November 18, 2015
Association Highlights
You Are Cordially Invited to the AGC Holiday Gala at the Exclusive Westmoor Country Club
Brookfield, WI on Friday, December 11th, 2015

Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee cordially invites you to join us for a holiday celebration of dining & dancing at the Exclusive Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield.  Here, they are known not just for their world class cuisine, but for the stunning views from their expansive windows, while keeping a comfortable and cozy feel inside their grand facilities.

Each year, we host this dinner and dance to raise money for our Education & Research Foundation, providing educational programs and scholarships at our local universities that will allow deserving students the chance to pursue their dreams of a career in construction.

The Foundation’s scholarships include:

The MSOE AGC Scholarship
The Marquette University Robert Caspari Scholarship
The Marquette University Skill, Integrity, Responsibility Scholarship
The UW-Milwaukee Skill, Integrity, Responsibility Scholarship

Thank you to all who have Sponsored and Donated to this year's event!

Balestrieri Environmental & Development, Inc
Brehmer Agency, Inc.
C.G. Schmidt, Inc.
Dawes Rigging and Crane Rental
Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub
Jens Construction Corp.
Kotze Construction Co., Inc.
Midwest Drilled Foundations & Engineering Inc.
Mortenson Construction
Sonag Ready Mix, LLC
The Institute of Beauty and Wellness  Aveda Beauty School
The Wisconsin Club
The Wisconsin Country Club
VerHalen Commercial Interiors
VJS Construction Services

Your Work In Action!  See How Students Benefit from the AGC Holiday Gala Fundraiser

Meet Shane Sampo (left) and Nicholas Sanderfoot (right), who are both attending UW-Milwaukee thanks to Your Participation in such events as the AGC Annual Holiday Gala, which raises money to fund scholarships at our local Universities.  Through our AGC Education & Research Foundation, we are able to help students like these at UWM, MSOE, and Marquette.

When asked what receiving this scholarship means to them, Shane stated, "This scholarship means that I will have a better opportunity to further my education in Engineering and lead to more opportunities down the road."

Nicholas writes, "Receiving this scholarship has made a great impact on the financing for my final semester at UWM.  It has enabled me to focus on academics rather than the expense of tuition.  In addition, it has served as recognition of my hard work and an added sense of pride in what I do.  Thank you AGC of Greater Milwaukee for the scholarship and recognizing the hard work I have put in to my education and future career!"

Your donations, sponsorships, and participation are a vital part of the success of this event, the Foundation, and our future construction leaders.  Invitations have been sent out, so look for them in the mail and RSVP ASAP!  Please contact Kim Jalalian at or (414) 778-4100 for more information.

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UPDATE: OSHA Gets the Green Light for Increasing Penalties

The provision to raise OSHA fines was included in the budget agreement negotiated in private by Republican and Democratic lawmakers and passed by Congress during the last week of October.

OSHA officials face several decisions before increasing penalties, including whether to raise maximum fines by the full amount allowed by Congress.

In October, OSHA administrator David Michaels was clear in his support for raising maximum fines, a view he repeated several times since taking the post in 2010.  “The most serious obstacle to effective OSHA enforcement of the law is the very low level of civil penalties allowed under our law, as well as our weak criminal sanctions,” Michaels told a House subcommittee Oct. 7.

“For example, the Environmental Protection Agency can impose a penalty of $270,000 for violations of the Clean Air Act and a penalty of $1 million for attempting to tamper with a public water system,” Michaels said. “Yet, the maximum civil penalty OSHA may impose when a hard-working man or woman is killed on the job—even when the death is caused by a willful violation of an OSHA requirement—is $70,000.”

Overturning is Doubtful
The Chamber's executive director for labor law policy doubted any legislative action will block the increase and the likelihood of the OSHA fines increasing would appear to be 100 percent.  The Chamber will be following the rulemaking process for raising penalties, and watching for OSHA attempts to use the rulemaking to accomplish goals the law doesn't specify.

