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74 | July-August 2015

Task Masters DOL cracks down on illegal practices in construction industry By AMANDA VENTURA


or the last five years, the Department of Labor has investigated 16 companies in Utah and Arizona for misclassifying employees as contractors. It came to a close on April 23 with $700,000 owed in back wages, damages and penalties for more than 1,000 construction industry workers in the Southwest. However, this is hardly the end of the DOL’s targeting of the construction industry for illegal labor and wage practices. “Many employers are feeling the squeeze in the construction industry from the recession and they’re looking for answers and sometimes innocently stumble on the answer of making people independent contractors,” says John Doran, attorney at Sherman & Howard. The aforementioned case, for instance, included a company that asked its employees to form LLCs. It went from having employees one day to having none. Misclassification of employees and contractors is more often than not unintentional, experts say. The easier said than done solution is educating employers and employees. “Arizona does present additional challenges as a border state,” says Jesús Olivares, community outreach specialist for the DOL’s wage and hour division. “A lot of migrant workers and transient employees work here and then move on

to other states. It’s a culture in which employees think in order to keep a job, they can put up with these illegal practices. Migrants have no options and that creates an additional obstacle for us. I think here, locally, more than 60 percent of employees who have been misclassified are Hispanic.” Even if employees seem happy, says Tracy Miller, attorney at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, it only takes one person to set an investigation in motion. Sometimes that catalyst is a competitor who is getting underbid by a company that can afford to charge less for a project due to money being saved by misclassifying employees. On average, misclassifying workers can save a company 30 to 35 percent of worker overhead, Olivares says. “We try to educate our members,” says Arizona Builders Alliance Executive Director Mark Minter. “Employment law attorneys come to our conventions … I hope, as a result of those efforts, people are more aware of potential pitfalls.” Minter says most calls from members seeking advice concern issues of travel time and apprenticeship classifications, not about righting the misclassification of employees. Minter understands the consequences of misclassification, citing a personal friend who lost his business 75


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ABA “If the right players are involved and the right players know what they’re looking for, we’re going to make the light shine forward and force the bad actors into the dark further.” – Matt Meaker

John Doran

Helen Holden

Matt Meaker

Tracy Miller

because he improperly reported sales tax and was audited by the Department of Revenue. The solution, for Minter, is transparency from the DOL. He recalls that shortly after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed, a lot of government projects were swept into the pipeline and scooped up by contractors who may have not understood federal classification rules. “We tried to get guidelines from

the DOL, but we were told, ‘We’ll look at the situation and advise after the fact,’” Minter recalls. This led to expensive misinterpretations of federal guidelines, he said. Olivares, in concert with industry leaders, such as Sacks Tierney lawyers Matt Meaker and Helen Holden, and organizations like the ABA, launched the Employee Misclassification Compliance Assistance Program about a year ago to further the educational mission.

The Fine Print

breaks out the straight time and overtime. It is imperative to the DOL that these add up and are recorded accurately. Also, if there is a piece rate or a bonus, those numbers/hours need to be shown separately.

Thom Cope, partner at Mesch, Clark & Rothschild, offers advice for protecting one’s company from misclassification problems. What can contractors do to protect themselves or prepare for an audit from the Department of Labor?

The No. 1 thing is to keep accurate records of hours worked for their non-exempt people. The second thing is to make sure the payroll check stub clearly delineates the hours worked and 78 | July-August 2015

What is the biggest mistake and/or misconception contractors make with regards to misclassifying workers?

The biggest mistake is that contractors want to save overtime so they put people on “salary.” Putting someone on salary is a sure sign to the DOL that the employer is not paying overtime. As I said, hours for non-exempt workers needs to be accurately kept and employees must be absolutely held to the fire to make sure their time sheets are accurate. Supervisors must not “OK” time sheets that are not accurate.

Mark Minter

Jesús Olivares

The EMCAP program is a self-audit tool developed to help contractors assess their classification practices. The program also offers a good faith model in which the agency will waive money going to the federal government. “Peer pressure is a powerful tool,” says Meaker. “If the right players are involved and the right players know what they’re looking for, we’re going to make the light shine forward and force the bad actors into the dark further.”

What advice regarding worker classifications can you suggest to contractors?

