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 International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139 (Operating Engineers) and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters (Carpenters) have a long history of collaboration on issues of mutual importance, such as prevailing wage, misclassification and competitive bidding laws. This positive working relationship has taken another step forward.
As of June 5, 2017, the Carpenters' contracts with AGC Wisconsin, AGC Greater Milwaukee, and the Allied Construction Employers Association (ACEA) include hourly contribution commitments that will be paid through an intermediary labor-management organization and then to CBG. On June 22, 2017, the CBG trustees approved changes to CBG's trust agreement to include the Carpenters, AGC Greater Milwaukee and ACEA. AGC Wisconsin had already been a long-time member of CBG through its contracts with the Operating Engineers.
The participation in CBG by the Carpenters and their employer associations is limited to CBG's compliance work. CBG's compliance work includes: monitoring public construction projects to ensure federal and state prevailing wage laws, misclassification, employment and labor standards, and safety laws are being followed; reviewing public construction contracts to ensure legal compliance; helping contracting agencies properly follow the required bid processes and develop prevailing wage compliance protocol; and assist contracting agencies, employers and employees with fair contracting compliance complaints to determine whether a violation has occurred and provide guidance on how to resolve a violation.
The new CBG Compliance Trustees are:
John Raines, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Carpenters;
Burt Johnson, General Counsel of the Carpenters;
Pete Braun of Wall-tech Inc. representing AGC Greater Milwaukee; and
Todd Browning of Olympic Companies, Inc. representing ACEA.
I, and all of the CBG Staff, wish to extend a warm welcome to the new CBG trustees. We look forward to working with the Carpenters and their employer associations in the coming months and years.

Building Wisconsin Together ®
Is Your Company in the 72%?

AGC of America and Autodesk reported this week that 72% of Midwest construction firms report they are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce.  CBG understands the critical need to build the workforce pipeline and remains committed to supporting multiple initiatives. 

There are multiple opportunities for you to get involved:

1.  Promote the October 18th externship  for educators and students at the Coloma Training Center to schools in your community.  Please contact Laura Cataldo if you are interested in participating on the Employer Panel for this event. 

2.  Volunteer to be an industry liaison to a student in your community that is interested in a construction career and has enrolled in the Operating Engineers Pre-Apprenticeship Program with Destinations Career Academy.  Serving as an industry liaison for a student could include classroom visits, company or jobsite tours, job shadow, etc.  

3.  Set up an employer profile on Inspire Wisconsin, a statewide platform that directly connects local employers to students through online profiles, virtual career coaches, and career-based learning activities for high school students and educators.

Developed by Career Cruising, a software available to all Wisconsin school districts to assist with meeting the requirements of Academic Career Planning, Inspire helps educate students, educators, parents, and jobseekers about the current and projected talent needs of local companies.

Setting up an employer profile on Inspire allows you to:  
  • Inform students and educators about your business and industry 
  • Answer career or company-related questions from local students 
  • Let teachers and students throughout the region know about special events such as career fairs, guest speakers, job shadows or internships
  • Send targeted messages to students and educators about career-related topics important to your company and industry
Contractors interested in an employer profile on Inspire Wisconsin should contact their regional economic development organization: 

If you have questions about any of CBG's workforce initiatives or the items above, please contact Laura Cataldo at or 608-240-2488.  

Industry News and Updates
From the News Stand
Leroy Miller: Repealing prevailing wage will hurt vets
Leroy Miller
I love my country. I've fought for my country. My brothers and sisters have died for this country. I want to continue to serve my country.
I am a heavy-equipment operator, happily and dutifully building new infrastructure for Wisconsin communities.
My concern is, and has been, what state legislators are proposing in a full repeal of the state's longstanding prevailing wage law. This is the law that protects Wisconsin workers from low-wage-paying, out-of-state contractors who will be free to pay their workers substandard wages in the interest of undercutting Wisconsin contractors and effectively stealing jobs here. And guess what? It's working.
Last legislative session our elected leaders in Madison partially repealed prevailing wage for municipal-funded projects, which went into effect this January. Since then, a state review of projects to-date found there has been a more than 53 percent increase in out-of-state contractors securing Wisconsin work. Those are Wisconsin jobs being lost, Wisconsin tax dollars leaving the state and hard-working Wisconsin families being hurt. You don't have to be a political wonk to understand how and who this hurts - Wisconsin workers.
Why as a proud veteran am I involved? Many of us veterans are drawn especially to two lines of work after our service - law enforcement and construction. I've chosen construction because I want to continue to serve my country in a meaningful way but lacked the necessary skills to make the transition. Thanks to many of the construction trades in Wisconsin they have specifically designed apprenticeship programs for veterans to provide them the necessary training and skills to transition into the construction industry.
State of Wisconsin Responds to Flooding Problems