Catch-Up From 1990
The law allows OSHA to make a one-time “catch up” increase to compensate for more than two decades of no increases. The catch-up increase can't exceed the inflation rate from fiscal year 1990 through fiscal year 2015 as measured by the federal government's consumer price index. After the one-time catch-up increase is implemented, OSHA will annually increase maximum penalties the amount of the inflation rate for the prior fiscal year.

If OSHA were to choose the greatest catch-up increase allowed—about 82 percent according to the CPI—the maximum $70,000 fine for repeat and willful violations would grow to $125,438, and the $7,000 maximum fine for serious violations would rise to $12,744.
Had OSHA had been able to apply the 82 percent increase to its fiscal year 2014 fines of $143.6 million, penalties would have reached $261.4 million.

OSHA's budget won't directly benefit from higher fines, an OSHA spokesman said. The penalty dollars continue to pay for all government operations, not just OSHA.

All or Something Else?
Just how high the catch-up increase could go is something that could be debated in coming months.
If OSHA raises maximum fines as high as the law allows, the change doesn't mean the agency will select the maximum option each time an employer is cited, commented former OSHA chief of staff Deborah Berkowitz.  Before maximum fines increase, the law lays out steps OSHA and the White House's Office of Management and Budget need to take.

First, the OMB must issue guidance by Jan. 31 on implementing the bill's provisions. Raising the maximum fines in line with the CPI for the catch-up boost requires OSHA to publish an interim final rule by July 1, 2016, allowing the adjustment to take effect by Aug. 1, 2016, the law says.
According to the Office of the Federal Register, an interim final rule can be used if an agency decides that it has good cause to issue a final rule without first publishing a proposed rule. An interim final rule becomes effective immediately upon publication. If an agency decides not to change the interim rule, it typically will publish a brief final rule in the Federal Register announcing that decision.
OSHA could also select a lower catch-up hike, the bill says.

OSHA can choose a lower number if the agency determines, following a public comment period, that increasing the penalty by the full amount allowed will have a “negative economic impact” or the “social costs” of boosting the penalty outweigh the benefits.

In addition, if OSHA selects an increase lower than the CPI, the OMB director would have to agree with OSHA's determination in order for the lesser boost to be approved.

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See the Photo Album for CLC's Most Recent Events: The Student Roundtable & Volunteer Day!

The AGC Construction Leadership Council held two events last week: the Student Roundtable at Marquette (See Photos Here), and the Fall Volunteer Event - Make a Difference Day (See Photos Here). 

Thursday night on November 5th, students from our local Universities got the chance to sit down with professionals in the construction industry and related fields to ask questions and get a better understanding of what might be in store for them after graduation.  A group of twenty professionals and students from Marquette, MSOE, and UWM attended.

As everyone was arriving, we enjoyed some refreshments from the Marquette catering department. Before the discussions started, John Stumpf, the current president of the Marquette Building Coalition, started off with a few announcements, then introduced our CLC Chair, Mike Stern from JH Findorff & Son.  After a few announcements of his own, he was pleased to present to John a certificate recognizing the Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee for a $2000 Endowment donated to the student chapter.  John extended his thanks on behalf of the Marquette Builders Coalition.

We then divided up into four groups, and let the students ask any questions of the professionals in a casual 15 minute conversation, before they moved on to the next table.  When it was all said and done, they received a solid hour of insight from various General Contractors, Subcontractors, and Service Providers in the construction industry.  We stressed the importance of building a solid network of contacts, and let them know that the CLC will be their Campus Connection to their local AGC Chapter.  We will continue reaching out to all the Universities through our scholarships, tours of major construction projects, and educational and philanthropic programs.  The enlightened students saw great value in attending, and thanked everyone for giving of their time and knowledge.

