ILEPI Video: The Value of Union Apprenticeships

Please take a look at the YouTube link below provided by Executive Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI), Frank Manzo IV.  This is another tool we can use in our efforts to highlight why strong enforcement of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act is vital in ensuring the future of Union apprenticeship programs and strong wages for Illinois families in the Union construction industry.  Watch the video – click here.

CISCO Board Announces Selections For Top 2021 Construction Projects

CISCO’s Board of Directors recently determined which construction projects were winners in six different construction categories – part of CISCO’s Annual Pride in Construction Awards for Projects of the Year. Among the entries submitted by General Contractors, Builders, Architects and other organizations, the top choices were:

New Construction – Chicago (+$20m):
Midway Security Checkpoint Expansion; GC – F.H. Paschen; Cook County.

New Construction – Suburbs (+ $20m):
Forester Hotel; GC – William A. Randolph; Lake County.

New Construction – City/Suburbs (Under $20m): Kane County Multi-Use Facility; GC – R.C. Wegman; Kane County.

Infrastructure: I-294 Mile Long Bridge; GC – F. H. Paschen; Cook County.

Rehabilitation: Queen Bee School District Additions/Renovations; GC – Riley Construction; DuPage County.

Residential: Westerly; GC – James McHugh Construction; Cook County.

CISCO wishes to recognize each and every entry for its quality of construction, design, impact on the community and safety record. Even under extreme circumstances, amidst an unprecedented pandemic, general contractors, subcontractors and the men and women who construct these buildings collaborated to stay safe, stay on time, and within budget to complete these amazing projects.

CISCO Golf Outing Enjoys Another Successful Day Of Fun and Charity Benefits

Ideal weather and a fun, full house of golfers got to relax on a Monday to start off the week right. 
See photos below.  For more pictures, click here.
Many thanks to the following for sponsoring the outing!
Lunch Sponsors:
DuPage County Building Trades
IBEW Local 701
Laborers’ District Council
Laborers’ Local 68
Megent Financial
Powering Chicago
Sprinkler Fitters Local 281
Beverage Sponsors:
Amalgamated Bank of Chicago
Chicagland AGC
IBEW Local 9
Roofers & Waterproofers Local 11
Underground Contractors Association
Halfway House Sponsors:
Chicago & Cook County Building Trades
Residential Construction Employers Cncl
UllicoHole Sponsors
•BAC ADC Local 1
•Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
•Boilermakers Local 1
•CED Inc.
•Chicago Federation of Labor Workforce & Community Initiative
•Chicagoland Regional Council of Carpenters
•Concrete Contractors Association
•Construction Safety Council
•Delta Dental
•Eye Boutique
•FCA of Illinois
•Fox Valley Bldg. Trades Council
•Heat & Frost Local 17
•Hunt Insurance Group
•IBEW Local 9
•Italian American Labor Council
•Lake County Building & Construction Trades Council
•PCA Midwest
•Plumbers Local 130
•PowerForward DuPage
•Powering Chicago
•ScreenSafe, Inc.
•Vogelzang Law
Prize/Gift Donors
•Eye Boutique
•Megent Financial
•PCA Midwest
•Sommers & Fahrenbach
•Vogelzang Law


CISCO Annual Luncheon A Smash Hit

CISCO’s first post-pandemic event was an enormous success as 450 guests came to the IBEW 134 Hall in Chicago to hear U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and saw CISCO present its 2021 Scholarship Awards, as well as the 2020 Pride in Construction Awards.

Below are just a sample of the many photographs that were taken during the event and capture the spirit of the day.  


To view more photos, click here.































































CISCO Announces Keynote Speaker for Annual Meeting – AG Kwame Raoul

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul will be the Keynote Speaker at CISCO Annual Meeting – Friday, March 11, 2022.

According to Dan Allen, CISCO Executive Director, the Board of Directors sought AG Raoul because of “his track record of defending working rights, as well as his efforts to level the playing field for reputable contractors who follow prevailing wage laws while bidding on projects, and invest in worker training and safety.”

A pre-event flyer will be emailed to members along with a postcard invite.  To view the flyer, click here.

Sponsorships are also available, to view the sponsorship details, click here.

CISCO Annual Meeting Rescheduled For March 11, 2022

CISCO’s Annual Meeting has been rescheduled and will be held on Friday, March 11, 2022. As in past years, an hour of Breakfast and Networking begins at 8:00 a.m. with the formal program beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The event will also return to a familiar venue – Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant in Schaumburg, 1901 E. Woodfield Road. Invitations will be sent out in mid-January, so members should watch their mailboxes, email boxes, social media and other outlets for the official notice.

The event will feature the presentation of CISCO’s Pride in Construction Awards – now in its 17th year. The winners of the Project of the Year Awards appear in the left column of the Home Page.

In addition to the Project of the Year Awards, two individuals and one entity are recognized as Educator of the Year, Public Body of the Year and Labor Advocate of the Year.

