March 13, 2018
Association Highlights
 
U.S. adds 313,000 jobs in February in biggest gain in a year and a half

The numbers: The U.S. added 313,000 new jobs in February, the biggest gain in a year and a half and clear evidence that a strong economy has plenty of room to run.

The increase in hiring easily blew past the 222,000 forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch. Job gains in January and December were also much stronger than initially reported.

Despite the big increase in hiring, wage growth did not keep up. Hourly pay rose 4 cents to $26.75 an hour, but the yearly increase in wages tapered off. The 12-month increase in pay slipped to 2.6% from a revised 2.8% in January.

Still, the strong report makes it a virtual lock the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when senior officials meet this month.

What happened: Warmer weather helped to boost hiring almost across the board in February after a harsh spell in January briefly kept thousands of people at home.

Construction companies hired 61,000 people to mark the biggest increase in 11 years. Retailers added 50,000 jobs, as did professional-oriented businesses. And manufacturers filled 31,000 positions.

Workers also put more time in on the job, reversing a weather-induced decline in the first month of the year.

What’s more, the economy added 54,000 more jobs in January and December than previously reported. Altogether, the economy has gained an average of 242,000 new jobs in the past three months. That’s much stronger than the 182,000 monthly average in 2017.

Yet even as the unemployment rate falls and firms complain more loudly about a shortage of skilled workers, they still aren’t really laying out the red carpet for new or old employees.

The amount a worker earns per hour has been rising gradually in the past few years, but wage gains still trail the 3% to 4% annual increases that typically prevail at the height of an economic boom.

Big picture: The modest growth in wages in February is likely to tamp down, at least for awhile, Wall Street worries about rising pay leading to higher inflation. A surge in pay in January helped ignite....

Full Article Here

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Developing a Workforce for Foxconn Mega-Project

In a special three-part series in the Milwaukee business journal AGC of Greater Milwaukee president and other construction professionals detail strategies on recruiting and building the construction work force.

Workforce diversity is a focal point in the series and, with the guidance of AGC, recruiting more minorities is a priority for the construction industry's Building Industry Group Skilled Trades Employment Program (BIG STEP). The opportunities in Racine with the Foxconn project has spurred BIG STEP to expand to Racine County and open training centers at Gateway Technical College’s Racine Campus. The program is focused on the recruitment and development of African Americans, Latinos and women. According to Mark Kessenich, President and CEO of BIG STEP “we want to make sure the programs in place, the systems in place, are actively seeking to bring new folks into the industry who haven’t had the opportunity, or didn’t think they had the opportunity”.

The Foxconn project is not only exciting because of the jobs it will initially create with the building of its facilities but in all the projects that follow. Mike Fabisak, discusses further, “Foxconn serves as the initiating development, but when you think about what will come as some of the consequential building – the vendors, the infrastructure, retail, possibly residential – I think this transforms the whole area”

Read the three-part special report here.

Learn more about the Foxconn project here.

Learn more about WRTP BIG STEP here.

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The AGC's Education Calendar - What You Can Learn in March and April


EDUCATION & SAFETY
TRAINING CALENDAR

March and April 2018
For a complete list of this semester's classes or to register for any classes,
contact our Education Director, Kim Jalalian at
kjalalian@agc-gm.org or (414) 778-4100

 

Basic First Aid/CPR/AED Training
March 26th & 27th
4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $60, Associate - $70, *CBA’s - $95, Non-Affiliated IAP - $150
Gert Grohmann, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

Medic First Aid, CPR and AED training is designed specifically for the occupational first aid provider.  This extremely valuable program will help employers comply with OSHA and other federal and state regulatory requirements for training employees on how to respond and care for medical emergencies at work.  Two-year certification cards are issued upon completion of this course. 

Intended Audience:  This course is for any adult who wishes to become certified in First Aid/CPR/AED, especially those charged with the responsibility to respond in an emergency.

