The rumor fires that Foxconn may be working to open a manufacturing facility in the United States received a bit of kindling today. The company announced recently that it plans to spend upwards of $40 million in Pennsylvania in an effort to boost its employee base by 500 people at an office in Harrisburg, according to PCWorld.
That doesn’t yet signify that it’s going to start building phones and tablets here, but it is compelling to note the company’s interest in expanding its U.S. presence, particularly in the Northeast. Several rumors have suggested the company may look to hire top engineering talent from schools such as MIT, to then train them in factories in China and then bring them back to the United States to run manufacturing lines here. Pennsylvania is home to several top engineering schools, including Lehigh University and Carnegie Mellon, the latter of which is receiving a $10 million grant for robotics research, PCWorld said.
Foxconn CEO Terry Gou did admit that the company is interested in building products in the U.S. in a “high value” plant, though didn’t dig into what type of products or for who. The natural assumption is that Apple would be one of its primary partners on U.S. manufacturing, since the company is already assembling the Mac Pro here and is expected to build chips in Arizona, though Foxconn also works with other major tech firms.