The Board approved John Daniels & Eric Malone, Teachers at Stagg High School as Co-Educators of the Year. The Public Body of the Year is DuPage County, in part, for enacting a Responsible Bidder Ordinance. The Labor Advocate of the Year, is State Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

NOTE: Currently Cook County requires that in all dining situations, proof of vaccination is required in order to enter the restaurant or banquet facility.  CISCO will monitor this regulation and keep you informed of any change in that policy.

CISCO Announces Scholarship Program Underway for 2022 Awards

CISCO has begun to accept applications for its long-standing Annual Scholarship Awards Program.  Applications for for this program are available by clicking on one of the three types of scholarship awards below. 

The three scholarship program categories are: 1) Four-year college scholarships for high school seniors; 2) Two-year awards for seniors planning on attending a community college; and 3) Two-year continuing education awards to union members or contractor employees.

For more information or questions, call CISCO at (630) 472-9411.

CISCO Part of National Labor Panel Program on WCPT – 820 AM

CISCO’s Dan Allen and Jamillah Muhammad were panelists featured on WCPT’s recent special, two-hour, Labor Panel.

The virtual program was hosted by National Show Host Thom Hartmann and co-hosted by Joan Esposito and Patti Vasquez.

The Labor Panel Program was live on WCPT – 820 AM and was live streamed on WCPT820.com, as well as live streamed on Facebook and mobile apps, and CISCO’s Facebook page.  To watch the entire program, click here.

Dan and Jamillah were joined by leaders from Finishing Chicago, SMART Local 265, Operating Engineers Local 399, Blue Cross Blue Shield, IBEW Local 176 and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Issues discussed involved items that impact both the labor community and middle class, including the labor-friendly infrastructure plan, the Pro Act, how immigration reform affects labor, the role of diversity and inclusion in the building trades, and the future of clean energy training and jobs.

Painters District Council #14 Latest To Be Featured During “Construction Talks” Webinar Series

“Construction Talks” most recent visit was to the Training Center of the Painters District Council #14 in Berkley.  This was the 9th episode in the series which began in 2020.

The webinar featured Dan Penski, Jr., Director of Training (pictured above), Instructor Veronica Leal, and second year apprentice Rahm Jointer.   Also involved in the panel discussion were CISCO’s Education-to-Careers Director Jamillah Muhammad, and Brandy Phillips and Sam Hunt from the CTA.

The 50-minute webinar featured Dan Penski explaining the requirements needed to apply to the program, as well as a description of the trades’ duties.  In addition, Ms. Leal and Mr. Jointer explained how they got interested in the trade and their experiences during training and how it changed their lives.   To view the entire video, click here.

At Last: Groundbreaking Occurs for Obama Presidential Center

Former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were on hand to ceremoniously break ground on the Obama Presidential Center.  The couple were joined by Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot in the one-hour ceremony.

CISCO has been working with the Obama Foundation since 2016, when the project was touted to be built in Jackson Park, to encourage a diverse construction pipeline prior to and beyond the presidential center.

“CISCO was perfectly positioned to join the Foundation’s team as our rich history of working with south- and west-side schools, churches and other organizations, is well documented,” said Executive Director Dan Allen.

IBEW Local 701 Cuts The Ribbon on New Wellness Center

IBEW Local 701 in Warrenville opened the second Wellness Center in the Chicago area yesterday.

Formed by a unified group of local trade unions partnering together with Cerner Health to provide better health services for our membership, the Union Wellness Centers (UWC) are exclusive to the members and the families of SMART Local 265, Plumbers Local 130, Iron Workers Local 63, Riggers Local 136, Cement Masons Local 502 and Electricians Locals 701 and 176.

The Wellness Center was the idea of Plumbers Local 130 with the initial Center opening in Lemont two years ago. Five more centers are scheduled to open in the weeks and months ahead.

Frank Furco, 701 Business Manager/Financial Secretary, opened the festivities by thanking Jim Coyne. “He cut the trail and the rest of us jumped on and we appreciate his foresight.”

Coyne added, “This was a true team effort. We’ve checked our egos at the door for the betterment of the people who elected us to be their leaders.”

The Centers will offer members services such as preventive care, chronic condition management, physical therapy, virtual care services, health education, and risk awareness.

CISCO/St. Paul Construction Expo Shines a Light on Career Opportunities

The 7th Annual Construction Expo once again lived up to its tradition of several building trades and contractors providing both information and hands-on demonstrations to make men and women aware of the opportunities of a career in the building trades.

As Guest Speaker U.S. Congressman Danny Davis (pictured at right) described in a poem, St. Paul, CISCO, and other groups that focus on promoting union apprenticeship programs to young adults are not the “wreckers of buildings and communities, but rather the builders of communities.”

Davis, CISCO Executive Director Dan Allen and Keynote Speaker Tim Drea, (pictured below) President of the Illinois AFL-CIO all spoke about the efforts that have been ongoing for decades to bring about a diverse union workforce that not only can transform neighborhoods, but can transform the lives of the individuals who pursue careers in the union construction industry.

To view more photos, click here.
























































































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