construction

Indiana Loses Jobs, Labor Force Shrinks In 2019

Jan 27, 2020

Indiana finished 2019 with an unemployment rate at 3.2 percent – the fourth month in a row it’s been at that level.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

t’s getting harder for leaders of Indiana cities to predict how much their municipal construction projects are going to cost. A lack of trained workers in the state has left construction firms in high demand – and with the ability to charge rates much higher than in the past. So as the City of West Lafayette signs off on documents proclaiming its renovation of the Morton Center into its new city hall will cost $13 million, how much can those numbers really be trusted?

A legislative study committee decided Wednesday not to recommend the General Assembly legalize cameras to catch speeding motorists in highway construction zones.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Last month, we asked Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski about an unusual step his city's Board of Public Works took -- rejecting all the bids for a road repair contract on Beck Lane.

This month, we talk about not just the re-opening of those bids, but the awarding of a contract for a little less than the original amount the city had planned to spend. But here's the catch -- not as much is going to get done for the same money.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It’s not often that cities turn down all the bids they receive for a project, but that’s just what Lafayette’s Board of Works did this week on a road paving and sidewalk improvement job.

And to hear Mayor Tony Roswarski tell it, this story might be more common in the coming years, because it’s a seller’s market in the construction trades. A lack of qualified workers means companies don’t have the manpower to do all the available jobs at once, and they can pick and choose only the most lucrative projects – and charge more for the work than they used to.

About 40 students at Hamilton Heights High School are expected to participate next fall in a new State Earn and Learn construction program, the first of its kind in the state. (Courtesy Indiana Department of Workforce Development)
Justin Hicks

A high school construction program in central Indiana was the first to receive an apprenticeship certification from the Department of Workforce Development. It will fast-track students into the workforce after high school.

Union Club Hotel To Close In June For Renovations

Feb 8, 2019
Taylor Haggerty / WBAA

Purdue’s Union Club Hotel will close this summer for renovation. The Purdue University Board of Trustees approved the decision Friday.

City of West Lafayette

It doesn’t take much driving around Greater Lafayette to learn the summer’s buzzword: construction.

West Lafayette has less than two weeks before college students begin returning in droves and there are still questions about whether State Street will be open to accommodate that, particularly after last month’s rains and two gas main strikes earlier this week.

City of West Lafayette

The city of West Lafayette has settled a legal case brought by a man shocked with a stun gun at Chauncey Hill Mall in 2013 for taping a police takedown of another person.

On this edition of Ask The Mayor, we talk with John Dennis about whether the incident has led to disciplinary action for any of the officers or changes in the way the city’s police conduct their business.

Also on today’s show, in a construction season where Greater Lafayette’s motto might as well be “you can’t get there from here,” why is the city doing seemingly non-essential roadwork?

NLRB.gov

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered an Indianapolis-based construction staffing firm to allow workers to discuss unions and compensation on the job.

Commercial Trade Source, or CTS, is one of few companies to fight this battle at the federal level. It's effectively a temp agency, providing skilled workers for construction projects nationwide.

Until now, CTS policy forbade workers from discussing wages or unionization on the job -- whether through conversation, flyers or union-branded clothing.

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