 


OSHA 30-Hour for Construction

April 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th
7:00 am to 3:30 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $320, Associate - $400, *CBA’s - $450, Non-Affiliated IAP - $700
Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee


The OSHA 30-Hour training is designed for construction workers or managers with safety and health responsibilities.  Students learn to identify common hazards found on construction sites, and develop strategies to prevent injuries.  Although OSHA standards are discussed, this training emphasizes hazard identification, avoidance, control and prevention.  Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive and OSHA 30-Hour card as proof of compliance with OSHA mandates. 

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

 

Rough Terrain Forklift Operator Training
April 3rd
4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $35, Associate - $50, *CBA’s - $60, Non-Affiliated IAP $100
Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee


Rough terrain forklift training vividly impresses upon the students the necessity for safety in all aspects of lift truck operations and procedures.  The safety standards reviewed in detail include graphic illustrations of the personal and economic dangers inherent in the use of forklift equipment.  The step-by-step progression of this training is designed to provide the student with the knowledge and skills to become a safe and professional forklift operator.  This is the classroom portion of the total training requirement for rough terrain forklifts.

Intended Audience: This course is intended for all individuals on a jobsite who may be charged with operating a forklift at any time.


STP 3: Planning and Scheduling
April 9th, 11th, 16th & 18th
4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $175, 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


Qualified Crane Signalperson Training
April 24th
4:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $35, Associate - $50, *CBA’s - $60, Non-Affiliated IAP - $100
Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee

OSHA requires you to meet new requirements under the Crane Standard for Construction Operations – Subpart CC.  Effective November 10, 2018, anyone performing crane signals on a construction site has to be “qualified.”  For your employees to fit into this category, they must: be competent in the application of the types of signals used, have a basic understanding of crane operations and limitations, know and understand the new crane standard as it applies to signaling, and demonstrate all of the above through testing.  This new course will help contractors meet their obligations under this newly revised standard.
 
Intended Audience:  This training is intended for anyone who intends to perform signalperson duties on construction jobsites.


Crane Rigging Training
April 25th
4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Corp. GC/CM - $70 plus $20 for materials, Associate - $85 plus $20 for materials, *CBA’s - $100 plus $30 for materials, Non-Affiliated IAP - $160 plus $40 for materials.
Dan Burazin, AGC of Greater Milwaukee


In addition to qualified signalpersons and certified operators, the new OSHA crane standard requires employees who perform rigging operations to be “qualified.”  This course has been developed by the Crosby Group to assist employers in qualifying their personnel as “Qualified Riggers” as required in the new crane standards.  The standard also requires an experience component which is not provided in this course. Note: This course is four hours in length.  To receive a card verifying their attendance in this class, attendees must be present the entire four hours.  


Infection Control
April (TBD)
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Corp. GC/CM - Comp., Associate - $40, *CBA’s - $50, Non-Affiliated IAP - $75

Southeastern Wisconsin is known for its healthcare industry, and with it vibrant economic development. Builders in this market enjoy many opportunities, but also face unique and often expensive liabilities. That is why the AGC of Greater Milwaukee is teaming up with an infection control specialist to bring you a program designed to give you the tools necessary to confidently approach this work.

Moisture removal and control and dust containment are only a few remedial steps contractors need to take while working in a healthcare facility to avoid unexpected infection control risks, which can lead to patient infections and deaths. Aside from the human aspect of these injuries, claims can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Through this program you will learn the latest in industry best practices and tools necessary to reduce or eliminate these risks. This course is must for any contractor performing or considering work in this market.

For a complete list of this semester's classes or to Register for any classes,
contact our Education Director, Kim Jalalian at
kjalalian@agc-gm.org or (414) 778-4100

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Jake Jorgensen, VJS Partner and Project Manager, appointed as Chair of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) National Construction Leadership Council (CLC).

VJS Construction Services is helping to lead the commercial construction industry forward!

Jake Jorgensen, VJS Partner and Project Manager, has been appointed to a one-year term as Chair of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) National Construction Leadership Council (CLC).

Jake’s dedication is an example of the leadership and engagement we have come to rely upon in from our local contractors, and his presence at the National level will be a great showcase for southeastern Wisconsin.

In this new position, Jake intends to focus on the AGC's student chapters and student involvement. In a recent news release, he was quoted as saying, "I would like to help those involved in the AGC CLC to continue learning and honing their skills. I am glad that the AGC CLC can serve as a channel for this growth.”

