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News & Highlights

Gallup: Labor Union Approval at Generational High

This Labor Day 2021 public approval of labor unions is at a generational high.

Giving is Natural for the Trades

This past winter members of the Minnesota Building Trades put their feet and backs into helping distribute food to struggling people.

Union Building Trades Help Share the Spirit

Each year Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud get help from the leadership of the Central Minnesota Building Trades.

The Building Strong Communities Program Goes Virtual

Building Strong Communities is a program to help students experience a variety of construction trades and assist them in career decisions.

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, Construction Standards, and Wages

Read about some of the details related to the Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

Hands on Learning at Trades Boot Camp

A dozen students from the Mankato area got the chance to sample nine different building trades at the first South Central Construction Trades Boot Camp held at Mankato West High School.

Union Building Trades Reach Out

Gleaming amidst the piles of rubble that were once retail establishments and the boarded up facades of stores still standing on Lake Street in Minneapolis stood the Laborers Local 563 semi tractor trailer. It brought relief, in the way of food, to the neighborhood.

Strong Prevailing Wage Requirements Result in a $320,000 Wage Recovery

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recently announced nearly $320,000 in total back wages paid to 70 workers for Millennium Concrete.

Boilermakers Keep Lakers in Ship Shape

As the weather begins to warm up and the snow begins to melt, another rite of spring begins in Minnesota — the shipping season starts on the Great Lakes.

March 1-7: WIC WEEK 2020

During the first week in March the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) mobilized its 118 U.S. chapters to recognize and laud the achievements of women in the building construction trades. The focus of Women in Construction Week is…

14th Annual Injured Apprentices Fundraiser

The country’s late night TV entertainment has its Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel) and a Conan (O’Brien). But, he Minnesota Building Trades has its Larry. Larry Gilbertson, the president of the Apprenticeship Coordinators Association, once again emceed the 14th Annual Injured…

Jenny Winklaar: Chasing the Notorious RBG

When it was announced the Trades Women Build Nations Conference was coming to the Twin Cities, Minneapolis Building Trades Director of Marketing & Public Relations Jenny Winklaaar suggested one speaker she thought they should get — the only octogenarian in…

Insulators Local 34 September 2019 RibFest

On Saturday September 21st Insulators Local 34 held their annual RibFest.  Young and old alike attended.  The food was exceptional.  (Photos by: Vince Muzik)

Construct Tomorrow Hits the Bold North

Construct Tomorrow took its show to Northern Minnesota, hosting events in Hinckley at Grand Casino and for two days in Duluth at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Construct Tomorrow hosted nine events, starting in Eveleth in October and ending with one at Minneapolis Cooper High School in early March.

American Contractors and Associates / Ricardo Batres Violated Wage Theft Law

Channel 5 Eyewitness News reports on Wage Theft in the construction industry. (September 2019)

Minnesota Apprenticeship Up 27% Since 2014

Read the article from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute about increases in apprenticeship participation and the related study. 

Minnesota Apprenticeship Video 2019

Watch a video highlighting the Minnesota Apprenticeship Programs.

Trades Women – It’s Your Time

The Minneapolis Hilton will host the 9th National Trades Women Build Nations Conference, October 4-6.

Like Mother, Like Daughter: Brays Work Together as 49ers

When work on the I-35W Downtown to Crosstown project resumes in earnest this spring, Kim and Brittney Bray will be hard at work once again. Amidst the mountains of concrete piled high in the southbound lanes and the heavy equipment,…

It’s Not Lady Luck – It’s Hard Work and Perseverance

The Women Building Success awards, created just last year to recognize outstanding women workers in the local building trades, drew a standing-room-only crowd at Surly Brewing in Minneapolis on March 6.

Plasterers Help Haven for Heroes

A surprising number of veterans experience difficulty returning home from their service.

Trades Raise Money for Injured Apprentices; Aske Honored

Representatives from all the trades packed the big room at Mancini’s Char House in St. Paul Monday, Feb. 4, for the Apprenticeship Coordinators Association’s Injured Apprenticeship Fundraiser Dinner.

Electricians Power Up Habitat for Humanity Home

Rice County Habitat for Humanity’s latest home project is located on Willow Street, one of the city’s main throughfares in Faribault, MN.

Minnesota Nice on Minnesota Ice

Residents of Minnesota don’t fear winter. They embrace it. Such was the case on Saturday, Jan. 19, when 100 kids joined their parents to go fishing on Coon Lake as part of the Take Kids Ice Fishing Day, sponsored by…

Minnesota State Prevailing Wage Certifications 2018-2019

This is our annual review of Minnesota State Prevailing Wage basics.

