Economy & Business
10:49 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Change in Command Coming for Skilled Trades Group

Long time labor leader Lyle Balistreri reflects on a career that's spanned more than four decades.

Lyle Balistreri (r) welcomes Dan Bukiewicz, the incoming President of the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council.

The Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council welcomes new leadership this week.

Long time labor leader Lyle Balistreri will retire from the organization on Feb. 20. Dan Bukiewicz will take over as President.

Balistreri led the Milwaukee Building and Construction Trades Council since 1996.

He says things are finally looking up after a recession that cost the skilled trades industry here more than 4,000 workers.

“A lot of the people that left the industry are not coming back,” Balistreri says.

On the up side, he says there are new opportunities for hundreds of people who want to enter the trades. Balistreri says a job development undertaking called “Big Step” is aggressively new recruits.

“They do outreach, they do job fairs, in fact, it is a workforce model that is being highlighted at the White House,” Balistreri says.

Balistreri began his career as an electrician.

He says he stay in the Milwaukee area following retirement and stay active in various endeavors including at Bradley Tech High School.