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Wisconsin Wins Supercomputer Company

February 23, 1988

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) _ A supercomputer company announced Monday it would keep its home in Wisconsin, less than a month after Chrysler Corp. announced its plans to close an auto plant in the state with 5,500 workers.

The decision by Supercomputer Systems Inc. ended a battle with neighboring Illinois to attract the company, which is developing fast, high-powered computers.

The company was started by Steve Chen in Eau Claire after he left Cray Research Inc. in September.

The state of Wisconsin will help Supercomputing Systems to secure $25 million in private loans. The city of Eau Claire will provide a $27 million incentive package by selling a building at a reduced cost, applying for development grants and helping raise money to secure other loans.

Chen’s announcement came after the Eau Claire City Council voted unanimously Monday to offer a $25 million backup aid plan if problems arise with the state’s share of the package.

Chrysler announced Jan. 27 its plans to halt Kenosha auto production by Sept. 30. State and local officials have accused the company of breaking an oral promise to keep the plant open for five years, but company officials have said they made no such promise.

The city was concerned about offering incentives after witnessing the Kenosha problems, but decided the situation was entirely different, said Wallace Rogers, Eau Claire city council president.

″You don’t get an opportunity, especially in this part of the country, to attract a large business, especially this state-of-the-art company, too often,″ Rogers said.

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