The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project has surpassed its goals for contracting with small business and employing local residents, according to a final tally by project officials.
Work on the insurance company’s new downtown headquarters wrapped up this year, and its doors opened to employees in August. The $450 million, 1.1 million-square-foot project is often cited by city leaders as the starting point of the current construction boom in downtown Milwaukee.
Project plans had called for 25 percent of the project’s contracts to go to local small businesses, and at least 40 percent of its labor hours to be performed by workers certified through the city’s Residents Preference Program, an initiative designed to introduce employed or underemployed residents to careers in construction.
In a report submitted recently to city officials, Northwestern Mutual says it easily exceeded those goals. In fact, 31.4 percent of the project’s contracts were awarded to small businesses. The value of those contracts came to $127.1 million in total, nearly $26 million ahead of the project’s goal.
Resident workers meanwhile logged 43.5 percent of the labor hours needed for the project, putting in more than 64,000 hours more than what was needed to reach the goal.
The work was overseen by both Milwaukee-based C.G. Schmidt and the Milwaukee office of Gilbane Building Co. Prism Technical Management & Marketing Services was brought on to help Northwestern Mutual meet its goals and produce related reports.
More than 133 of the local residents employed on the project received job training from the recruiting and training group WRTP/BIG STEP.Follow @alexzank