Flooding in southeast and western Wisconsin during the month of July has caused widespread property and infrastructure damage.
Teams comprised of officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Small Business Administration and Wisconsin Emergency Management are conducting preliminary damage assessments in Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth Counties to determine whether federal aid will be available to homeowners, businesses and communities.
Local damage assessments from these counties show three homes destroyed, 92 homes with major damage, and more than 4,000 with minor damage. In addition, ten businesses sustained major flood damage and 26 reported minor damage. Flooding also caused more than $8.4 million in damage to public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and dams, and emergency protective measures.
Governor Walker has declared a State of Emergency for 17 counties following torrential rains that fell throughout western Wisconsin during the third week of July. The counties in the declaration include Buffalo, Crawford, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Lafayette, Monroe, Pepin, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Trempealeau, and Vernon.
By Executive Order, the Governor directed state agencies to help those affected by the storms and called the Wisconsin National Guard to state active duty to assist local authorities in the recovery efforts.
Members should contact their County Emergency Management office to report any flooding-related property damage to their business.


The Answer to America's Skilled Labor Problem

Katherine S Newman, Hella Winston
Jul 24, 2017
Very few policy ideas excite both parties in this period of political polarization. Apprenticeship and the renaissance of technical education is, however, one of them. The Obama administration invested millions to launch a federal apprenticeship office, while President Trump has made it one of his signature ideas as he tries to address the re-industrialization of economically depressed regions of the country.
Twin goals are at play on the right and the left: the revival of manufacturing industries, which are desperate for skilled labor, and the need to develop pathways to good jobs-especially for non-university-bound youth-that technical high schools, community colleges, and training programs have been trying to forge. Virtually everyone in the policy world accepts that we must do more to move the American labor force toward the kind of high-skilled foundation that is common in Germany and Austria.

Labor Updates
CBG wishes you a happy Labor Day.  For Labor Day activities in or near your community open the link below.

2017 Wisconsin Labor Day
Events take place on Monday, September 4, unless otherwise specifically stated 

Worker Classification Update
Labor & Employment Law, Taxation
July 26, 2017
On July 20, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issued a reminder for small businesses on the importance of correctly classifying workers as employees or independent contractors.  Employers failing to do this correctly may face penalties, including trust fund penalties, from the IRS, which can be assessed not only against the employer but also against officers and directors. Classification is important because an employer must withhold income taxes and pay Social Security, Medicare taxes, and unemployment tax on wages paid to workers who are employees, but independent contractors are instead subject to self-employment tax.

Legislative Alerts
Bipartisan coalition beats GOP attempt to weaken Davis-Bacon wage protections
WASHINGTON)-By a 183-242 vote, the GOP-run U.S. House defeated the latest Republican assault on the Davis-Bacon Act and its legal prevailing wages for construction workers who toil on federally funded projects. Fifty-one Republicans joined all voting Democrats in backing Davis-Bacon. The other 183 Republicans voted to cut workers' wages.
And in an indication that even Davis-Bacon foes realize their fight is uphill, Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Az., tried to weaken Davis-Bacon - by lowering the wage base - rather than kill it altogether. But nobody was fooled.


DeLauro Introduces Bill to Stop Wage Theft, Boost Workers' Financial Security
WASHINGTON, DC (August 7, 2017) - Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), along with U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Al Franken (D-MN), and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), introduced the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act to crack down on employers who unfairly withhold wages from their employees. This bill would give workers the right to receive full compensation for all of the work they perform, as well as the right to receive regular paystubs and final paychecks in a timely manner. It would also provide workers with improved tools to recover their stolen wages in court and make assistance available to build community partnerships that enhance the enforcement of and improve compliance with wage and hour laws.
Construction Business Group | 608-240-4170 |