Have accurate job descriptions. Make sure that workers work are not working unauthorized overtime. Make sure the payroll company is accurately informed about the hours. The payroll company relies on the employer for accurate information. They don’t know what is going on at your company. Give them accurate information. What can contractors do to ensure they aren’t misclassifying their workers?

Have an audit by a competent employment attorney who understands the classification system and has years of experience not only doing the audits but knows what the DOL is looking for when they do their investigation.


COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION POISED FOR REBOUND By Mark Minter, executive director, Arizona Builders Alliance Joe DuVall, president, ABA; project executive, Kitchell



ometimes, it looked like the Great Recession was never going to end. Layoffs, shrinking or non-existent margins, projects that bid but never got built all seemed to be the order of the day in recent years. It looks like the years of frustration may be over. Recent trends in Arizona indicate that construction job numbers are on the rebound and projects with real financing seem to be working their way back into the market. In the last year, Arizona experienced 2-percent growth in construction employment — the first real job growth experienced in construction in a number of years. Additionally, there are a number of large projects that should be underway in the near future. Projects in hospitality, health care and speculative office/retail are poised to start later this year or in early 2016. Contractors are reporting healthy rebounds in backlog and prospective projects to bid. With that, the potential for labor shortages is around the corner. Many construction workers retired or left Arizona for greener pastures when the market collapsed in 2009. Contractors will be faced with the challenges of recruiting trade and professional workers to the industry. Once hired, those new employees will need to be trained and acculturated to the construction industry. The Arizona Builders Alliance offers a variety of programs aimed at helping contractors with workforce training issues. ABA operates apprentice and training programs for electricians, mechanical workers and heavy equipment operators. The programs are offered at Gateway Community College, Central Arizona College and by online correspondence for students on remote or out-of-state projects. New professional employees to the industry face the same level of need for training. The ABA has an entire series of training in legal, safety, financial and managerial areas. For a complete list of upcoming classes, visit

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ABA ABA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Fred Knapp Vice president, Tucson, CORE Construction, Inc. Years in construction: 37 Years at CORE: 6 Years as an ABA member: 6   Role at CORE: Business development, project director and local liaison between owners, staff and subcontractors. I also, direct support and coordinate community service projects.   What’s one thing everyone should know about your company? Since 1937, CORE has been a family-owned business. Headquartered in Phoenix, we have offices across the country from Reno, Nev., to Ft. Myers, Fla. Our emphasis is that service comes first.   What are recent projects you’ve worked on in Arizona? Arbor De La Vita and Likens Hall (University of Arizona dormitories), Ed Pastor Justice Complex (Nogales), school projects for Continental, Sahuarita and Amphitheater districts and TUSD Solar. What’s on your bucket list? Professionally, I would like to leave the legacy that promotes our “CORE Values” — honesty, integrity and continuous improvement. Personally, we will see what the future holds.


Marty Hedlund Sr. vice president and Southwest district manager, Sundt Construction, Inc. Years in construction: 32 Years at Sundt: 31 Years as an ABA member: Since the beginning! Sundt was involved in the merging of AGC Building Chapter and the ABC organization into the ABA. Role at Sundt: I lead about 100 talented employee owners of Sundt in providing services in the construction of projects throughout Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas.  

What’s one thing everyone should know about your company?

We are 100 percent employee owned and celebrating our 125th anniversary in 2015. What are recent projects you’ve worked on in Arizona? UA Health Science Education Building, Chandler City Hall, ASU Cronkite School of Journalism, Riverpoint Center, Henkel/Dial Headquarters and R&D Building, ASU Sun Devil Stadium transformation.

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What’s on your bucket list? I am an avid golfer. On my bucket list is to play as many of the top 100 golf courses in the world as I can and see some great parts of this great planet. Why did you join ABA? ABA provides true industry leadership, from its staunch representation of our interests in the legislative process to developing exceptional leaders and construction professionals through its educational programs. Being active in ABA supports all that is good about our industry.   How has being an ABA member contributed to your professional success? I participated in the year-long Leadership Development Forum many years ago, and it really opened my eyes to the possibilities for success in our industry and introduced me to many colleagues who I rely on for support today.   What is one of the biggest obstacles that the construction industry will face in 2015? As our markets continue to improve, and hopefully catch fire, the war for talent in management and craft is critical to win. We are only as good as our people.

