The Milwaukee Bucks and the Alliance for Good Jobs today announced the completion of a new agreement governing end use jobs within the new arena and surrounding development. As part of this comprehensive plan, the Bucks are committing to living wage and first source hiring provisions that will create opportunities for Milwaukee residents in disadvantaged communities. The agreement covers direct employees of the Bucks as well as employees of contractors engaged by the Bucks in the arena district.
“Our ownership group has never wavered in its commitment to not only build a world-class arena, but to create jobs and drive economic growth in a truly meaningful way for the Milwaukee community,” Bucks President Peter Feigin said. “Through this agreement we’re fulfilling our commitment to generate high-quality and long-lasting jobs for the citizens of Milwaukee who need them most. This program is absolutely vital to the long-term success of the project.”
The agreement between the Bucks and the Alliance for Good Jobs establishes a living wage floor for all covered employees in the new arena and surrounding district. The agreement stipulates a minimum wage for end use employees of $15 per hour by 2023, starting at $12 per hour in 2017.
Additionally, the Bucks and Alliance for Good Jobs will enact a first source hiring program that will require at least 50 percent of covered employees in the arena district to reside (at the time of hire) in specified Milwaukee zip codes that are particularly hard hit by unemployment or underemployment. The Alliance will establish a “hiring hall” to serve as a first source for potential employees, including recruiting, screening, training and referring potential candidates to arena district employers.
The new agreement also includes a provision that will provide arena district employees with an opportunity to unionize in an environment that is neutral and free from traditional pressures associated with a contested and adversarial campaign and without labor unrest and work disruption.
“This comprehensive landmark agreement establishes a community standard in Milwaukee for good, family-supporting jobs, and ensures that they are filled by our people who need them the most,” Alliance for Good Jobs representative Peter Rickman said. “This agreement demonstrates how labor, community organizations and business can work collaboratively to address Milwaukee’s good jobs crisis. We are proud to help shape a transformative project and excited about the implications for Milwaukee's economy, workers and neighborhoods.”
The new arena will be the centerpiece of an ambitious development project envisioned by Bucks owners to transform 27-acres of mostly vacant property into a vibrant retail and entertainment district in the heart of downtown Milwaukee. The surrounding development is expected to include an additional $500 million worth of private investment. The Bucks have already begun to invest in a new $30 million training facility adjacent to the new arena.
Scheduled to open in fall of 2018, the 714,000 square foot arena will be home to Milwaukee Bucks basketball and countless sports and entertainment events. The arena design features an intimate bowl optimized for basketball viewing with the majority of the seats in the lower level closer to the action, while still providing the flexibility to host hockey games, end stage and center stage concerts, family shows, circuses and ice events, as well as open-floor exhibitions. Designed by Populous, Eppstein Uhen and HNTB, the arena caters to the next generation of fans, featuring open and transparent concourses, additional social spaces within view of the action, and a variety of experiential and premium seating options.
The team submitted detailed design plans to the city in March and is planning a groundbreaking celebration for June 18. To see renderings or learn more about the project, visit www.bucks.com/arena.