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Milwaukee includes training in Talgo project

The city of Milwaukee, in an effort to get more residents trained for construction work, is requiring that at least 20 trainees get jobs on a contract for the Talgo Inc. building renovation project.

The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee Thursday awarded a $1.5 million contract to Arteaga Construction Inc., Milwaukee, to build heating and ventilation systems for the Talgo project. The city is renovating a 300,000-square-foot building on the former Tower Automotive site and will lease it to Talgo, a Spanish manufacturer of high-speed trains.

The only other bid received was a $2.1 million proposal from Johnson Controls Inc., Milwaukee.

The redevelopment authority contract requires the contractor to recruit at least 20 people and teach them to build HVAC systems and weatherize houses.

Although Milwaukee usually includes HVAC work as part of its general construction contracts, the redevelopment authority took a new approach on the Talgo project, said Rocky Marcoux, Milwaukee Department of City Development commissioner. By separating the contract, the city created the opportunity to include the training program, he said.

People trained on the project eventually could become construction apprentices or be hired to weatherize houses around the former Tower Automotive site, he said.

The city may be able to include similar training requirements on future contracts, Marcoux said.

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