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
The year is almost over which means it is time for CBG to start planning our Winter Conference.  It will be held on March 5th and 6th at the Kalahari Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells.

While we are still working on speakers and topics, you can expect content to include compliance updates, a 2020 political outlook, and many more timely topics.

Please see the Save The Date section below for more information regarding registering for the event.

Hope to see you there.
Building Wisconsin Together ®
November 13th Externship Day in Coloma

According to DWD forecasts, Wisconsin needs to add 122 Operating Engineers every year between now and 2024 in order to meet the industry growth and replace retiring workers. We need your help to reach the future workforce!

In conjunction with National Apprenticeship Week, the Wisconsin Operating Engineers invite high school students, educators and parents to join us on November 13th at the Coloma Training Center to explore the career pathway of an Operating Engineer.

This is an opportunity 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
Please share this invitation with school districts and families in your community.

For more information, please contact Laura Cataldo at 608-616-2835 or
Industry News and Updates
Upcoming Events
Save the Date for 
CBG Winter Conference
March 5-6, 2020
Kalahari Resort
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Click here for further information.
RSVP for this FREE conference to
 or 608-240-4178.

From the News Stand
Construction Business Group redoubles efforts to root out misclassification

If drywall and flooring could talk, they'd probably have a dark story to tell about Wisconsin's ongoing construction boom.

Behind projects big and small, say people close to the industry, there thrives an underground economy made up of contractors who cheat their workers out of wages and benefits to deliver projects on time and under budget.

At the forefront of the fight against worker misclassification and other forms of wage theft is a small team of private investigators who stalk job sites to root out worker abuses.

Protecting Wisconsin's Energy Infrastructure Network

Within the boundaries of Wisconsin there is an extensive network of power plants, refineries, electric transmission lines and pipelines. This critical energy infrastructure fuels Wisconsin's economy and must be protected.
Until recently, energy company security measures and procedures effectively protected this network. That is no longer enough. Facilities in the Midwest which produce, distribute or transport fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are being intentionally damaged by individuals who want to disrupt the flow of this energy. Their lawless actions extend well beyond civil disobedience.
Four years ago, state lawmakers responded by creating stiffer penalties for trespassing on, and causing damage to, property owned, leased, or operated by energy providers. Under 2015 Wisconsin Act 158, the maximum penalty for: 
  • trespassing on energy provider property was increased from a civil forfeiture to a Class H felony punishable by up to 6 years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both; and 
  • intentionally damaging energy provider property was increased from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class H felony.
In July, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers led by State Representative David Steffen (R-Green Bay) and State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) introduced legislation that would extend these enhanced criminal penalties for trespassing on, and causing damage to property owned, leased, or operated by energy companies that operate gas, oil, petroleum, refined petroleum product, renewable fuel, water, or chemical generation, storage transportation, or delivery systems.

Building better communities through construction workforce development

PUBLISHED - Sept. 23, 2019
A Growing Workforce Trend
More and more often, public agencies are incorporating workforce hiring requirements into their construction contracts. For those who are unfamiliar, these stipulations typically require the contractors that are awarded contracts by the agency to employ a workforce that meets certain thresholds of demographic criteria. For example, one of the more common trends that local entities push for is an increased rate of local hires.
Typically, the contracting agency sets a benchmark on a project that the contractors must meet. In this example, contractors must maintain that a certain percentage of the workers on the project must reside within the city or county in which the project takes place (alternatively, the percentage of total hours worked on the project can be used as a measure). The primary motive of the agency here would be to ensure that the residents of the community are the ones benefiting most from public funds used on this project to maximize the return on taxpayer dollars. This discourages the outsourcing of skilled labor, a not-so-uncommon tactic that some contractors might try in order to cut recruiting and hiring costs. (Remember, the use of local labor is one of the reasons the Davis-Bacon Act was created in 1931.) The benefit that the public entity realizes from these hiring requirements is compounded. Not only are stable career opportunities created for local residents, but the workers' disposable income may contribute to the local economies and provide additional tax revenue that would have otherwise been displaced along with the transplanted workers once the project was complete.

Workers on Digi-Key project paid back wages after violation (IL)

It's not only good policy. It's what people want.
By: Brian Johnson
October 1, 2019
At least three concrete workers on the $300 million Digi-Key expansion project in Thief River Falls have received thousands of dollars in back pay after a state agency found that a project subcontractor violated state wage laws.
In a Sept. 24 letter to concrete worker Franklin Flores, an investigator with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry said Flores' employer, Millennium Concrete, was "in violation of state labor standards and prevailing wage laws."
Millennium owed back wages for work performed between April 1 and Dec. 1 of last year, according to the letter.

Lawmakers: Misclassifying workers costing millions in revenue (PA)

Bucks County Reps. John Galloway, Perry Warren and other area legislators support bills that would address the problem of misusing the independent contractor designation.
By Chris English
Posted Sep 4, 2019 at 3:11 PM
Misuse of the independent contractor designation for workers, primarily in the construction industry, is costing the state and federal governments a combined total of about $300 million in lost revenue, two local state lawmakers said during a news conference Wednesday.
State Reps. John Galloway, D-140, and Perry Warren, D-31, are pushing for passage of two pieces of legislation that would address the problem. One, House Bill 716, would establish a joint agency task force on employee misclassifications. The group would investigate the practice and work toward creating solutions to reduce misclassification throughout Pennsylvania. That bill recently passed the House 198-0, Galloway said.
The other proposed bill, HB 715, would among other provisions tighten the definition of what constitutes an independent contractor to only allow use of the term if a worker's written contract is project and time specific, with no exceptions.

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