Twin Cities IBEW EWMC Gives Back, 2018

Giving is the hallmark of the Christmas/Holiday Season. Union people don’t wait until Christmas to help their communities though; they do it year-round. A case in point was the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Day of Service 2018…

Tribal Nations & Minnesota Building Trades Partner to Develop Apprenticeship Readiness

Over the last year, six Tribal Nations and the Minnesota Building Trades have piloted a new apprenticeship readiness program to prepare tribal members to enter the union construction industry.

A Concrete Christmas at the Local 633 Apprenticeship School

New Brighton, Minn. (Dec. 1, 2018) — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — especially at the Local 633 JATC (Joint Apprenticeship Training Center) …

Prevailing Wage Levels The Playing Field

Greater Minnesota supports its local economies and strengthens its skilled workforce …

An Examination of Minnesota’s Prevailing Wage Law

This is a prevailing wage study completed in May 2018 that examines the effects of Minnesota’s Prevailing Wage Law on costs, training, and economic development.

Minnesota Prevailing Wage Study “Report Summary”

This is a 4-page Report Summary of the Minnesota prevailing wage study, An Examination of Minnesota’s Prevailing Wage Law, completed in May 2018.

Minnesota Prevailing Wage Study “Key Findings”

This is a one-page summary of the Key Findings from the 2018 Minnesota prevailing wage study, An Examination of Minnesota’s Prevailing Wage Law, completed in May 2018.

New Studies Show That Stronger Unions Produce Faster Wage Growth

Check out this comparison of economic growth based on union strength. This was written by Todd Stenhouse of the Midwest Economic Policy Institute.

Prevailing Wage Stories Delivered by KIMT3 TV and Channel 6 in Rochester

KIMT3 TV of Rochester and Channel 6 (abc) of Rochester air prevailing wage stories.

Missouri Voters Defeat Right To Work Proposition

On Tuesday, August 7, voters in Missouri went to the polls to vote in the state’s primary for November’s election.

Another One Bites the Dust In Michigan

Michigan Repeals Prevailing Wage On June 6, Michigan became the 6th state in the last three years to repeal its Prevailing Wage law. The repeal was originated and pushed by the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC). It began as…

Como High Partnership Offers Career Path in Building Trades

The Pioneer Press Highlights Como Park Student Participation in Minnesota Trades Academy Program

Union Building Trades Strengthen School Curriculum

Minnesota is implementing the North America Building Trades Union (NABTU) Multi-Craft Core Curriculum (MC3) in several schools thoughout the state to introduce pre-apprentices and secondary students to the various building trades.


The Union Advocate Newsletter for April 2018 highlights the Mark H. Ayers Community Achievement Award presented by the North American Building Trades Council.

Minnesota Cement Finisher Interviewed By The Times

It was exciting to see a Minnesota cement mason apprentice in the March NY Times. The article includes an interview.
(Photo by: Tim Gruber of NY Times)

JATCs — Still Best in Construction Industry

The government recently promoted “Apprenticeship Week” around the U.S., and it was often repeated that the Building Trades set the high standard to which the government wants all programs to aspire. But it’s not enough to simply have an apprenticeship…

Enforcement Highlight: Jamek Engineering

FCF first ran into Jamek Engineering in 2012. When FCF first investigated Jamek we discovered workers who had been paid less than 25% of the prevailing wage requirements on public projects and some workers who were denied payment altogether. In…

School Construction Continues to Boom

As most people reading this likely know, construction is booming across the State of Minnesota. For the past few years construction in the state has been at very high levels, and it does not look like 2018 will be any…

Responsible Contractor Law Turns 3, Takes a Bite out of Independent Contractor Misclassification

Minnesota’s Responsible Contractor Law has now been effective for three years. The law applies to publicly owned construction projects in Minnesota valued at $50,000 or more.

Wisconsin Prevailing Wage Repeal

Earlier this year Wisconsin completed its repeal of its prevailing wage laws. Wisconsin began its prevailing wage assault by previously repealing prevailing wage requirements for local governments. Data collected by the Wisconsin Coalition of Contractors showed that from January through…

Apprenticeship Programs are Getting the Attention They Deserve

November brought in a greater emphasis on national apprenticeship programs than the Country has seen in recent years. National Apprenticeship Week was celebrated from November 13-19th. Of course, the pioneers in massive apprenticeship success have long been that National Building…

Destined For Destruction: What Was Old Will Be New Again

In early 2016, the historic west end Hope Engine Company #3 firehouse, located at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Leech Street in St. Paul, was destined for the wrecking ball. Built in 1871, it served as St. Paul’s first…

Hunt Electric Makes A Difference For A Pre-Apprentice

Faith, persistence, ambition, and the generosity of, IBEW 292, Hunt Electric and many friends have changed the life of Calvin Mulumba. More than likely, the management at Hunt Electric is not aware of what a difference they have made in…