Next, on Saturday, November 7th, ten volunteers joined the AGC Construction Leadership Council team for Make A Difference Day .  See the Photo Album Here!  We joined the CG Schmidt Team, who has participated in this largest national day of community service for 10 years now, for a total workforce of 44!  We also joined hundreds of volunteers that day nationwide, to help older adults prepare for the winter months by raking leaves, cleaning windows, clearing gardens, putting up storm windows and other small projects.  Without our help, many of these homes would not be ready for the long winter months.

Our team's assigned house had a large yard, so raking was the first task we tackled.  Once we had a good start on that, a few moved to some other checklist items, such as disconnecting the hose and covering up some planters and chairs for storage.  Everyone coordinated handling all the tasks masterfully, and we were able to finish everything in record time!

The home owner was so thankful and appreciative of the help we provided, and thanked us with cookies, and even sent a thank you card to us through the mail which we received a couple days later.

Thank you to all the volunteers that joined the CLC Team, and to CG Schmidt for inviting us back this year to join in their efforts to Make A Difference!

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AGC Education Calendar Wraps Up End of the Fall 2015 Semester


November - December

For a complete list of this semester's classes visit

STP 3: Planning and Scheduling
December 1st, 3rd, 8th & 10th
4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $150, Associate - $270, *CBA’s - $300, Non-Affiliated IAP - $450

This course will help construction supervisors understand ways in which planning and scheduling saves time and money, while increasing quality in the construction process.

Unit 3 Explores:

• Preparing the project plan
• Communicating the plan
• The critical path
• Computer use in scheduling
• Using the schedule on the jobsite
• Updating the construction schedule
• The schedule as documentation
• Using planning and scheduling

Confined Space
December 2nd
4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $25, Associate - $40, *CBA’s - $50, Non-Affiliated IAP - $80
Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

Although mainly a general industry issue, confined spaces are present on construction sites as well. This class is geared toward helping workers in the construction trades recognize confined spaces, know what their hazards are, and give them some guidance on how to avoid those hazards. 

Topics Include:
-Confined Space Hazard Identification
-Air Monitoring
-Basic Ventilation

Who should attend: Any supervisor who will be assigned to confined space job sites and those individuals who need to become familiar with OSHA Confined Space Entry Requirements.

To register, contact Kim Jalalian at or (414) 778-4100.

OSHA 10-Hour for Construction
December 2nd, 4th, 16th & 18th
4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $115, Associate - $155, *CBA’s - $175, Non-Affiliated IAP - $250
Gert Grohmann & Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

Need your OSHA 10-Hour training card to get on the job?  You’ve come to the right place!  This 10-Hour construction safety course was developed by the US Department of Labor to provide construction workers, supervisors, and other personnel responsible for construction activities with an awareness of construction safety and health concerns in the construction industry.  All attendees will become familiar with reading and using the OSHA standards for construction 23 CFR 1926.  Other construction safety and health standards are also discussed.  Attendees receive an update and review of standard construction safety and health principles and information that prepares them to recognize and control a variety of hazardous conditions.  An OSHA card will be issued. 

Intended Audience: This course is intended for anyone within the industry who has a stake in jobsite safety, especially field crews.

To register, contact Kim Jalalian at or (414) 778-4100.

2016 Construction Economic Forecast
December 16th
9:00 am to 11:00 am
Corp. GC/CM - Comp., Associate - $40, *CBA’s - $50, Non-Affiliated IAP - $75
Ken Simonson - Chief Economist, AGC of America

The Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee will be hosting The 2016 Construction Economic Forecast on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at the Wisconsin Club.  This compelling event will provide the Milwaukee area construction industry leaders with a comprehensive understanding of what to expect in the construction industry in 2016.  AGC of America Chief Economist, Ken Simonson, will address how the construction industry market is performing, and its capacity for sustainability and future growth.  He will forecast the anticipated levels of activity, how much we can expect, and other factors influencing the construction industry economy.  Mike Fabishak, CEO of AGC of Greater Milwaukee stated, “We are extremely interested in hearing Mr. Simonson’s projections to determine whether we are in fact in a recovery.”

