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This week brought good news for Wisconsin subcontractors and suppliers as Foxconn’s historic investment continues to have a ripple effect throughout the state. Governor Walker joined Foxconn and their construction manager M+W | Gilbane to announce $100 million in new contracts – just one more example of the Foxconn Bonus!

Additionally, Governor Walker touted the state’s tourism industry, which surpassed $20.6 billion in 2017. He officially kicked off Wisconsin’s fishing season at Chetek Lake and presented aggressive actions to combat CWD and protect Wisconsin’s hunting traditions. And, the Governor announced $1.2 million in grants to foster economic development projects along the Great Lakes and a savings of $25 million in the transportation budget that will be used to move up 12 highway projects.

1. Foxconn Hires Wisconsin Workers First for Phase 1 of Construction

Governor Walker joined Foxconn and their construction manager Gilbane Building Company and M+W Group (M+W | Gilbane) to announce $100 million in contracts with Wisconsin subcontractors and suppliers located throughout the state.

In a statement, Governor Walker said:

“Today we are seeing more of the Foxconn Bonus throughout Wisconsin. It is clear that Foxconn is putting Wisconsin first with its 27 selected in-state subcontractors for Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park’s first phase of development. It is great to see Wisconsin businesses and working families from all over our state benefitting from this historic investment.” 

Foxconn and its construction manager, M+W | Gilbane in partnership with government, has created a custom economic inclusion and diversity plan to place Wisconsin first in the development and building of Foxconn’s advanced display manufacturing facilities in Mount Pleasant.

Businesses from all over the state are benefitting from Foxconn’s historic investment and the first round of hires! In total, approximately 10,000 construction workers annually will be needed to build the Mount Pleasant facility.

2. Wisconsin’s Tourism Economy Tops $20.6 Billion

Wisconsin’s tourism economy reached $20.6 billion in 2017. This marks a $631 million boost from $20 billion in 2016. The announcement was made as Governor Walker and Secretary Klett kick-off this year’s National Travel and Tourism Week, which runs May 6-May 12.

Regarding the news, Governor Walker said:

“Wisconsin’s travel and hospitality industry is booming. Our tourism industry continues to be crucial to our state and is consistently a top performing sector of our economy. Investing in tourism promotion and marketing at the national, state, and local level is not only an effective way to attract visitors and grow the economy, it also enhances the image of Wisconsin as a great place to live, work, and do business.”

The tourism industry continues to show stable, long-term growth according to Tourism Economics’ recently-released economic impact figures. Last year’s visitor volumes topped 110 million visits, an increase of 17.5 million, compared to 92.5 million in 2011. Tourism supported a total of 195,255 jobs in 2017, up from 172,000 in 2011, a 13.5% increase.

3. Casting a Line for the 53rd Annual Governor’s Fishing Opener

“Fishing is a family and community tradition in Wisconsin that helps fuel our tourism industry and promotes family fun in every corner of Wisconsin, from our Great Lakes to our smaller lakes and rivers. Fishing in Wisconsin is the best in the country because we have great people, great scenery, and great fish. Because of this our tourism industry is booming for the seventh year in a row. With the start of the fishing season today, we encourage families from throughout Wisconsin and throughout the nation to come to Wisconsin and cast a line.” – Governor Walker

Governor Walker was joined by fellow outdoor enthusiasts today to kick off Wisconsin’s fishing season as part of the 53rd Annual Governor’s Fishing Opener at Chetek Lake.

Wisconsin has more than 15,000 inland lakes, 42,000 miles of perennial streams and rivers, 1,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, and 260 miles of the Mississippi River. Anglers reel in 88 million fish per year and keep 33 million fish of all kinds. The state fish is the muskellunge, or musky, and Wisconsin claims the most world-record musky catches. Walleye, bass and panfish are among the most popular fish reeled in Wisconsin.

4. Aggressive Actions to Combat the Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

Governor Walker announced new aggressive initiatives for combating chronic wasting disease (CWD) affecting Wisconsin deer populations.

The three-step plan creates a balanced approach to combat chronic wasting disease:

  1. Requiring enhanced deer farm fencing through a new DATCP rule. Currently, farms are required to have an eight-foot fence. Enhanced fencing would require either: a second eight-foot-high fence, an electric fence, or an impermeable physical barrier to meet the emergency rule’s requirements.
  2. Controlling the movement of potentially infected deer through the creation of a new DATCP rule banning the movement of live deer from deer farms in CWD-affected counties.
  3. Preventing contamination from hunted deer carrying CWD by tasking the DNR to create emergency and permanent rules banning the movement of deer carcasses from CWD-affected counties. Under the rule, Hunters can still quarter the deer within the county it was harvested and then take the meat anywhere in the state, but no portion of the spinal cord may be attached or moved. A hunter who harvests a deer in a CWD-affected county may only move a whole carcass outside of the county if the carcass is delivered to a licensed taxidermist or meat processor

5. More Good News for Wisconsin Taxpayers

This week, Governor Walker announced $1.2 million in grants to foster economic development projects, improve the Great Lakes resources, and support the quality of life of those in Wisconsin’s coastal communities. Administered by the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the 36 grants will be used by local and state governments, regional planning commissions, universities and nonprofit organizations to assist with projects totaling nearly $3.0 million.

He also announced an additional $25 million in savings through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) that will move up 12 highway projects because of improved fiscal management.

“We are finding critical savings that are helping improve Wisconsin’s infrastructure. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation through improved fiscal management has $25 million in additional savings to advance twelve highway improvement projects into fiscal year 2018 which will address pavement, bridge and safety needs for projects located throughout the state.” – Governor Walker

6. Celebrating National Day of Prayer

The Governor’s Prayer Breakfast was established in Wisconsin more than 40 years ago to recognize the National Day of Prayer, which was established by Congress in 1952. The theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer is “Pray for America – UNITY,” which encourages people of all religions and political affiliations to mobilize in unified public prayer for America.

“Today we pray for God’s blessings on the people of Wisconsin. We particularly pray for our men and women in the Armed Forces and for their families.” – Governor Walker

Governor Walker joined community and spiritual leaders in Milwaukee for the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast which is held annually in honor of the National Day of Prayer.

7. Wisconsin Is Outpacing Its Neighboring States for GDP Growth