Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
The Taiwan-based iPhone maker Foxconn plans to invest $40 million in Pennsylvania with a new facility and a university program.
The tech giant's CEO, Terry Gou, announced last Thursday that the company will plunk $30 million into a new "high end" manufacturing facility somewhere in Pennsylvania, and another $10 million into research & development with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai, is a major supplier of Apple products and also makes parts for Dell, Nokia, and Sony.
Steve Kratz, spokesman for the state Department of Community and Economic Development, said the speed of the announcement took the Corbett administration by surprise - the announcement came Thursday night; just one day earlier, Gou was meeting with Corbett as a transportation funding debate tied up state lawmakers at the Capitol.
"Essentially, it's the largest contract electronics manufacturer in the world that doesn't really have too large a presence in North America," Kratz said. "So the fact that the governor was able to get them to look at Pennsylvania, and now it looks like they're going to invest and create jobs here, it certainly opens the door to future opportunities."
Kratz said, despite reports to the contrary, Foxconn hasn't decided where it will put its new facility, which could employ hundreds of people. The company already has a small Harrisburg-based facility, which, according to one worker, focuses on research and development.
David Black, head of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and CREDC said central Pennsylvania offers transport advantages over Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
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