On August 26, 2014, Northwestern Mutual Chairman and CEO John Schlifske and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced the official start of construction on the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in downtown Milwaukee. The new building project will preserve 1100 jobs and add 1900 new ones. Schlifske stated Milwaukee is a place for economic growth and job creation opportunities for residents. Representatives from various community groups, education institutions, business leaders and local political leaders took part in the ceremony. Northwestern Mutual has hired more than 70 Wisconsin based companies including more than three dozen small business enterprises. Pictured with Schlifske are NML corporate executive Kim Goode; Sojourner Family Peace Center executive director Carmen Pitre; Mayor Barrett and United Community Center Community School executive director Ricardo Diaz.