On the Level: Protests, Pandemic and Prospects

At helm of JCP, Phelps brothers reflect on recent months and look to future

Although the past few months have not been easy for anyone, they have especially been hard for the leadership team at JCP Construction.

The coronavirus outbreak has brought at least one big disappointment to the three brothers who run the Milwaukee-based contractor – James Phelps, company president; Jalin Phelps, vice president of field operations; and Clifton Phelps, vice president of business development. Their company has been enlisted to help convert the Fiserv Forum, home to the Milwaukee Bucks, into the main venue for the Democratic National Convention. But with big questions now looming about how many people will actually attend the event, the Phelps brothers have had to come to terms with the likelihood that they will have a much smaller role to play.

Meanwhile, the death last month of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has hit home at the minority-owned JCP Construction, where about 80 percent of the office employees are black. With their commitment to having a diverse workforce, the Phelps brothers are well aware of the artificial barriers that often prevent people of color from getting on job sites.

That dedication extends beyond hiring. JCP Construction’s main office is near the corner of North Reservoir Avenue and North Martin Luther King Drive in Milwaukee. That puts it in the center not only of a historically black neighborhood, but also many of the recent protests against police brutality organized in response to Floyd’s death.

This week they sat down with The Daily Reporter to talk about their recent experiences and hopes for the industry.

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