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Foxconn makes first Wisconsin hire, looking to hire more

Posted: 9:59 PM, Oct 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-19 14:06:32-04

The walls are barely up on the first building at Foxconn’s massive development in Mount Pleasant, but the company is already hiring for hundreds of positions.

The Taiwanese manufacturer promised to create 13,000 jobs at its Wisconsin operations, and after it hired Chris Murdoch, it only had 12,999 more to go.

Murdoch is officially the first Foxconn hire in Wisconsin. The Navy veteran has been on the job for about a year, working out of Foxconn’s downtown Milwaukee headquarters.

“I guess I'm more of a project manager than anything,” Murdoch said. “My major project right now is hiring. So we have a 13,000 goal here with the State of Wisconsin in the next five years. So that is a mega project in and of itself.”

The former fighter pilot still goes by his call sign, Tank, and Tank is full speed ahead in recruitment, primarily through job fairs.

“I know that we're doing an event for two days in Madison," he said. "We're doing an event in City of Racine. We have an event in Philadelphia. We have an event in Washington D.C. We have an event in Waukesha, and that's just this week.”

Murdoch was most recently heading up the Navy ROTC program at UW-Madison. He took the Foxconn job in part, because of the company’s focus on hiring veterans. They’d like to bring on 3,000 vets, or more.

“I don't have to tell the veterans what they can bring to industry in the civilian world," Murdoch said. “They know that. What I can do is share a little of my experience in making the transition because I truly thought it was going to be very easy, and I found out it was more difficult than I thought it would be.”

Making Foxconn a supportive environment for veterans is a top priority in the effort to hire them. Murdoch says it’s as simple as letting them know they’re welcome, valued, and supported by the company.

That will be his message at the Heroes of Wisconsin USO Gala Saturday night in Milwaukee. Murdoch plans to honor the award recipients, but he’s also there doing some recruiting of his own.

Asked if he would deny Army personnel, given the rivalry with the Navy, Murdoch laughed.

“We're talking all four services," he said. "We don't have anybody from the Coast Guard yet, but I'll say if there are any ‘coasties’ out there, we have many positions open and you're certainly welcome into the fold.”

Murdoch called the goal to hire 13,000 workers in Wisconsin lofty, and yet one he expects Foxconn to achieve.

“I'll say that the goal is high, but that's because the vision is so great," he said. "When you talk about Wiscon Valley and Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park, what we're actually trying to do here in Wisconsin, 13,000 I think will fall by as a relatively modest goal five years from now when you look back.”

For a full listing of available jobs at Foxconn right now click here.