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With JCP’s growth, Milwaukee reaps benefits

By: Alex Zank//November 15, 2017//

With JCP’s growth, Milwaukee reaps benefits

By: Alex Zank//November 15, 2017//

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JCP Construction (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)
JCP Construction (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

As Milwaukee-based JCP Construction has expanded, so have the opportunities it offers to other firms and residents.

James Phelps, president of JCP Construction, along with his brothers Clifton and Jalin Phelps, has seen the company go from being mainly in the residential-construction business to working on big commercial projects.

The company now employs 40 people from many different backgrounds. To find new recruits, the contractor relies primarily on word-of-mouth and its professional network, Phelps said.

And the work opportunities keep coming.

JCP Construction was among the companies enlisted for the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project, a new 32-story headquarters building put up near the city’s lakefront. JCP has also found work on the new 714,000-square-foot arena being built for the Bucks, another massive project going up on the other side of Milwaukee’s downtown.

These projects and others have allowed the firm to provide ever more family-supporting work opportunities to Milwaukee residents.

“We look at it as a trickle-down effect,” Phelps said.

JCP Construction has even found work as a general contractor on projects that include a new Bader Philanthropies headquarters and Pete’s Fruit Market.

“It’s very rewarding,” he said of the projects. “It makes the job really rewarding because that’s the neighborhood we grew up in.”

The Bader Philanthropies project, a roughly 22,000-square-foot office space on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, has a goal of having more than 60 percent of the related construction spending go to small businesses.

Taking on additional work is not always easy for a construction company. Phelps said he has seen other businesses struggle when asked to tackle projects that were bigger than those they had worked on in the past. That’s why, he said, he supports the city’s expanding efforts to help small local businesses.

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