Why did you join ABA? I believe the work the ABA staff does through legislative initiatives and community service is not only important but crucial to the success of our industry. How has being an ABA member contributed to your professional success? It has assisted in validating our primary purpose and theme of serving our clients and the communities in which we work, along with giving us an opportunity to better ourselves as reflected in our CORE values. In retrospect, I believe it has enhanced our standing in the business community and in the eyes of our peers.   What is one of the biggest obstacles that the construction industry will face in 2015? My biggest concern is the ability of the individual trades to have qualified personnel (in place) to man each and every project which will be under construction in the near future.


CRAFTING A FUTURE ABA-AGC apprenticeship program to fill talent shortage By AMANDA VENTURA


he house, the cabin, the cars and the company. Dean Lundstrom lost it all when he declared bankruptcy in 2010. Twenty-six employees were out of work. Before turning the page on Chapter 11, his company had been awarded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects. At a point, though, Lundstrom says he knew it was too late to save his business. However, knowing what was on the horizon, he sold his only remaining contract — one with the City of Phoenix — to his last-standing employee, Henry Burruel. In the meantime, Lundstrom focused on returning to the industry. With his newly restarted company, Commercial Comm & Electric, he was determined to make some changes. Then, he discovered the Arizona Builders Alliance. In 2013, he became an ABA member. Two technicians who were joining his company, though, said they wouldn’t work for him unless they could be involved in ABA’s apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program offers craft training in specialities, like electrical engineering and heavy machinery operation. The electrical and heavy machinery operation teaching facilities are located, respectively, at Gateway Community College and Central Arizona College. Enrollment in the four-year programs lead to the equivalent of journeymen certification, which can lead to an annual starting salary of $43,500, according to the ABA. “It was eye-opening,” says Lundstrom, who had previously hired


electricians regardless of certifications. The next year, he had two more technicians join the program and has another one starting in fall. “I’ve seen a change,” he says. “My older guys who went through the class, they will challenge inspectors on codes because all during the class, they’re brought up on codes…(The program brings) a confidence in their ability.” Lundstrom says he has personally enrolled in ABA’s leadership programs and is happy to report his company now has six employees. “The construction industry, in terms of job numbers, is in a recession,” says Mark Minter, executive director of ABA. “We’re about half the number of jobs we had at the peak. They go up a few thousand one month and down another.” This is the typical call to action by construction companies in Arizona that are looking for craftsmen. Arizona was one of the worst states for construction growth last year, according to a report by The Associated General Contractors of America. ASU professor and economist Lee McPheters has reported that construction jobs are one of three major factors holding back the Arizona economy. The industry is down by about 100,000 jobs, he reported last December. “More people are leaving the industry than coming into it,” says Sundt’s Director of Craft Development, Ken McKenzie. “The next three to five years, we could be 100,000 to 200,000 people short in this part of the country. You can’t do that without craft people.” That’s why Sundt Construction invests about $10,000 a year to train employees who have worked for more

than six months and pays for their wages, transportation and housing for four years. In June, Sundt will open its first monthly classes at a warehouse the company bought to host pipe-fitting, welding and structural steel courses. The workforce is at a further disadvantage, says Wilson Electric President Wes McClure, when the Baby Boomers retire, leaving a talent shortage in the wake. That’s why his company attempts to enter about 50 employees in the ABA-AGC Education Fund Apprenticeship Program every year, even if only 15 to 20 of them make it through all four years of the program.


By the time a student graduates from an apprenticeship program, they are qualified to work at a journeyman-level. McKenzie estimated that close to 70 percent of ABA apprentices at Sundt have become supervisors, noting a carpenter who is now a senior vice president. “It’s important to have trained individuals and new blood coming to our company,” says McClure, who started his own career as a laborer and worked his way to president. “It’s been increasingly harder with the lack of construction over the last five or six years and the wages and things that are a barrier to construction. You’re working in heat, but it’s a good trade to go into with a lot of upside if

