Northwestern Mutual exceeds city’s hiring expectations

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons building.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:58 am

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. has hired 355 people from Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods to help build the $450 million, office tower that is under construction at the company’s headquarters campus in downtown Milwaukee.

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons building.
Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons building.

When the city committed $54 million in tax incremental financing for the project, it was looking for opportunities for its residents to get jobs working on the project, said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The company has exceeded the expectations that were set as part of the TIF deal, Barrett said.

“This is an amazing addition to the landscape, to the skyline and to the economic development of this city,” Barrett said. “A key element to this project is workforce. Northwestern Mutual said we are there for you and we’re going to lead the fight.”

The 32-story, 1.1 million-square-foot Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons office building is expected to be complete in 2017.

About 500 to 600 Milwaukee residents are working on the project daily – 355 of those people, representing 21 trade organizations, live in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, said Sandra Botcher, vice president of enterprise risk assurance at Northwestern Mutual Life.

In addition to hiring individuals, Northwestern Mutual has awarded $105.9 million in contracts to City of Milwaukee Small Business Enterprises, Botcher said.

“We’re excited to be building Northwestern Mutual’s future, but also building the future of Milwaukee,” Botcher said.

Former Milwaukee Alderman Willie Wade, who resigned this month to work for the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, said Northwestern Mutual’ s commitment to the city should be a template for how Milwaukee works with other organizations, including the Milwaukee Bucks on the arena project.

“(Northwestern Mutual) could have built this anywhere in the world, but they chose to build it here,” Wade said. “They are a super corporate citizen that has stepped forward to invest in our future. Great things happen when we work together.”

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