WI: Microsoft to Invest $3.3B for Data Center in Mount Pleasant, Create Partnership with UW-Milwaukee | Trade and Industry Development

WI: Microsoft to Invest $3.3B for Data Center in Mount Pleasant, Create Partnership with UW-Milwaukee

May 13, 2024

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers welcomed President Joe Biden back to Wisconsin and joined Microsoft officials to celebrate Microsoft’s investment of $3.3 billion between now and the end of 2026 to expand its national cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure capacity through the development of a state-of-the-art datacenter campus in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. The project is expected to bring 2,000 union construction jobs to the area by the end of this year, as well as provide long-term employment opportunities over the next several years. Microsoft is also announcing the establishment of a long-term partnership to advance the state’s global leadership in AI and advanced manufacturing.

“This is a watershed moment for Wisconsin and a critical part of our work to build a 21st-century workforce and economy in the Badger State,” said Gov Evers. “Microsoft is a blue-chip corporation that recognizes the strength of Wisconsin’s workers, infrastructure, economy, and our quality of life. Microsoft has chosen to locate and invest here because they know the future is here in Wisconsin.”

Last November, Gov. Evers announced Microsoft would invest billions of dollars to expand its datacenter footprint in Mount Pleasant, a move that would bring significant benefits to both the local community and the entire state. Today, Microsoft officials confirmed that it will invest $3.3 billion between now and the end of 2026 in the Mount Pleasant datacenter.

“Wisconsin’s second-to-none workforce, combined with our long and proud tradition of innovation, makes this the perfect place for Microsoft to put down roots and invest in a cutting-edge industry,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin). “Microsoft’s announcement will mean more good-paying union jobs in an expanding sector, opening the door for opportunity for more families in the region and growing our Made in Wisconsin economy.”

Microsoft will pair its datacenter investment with a broad investment package designed to strengthen the role of Southeast Wisconsin as a hub for AI-powered economic activity, innovation, and job creation. These investments include the creation of an AI co-innovation lab, and an AI skilling initiative to equip more than 100,000 of the state’s residents with essential AI skills.

With partnership from TitletownTech and the Green Bay Packers, Microsoft will establish a manufacturing focused AI Co-Innovation Lab on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the first of its kind in the United States. This lab will connect Wisconsin manufacturers, entrepreneurs, and established companies with Microsoft’s AI experts and developers to design and prototype AI and cloud solutions to improve and accelerate their work and grow their business. Microsoft’s Wisconsin AI Co-Innovation Lab at UW-Milwaukee will join six other such facilities operated by Microsoft worldwide. Currently, only two are in the United States. The lab is expected to provide at least 60 manufacturers a year with guidance on implementing AI technology to grow their businesses.

Gov. Evers announced that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is providing a $500,000 grant to support capital improvements necessary for the success of the Co-Innovation Lab at UW-Milwaukee. WEDC is also providing a $500,000 grant to assist TitletownTech in opening a new, full-time TitletownTech-Milwaukee office within the Wisconsin AI Co-Innovation Lab to reach more entrepreneurs and start-ups.

“Microsoft’s willingness to invest not just in its datacenter but in businesses throughout our state is a win for the people of Wisconsin,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “This was clearly an all-hands moment. But when the call came, we did what we do best in Wisconsin—we pulled together because we all saw the incredible opportunity in front of us, and we all wanted to make it happen.”

Microsoft’s new datacenter development represents an important expansion of Microsoft’s cloud computing footprint. Microsoft’s community development work supports inclusive economic opportunities and digital skill building for all ages, including TechSpark investments in Northeast Wisconsin and TEALS computer science education programs throughout Wisconsin. Efforts by Microsoft announced today come as part of a string of successes by Wisconsin in strengthening its manufacturing and technological capacity.

In response to Microsoft’s commitment to make significant investments in Wisconsin, Gov. Evers signed bipartisan legislation in the 2023-25 biennial budget designed to put the state in a more competitive position for datacenter investments. In addition, Wisconsin’s recent designation as a Regional Tech Hub also acted as a catalyst for the decision to develop in the state. The news also comes as, last month, the Biden Administration announced the city of Milwaukee as one of four new “Workforce Hubs” across the country, further highlighting the impact of the growing regional economy of Southeast Wisconsin.

Last August, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #211, which created the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence to study how AI will transform business, education, and other key sectors of the state economy.

Gov. Evers has also been steadfast in his work to improve upon the shortcomings of the deal made with Foxconn under the previous administration in Wisconsin. In April of 2021, Gov. Evers announced the state had renegotiated its contract with Foxconn. The new agreement negotiated under Gov. Evers between WEDC and Foxconn will save Wisconsin taxpayers a total of $2.77 billion compared to the previous contract, maintains accountability measures requiring job creation to receive incentives, and protects hundreds of millions of dollars in local and state infrastructure investments made in support of the project.

Gov.  Evers and Secretary Hughes today also highlighted the close collaboration between WEDC, Racine County, the village of Mount Pleasant, and the Milwaukee 7 regional economic development organization for the state’s success in attracting Microsoft to Wisconsin. 

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