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
State Budget Proposals Would Help Wisconsin's Economic Recovery
Due to COVID-19 in 2020, Wisconsin’s GDP dropped by nearly 33% compared to 2019. Unemployment rates from March – December 2020 swung widely from 5.4% to over 13%. In comparison, in 2019 the unemployment rate ranged from only 3.1% to 3.6%. 

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 economic recovery desperately needs a boost. Public infrastructure projects are a time-tested means for spurring economic growth. A recent study released by AGC of Wisconsin found:

  •  every $1 spent on construction results in $1.81 of overall economic activity;
  •  every $1 million spent on construction supports an average of 12 jobs; and
  •  every $1 million spent on construction generates almost $692,000 in labor income.

The 2021-23 biennial budget, released on February 16, and the capital budget, released on February 22, show a strong commitment to tackling a long list of backlogged infrastructure projects at a critical time of economic recovery for Wisconsin.

Click here for full article.
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.  

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
Wisconsin Lawmakers Agree to Keep PPP Loans Tax Free
(The Center Square) – There’s broad agreement to keep Paycheck Protection Program loans for businesses in Wisconsin tax free.

Republican and Democrats in the State Assembly on Tuesday agreed to make sure that minority owned businesses in the state are covered in the tax-free proposal as well, and that opened the door to an overwhelmingly bipartisan 87-3 vote.

“These businesses hung-on,” Rep. John Jagler, R-Watertown said during the debate. “They were able to keep their employees because of the loans they received. They should not be punished for it.”

Rep. Ron Tusler, R-Harrison said businesses, both big and small in Wisconsin, have been through enough. They don’t need another headache from state government.

"In 2020, our businesses endured a lifetime of woes. Unless they were on Gov. Ever's arbitrary essential list, they were forced to close for months,” Tusler told The Center Square. “The idea that we would tax federal help to these damaged businesses is a mistake. Our businesses deserved federal help. We must allow them to keep the help that was offered."
Click here for full article.
Construction Wage Theft Costs WI, MN, and IL Taxpayers $362 Million Per Year
Nearly one-in-five construction workers in the Upper Midwest states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois face some form of wage theft at an annual cost to taxpayers of more than $362 million, according to a new report, The Costs of Wage Theft and Payroll Fraud in the Construction Industries of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois: Impacts on Workers and Taxpayers.

Wage theft includes a range of illegal practices, from improperly classifying employees as independent contractors and not making required payroll tax, unemployment insurance, and workers compensation contributions to paying workers less than legally required “under the table” in cash. Wage theft annually costs the State of Illinois $186 million in lost tax revenues.

Misclassified workers lose access to basic labor protections, including minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, misclassified construction workers earn 29-36% less in wages and fringe benefits.
Wage theft is a crime that causes a multi-billion drain from the pockets of working families, local governments, and state budgets—at a time when our communities can least afford it.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
2021 Compliance Training &
Civil Rights Compliance System (CRCS) Training
Who should participate?
This training will offer contractors who work on Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) highway construction projects with information and resources to meet prevailing wage and certified payroll reporting requirements. 
What topics will be covered?
The Compliance Training will cover contract requirements for WisDOT projects including identifying Federally funded projects, Davis-Bacon Federal Wage Determinations, Additional Special Provisions (ASP's), Federal law overtime, fringe benefits, deductions, paying correctly, apprentices, job site posting board, trucking, roles and responsibilities, and contract compliance investigations.
The Civil Rights Compliance System (CRCS) Training will be led by Paul Ndon. The training is geared towards all user levels and will walk through user functions such as modifying company and employee information, finding project details and wages, submitting payrolls, running reports, and assigning subcontractors.
No registration is required. You can attend the Teams meeting online for whichever date works for you.
Click here for full article.
Transportation Development Association (TDA)
Budget Update
The Governor has released his budget proposal. TDA staff is still combing through the details. Here is a summary of the governor's budget recommendations:

The proposal includes no new state revenue.
State transportation revenue (SEG) is projected to be roughly $260 million below base levels primarily because of the pandemic-induced transportation revenue losses. 
 Increased projected federal funding partially offsets the state transportation revenue shortfall resulting in a net revenue deficit of $246 million.

  • The proposal includes $556 million in new bonding. This amount is still historically low. However, it is higher than the last two biennia to fill the SEG hole.
Click here for full article.
Economic Impact of Wisconsin Construction Industry Estimated at $50.3B
MADISON, WI — A recent survey conducted in partnership between the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Wisconsin and the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder found that the economic impact of Wisconsin's Construction industry totaled an estimated $50.3 billion in economic output and contributed $27.2 billion to the state's GDP.

The construction industry in the state of Wisconsin helps drive economic growth and provides many jobs throughout the state. The industry directly produced $11 billion in real GDP in 2019, accounting for 3.6 percent of total state GDP. Real GDP was 13.9 percent higher than in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession, and has grown at a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.3 percent. Employment in the industry increased 1.7 percent to 186,792 in 2019, accounting for 5 percent of total employment in the state, and average annual wages in the industry were $64,778 in 2019, compared to the state average of $51,052 for all industries and the national construction industry average of $65,432.
Click here for full article.
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