you’re ambitious.” Like many companies that participate in ABA’s apprenticeship program, Wilson Electric pays for its employees’ education regardless of where the student chooses to work afterwards. The company, McClure says, has an annual training budget of $1M. “People in construction are gamblers,” he says, adding, “when it comes to the available work and being able to perform it.” One other company that has been on board with ABA’s apprenticeship program is D.P. Electric. “The apprenticeship program has impacted the quality of our workforce for

the better,” says D.P. Electric President Dan Puente, whose company can have between five and 35 people in the program at a given time. “Trained electricians bring quality and confidence to the job site – they aren’t hesitant during the installation process and there is no re-work as the quality meets D.P. Electric’s standard. It is very noticeable who has been through the program and has not. We encourage all our employees to go through the program.” Brett Bieberdorf, co-owner of Rural Electric, says that before he and his sister bought the company from their parents in 2007, the company hired “off the street.” Since Arizona is a state that doesn’t certify electricians, Bieberdorf 85



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ABA says it’s difficult to ensure quality. However, the apprenticeship program has helped him bring quality in-house. In 2006, Rural Electric had just over 90 employees, three of whom held a Journeyman certification. Nearly a decade later, the company dropped to 80 employees — with 20 Journeymen. The composition of the workforce is changing from more laborers to electrical tradespeople, says Bieberdorf. “I don’t think kids realize being an electrician is just the beginning,” says Bieberdorf. “You want there to be incentive. Entry level shouldn’t be a living wage.” Journeymen can make between $20 and $25 an hour, says Mark Minter. Every six months and 1,000 hours of work can lead to a raise, he says. “Over the years and going forward, employees are going to be choosy,” says Bieberdorf. “If employees feel they can get a better package, they will. Our pushing the apprenticeship program has helped us retain employees. If they see you’re willing to commit for four years, that creates loyalty.” Lundstrom sees that, too, adding


that his single former employee, Burruel, who has since built his own small company of workers, will soon combine their two six-person companies into one. Despite the positive changes Lundstrom has seen

in his workplace due to education, he won’t make it mandatory for employees. “I don’t have a lot of benefits, but paying for my employees’ apprenticeship education fees is one I can offer at this point,” he says.

ABA'S LEADership ALUMNI “The ABA’s electrical apprenticeship program provides life-changing opportunities for individuals looking to advance their career in the electrical industry. Graduates from this program gain new skills and knowledge, which, in turn, instills more confidence to be stronger leaders in the field. As a graduate in 2004, I feel that I now have the tools to be successful in my career.” — John Colonna, industrial division manager, Rural Electric

88 | July-August 2015

“Our company has been involved with ABA since its formation in 1994. We have gained much valuable knowledge through the numerous seminars and educational programs while building relationships with our peers. Being able to work together as contractors on legislative issues has also been extremely beneficial for our commercial construction industry. Our company is better because of the Arizona Builders Alliance.” — John Hobbs, president, W.E. O’Neil, Southern Arizona

“(Johnson Carlier has) used this organization to educate our employees through attending various seminars as well as sending employees through the LDF program. As a graduate of the LDF program, I can attest to the value it provides for individual growth for those in the construction industry. ABA is also a helpful tool to network among those in the construction industry in Arizona.” — Rick Weiss, vice president of operations, Johnson Carlier

“The ABA’s Leadership Development Forum was a wonderful learning experience that helped guide me in the development of personal goals and honed my interpersonal relationship skills. It was a great open forum for the sharing of industry knowledge and insight and how to be the right person on the ‘bus’ for my company’s future and success." — Phil Richardson, project consultant, Coreslab Structures


ABA ABA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Dennis A. Caldwell, Jr. Project manager Caldwell Construction Years in construction: 16 Years at Caldwell: 13 Years as an ABA member: 1 Role at Caldwell: I am the face of the firm. I handle marketing, business development, client interaction and manage projects.

What’s one thing everyone should know about your company? We’ve only been focusing on commercial projects full-time since 2009. We are still in what I call our infancy stage and have a lot to learn. What are recent projects you’ve worked on in Arizona? A ground-up expansion for Desert Sun Medical, including new operatory and R&D addition; a Double Tree Hotel conversation, including 144 rooms and all public areas; and North Point Student Housing expansion, including a new gym, leasing office, theater, study/conference rooms and public restrooms. What’s on your bucket list? To own a small limited service hotel. I have a degree in hotel administration from UNLV and previously worked for Hyatt Hotels.


