Blog Archives

Pro-tip: Lowest Bids Don’t Lead to Great Results

A horror story from Kent, Ohio.

What would be worse than finding out your “low-bid-winning” contractor from out of state was relying on non-U.S.-citizens (in the country illegally) to maximize his profit margin on the job?

  1. Discovering the undocumented status of many of the workers on this project means they will not be paid properly and therefore the city will not capture the tax revenue their labor should generate.
  2. Worrying about the quality of the work being done, particularly since it was for student housing in this case
  3. Finding their foreman has a side-business to make a little cash by selling meth-amphetamine he’s making in his hotel room
  4. All of the above

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Project Labor Agreements fuel success

Those “other” 49ers know how important quality work is.

There’s evidence accumulating nationwide that if you simply rely on old-school lowest bid contractors you end up going back in to fix things, which obviously drives up the costs as the video below documents.

Did you know that non-union workers participate under PLAs?

Project Labor Agreements not only provide a means to boost local hiring and career training, they’re designed to ensure the biggest, most complex jobs will get done on time, under budget, using trained, highly-skilled workers who do the work right the first time. Read the rest of this entry

HELP WANTED: Director of Apprenticeship & Training

Local 49 Training Center for Operating Engineers and Apprentices

IUOE Local 49; Operating Engineers pulling our weight in MN, ND, and SD.The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 and Associated General Contractors of Minnesota Apprenticeship and Training Fund of Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, (“Training Fund”) seek resumes and applications for its Apprenticeship Program located in Hinckley, Minnesota for the position of:



The Director of Apprenticeship manages all aspects of the Apprenticeship Program in accordance with the policies established by the Board of Trustees. The Program includes a State of Minnesota approved apprenticeship program and a State of North and South Dakota approved apprenticeship program. Read the rest of this entry

Local 49’s state-of-the-art Training Center is also very “Green.”

IUOE Local 49 Training & Apprenticeship Program

Operating Engineers respect the environment

Local 49 trains operating engineers who work as heavy-equipment operators, mechanics, pipeliners, and surveyors. We opened a 65,000-square-foot facility in 2006 complete with ten (10) state-of-the-art classrooms, eight (8) large shop bays, a welding shop, and two wash bays. Located conveniently between Duluth and the Twin Cities in Minnesota, the facility includes 30,000 square feet of enclosed space to serve as an indoor area for winter/all-weather training.

Since there was no access to natural gas for heating this far outside an urban area, Minnesota-based Kresch, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates (KOMA) helped the Local 49 design a vast, efficient geothermal system with over 122 wells in the grassy area adjacent to the main facility. The geo-thermal system provides in-floor heating throughout the mechanical areas and shop bays. A heat pump system supplies the Training Center with hot water. There is also a massive makeup air system.

KOMA also designed the building’s orientation to take advantage of east-west breezes that flow through the shop bays, and the materials used in the exterior siding help with heat gain during winter months.

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Governor Mark Dayton: A Jobs Plan for Minnesota

Getting Minnesota Back to Work

Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota state Democrat-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Legislators have announced a plan to put thousands of Minnesotans back to work this year. The plan includes a number of proposals designed to provide incentives for businesses to hire out-of-work Minnesotans, invest in infrastructure and train workers for the jobs of the future.

MN Gov Dayton“From day one, my top priority has been to get Minnesota working again. Our jobs plan will help businesses create good jobs for thousands of Minnesotans who are looking for work. We need to focus on what we know will work: investing in infrastructure, providing incentives to private sector businesses to create more jobs, and training workers for high-demand careers. Read the rest of this entry

Union Dues?

Union Life, courtesy of BCTD

One of the things often thrown up as a reason to avoid union membership is “dues.” They vary from place to place, but in general terms $1/day or so is not a huge burden when you understand what it buys you.

A brief video from the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) helps put it all into perspective.

Soundbite: Life in the Trades

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