His efforts were on display recently as he was a panelist before 260 attendees at the student chapter meeting at the AGC of America’s National Convention, where he and fellow speakers discussed Early Career Development.

To learn more about the local and national CLC Chapters, contact Nathan Jurowski, at njurowski@agc-gm.org or (414) 778-4100.
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Foxconn Update - Sewer Improvements, I-94, Upcoming Dates

Mount Pleasant, Caledonia, Racine County Reach Agreement On Water, Sewer Improvements

After a special joint meeting, the Racine County Board, Caledonia Village Board and Mount Pleasant Village Board all approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding funding capital costs associated with providing water service to TID #5, which includes the Foxconn project area in Mount Pleasant. Water service will be provided by the City of Racine.

"We've reached an agreement that minimizes the financial impact on the Village of Caledonia and Village of Mount Pleasant taxpayers," said Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave. "This agreement is a testament to the importance and value of intergovernmental cooperation."

To learn more, click here


Work to Begin On I-94 In Racine and Kenosha Counties

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is planning to begin work to reconstruct the remaining portions of I-94 as part of the I-94 North-South project. Work is expected to begin March 7.

The preparatory work will work on the shoulders, add temporary roadway widening, install traffic crossover locations along with drainage improvements to the area. The work will take place between County G in Racine County and WIS 142 in Kenosha County.

More information is available here.


Upcoming Dates/Meetings

On March 20 at 5:00, the Community Development Authority will hold a public hearing at Mount Pleasant Village Hall to consider the proposed redevelopment plan for the Foxconn project area. You can view the proposed plan here.
 
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In The News
 
Milwaukee Tool Announces $32 Million Expansion of Brookfield Headquarters

With a planned total investment of $32 million, Milwaukee Tool is proposing another major expansion at its global new product development center in Brookfield, Wis. A 114,500 sq.-ft., multi-story building would be built on an existing 3.5 acre lot owned by Milwaukee Tool, bringing its global headquarter space from 190,000 sq. ft., originally, to a proposed total of 504,500 sq. ft.

Over the last several years, Milwaukee Tool has experienced rapid growth, expanding employment at its Brookfield campus from more than 300 jobs in 2011 to almost 1,300 this year. This expansion would lead to the creation of 350 additional new jobs in the next five years, with an average annual salary of $75,000.

“We must grow or die. We are committed to delivering a world-class work environment to attract, retain, and recruit the best talent in the world.” said Steve Richman, Milwaukee Tool Group president. “This investment is necessary for Milwaukee Tool to continue to deliver disruptive innovation and deliver on our commitment to users and distribution partners in driving productivity on the jobsite.”

Read Full Article Here

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President Implements Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

On March 8, President Trump signed proclamations to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, with limited exceptions. AGC previously urged the President to abandon the tariffs because of their negative impacts on the construction industry. AGC members are still encouraged to contact the president and their congressional representatives to stop these tariffs. In addition, AGC has provided two memos for construction contractors—one for direct federal and federally-assisted construction contractsand another for private construction contracts—as they grapple with anticipated steel and aluminum price increases.

These tariffs will have an almost immediate impact on the cost of aluminum and steel purchased for construction projects, as the construction industry consumes 43 percent of American steel according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. The proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum will also have a direct and negative impact on construction employment, putting more than 28,000 construction jobs at risk according to a recent, nonpartisan study. Alarmingly, this figure does not even account for jobs that could be impacted by affected nations’ retaliatory trade measures. AGC will continue to press the White House and Congress to stop these tariffs.

 Learn More Here

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In This Issue
Association Highlights
U.S. adds 313,000 jobs in February in biggest gain in a year and a half
Developing a Workforce for Foxconn Mega-Project
The AGC's Education Calendar - What You Can Learn in March and April
Jake Jorgensen, VJS Partner and Project Manager, appointed as Chair of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) National Construction Leadership Council (CLC).
Foxconn Update - Sewer Improvements, I-94, Upcoming Dates
In The News
Milwaukee Tool Announces $32 Million Expansion of Brookfield Headquarters
President Implements Steel and Aluminum Tariffs
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