Honoring the men and women who build Wisconsin

The following appeared as a letter to the editor in several newspapers across Wisconsin during the Labor Day weekend.

By John Mielke

On Labor Day, we honor the men and women who build our communities. From roads to bridges, schools and municipal buildings, Wisconsin’s construction industry has contributed to our local development, advancement and strength for decades. And the construction industry builds people, too, by prioritizing well-paying jobs, professional advancement and lifelong learning.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin and our more than 870 members have been setting the standard for excellence in construction since 1976, and workforce development remains one of our strategic goals. Our chapter – the largest of 72 ABC chapters throughout the country – is working hard to recruit and train the next generation of construction workers. These efforts are most evident in our apprenticeship program, which features more than 1,500 workers who are receiving paid on-the-job instruction in 12 different construction trades.

Our industry as a whole continues to face skilled worker shortages. That is why ABC of Wisconsin is committed to working with our industry peers, local leaders and state policymakers to spread the word about family sustaining jobs in construction, and to invest in construction apprenticeship, on-the-job instruction, safety training, workforce development and management education programs.

To succeed as an industry and as a state, we must redouble efforts to recruit and educate current and future generations of construction workers – the men and women who build Wisconsin.

Learn more about careers in construction at www.abcwi.org or www.buildyourcareerwi.org.

John Mielke is the president of Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin.