Biden to unveil $3.3 billion Microsoft AI investment in battleground Wisconsin

Construction at Foxconn complex in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin in August 2020.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

President Joe Biden will visit the political battleground state of Wisconsin on Wednesday to announce plans by Microsoft Corp to build a $3.3 billion high-tech data center that will create thousands of jobs, the White House said.

The Microsoft facility in Racine County, in southeastern Wisconsin, will be built on the same land where Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn had planned to build a $10 billion factory that former President Donald Trump once called “the eighth wonder of the world,” before Foxconn drastically scaled back its plans.

Microsoft’s plans will result in 2,300 union construction jobs and some 2,000 permanent jobs over time, the White House said. It said nearly 4,000 jobs had been added in Racine since Biden took office, while about 1,000 manufacturing jobs were lost during the Trump administration.

Microsoft will partner with Gateway Technical College to train 1,000 people for data center and other roles by 2030, and will work to train 1,000 business leaders to adopt AI in their operations, the White House said,

“Together, these investments will position the industrial heartland to lead the way in industries of the future,” it said.

Biden, a Democrat, will also use his fourth trip this year to Wisconsin — one of seven swing states critical to his 2024 reelection bid — to meet with volunteers in Racine’s Black community, his campaign said.

Biden is seeking to shore up support among Black voters ahead of the November presidential election, with national polls showing him essentially tied with Republican Trump.

The president will meet with volunteers who campaign officials are training to use a new mobile phone app that helps voters connect with people they already know to drum up votes.

The Biden campaign on Wednesday announced the launch of a $14 million ad campaign, which will include a seven-figure investment targeting Black, Latino and Asian voters. The campaign will also release an ad on Thursday called “Terminate,” which will focus on Trump’s attacks on Americans’ health care.

The campaign said it was expanding its operations and would have 200 offices and 500 staff members by the end of May. It also plans to expand its outreach to small businesses this month as part of a bigger drive to expand in key communities.

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