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President Biden and Microsoft Plan AI Data Center on Forgotten Foxconn Plant

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Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar bet on artificial intelligence keeps growing — this time with a data center in Wisconsin.

The Biden administration announced Microsoft’s $3.3 billion investment in a new AI data center in Racine, Wisconsin on Wednesday. The data center will be built on the same land Taiwanese electronics manufacturer, Foxconn, previously invested $10 billion in.

Microsoft’s investment will create 2,300 union construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs over time, according to the Biden administration. The tech giant will also provide opportunities in the digital economy for thousands of Wisconsin residents, the Biden administration said.

President Joe Biden will visit Racine on Wednesday for the announcement.

The Microsoft jobs in Racine will come “with growth pathways and comprehensive benefits such as paid family leave,” the Biden administration said. The data center investment also comes “with a commitment to investing in innovation and workforce in Racine and statewide.”

Microsoft is planning to partner with Gateway Technical College on a Datacenter Academy to train 1,000 Wisconsin residents in data center and STEM jobs by the end of the decade, the Biden administration said. Microsoft will also build a Co-Innovation Lab in the southeastern part of the state, and partner with startup accelerator, Gener8tor, to train 1,000 Wisconsin business leaders on how to adopt and use AI in the workplace.

Microsoft’s investment comes six years after Foxconn announced a $10 billion investment in Racine under the Trump administration, that was supposed to create 13,000 manufacturing jobs. However, “after 100 homes and farms were bulldozed to make way for the manufacturing plant and over $500 million in taxpayer dollars were invested to prepare the site, no such investment materialized,” the Biden administration said in a statement.

The Biden administration has also invested billions in advancing AI development in the country, including through the CHIPS and Science Act, which has awarded billions to chipmakers including Intel, TSMC, and Samsung, to build advanced chip fabs sites across the U.S.

This article originally appeared on Quartz.



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