Your City, Your Business: Chamber, unions work together on SMDC project
Once again, the leadership of the Duluth Building and Construction Trades Unions and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce have joined forces in support of a development that will bring high-paying jobs to our community. The occasion was a recent D...
Once again, the leadership of the Duluth Building and Construction Trades Unions and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce have joined forces in support of a development that will bring high-paying jobs to our community. The occasion was a recent Duluth City Council meeting.
Several members of the building trades and the business community came together in the city council chambers to advocate for a locally owned, longtime employer, SMDC, and its new medical campus that will bring additional jobs to many Duluthians. The project has the potential to keep construction and building trades workers busy on the construction site for two years. The estimated $90 million expansion will also create at least 200 new jobs within SMDC.
Craig Olson, president of the Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council, and I addressed the City Council, speaking in support of the SMDC expansion. We conveyed to council members more than simply our shared support for the expansion: we also emphasized the ways in which the leadership of the construction trades and the Chamber's leadership have come to realize we have some shared goals. We fully understand that our respective memberships benefit from an investment in our community. The creation of high paying jobs benefits us all, and the expansion of locally owned businesses is something both organizations are striving to achieve.
I admire and have an unwavering respect for Craig Olson and his peers who represent the various trade unions in Duluth. Their honesty, straightforwardness and loyalty to their members are unwavering. The Chamber's board members and I strive to be exactly the same. As a result, we work well together.
Rallying support for the proposed SMDC expansion was the most recent cause for the building trades and the Chamber to reconnect. Not long before, we combined our efforts to advocate in support of keeping the 148th Air National Guard Base operating in Duluth. Soon we will partner for a fifth consecutive year when we participate in Duluth Days at the Capitol early in 2004.
Our working together is becoming routine. What seemed radical six years ago, when we chose to cooperate for the first time, now seems natural and expected. We have made great progress. Duluth has been the beneficiary. We are proud of the partnership.