To register, contact Kim Jalalian at or (414) 778-4100.

For a complete list of this semester's classes visit
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In the News
Wangard Plans 89 Apartments at Brady and Water Streets in Milwaukee

Wangard Partners Inc. is seeking approvals for a $21 million, four-story apartment building along the Milwaukee River near the western entry into Brady Street.

That would be the first of a two-phase development. A second phase could include a taller apartment building with 10 to 12 stories, said Wayne Wiertzema, president of the Milwaukee-based development company. The first building, pending approvals, could break ground next spring for an opening in spring 2017, he said.

"It certainly would be considered luxury apartment units, which would make sense on the river," he said.
The planned buildings would stand between the river and North Water Street, at the point where it meets Brady Street. The developer in late spring tore down the small car shop that stood on the land.

Wangard’s proposal has a four-story apartment building, ringed by shorter townhouses lining the sidewalk along Water Street, according to plans submitted to the city in late August. It includes a 4,500-square-foot, first-floor space for a restaurant or coffee shop facing a plaza on the Water Street sidewalk. Public spaces include an extension of the river walk along the shoreline with floating docks available to the public for kayaks or canoes.

The first building would be on the northeast section of the property. A planned second phase would include an outdoor pool and patio, with more housing and retail space, according to plans submitted to the city. The construction timing of that second, taller building depends on the market, Wiertzema said.

Plans for the first phase also include 99 on-site parking spaces.

Wangard Partners is seeking approvals this month from the Milwaukee Board of Zoning Appeals for the first-phase building. That building would have 89 apartments, most of which would be one-bedroom or studio units.

The developer bought the property from AnchorBank in summer 2012 and since then has been working on plans for a large-scale housing development. In the meantime, it has moved ahead with several other apartment developments in the area.

Its Avenir apartments opened earlier this year at Jefferson and Lyon streets, and Wangard plans to build a neighboring apartment project. That second building, with 80 to 82 apartments, also could start construction early in 2016, Wiertzema said.

"We see a sustained demand for the next several years," he said of the downtown apartment market. "The demand is there. It's really a function of absorption of units."

Wangard Partners also is investigating the former Laacke & Joys' riverside property for an office and retail redevelopment.

Read Original Article

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Video: Brenda Breaks Through! Watch Tunnel Boring Machine Complete a Segment on the $2.1B Seattle Rail Project

Sound Transit’s tunnel-boring machine Brenda broke into the future U District light-rail station late Friday morning, still on schedule for trains to serve Northgate by September 2021.

After four to six weeks of maintenance, it will resume digging south toward Husky Stadium to finish the northbound subway tunnel, said Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason. Shortly after that, tunnel-drill Pamela, now digging the southbound tube, will break into U District Station.

The $2.1 billion, 4.3-mile Northgate Link extension is designed to provide a reliable 14-minute ride between Northgate and downtown, and attract 60,000 daily passengers by 2030, Sound Transit says.

Brenda is one-seventh the size of Highway 99 tunnel-machine Bertha, which is two years late and undergoing repairs at the downtown waterfront. Meanwhile, trains from downtown will serve Capitol Hill and Husky Stadium early next year.

Read Original Article and Watch Video Here

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In This Issue
Association Highlights
You Are Cordially Invited to the AGC Holiday Gala at the Exclusive Westmoor Country Club
UPDATE: OSHA Gets the Green Light for Increasing Penalties
See the Photo Album for CLC's Most Recent Events: The Student Roundtable & Volunteer Day!
AGC Education Calendar Wraps Up End of the Fall 2015 Semester
In the News
Wangard Plans 89 Apartments at Brady and Water Streets in Milwaukee
Video: Brenda Breaks Through! Watch Tunnel Boring Machine Complete a Segment on the $2.1B Seattle Rail Project
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