Richard Karber CEO, Karber Corporation (K corp) Years in construction: 20 Years at current company: 1 Years as an ABA member: 10 Role at K corp: My primary roles are to establish the vision and strategy for K corp, build culture, hire great people and make the coffee on Tuesday.   What’s one thing everyone should know about your company? K corp provides construction services specializing in self-performing mechanical and plumbing scopes of work on commercial projects. K corp also provides custom fabrication/manufacturing of equipment skids and modular data centers.   What are recent projects you’ve worked on in Arizona? I’ve been fortunate in my career to be a part many significant projects that include the Phoenix Convention Center, Sky Harbor Flight Tower, Wild Horse Pass Casino, NAU Health & Wellness, IO Data Center, Cox Data Center and NRG Central Plant.   90 | July-August 2015

What’s on your bucket list? My parents did a lot of cool stuff with me and my siblings growing up. My bucket list includes pretty much the same things with my family.   Why did you become a member of ABA? K corp values the ABA for the opportunities to network with other companies in our industry; we respect the experience and innovation of many of these member firms. What is one of the biggest obstacles that the construction industry will face in 2015? This market is very competitive and presents many challenges. I believe that specialty contractors in our market generally do a poor job measuring the quality of the service they provide and have limited ability to measure the cost of waste and rework. I believe a great opportunity exists for specialty contractors to develop certifiable quality management plans that incorporate lean construction principles, measures performance and produces useable data for continuous improvement.

Why did you join ABA? (For) educational and professional development and to establish relationships with others who will eventually be Tucson’s leaders in construction. How has being an ABA member contributed to your success? It has allowed my firm to attend trainings (that enhanced our) work environment. We already plan to improve internal policies and procedures. What is one of the biggest obstacles that the construction industry will face in 2015? We can always use more negotiated work. Negotiated work benefits contractor and client alike. It results in more loyal relationships and, inevitably, solid growth.



ARIZONA’S FINEST Arizona Builders Alliance is a partnership between the Arizona chapters of the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) and the Building Chapter Associated General Contractors (AGC). It represents more than 250 contractors, suppliers and professional service firms in the commercial construction industry. Here are spotlight projects its members have been working on this year.



A. Airport I-10 Developer: Wentworth Property Company General Contractor: Wespac Construction Architect: Butler Design Group Location: Phoenix Size: 604,658 SF Brokerage: Rio Salado Commerce Park LLC Value: $23M Subcontractors: Suntec and Kortman Electric Interesting fact: Consisted of three, Class-A industrial facilities on a 58 acre brownfield site.

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B. Arizona Cancer Center Developer: University of Arizona General Contractor: Hensel Phelps Architect: ZGF Location: Phoenix Size: 213,649 SF Value: $88M Start/Complete: June 2013 to May 2015 Interesting fact: Stakeholders include UA, City of Phoenix and Dignity Health

C. Canyon Vista Medical Center Developer: RegionalCare Hospital Partners General Contractor: JE Dunn Construction Architect: Gould Turner Group Architects Location: Sierra Vista Size: 176KSF Value: $55M Start/Complete: December 2013 to March 2015 Subcontractors: General Air Control, JE Dunn Construction, Sun Mechanical Contracting, Suntec Concrete, Wilson Electric Interesting fact: Local subcontractor outreach strategies allowed for $31.5M of the total $42.1M subcontractor commitment to be awarded to southeastern Arizona subcontractors.

D. College Avenue Commons Developer: Arizona Board of Regents General Contractor: Okland Construction Architects: Gensler; Architekton Location: Tempe Size: 137KSF Value: $54.5M Completed: July 2014 Subcontractors: Audio Video Resources


E. Comerica Bank BC Developer: CBRE General Contractor: Caliente Construction Inc. Architect: PM Design Group Location: Peoria Size: 2,500 SF Value: $1M Start/Complete: June to November 2014 Subcontractors: True Metal Solutions Interesting fact: The building’s east elevation features a “dynamic glazing” system that transitions from light to dark with the intensity of the sun.

F. DC Ranch Clubhouse Developer: The Country Club at DC Ranch General Contractor: Wespac Construction Architect: PHX Architecture; SB Design, LLC Size: 9,500 SF Value: $2M Start/Complete: January to November 2014 Interesting fact: Awarded Best Clubhouse renovation of 2014 by Golf, Inc. Project included a patio extension and complete interior renovation.







