The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, April 28, 2017

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Trades display what we do on May 9

Building trades unions, their contractors and contractor associations from across Michigan will be putting their best foot forward on Tuesday, May 9 at the Lansing Center, 333 E Michigan Ave.

The event will feature displays from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Lansing Center's Exhibit Hall C. "Learn how tomorrow’s skilled trades workers are being trained today, with interactive displays from Michigan’s premiere construction worker training programs and contractors," says a flyer for the event. 

Speakers will include Craig Degenfelder of Consumers Energy, Mike Haller of Walbridge, and Bob Richard of DTE Energy. Tim Skubick of WKAR television and Off the Record will be the emcee.

The conference will include a lunch program from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a reception from 4-6 p.m. Registration and other information can be found at

"This event is essentially an effort to put what we do and who we are, front and center with our state lawmakers, their staff, and the people who run our state's government," said Patrick Devlin, secretary-treasurer of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. "One of the best kept secrets out there is that we completely self-fund our training programs, with no handouts from the government. And our training programs are without question that best in the business."

The event will be held with craft and training demonstrations and knowledgeable staff and handouts depicting the work of the 15 building and construction crafts and their employers.

"We need to bring sunshine to our own training programs, we have a lot to be proud of, but it's our responsibility to get the message out," said Mike Crawford, executive director of the National Electrical Contractors Association - Michigan Chapter. "This May 9 is going to be a big event, It's an important event. It's an opportunity to tell Lansing House and Senate members about how we train our workforce. It's time we get to work to show our best and brightest."

Momentum gains for building biz

The Dodge Momentum Index for the U.S. construction industry is looking good.

It increased 0.9 percent in March to 144.4 (2000 = 100), and has now risen six consecutive months. Much of the gain is being driven by institutional projects entering planning, Dodge said on April 7, while commercial projects so far in 2017 have receded slightly.

The overall Momentum Index, as well as the commercial and institutional components, are well above their year-ago levels, Dodge said, adding: "This continues to signal the potential for increased construction activity in 2017 despite the short-term setbacks that are inherent in the volatile month-to-month planning data."