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

Welcome Dawn Jones

CBG is pleased to announce that we have added another investigator to our staff. Dawn Jones joined CBG on September 25th and will be working in the South Central area. Dawn has exceptional experience and knowledge as an investigator. She spent over 25 years as an officer, detective and then lieutenant with the Milwaukee Police Department, conducting and overseeing complex criminal investigations.

Dawn is also a consultant and trainer on multiple topics, including human trafficking, missing persons, child exploitation and narcotics investigations. Dawn has trained the vast majority of law enforcement agencies, judges and prosecutors throughout Wisconsin on human trafficking. Given that labor trafficking is becoming more and more prevalent in the construction industry, her expertise in human trafficking is a natural fit for a CBG investigator.

Dawn is an adjunct instructor for Waukesha Area Technical College, teaching multiple topics to recruits while in the law enforcement training academy. After retirement from MPD in 2019 and immediately before joining CBG, Dawn was a Senior Project Manager on the Anti-Human Trafficking Team for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. In that role, she helped create anti-human trafficking curriculum and provided the curriculum for the enhanced collaborative model for anti-human trafficking task forces throughout the United States.

Over the years, Dawn has been the recipient of multiple awards for her achievements. She received the 2019 Martha Love Trailblazer Award from the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee. In 2017, she received the 2017 Crime Victim Service Award: Law Enforcement Award from the Wisconsin Victim/Witness Professionals Association and the Valor Award from the Human Trafficking Task Force of Greater Milwaukee. Dawn was recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation for her efforts as a federally deputized task force officer, received the Soroptimist Ruby Award by Soroptimist International, and was selected for The Crime Victims’ Rights Award by the United States Attorney’s Office.

With the addition of Dawn, CBG now has eight investigators protecting the Wisconsin construction industry. A map showing the regions of CBG’s investigators and listing the name, telephone number and email address of each investigator is linked here. CBG’s investigators are a resource for you, so please do not hesitate to contact them with questions or concerns regarding a job in your area.

Building Wisconsin Together®

National Apprenticeship Week:Nov 13-19

Construction Business Group is committed to promoting construction trades as career choice to meet the needs of our contractors and ensure there is adequate bench-depth of membership for the future.  

As we approach National Apprenticeship Week, here are a few ways that you can join us in celebrating the industry and promoting apprenticeship opportunities.  


Participate in the Externship Days at the Coloma Training Center (November 13-15th)

This one-day immersive career exploration event at the Local 139 training center includes:

  • Tour of the training center, including the indoor training arena
  • Hands-on experience with mini excavators and equipment simulators
  • Information about the apprenticeship process (pre-, registered, and youth)
  • Interaction with current apprentices and Operators
  • Discussion with employers about opportunities that exist and what they are seeking in employees

Promote the pre-apprenticeship program for high school students

Tell a student, parent, or educator about the pre-apprenticeship opportunity available through Wisconsin Operating Engineer’s partnership with Destinations Career Academy.  

  • Wisconsin’s online public charter school focused on Career & Technical Education
  • DWD certified pre-apprenticeship program 
  • Student remains enrolled at their current high school
  • Take 1-2 Operating Engineer pre-apprenticeship courses a semester
  • Basic Equipment
  • Basic Maintenance
  • Basic Grade & Math for the Trades
  • CDL Preparation
  • Complete apprenticeship requirements while still in high school

Help students in your community explore a career as an Operating Engineer

There are many ways to provide experience to students, without getting behind the controls of a piece of equipment:

  • Coordinate with the training center to have a simulator visit your local school
  • Attend a career fair event and share your personal experience
  • Offer to provide a talk and tour of a nearby job that you are working on
  • Host students at your company to learn about the variety of careers available
  • Consider offering a job shadow on work experience to a student on work release

Industry News

Federal Court Enters Consent Judgment Ordering P&B partitions to Pay $360K for Wage, Retaliation Violations at MA Project

The following are excerpts from the U.S. Departments of Labor’s new release:


BOSTON – A federal court in Boston has entered a consent judgment ordering a New Jersey-based framing contractor to pay 61 construction employees $283,492 in back wages and liquidated damages and $46,507 in punitive damages to two former employees, allegedly fired for cooperating with U.S. Department of Labor investigators. 

The department obtained the judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against P & B Partitions Inc. of West Berlin after an investigation by its Wage and Hour Division and litigation by its Office of the Solicitor concerning the employer’s overtime, recordkeeping and anti-retaliation violations at the Caldwell Monroe Street development project in Lynn.

The department alleged P & B tried to avoid paying overtime premiums to certain employees. Specifically, the department found that the employers made payments to certain employees, including employees paid by P & B and its drywall subcontractor, and employees paid solely by the drywall subcontractor on behalf of P & B, for hours in excess of 40 in a workweek, without the overtime rate required by law. In addition, some employees associated with the drywall subcontractor were not paid wages for certain hours worked in overtime workweeks.

The department also determined P & B failed to keep accurate records of hours worked and compensation paid to certain employees, including cash payments. The department further alleged that company owner Ronald Biglin, Jr. directed the firing of one employee who spoke to an investigator and foreperson Arturo Briones fired a second for participating in the investigation.