G. IHS San Carlos Developer: San Carlos Apache Tribe General Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Architect: Rhode May Keller McNamara Architecture PC Location: Peridot Size: 184KSF Value: $85M Start/Complete: December 2009 to November 2014 Subcontractors: Delta Diversified, Performance Contracting Interesting fact: More than 50 percent of the labor was performed by tribal members and included a high school program

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H. Liberty Center at Rio Salado Developer: Liberty Property Trust General Contractor: Wespac Construction Inc. Architect: RSP Architects Location: Tempe Size: 160KSF (Bldgs. 1 and 2) Value: $30M Start/Complete: August 2013 to May 2015 Subcontractors: Suntec, Wholesale Flooring, DP Electric Interesting fact: This is the first two of eight possible structures, including four parking structures.

I. Paradise Valley High School renovations Developer: Paradise Valley Unified School District General Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies Location: Phoenix Size: 60KSF Value: $15M Start/Complete: May 2013 to July 2015 Subcontractors: Pueblo Mechanical, Schuff Steel, JENCO, Stone Cold Masonry Interesting fact: This project is being built on an occupied campus and includes covered temporary safety walkways the students were able to paint.




J. Pima County Courthouse & Parking Garage Developer: General Contractor: Sundt Construction Architect: AECOM Location: Tucson Size: 290KSF Value: $92.75M Start/Complete: February 2012 to April 2015 Subcontractors: Coreslab Structures, Sun Mech., Wilson Electric Interesting fact: This building was originally intended to house the Pima County and Tucson courts. Tucson pulled out in December 2012.

96 | July-August 2015


K. Regency House Condominium Phase I and II Structural and Utility Infrastructure Upgrades Developer: N/A General Contractor: Caliente Construction Inc. Architect: Gervasio and Associates Location: Peoria Size: 215KSF Value: $6.4M Start/Complete: May 2011 to October 2014 Subcontractors: Jones Concrete and Progressive Roofing Interesting fact: Repairs encompassed eight years. Construction was completed in two phases, over four years, funded completely by individual condominium homeowners, during the depression.

L. Saint Xavier University Developer: Town of Gilbert General Contractor: Okland Construction Architect: SmithGroupJJR Location: Gilbert Size: 87KSF Value: $30M Start/Complete: July 2014 to August 2015 Subcontractors: Comfort Systems, Progressive Roofing, Kearney Electric Interesting fact: Fast track programming, design and approved GMP within five months from start date.

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M. SALT Developer: OliverMcMillan General Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction Architect: Todd & Associates Size: 497KSF Value: $39M Start/Complete: August 2014 to March 2016 Subcontractors: Suntec Concrete Interesting fact: SALT is a four-story, 264-unit, class-A apartment community with direct frontage on Tempe Town Lake.

98 | July-August 2015

N. Talking Stick Resort Pool Remodel, Phase II Developer: Salt River Gaming Enterprise, a division of Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community General Contractor: The PENTA Building Group Architect: FFKR Architects Location: Scottsdale Size: 5400 SF Value: WND Start/Complete: November 2014 to April 2015 Subcontractors: Performance Contracting, Inc, Total Shade, LLC, W.J. Maloney Plumbing Interesting fact: The project has an operable DJ booth that raises from a below grade pit to three feet above grade though the use of a spiral lifting system.

O. The Village at Aspen Place Developer: The Village at Aspen Place LLC General Contractor: Wespac Construction Architect: NSPJ Architects Location: Flagstaff Size: 344,144 SF Value: $37M Start/Complete: April 2014 to December 2015 Subcontractors: Coreslab Structures Interesting fact: This is the main housing component for the The Village center in Flagstaff. The multihousing project consists of 226 units and 33KSF of retail.


Higher Education Government Healthcare Private Recreational



Proud local builder of the ďŹ rst Hotel to be constructed in Downtown Tucson in over 50 years.



Paving a way for veterans in ABA’s apprenticeship program U.S.

