Skilled Construction Trades and Respected Contractors
Building Wisconsin Together ®
Welcome to Construction Business Group's Industry Updates.  This monthly e-newsletter will help us communicate the important initiatives that we have underway and relevant updates on issues that impact Wisconsin's construction industry.  
Message from Executive Director  Robb Kahl
IUOE, Local 139, CBG and DCA Selected to Present On Youth Outreach at the 2020 ConExpo

By Robb Kahl, Executive Director and 
     Mindy Mulryan, WorkforceDevelopment/Project Specialist
Many Operating Engineers are familiar with ConExpo and some of you have maybe even attended the massive and impressive construction trade show.  If you are unfamiliar with ConExpo, it is the largest construction exposition in the Western Hemisphere.  It is so extensive that it is only held every three years due to the significant efforts in planning it and the enormous venue required to house the exhibitors and attendees. The next show will be March 10-14, 2020 and there is an expected 2,800 exhibitors and 130,000 attendees spanning 2.5 million square feet of the Las Vegas strip.  This is the one show that connects attendees from every major construction sector- bringing together contractors, dealers, distributors, service providers, engineers and producers. In addition to the state-of-the-art equipment on exhibit, the show offers 150 education sessions for attendees to learn about the newest trends and latest developments in the construction industry.
Recently, Construction Business Group (CBG) was invited to submit a proposal for one of the education sessions.  Together with the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139, and Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin (DCA), CBG presented a speaker submission on workforce development solutions, in particular attracting young people into the construction industry.  The work that IUOE and Local 139 have done with regards to pre-apprenticeship curriculum for high school students is on the forefront of opportunities available to young people, and it is creating national attention.
IUOE, Local 139, DCA and CBG will present an education session titled "Attracting and Training Your Workforce: Operating Engineers' Innovative Solutions". This education session will consist of a moderated panel of representatives from IUOE, Local 139, a signatory contractor and a Local 139 apprentice who took advantage of the DCA curriculum and started the career path to becoming an operator while still in high school.  This is a great opportunity to highlight Local 139's Training Center and it's outreach to over 800 students every year. CBG is honored to work with IUOE and Local 139 to present at ConExpo and share success stories from Wisconsin on developing and expanding interest among our youth in the future of operator engineers.

Building Wisconsin Together ®
October is National Careers in Construction month

Here are three easy ways to make a big impact in October, which is National Careers in Construction Month!

Tell a student, parent or educator about the pre-apprenticeship opportunity available through Wisconsin Operating Engineer's partnership with Destinations Career Academy.  
  • Wisconsin's online public charter school focused on Career & Technical Education
  • DWD certified pre-apprenticeship program
  • Student remains enrolled at their current high school
  • Take 1-2 Operating Engineer pre-apprenticeship courses a semester
    • Basic Equipment
    • Basic Maintenance
    • Basic Grade & Math for the Trades
    • CDL Preparation
  • Complete apprenticeship requirements while still in high school 
Invite a student to Externship Day at the Coloma Training Center on November 13th

The Wisconsin Operating Engineers Externship Day is an opportunity for students, parents and educators to:
  • Tour the training center, including the indoor training arena
  • Test their skill on equipment simulators
  • Gain hands-on experience with mini-excavators
  • Learn about apprenticeship opportunities
  • Interact with current apprentices and Operators
  • Hear from employers about opportunities that exist and what they are seeking in employees 
Provide valuable experience to students interested in a career as an Operating Engineer

There are many ways to provide experience to students without getting behind the controls of a piece of equipment:
  • Coordinate with the training center to have a simulator visit your local school
  • Attend a career fair event and share your personal experience
  • Offer to provide a talk and tour of a nearby job that you are working on
  • Host students at your company to learn about the variety of careers available
  • Consider offering a job shadow on work experience to a student on work release 
Details on Destinations Career Academy and the November 13th Externship Day are available at  or for additional questions  contact Laura Cataldo at 608-616-2835 or

Industry News and Updates
Upcoming Events
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CBG Winter Conference
March 5-6, 2020
Kalahari Resort
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Click here for further information.
RSVP for this FREE conference to
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From the News Stand
State Attorneys General and Major Telephone Companies Unite to Stop Illegal Robocalls

In 2018, nearly 48 billion robocalls were made in the United States and approximately one-third of these automated calls were classified as fraudulent scams. Combating this nationwide scourge requires a coordinated effort.
Recently, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced an agreement between 51 State Attorneys General and 12 major telephone companies to "help protect phone users from illegal robocalls and make it easier for Attorneys General to investigate and prosecute bad actors." 
More specifically, under this nationwide agreement, the participating telephone companies will: 
  • implement call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers; make available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools; implement technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source; and monitor their networks for robocall traffic; and 
  • assist State Attorneys General to investigate suspicious calls and calling patterns and cooperate in traceback investigations. Traceback can be used to find the source of robocalls and, thus, the entities responsible for those calls.
The participating carriers are: AT&T, Bandwith, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon and Windstream.

WEDC Offering No-interest Microloans to  Storm-Damaged Businesses

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has allocated $1 million in funding for the Disaster Recovery Microloan Program to help local businesses damaged by the severe storms that occurred in mid-July.
Businesses in the affected areas will be eligible for microloans of up to $20,000 at 0% interest. The loans have a two-year repayment period, with the first payment deferred for at least six months. The loan proceeds can be used for procurement of cleanup and restoration services, operating expenses, temporary space, payroll, and repair and reconstruction work.
The WEDC loans will be administered by the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and the North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. 
Details on the program in the north central region (Adams, Forest, Juneau, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Vilas and Wood counties) are available at Details on the program in the west central region (Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Polk and St. Croix counties) are available at

Governor Nominates New Members to the DATCP Board

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) carries out a variety of duties which impact small employers. Of note, the Department enforces Wisconsin's consumer protection laws and inspects food-related businesses.
DATCP is directed and supervised by a nine-member Board comprised of seven persons with an agricultural background and two persons who are consumer representatives. Board members are nominated by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the State Senate. Members serve staggered six-year terms.
In August, Governor Evers nominated the following new members to the DATCP Board:  
  • Patty Edelburg - Dairy Farmer from Scandinavia. She is the Vice President of the National Farmers Union and previously served as the Wisconsin Farm Service Agency State Executive Director.
  • Dan Smith - President and CEO of the Cooperative Network. He previously served as the Administrator for DATCP's Division of Agricultural Development. 
  • Carla Washington - Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships and Shelter Services at the Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee.
Senate confirmation hearings for these nominees will occur this fall.

Governor Appoints New WEDC Leader

On September 5th, the Governor appointed Missy Hughes, the Chief Mission Officer and General Counsel for Organic Valley Cooperative to serve as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). This appointment is subject to confirmation by the State Senate.
Organic Valley Cooperative is based in LaFarge and it is the nation's largest cooperative of organic farmers. The company represents nearly 2,000 farmers in 34 states and has over $1.1 billion in annual sales.
The WEDC is the state's lead economic development agency. It is governed by a Board comprised of state officials and private sector representatives. The Board is authorized to delegate to the CEO any powers and duties the Board considers proper.
Missy Hughes has extensive experience working with family farms as well as navigating complex governmental, regulatory, trade, and business matters. This unique skill set should be an asset to the WEDC and its governing board.

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