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Home / 2021 Newsmakers of the Year / Through projects large and small, Gilbane remains a ‘people-first’ company

Through projects large and small, Gilbane remains a ‘people-first’ company

Builder of the Year
Gilbane Building Co.

Gilbane Building Co.

In the darkest days of the pandemic, government officials were in need of a contractor that could help build an overflow clinic for COVID-19 patients.

The company they turned to – Gilbane Building Co. – had a track record working on everything from the massive Foxconn project in Mount Pleasant to the smaller, but equally important St. Camillus independent-living apartments in Milwaukee. The choice proved a wise one.

Within a week of having its crews out at the State Fair Grounds in West Allis, Gilbane had managed to build 530 patients rooms – 296 with in-line oxygen and 234 with oxygen bottles – in the grounds’ exhibition hall. To meet deadlines, Gilbane staff employees and their crews found themselves working in two 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day.

It was just one example of why Gilbane is fundamentally a “people-first organization,” said Alicia Dupies, area manager for the company’s Milwaukee office.

Gilbane might be best known for its largest projects. The work on Foxconn’s manufacturing plant involved the excavation of 5 million cubic yards of dirt and the construction of both a 120,000-square-foot multi-purpose building with a warehouse and office space and an advanced-display-technology fabrication plant with 800,000 square feet of factory space.

Not far down the road, Gilbane is at the work on a large North American headquarters building for HARIBO, a German maker of gummy candies.

But the big projects make up only one side of Gilbane’s business in Wisconsin. Equally important has been its work to renovate the Waukesha County Courthouse, shore up the foundation of Milwaukee City Hall and turn an old hospital into a school building for the Milwaukee Academy of Science.

Gilbane has further shown its commitment to Wisconsin through its insistence on employing local workers and subcontractors. Its work on the Foxconn factory resulted in 92% of all the project’s contracts going to Wisconsin-based businesses.

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