Hunzinger Construction Company recently completed work on Progressive Community Healthcare’s $11 million, 42,000 square foot, 3-story Lisbon Avenue Health Center which is a new facility designed by HGA Architects and Engineers. This new clinic enables Progressive to serve an additional 11,000 patients annually and is a federally-qualified health center providing services to primarily underserved, low-income populations in Milwaukee’s central city.
Progressive really wanted to have a positive impact on the neighborhood surrounding the clinic and established diversity goals for the construction of the new clinic. In this effort, the project established small, minority and women-owned business contracting goals as well as local workforce hiring goals. Specifically, contracts totaling at least 25% of the total construction costs needed to be awarded to S/M/WBE firms. Hunzinger Senior Project Manager Dan Davies and Diversity Coordinator Joan Zepecki worked to ensure that 35% SBE and 37% M/WBE firms were utilized on the project, far surpassing the 25% goal.
Prism Technical Management and Marketing Services, LLC was retained by Hunzinger to track the monthly utilization rates to ensure that project goals were met. Some diverse firms that worked on the project included Prism, Rams Contracting, Arteaga Construction, B & D Contractors, Sonag Redi-Mix, Heider & Bott, Express Insulation, Affirmative Supply, KMI, Hess Sweitzer, Gibraltar Industries and Hurt Electric. Prism staff also tracked the workforce hours to ensure that workers on site were being paid according to living-wage standards and that the local workforce requirements were being met.
Furthermore, a local workforce utilization requirement was established that at least 10% of the labor hours on the project had to be performed by workers that resided within a 6-zip code “priority” area surrounding the clinic site. Subcontractors implemented efforts to verify the availability of workers with either WRTP/BIG STEP or their respective union hall(s). If workers were not available within the priority zip codes, contractors were able to engage workers within the limits of the City of Milwaukee. Hunzinger not only met the local workforce goal but surpassed it by ensuring that 30% of the worker hours on the project were performed by City of Milwaukee residents.
Hunzinger brought WRTP/BIG STEP onto our team to assist with meeting the workforce goals. WRTP/BIG STEP is a workforce liaison serving the construction industry in Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin. The primary role of WRTP/BIG STEP on the project was to ensure the availability of a qualified and skilled workforce, and to promote active involvement of the community as needed. WRTP/BIG STEP has exceptional preparation, education, and training programs in place, and has the capacity to assist the trades and contractors with direct recruitment of candidates.
“We are really proud to say that this project is having a positive effect beyond the initial construction project because we have been able to make training and employment connections beyond construction jobs. This project is helping people access effective and comprehensive job training and employment opportunities that they would not have known existed. Workers are getting RPP certified, working on getting their driver’s licenses (usually a job requirement), and completing their GED’s to begin accessing job opportunities. We are really grateful for this opportunity to have such a positive impact in the neighborhood and to have served as Construction Mangers on this great project,” Senior Project Manager Dan Davies reflected.