By: Ken Kraemer
We’ve had an extremely busy summer at Building Advantage – from constant movement on the new Bucks arena project to exciting victories for the Couture and the Northwestern Mutual project, this has truly been a momentous time for the union construction industry in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Perhaps most importantly, these successes have come despite the short-sighted decisions related to Right to Work and prevailing wage legislation. Our industry is already making an incredible comeback, which will continue over the next few years, and we need to remember that. In 2015 alone, we worked with both labor and management to get the Milwaukee street car approved – a project that will ultimately provide an estimated $1 billion in economic development. We also just got the funding for the construction of a new Milwaukee Bucks’ arena approved by the Milwaukee Common Council, something that we have been working toward for years now. This arena will provide another $1 billion in work; with an estimated $500 million for the arena itself, and then another $500 million in other proposed developments in the Park East.
It can be frustrating when others don’t seem to understand the true value that we provide as an industry. On the other hand, it is extremely rewarding to be recognized for our great work, which has sparked an unprecedented amount of interest from investors and developers who want to utilize our workforce here in southeastern Wisconsin.
The 600-plus union contractors and over 20,000 tradespeople that belong to Building Advantage know the importance of our apprenticeship programs and our skilled, qualified workforce. With significant increases in work, we’ve already seen our apprenticeship enrollment and man hours rise. However, it is still critical to continue recruitment efforts. If you’re like me and have had a great career in the union construction industry, I am asking you to please do your part to spread the word about all it has provided for you and your family.
We are currently working to send out more print newsletters in addition to our E-newsletter, and will eventually send those out quarterly – please let Melanie or myself know if you are not receiving a print newsletter and would like to be added to our list.
Thank you all for your dedication and for allowing Building Advantage to promote our industry.