The Wisconsin Builders Association – Madison, Wisconsin

November 30, 2023

The Wisconsin Builders Association

A Voice for the Home Building Industry in Wisconsin


The Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA) stands as a committed advocate for the construction industry in the state of Wisconsin. Established to promote and protect the interests of builders, developers, and other professionals involved in the construction field, the WBA has been a driving force in shaping policies and standards to ensure a robust and prosperous construction sector.

Founded in 1947, the Wisconsin Builders Association is one of the oldest and most respected trade associations in the state. It was formed by a group of visionary individuals with the goal of establishing a unified and strong voice for the construction industry. Over the years, the association has grown in size and influence, now representing nearly 4,000 members across Wisconsin; membership is comprised of developers, builders, remodelers, and those who support the industry such as construction materials suppliers, interior designers, insurers, lenders, etc.

Mike Howe

The primary mission of the Wisconsin Builders Association is to advocate for a positive business environment for its members, fostering economic growth and providing affordable housing for the residents of Wisconsin, achieving this mission through the following key objectives:

  1. Advocacy: The WBA actively engages in legislative and regulatory advocacy at the state level. They work to shape laws and regulations that support a thriving construction industry while ensuring the highest standards of safety, quality, and integrity.
  2. Education and Training: The association provides educational programs, workshops, and training opportunities to enhance the skills and knowledge of industry professionals. This helps members stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in the construction field.
  3. Networking and Collaboration: WBA facilitates networking and collaboration among its members, creating a platform for idea exchange, partnerships, and business growth. This unity fosters a sense of community and shared purpose within the construction industry.
  4. Community Engagement: The association emphasizes community involvement and encourages its members to actively participate in various community service projects. This demonstrates the industry’s commitment to giving back to the communities they serve.

The Wisconsin Builders Association has had a significant impact on the construction industry in Wisconsin and beyond. Its advocacy efforts have resulted in the implementation of policies that promote growth, affordability, and sustainability within the construction sector. By actively engaging with legislators and regulatory bodies, the association has played a vital role in shaping the legal and regulatory framework that governs the industry. In the last five years, the association has succeeded in several housing wins:

  • Reducing the exposure period for a claim resulting from a building or remodeling project from 10 years to 7 years
  • Streamlining the processes for housing development in areas that contain wetlands
  • Raising the bar for passing automatic sprinkler requirements in homes, ensuring all sides of the issue must be explored before adding additional regulations
  • Eliminating the acre conversion fee on former agricultural land
  • Passing a five-bill Workforce Housing Package that provides grants and programs to allow local municipalities and developers the ability to build and redevelop properties, thus closing the housing gap more easily.

Another benefit of membership with the organization, individuals have access to legal assistance and resources, assuring that they stay compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements. Members are provided with contracts and forms that they can then use as legally binding agreements with their customers, ensuring they as a business owner are protected. A legal hotline operated by WBA’s outside legal counsel exists as an opportunity for members to seek legal advice when they are faced with adversity with a client or municipality in which they are doing business.

The association’s Wisconsin Builders Foundation is the educational and fundraising arm of the association, focusing its efforts on continuing education, workforce development, and promoting the building trades. Industry professionals are empowered with the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to evolving technologies and industry trends. The Foundation’s work has not only enhanced the overall competence of the workforce but has also contributed to the delivery of high-quality education programs and construction projects. Hosted each fall is the Foundation’s Trends in Housing Conference, in which experts from across the country converge in Wisconsin to provide informational presentations to Wisconsin’s construction industry, allowing those in attendance to receive continuing education credits towards their professional credential. Through their membership, Dwelling Contractor Qualifiers can complete all of their continuing education requirements free of charge.

No matter where you are in the country, the skilled trade gap is significant. Many skilled trades workers in the construction industry are nearing retirement age, and jobs have long been stigmatized, often seen as less prestigious or less financial rewarding, causing a decline in the number of young professional pursuing careers in the skilled trades. The WB Foundation works hard to highlight the great family-supporting careers one can earn after high school or a two-year training program. The Foundation’s annual Golf Outing raises funds that go towards providing scholarships to those pursing a construction-related education post-high school. Over the last ten years, the WB Foundation has awarded $87,800 in scholarships to young people throughout Wisconsin, giving them access to promising careers in the building trades.

The association’s encouragement of community service projects underscores the construction industry’s commitment to being a responsible and active participant in the betterment of society. Through volunteering and philanthropic activities, WBA members demonstrate their dedication to making a positive impact on the communities they serve.

The Wisconsin Builders Association stands as a pillar of support and advocacy for the construction industry in Wisconsin. Its long history, strong mission, diverse activities, and meaningful contributions to the industry have positioned it as a vital entity in the state’s business landscape. As the construction industry continues to evolve, the Wisconsin Builders Association remains committed to championing the interests of its members and fostering a thriving and prosperous construction sector in Wisconsin.

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Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA)

What: As a professional trade association, the Wisconsin Builders Association advances the housing industry through government involvement, education, and promotion.

Where: Madison, Wisconsin



November 2023 Issue of Business View Magazine

November 2023

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