On Thursday, it was reported that electronics manufacturer Plexus Corp. announced it will be laying off 116 employees in the Appleton area. Bad news for sure, but this a company that Scott Walker visited only weeks before the recall election to announce a state aid package that would help the company create 350 new jobs over the next seven years.
onpolitix Excerpt: (May 14, 2012) PRE-RECALL
Governor Scott Walker was on hand for the announcement of the $15 million in state tax credits doled out for the $50 million project. "A lot of these projects have been worked on for six months to a year, so there are things you can't just materialize in a month or two," said Walker of the relationship between tax credits and job creation in the state.
The tax credits will be given annually over a seven-year period. In order to receive the funds, Plexus must create at least 350 new jobs and retain 1,000 current jobs.
Wait a second. In yesterday's lay-off announcement it was reported that Plexis' current workforce is about 2,000 in the Twin cities area.
JS Online Excerpt:
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ginger Jones tells the Post-Crescent that, while the layoffs are unfortunate, they are "a small percentage" of the company's head count in the Fox Cities.
Jones says the local overall workforce is about 2,000. The layoffs were at one of the company's two sites in the Appleton area, but Jones did not specify which.
Let's get this straight. The $50 million expansion doesn't have a baseline of employees, so to "retain 1,000 current jobs" means exactly that, to retain 1,000 current jobs. So, Plexus can shed up to 1,000 jobs or shrink itself down to 1,000 employees at any time, and then create 350 "new" positions and still qualify for a cool $15 million pay-off from state taxpayers? For what amounts to essentially destroying up to 650 jobs? At the same time, Walker is trying to poach businesses from other states by offering them millions in state aid as well?
If Walker made a "jobs creation" deal like this once a week for the next 28 months leading up to Election Day 2014, Wisconsin taxpayers would end up paying $1.68 BILLION not to create 72,800 jobs, but to destroy them.
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