About Adam Bengtson

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So far Adam Bengtson has created 16 blog entries.

Your Turn: Infrastructure means good jobs

By |2021-12-10T14:48:02-06:00December 8th, 2021|Featured, News|

Minnesota stands to receive over $6 billion from the bipartisan federal infrastructure legislation signed into law this week. That means historic new investments to modernize outdated roads, highways and bridges that currently cost the average Minnesotan over $500 in preventable maintenance each year. It means upgrades to the public transportation, airports and water treatment facilities. It means expanding high-speed internet to the 83,000 Minnesotans who currently lack it, and lower internet costs for over a million residents who will be eligible for the affordable connectivity benefit. It means funding to protect our infrastructure from the extreme weather that cost us $10 billion over the last decade alone, electric car charging stations, and more. Read the entire article here

Workers are in demand, want to be in unions

By |2021-12-13T09:28:53-06:00December 1st, 2021|News|

It’s not just that supporting labor unions is good politics; it’s also good policy. American workers are quitting their jobs because they want family-sustaining wages, secure benefits, safe worksites, and less inequality. Employers are concerned about labor shortages and want predictable costs and a stable supply of skilled workers. The data show that labor unions are delivering. Read the entire article here

Report: Union labor offsets cost with efficiency, safety

By |2021-11-30T13:42:35-06:00November 30th, 2021|News|

Minnesota union construction workers make, on average, over $8 more in hourly wages and are more likely to secure a number of other benefits as opposed to their non-union counterparts, according to a new report. The report found these characteristics come without a higher cost to Minnesota employers, who reside in a state with one of the nation’s highest rates of construction unionization. A team of researchers from the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Colorado State University Pueblo released the report this month detailing the personal and economic impact of unions in Minnesota’s construction industry. “Minnesota’s union construction industry, the data shows, is no more costly than the non-union alternative, even though it produces higher wages, more apprentices, safer work sites and less reliance on government assistance programs,” Frank Manzo, report author and policy director for the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, said in an interview. Read the entire article here

Report: Minnesota’s union construction workers earn more without affecting project costs

By |2021-11-30T13:39:55-06:00November 30th, 2021|News|

ST. PAUL — Union construction work in Minnesota pays better than the nonunion peers without inflating project costs in the $16 billion industry, according to anew study out last week. Union contractors in Minnesota collected an average hourly pay of $33 between 2015 and 2019, according to the study, $8 more than their nonunion counterparts and only $2 less than the average Minnesota college graduate. Coupled with other findings in the study, Midwest Economic Policy Institute Policy Director Frank Manzo said Tuesday, July 6, is the takeaway "that Minnesota's union construction industry is no more costly than the nonunion alternative even though it produces higher wages." Using U.S. Census Bureau data, researchers at the institute, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Colorado State University-Pueblo found construction workers in Minnesota not only earned an average hourly pay 32% greater than nonunion workers, but had greater access to pension plans and relied less on government assistance as well. Less than 1% of union construction workers used the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program between 2010 and 2019, according to the study, compared to 13.6% of nonunion construction workers. Read the entire article here

Shortchanging workers is a flawed business model

By |2021-11-30T13:46:37-06:00November 30th, 2021|Featured, News|

Whether you call it “Striketober,” “Strikevember” or something else, there’s no denying the fact that American workers are having a moment. After enduring decades of wage stagnation, rising economic inequality and an unrelenting assault on their rights in statehouses and the courts, workers are finally pushing back. Millions are quitting their jobs or are going on strike. This doesn’t mean there’s a labor shortage.  It means there’s a shortage of good paying, family sustaining jobs. It shouldn’t require a once in a century pandemic to remind us that the cost of labor is not just whatever the boss is willing to pay. It should reflect the cost of ensuring employees have the requisite skills, and that their work sites are safe. It should enable workers to afford housing, health care, food, transportation and other basic needs near their jobs. Yet too often it does not. And when that happens, these costs are pushed onto the backs of taxpayers in the form of food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid. Read the entire article here

Guest Commentary: Apprenticeships beneficial to economy

By |2021-12-13T09:30:47-06:00October 16th, 2021|News|

Currently, these programs serve nearly 11,000 Illinois residents, making it our state's seventh-largest private post-secondary educational enterprise. They also employ nearly 3,000 instructors and support staff. In our analysis, we found that the economic impact of program expenditures create nearly 1,400 jobs in the local economy, boost our state's economy by over $400 million and add nearly $30 million to state and local tax revenues. Read the entire article here

Study: Union Construction Apprenticeships Rival Bachelor’s Degrees

By |2021-12-13T09:31:49-06:00September 23rd, 2021|News|

In its examination of core economic, fiscal and social metrics, the study found that graduates of union apprenticeship programs achieve outcomes most similar to other workers with bachelor’s degrees and associate degrees, while outcomes for nonunion construction workers more closely mirrored other workers with high school diplomas or GEDs. Read the entire article here

Study says construction apprenticeships offer pathway into Iowa’s middle class

By |2021-12-13T09:33:10-06:00September 15th, 2021|News|

The study said after accounting for demographics, trade, and year of enrollment, registered apprentices in construction earn about $10 more per hour if they graduate from joint labor-management programs. Read the entire article here

Differing fortunes in Wisconsin, Minnesota construction industries stir debate

By |2021-12-13T09:34:10-06:00August 7th, 2021|News|

The report’s authors believe a series of public projects probably helped Minnesota’s construction industry recover from the recession. Experts at the University of Minnesota and the Associated Builders and Contractors say they agree with that conclusion but disagree over the influence of certain government policies, specifically policies affecting unions in the two states. Read the entire article here

Minnesota School Projects Study Says Unions Increase Safety Without Higher Costs

By |2021-12-13T09:36:15-06:00July 20th, 2021|News|

“Minnesota’s unionized construction sector is no more costly than the non-union sector even though it produces higher wages, greater inequality, safer work sites and other things like less reliance on government assistance programs,” said Frank Manzo, director of the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, which co-authored the study. Read the entire article here

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