Abcmi Podcast



Welcome to the ABC of Michigan Podcast! The goal of this podcast is to provide you, our ABC members, with current, up to date, information on what is happening throughout state government that could have an impact on the merit shop. Be sure to tune in for weekly interviews with public officials, ABC members, and skilled trades allies across the state as we dive deep into the important issues affecting our industry. Subscribe to be the first to hear our latest content as it is released. Theme music provided by Eddy via Free Music Archive:


  • Episode 23: Construction Set to Re-Open & President Amash?

    29/04/2020 Duración: 08min

    On this EMERGENCY episode of the Merit Shop Pod, State Director Jeff Wiggins relays that reports out of Lansing indicating Governor Whitmer will be lifting the prohibition on construction in the state of Michigan on May 7, via an executive order to be signed this Friday, May 1. Jeff also touches on the news that Congressman Justin Amash (I - MI3) has announced a Presidential Exploratory Committee.

  • Episode 22: Getting Back To Work, Safely (w/ ABC VP Greg Sizemore)

    15/04/2020 Duración: 21min

    On this episode of the podcast, Jeff is joined by ABC National's Vice President of Health, Safety,Environment, and Workforce Development, Greg Sizemore. Jeff and Greg discuss how ABC is serving as a leading voice in the industry with the White House and our elected officials in Washington, as well as how the Construction Industry Safety Coalition has developed prevention and protection plans for companies to implement on job sites. Jeff also unveils the new "Back to Work, Safely" pledge from ABC Michigan that members are encouraged to take to demonstrate to our elected officials and our communities that we are ready, willing, and able to get back to work safely and responsibly, when that time comes.

  • Episode 21: Whitmer Extends "Stay at Home" Order (w/ Senator Mike Shirkey)

    09/04/2020 Duración: 16min

    On this episode of the Merit Shop Pod, we chat with Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey shortly after Governor Whitmer announced the extension of her "Stay at Home" Executive Order through April 30, 2020. We find out his initial reactions from the substance of the announcement and what it means moving forward for our state.

  • Episode 20: Paycheck Protection Deep Dive (w/ CPA Firm Yeo & Yeo)

    03/04/2020 Duración: 28min

    On this episode of the Merit Shop Pod, we are joined by John Haag, Managing Principal of the CPA firm's Midland office. John gave us a brief overview of the Paycheck Protection Program, as new details have continued to emerge daily, and took some time to answer several questions we have received from ABC members.

  • Episode 19: School Update and Paycheck Protection

    02/04/2020 Duración: 09min

    On this episode of the Merit Shop Pod, we provide a brief preview of Governor Whitmer's Thursday, April 1 press conference, where she'll address what's in store for the remainder of the school year. Jeff also highlights the importance of the newly established Paycheck Protection Program loans created by Congress in the CARES Act which was approved and signed by the President last week. Please visit our COVID-19 resource website at for details on everything discussed on this episode.

  • Episode 18: COVID - 19 Update

    30/03/2020 Duración: 12min

    On this episode of the Merit Shop Pod, we provide updates on developments that occurred over the weekend relating to the effort to combat COVID-19 in the state of Michigan. Jeff highlights the most recent update provided by Governor Whitmer, as well as providing updates on what is deemed "essential" when it comes to construction services, as well as new resources now available after Congress passed the CARES Act. Please visit our COVID-19 resource website at for details on everything discussed on this episode.

  • Episode 17: Women In Construction Week Recap (w/ Jen Schottke)

    13/03/2020 Duración: 20min

    On this episode of the Merit Shop Pod, the ABC of Michigan team is joined by Jen Schottke, VP of Operations of the ABC Western Michigan to recap the 2020 Women in Construction week. ABC chapters and members across the country organized and hosted some great events to promote women in construction and Jen shared her experiences about some of the things that happened in Michigan.

