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
CBG Partners With Municipal Trade Associations
As you all know, when Wisconsin municipalities or state agencies bid their new construction projects, contractors competitively bid for the public work contract. By law, the work must be awarded to the “lowest responsible bidder,” however, determining whether a bidder is “responsible” can be nearly impossible for small governmental entities unless there is an extensive contractor prequalification process – a burdensome duty that is beyond the resource capabilities of many local governments.
To assist local governments with identifying responsible contractors, CBG has created a Bidder Database.  The database is a free, easy to use online research resource that holds extensive records on over 10,500 contractors. Through a simple search, the database compiles links to judgments, tax liens, debarment records, OSHA violations, and more. All data is verifiable and reliable public information and provides local governments, other project owners, general contractors and engineering firms with a convenient tool to vet contractors and subcontractors.
To enhance the bidder database, CBG recently partnered with the League of Wisconsin Municipalities (LWM) and the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA). Local government officials now have exclusive access to a project evaluation form that may be completed for public works projects. The project evaluation will be connected to the contractor (or subcontractor) that was evaluated and available to view by other local governments and all other registered users. 

The project evaluation is a short, easy-to-navigate digital questionnaire. In addition to basic project information, local government officials are asked if the project was on time, on budget and to project specifications. If the project was not on time, on budget or to project specifications, additional dropdown questions allow for additional information. 
Only authorized local government officials have access to the evaluation form. Once completed, the project evaluation is reviewed by CBG staff and posted within the bidder database for the applicable contractor(s). CBG has always tried to be a resource for local governments and the new cooperative efforts with the LWM and WCA is a significant strengthening of these important relationships.

Building Wisconsin Together®

Youth apprentices seeking employers

Invest in tomorrow's workforce
DWD and the Wisconsin Operating Engineers are piloting an Operating Engineers Youth Apprenticeship (YA) program. Youth apprenticeship is a blend of classroom instruction (provided by the online courses through Destinations Career Academy) and 450 hours of paid work experience.  
An informational session was recently held with YA Coordinators throughout the state and generated a lot of excitement from educators and youth. Four students, enrolled in DCA coursework, have stepped forward with interest in being matched with an employer. These high schools seniors attend the following schools:

  • Barneveld
  • DeSoto
  • Marshall
  • Stoughton

If you are interested in learning more about YA or employing a Youth Apprentice for the spring, please contact Laura Cataldo at or 608-616-2835.  

Building Wisconsin Together®
From the News Stand
TPC Approves 2 High-Cost Major Projects
TPC Approves 2 High-Cost Major Projects
The Transportation Projects Commission (TPC) unanimously approved two new high-cost Major Highway Projects worth $315 million and received an update on WisDOT's revived study of possible Interstate improvements between Madison and Wisconsin Dells.
Members voted 11-0 to move forward with replacement of the Interstate bridges over the Wisconsin River and improvements to U.S. Highway 51 between McFarland and Stoughton. Both projects qualify as "High-Cost Majors" in that they don't meet the traditional capacity criteria but cost more than $108.7 million. The new Majors category was added in 2011 to prevent expensive Rehabilitation projects from diverting resources from other Rehabilitation needs statewide. The two new Major projects do not need legislative approval.
The TPC was also updated on WisDOT's restarted study of the 63-mile I-39/90/94 corridor between Madison and Wisconsin Dells. The study was cancelled by the previous administration in 2017. The Department cited the corridor's importance to freight movement and the tourism industry -- as well as safety problems and deteriorating pavement and structures -- as the key reasons for resuming the environmental planning process. Only after that EIS process is complete would WisDOT present a preferred alternative and cost estimate to the TPC for possible enumeration.
The TPC also voted 11-0 to remove studies of I-94 in St. Croix County and U.S. Highway 12 between Elkhorn and Whitewater from the Majors process, citing lower traffic modeling forecasts and the need for expansion relative to other congestion needs statewide. According to WisDOT, there are currently 600 miles of state highways that exceed congestion thresholds.
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