In addition to the back wages and liquidated damages, the consent judgment forbids P & B Partitions, Biglin, and Briones from future Fair Labor Standards Act overtime, recordkeeping and retaliation violations. The judgment also requires P & B Partitions, Biglin and Briones to pay a civil money penalty of $30,000 to the department for the willful nature of their violations.

View the consent judgment.

“The Wage and Hour Division will not tolerate employers that seek to avoid their responsibility to properly pay overtime wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Carlos Matos in Boston. “The division will pursue employers that use subcontracting arrangements designed to conceal the improper payment of wages that employees have worked hard to earn.”

“The Fair Labor Standards Act forbids employers from attempting to silence workers who question or report their pay practices. Employers must understand that any form of threat or retaliation against workers who assert their rights can have significant consequences and the U.S. Department of Labor will pursue appropriate legal actions on behalf of those workers,” said regional solicitor Maia Fisher in Boston. 

US Departments of Labor's new Release

The Dotted Line: How to prepare for

Davis-Bacon Updates

There are a slew of changes that contractors need to be aware of, or risk paying back wages and penalties

This feature is a part of “The Dotted Line” series, which takes an in-depth look at the complex legal landscape of the construction industry. To view the entire series, click here.

The Biden administration’s recent changes to the Davis-Bacon Act are the most dramatic in a generation. They restore the Labor Department’s definition of prevailing wage that was used until 1983, thereby increasing construction workers’ pay on federally funded projects. The new rule, which goes into effect Oct. 23, also expands types of work and workers covered, and boosts enforcement.

Continue Reading

Report confirms Wisconsin's $7.1B budget surplus is highest in state history

The general fund surplus and rainy-day fund combined amount to nearly half what the

state spent last year

MADISON — State government made it official Monday, Oct. 16: The last budget ended with a surplus of nearly $7.1 billion dollars — the highest in state history.

The number from the state's annual fiscal report reflects the state's general fund balance at the end of June. Though some of the surplus will be spent down over the next two years, the state is still projected to end the current budget with a surplus of about $4 billion.

Jason Stein, research director at the Wisconsin Policy Forum, said the surplus could be affected by an economic downturn or if fuel prices were to rise dramatically because of conflict in the Middle East.

Or, even though it might seem unlikely now, if GOP leaders and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers could agree on how to spend it.

"The Legislature and governor could come together and pass a big tax cut or pass a big increase in child care funding and that would further decrease the surplus," he said.

At the start of budget negotiations, Evers proposed a $2.6 billion investment in schools and investment in a new paid family and medical leave program for private and public workers, among other programs. Republicans called for tax cuts, including for the state's wealthiest residents.

In the end, Republicans deleted many of Evers' budget proposals and gave him less than half of what he wanted for public schools, and the governor used his partial veto to reject a tax cut for the state's top two brackets.

The state's annual fiscal report also confirmed it had $1.8 billion dollars in its rainy-day fund as of the end of June. Stein said the surplus and rainy-day fund combined equal nearly half of what the state spent last year.

"I think everybody agrees that the state of Wisconsin does not need to carry reserves that equal almost half of its budgeted spending for a given year," Stein said. "That's very large. I mean, I can remember years where the state's reserves would've covered only like 1 percent of net appropriations."

In a written statement announcing the surplus figure Monday, Evers urged the Legislature to take up his latest workforce plan that includes child care funding, an expansion of family leave and more money for higher education.

"I've said from the beginning that with this historic surplus comes historic opportunity and responsibility — today, we can afford to do more," Evers said.

On Monday, Evers also announced that he would put $170 million dollars in federal funding toward continuing a child care subsidy.

Republicans are moving forward with their own ideas for how to spend down the surplus, including a revived plan to cut taxes.

Final Rule Effective for the Davis-Bacon Act

Effective today, October 23, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor implemented the final rule, “Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations.” This implementation follows the official publishing of the final rule in the Federal Register on August 23, 2023.

Learn More

The change in regulation provides greater clarity and enhances the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) regulations’ effectiveness in the modern economy. Updates to the regulations strengthen and streamline the process for setting and enforcing prevailing wage rates on federally funded construction projects. This ensures that when the federal government invests in infrastructure, it also invests in workers.  

These regulatory changes improve the department’s ability to administer and enforce DBRA labor standards effectively and efficiently. These changes include:  

  • Creating several efficiencies in the prevailing wage update system and ensuring prevailing wage rates keep up with actual wages, which over time would mean higher wages for workers. 
  • Returning to the definition of “prevailing wage” used from 1935 to 1983 to ensure prevailing wages reflect actual wages paid to workers in the local community. 
  • Periodically updating prevailing wage rates to address out-of-date wage determinations. 
  • Providing broader authority to adopt state or local wage determinations when certain criteria are met. 
  • Issuing supplemental rates for key job classifications when no survey data exists. 
  • Updating the regulatory language to better reflect modern construction practices.
  • Strengthening worker protections and enforcement, including debarment and new anti-retaliation provisions.

Visit our website for more information on the Davis-Bacon Final Rule and the Davis-Bacon Act.

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