Rep. Martha McSally visited Catalina High School on May 11, 2015, to learn more about the Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA) and its efforts regarding community partnerships, construction career outreach, training skilled labor and apprenticeship opportunities. ABA allies with Joint Technical Education District - Pima (JTED) and the Catalina High School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program to prepare students Tom Dunn for construction Arizona Builders Alliance careers after high school. ABA utilizes Catalina High School facilities to teach the beginning construction classes for its apprenticeship program. McSally visited the school at ABA Director for Southern Arizona Tom Dunn’s invitation. The congresswoman was briefed on CTE, JTED, ABA apprenticeship and the Explorer Post 811 programs. McSally discussed her initial work regarding legislation that would enhance veterans’ abilities to access training for careers in skilled labor. The Veterans’ Entry to Apprenticeship Act that she’s championing in Washington, D.C., would allow veterans to use the G.I. Bill for pre-apprenticeships similar to the programs being offered at Catalina High School. The ABA award winning Explorer Post 811 offers young men and women the chance to learn about construction careers by touring construction job

100 | July-August 2015

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally visited Catalina High School to learn more about the Arizona Builders Alliance's community partnerships, construction career outreach, training skilled labor and apprenticeship opportunities.

sites, manufacturing facilities and offices. The networking opportunities for the Explorers also create bonds in the industry that will assist them when they are able to enter the workforce. With the changes in the workforce and the impending lack of skilled labor, these students have an opportunity to make strong career choices that may help them achieve better livelihoods in today’s challenging economic times. Teacher Jack Draper explained that the benefits of the Explorer Post 811 program’s partnership with Catalina High School can be transformational for students and in turn the entire community. “We’ve put kids whose families have

struggled for generations into jobs at $18 an hour,” Draper said. McSally said she has three siblings who had careers related to construction, and she understands that well-paying trade crafts are essential. Industry partners, including Tom Dunn of the ABA, Ed Butchart of Barker Morrissey Contracting, Todd Scholer of Sun Mechanical, Mike Goodwin of Climatec, BTG and Tom Kittle, owner of Kittle Design & Construction, were on hand to discuss the need for a trained workforce in their companies. Tom Dunn is the director for ABA Southern Arizona

Thank you to our many trade partners who helped build the award-winning PHX Sky Train速 Terminal 3 extension.

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*And many others



THE DRIVE TO SUCCEED ABA supplies schoolchildren with much-needed tools


he Arizona Builders Alliance began collecting new backpacks for underprivileged children in the summer of 2010. The collection was so popular with member companies that it was expanded the following year to include basic school supplies for all grade levels. In 2012, the ABA’s Community Service Board partnered with Children First Academy, a nonprofit charter school with campuses in Tempe and Phoenix. All Erica Lange Arizona Builders Alliance of the school’s students and their families are at or below the poverty line and a vast majority of the students are homeless. The Phoenix campus has approximately 350 students (grades K-9) and the Tempe campus has 300 students (grades K-8). Between cash and supply donations by ABA member companies, more than $25,000 in supplies were raised.

102 | July-August 2015

Enough school supplies were donated last August to support the need of more than 750 children between both campuses. In fact, there were so many donations that the schools were able to store some extras to use throughout the year and for teacher use. Members also donated clothing and food, which are much-needed items. Because donations were so generous, the Community Service Board was able to also purchase sports equipment for both campuses. “The appreciation that the students, teachers and administration express when we distribute the supplies in early August is heart-warming,” says Erica Lange, assistant executive director for the ABA. “The excitement

and gratitude is clear the moment each child enters the room. The wonderfully positive response we’ve gotten from our members, as well as CFA, has made the drive something we look forward to every year.” The ABA’s Community Service Board is raising funds for the 2015 Backpack Drive through July 24. “We are in need of cash donations to purchase wholesale orders of school supplies, as well as binders/Trapper Keepers, lightly used clothing, hygiene products and canned food,” says Lange. Erica Lange is the assistant executive director for Arizona Builders Alliance

Determination-HalfPg-Bjerk-111414_Layout 1 11/14/14 8:43 AM Page 1

The determination to be the best, to go the extra mile sets Bjerk Builders apart from other contractors. Completing projects on time, within budget, and by continually exceeding expectations keeps Bjerk on top.


License B1-088897



480.497.2300 • fax: 480.497.9610


AZ Builders Alliance 2015  
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