  • Episode 16: Super Joe, New NEPA, And Bans On Tax Cuts (with John Sellek Of Harbor Strategic)

    04/03/2020 Duración: 28min

    On this episode of the podcast now known as "The Merit Shop Pod," we are joined in studio by John Sellek, Founder and CEO of Harbor Strategic, a Michigan-based public affairs firm specializing in media relations, social media, influencer relations, strategic message planning and crisis communications. John shares his insight on the Super Tuesday results from the Democratic Presidential Primary, new reforms being pushed in Washington regarding environmental reviews of infrastructure projects, and a new proposed constitutional amendment that would establish a graduated income tax structure in Michigan.

  • Episode 15: Interview with State Rep. Beau Lafave (R-Iron Mountain)

    08/11/2019 Duración: 21min

    On this episode of the ABC of Michigan podcast, we sit down and chat with State Representative Beau Lafave (R-Iron Mountain), who represents the 108th district in the Michigan House of Representatives. Jeff and Rep. Lafave discussed the most recent happenings in the Michigan Legislature, including a bipartisan package of bills to expand criminal record expungement, the latest update in the Line 5 pipeline saga, and a couple of bills that would expand hunting rights. Enjoy!

  • Episode 14: Michigan Construction Leadership Summit 2019 Recap

    18/10/2019 Duración: 20min

    On this episode of the ABC of Michigan podcast, we head out to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, with the Mackinac Bridge and Lakes Huron and Michigan serving as our backdrop. This was the site for ABC of Michigan's 3rd Biennial Michigan Construction Leadership Summit, which provides attendees with a few days of information, training, and mentorship from industry leaders and other successful individuals about how to build their business and their community. Specifically, this episode includes several clips from Michigan's Big Show starring Michael Patrick Shiels, as he broadcasted live from the conference on Friday, October 11. Guests include Greg Sizemore from ABC National, Jen Schottke from the ABC Western Michigan Chapter and Grand Rapids School Board member, and Steve Ford, former Hollywood actor and son of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford. Enjoy!

  • Episode 13: Interview with the Center for Employment Opportunities

    16/08/2019 Duración: 18min

    On this episode of the ABC of Michigan podcast, Jeff sits down with Jonathan Bonaiuto and Margrit Allen from the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO). CEO is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and assisting former inmates of the corrections system by helping them start a new path and create a better life for themselves. Their office in Detroit is one of several throughout the country that work tirelessly every day to give people a second chance.

  • Episode 12: Interview With ABC National's Greg Sizemore

    11/07/2019 Duración: 20min

    The 12th episode of the ABC of Michigan Podcast is here! Inside today's episode: Jeff talks to ABC National's Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development, Greg Sizemore, about the nation's construction labor shortage. They also discuss the construction industry's vast "earn while you learn" opportunities, as well as the most effective strategies to promote and maintain a culture of safety within a company.

  • Episode 11: MIOSHA Alliance & The New Michigan Taskforce

    14/06/2019 Duración: 10min

    On this episode of today's podcast we talk about the recently signed alliance between MIOSHA and all four chapters of ABC in Michigan which will provide ABC members with continued access to MIOSHA’s Education, Resources, and Training. We discuss the current gridlock in appropriations between Republicans and the Governor's office. The parties are debating the annual Michigan Department of Transportation or MDOT budget. Also included in the episode, Jeff breaks down the recent task force created by Governor Whitmer aimed at examining alternative energy sources to Enbridge’s Line 5 natural gas option in the Upper Peninsula.

  • Episode 10: Auto No-Fault Reform & Talent Department Gets Makeover During Whitmer Reorganization

    07/06/2019 Duración: 11min

    On this episode of the podcast, we take another look at the recently signed Auto No-Fault Reform bill. Jeff also touches on the recent name change of the Talent and Economic Development department (TED) to the Labor and Economic Opportunity department, and what this name change may indicate for the trades. Also included in this podcast is our first major campaign announcement for 2020, John James will be running for U.S. Senate against Gary Peters.

