The Foxconn development is forcing Wisconsin to do things it should have done years ago, experts said this week.

“It’s causing higher education to do things we’ve never done before,” said UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone, who’s leading an effort to prepare a workforce that’s ready for Foxconn.

“Foxconn is the starting point. Everybody will benefit,” he said, adding one result soon will be a score of academic institutions with a common portal to help drive workforce improvement. ”The key is alignment …What does industry need, and how can higher education respond?”

Roxanne Baumann of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership cited a “revolution of cooperation” in Wisconsin with leaders saying: “Now is the moment to level up and meet the challenge.”

David Vasko, of Rockwell Automation, said the Foxconn development is driving innovation and workforce development. “These are things we should probably be doing anyway. We are going to have to make the workers we have more productive.”

Added Mone: “Let’s take care of our own first. We can really put a lot of people in Wisconsin to work… This is a long game.” Read the full story here.