Job openings grow across Minnesota, but quality remains poor

More job openings are available in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota, but the pace of employment growth still lags and the quality of many of the jobs is poor, according to an analysis by the JOBS NOW Coalition.

There are nearly twice as many job openings in the Twin Cities Metro Region as three years ago, according to the updated Job Vacancy Survey from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. There are now 34,600 metro job openings, which means that most of the openings that vanished during the Great Recession have been regained, JOBS NOW said. Read more »

U.S. Labor Department collects back pay for building workers in Woodbury, St. Michael - The U.S. Department of Labor said it has recovered $430,000 in back wages for 59 employees performing drywall hanging and finishing work on the Uptown at City Walk housing project in Woodbury and the city hall, library and senior center construction project in St. Michael.

A government investigation found subcontractors on the projects violated provisions of federal wage laws requiring contractors who are working on federally funded projects to pay the proper prevailing wages to their workers as determined by the secretary of labor. Read more »

Union pensions fund new downtown Minneapolis housing

MINNEAPOLIS - Members of the Building Trades, along with investors and city officials, broke ground for a new rental housing development in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis that is funded through union pensions.
“We believe Dock Street will prove to be a sound investment for our investors,” Kevin McCarthy, representing the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, said of the Dock Street residences, located at 333 Washington Ave. N. Read more »

Energy Retrofitting Could Become $400 Billion Industry, Create 160,000 Jobs

Retrofitting buildings has the potential to reduce our nation’s energy usage by 20 percent while creating more than 150,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Department of EnergyRead more »

Are You Ready For Some Football? The NFL Says "Yes" to Project Labor Agreements

Since 1998, 18 NFL stadiums have been constructed; are currently being constructed; will soon begin construction; or have undergone substantial renovations. 10 of those stadiums - in Baltimore, Foxboro, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Green Bay, New York, Pittsburgh, and Seattle - were constructed or renovated entirely under a PLA. In addition, San Francisco's new stadium is currently being constructed under a PLA in Santa Clara, CA, and the Minnesota Vikings have already stated their preference for a PLA for the construction of their new stadium in Minneapolis. Read more »

Painter built life around a career as bricklayer

(Minneapolis StarTribune) For 32 years, Doug Carlson had an exacting job. He laid bricks for Local No. 1 of the Bricklayers Union. You can see his work everywhere from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul to the Wendy's in Rosemount. "Kind of ran the gamut," he says, over an Americano and a pancake at Trotter's Café in St. Paul. "With bricklaying, things come down to one-thirtieth of an inch." Read more »

1 Job for Every 3.4 Jobless Workers—Skills Shortage Isn't the Problem

Republicans in Congress and the Beltway pundits who parrot them like to say the nation's unemployment crisis is in large part due to workers' lack of skills.

Once again, a new report shows they are wrong.

Data out yesterday show that although the number of jobs is increasing, there still are far fewer jobs per worker available, with 3.4 jobless workers for every one job. The data, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI): Read more »

Laborers’ Honored as Apprenticeship Trailblazer and Innovator

Wednesday, August 1, marked the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act and at a ceremony marking the historic job training act, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis honored the Laborers’ (LIUNA) apprenticeship programs with a 21st Century Trailblazer and Innovator award. Read more »

Labor Federation president named to stadium board

Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation president Bill McCarthy was sworn in last month by Governor Mark Dayton as one of the five members of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the appointed board that will guide development of the new Minnesota Vikings football stadium. McCarthy was one of two Authority members appointed by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

Governor Mark Dayton appointed three Authority members, including Michele Kelm-Helgen, whom he appointed as its chair. Read more »

Wind Slow Down Already Seen in Minnesota

The following post is from Katie Gulley, Regional Program Manager for the BlueGreen Alliance in Minnesota. Monday, I had the pleasure of visiting International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 343’s Training Facility in Rochester, MN with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. Read more »