  • Episode 9: Auto No-Fault Reform Moves & Muskegon Nixes Prevailing Wage Provision

    09/05/2019 Duración: 12min

    On this episode of the podcast, we take a look at the Auto No Fault reform legislation that made its way out of the House and Senate, making it likely that a concurrence vote next week will put it on the Governor's desk. Jeff also provides an update on the Merit Curriculum reform package entitled "21st Century Skills" that was approved by the House Education Committee and moves forward in the legislative process. We'll also check in on a situation in Muskegon County where a recent Board of Commissioners decision removed a prevailing wage provision from the project to build a new convention center, leaving those opposed to fair and open competition clamoring for the archaic government mandate to be reinstated.

  • Episode 8: Discussion with Charlie Owens, State Director of NFIB in Michigan

    02/05/2019 Duración: 31min

    On this episode of the podcast, we sit down with the Charlie Owens, State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Michigan. We take a deep dive into some of the issues facing the small business community across the state of Michigan, as well as some of the top news from the past week in Michigan government.

  • Episode 7: Gerrymandering Lawsuit Opinion & Interview w/ State Rep. Brandt Iden

    26/04/2019 Duración: 16min

    In this episode of the ABC of Michigan podcast, we'll provide you a breakdown of the opinion just handed down from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring Michigan's legislative and congressional district lines unconstitutional. We'll also touch on a package of bills receiving a hearing in the House Education Committee that would expand choices for students in high school to pursue more classes in Career Technical Education. Our interview this week is with State Representative Brandt Iden, representing the 61st State House district. Rep. Iden chairs the newly created House Ways and Means committee and he'll share exactly what the committee is tasked with accomplishing.

  • Episode 6: Another Paid Medical Leave Update & Interview with Michael Patrick Shiels

    04/04/2019 Duración: 15min

    In this episode of the ABC of Michigan podcast, we'll provide you with yet another update on Michigan's new Paid Medical Leave Act that is now (3/29/2019) in effect. We also review the ABC National Convention that was held in Long Beach, California this past week, where many ABC members from Michigan were recognized for their commitment to excellence and safety. Our interview this week comes from a segment of Michigan's Big Show, hosted by Michael Patrick Shiels. Jeff and MPS talk about a recent IBEW-funded poll addressing local public construction bids, and their incorrect narrative that the repeal of Michigan's prevailing wage law equates to mandating the lowest bid be taken on a project. Paid Medical Leave Act FAQ:,4601,7-15…91049---,00.html Michigan's Big Show w/ Michael Patrick Shiels:

  • Episode 5: Paid Medical Leave Act In Effect & Former State Rep. Al Pscholka

    29/03/2019 Duración: 28min

    In this episode of the ABC of Michigan podcast, we'll provide you with an update on Michigan's new Paid Medical Leave Act that is now (3/29/2019) in effect. We also saw an interesting twist in the debate to reform Michigan's auto no fault insurance law and what it could mean for the future of the law. Our special guest this week is former State Representative, House Appropriations Chair, and State Budget Director under Governor Rick Snyder, Al Pscholka. Al is now the VP of Government Relations at Kinexus Group, a non-profit that, among many other things, is assisting in the training of the next generation of skilled trades workers. Jeff ventured on down to Michigan's great Southwest to chat with him and one of the students that utilized their YouthBuild Program. Paid Medical Leave Act FAQ:,4601,7-154-59886_91049---,00.html Kinexus' YouthBuild Program:

  • Episode 4: Line 5 Lawsuit & Debbie Stark, Owner of La Femina Trucking

    14/03/2019 Duración: 24min

    In this episode of the ABC of Michigan podcast, we follow up on two developing legal disputes stemming from the last legislative session regarding the new Paid Medical Leave Act, as well as the proposed tunnel that would be built around the controversial Enbridge Line 5 oil and gas pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. Michigan is also one step closer to more transparency, as the House of Representatives is exploring a new disclosure law that would apply to their offices, as well as the Governor’s office. We also sit down with Debbie Starke, owner of La Femina Trucking Inc. and a member of the ABC Southeastern Michigan Chapter. We talk skilled trades training, advice to potential trade apprentices, and touch on a few other hot topics.

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