Fact Sheet: President Biden to Highlight $3.3 Billion Investment in Racine, Wisconsin, and How His Investing in America Agenda is Driving Economic Comebacks in Communities Across the Country Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/371663

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