Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 23,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 68 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. ABC’s membership represents all specialties within the U.S. construction industry and is comprised primarily of firms that perform work in the industrial and commercial sectors.
Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 23,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 68 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.
Based on the merit shop philosophy, ABC helps members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work.
ABC Advances The Merit Shop Philosophy
For more than 70 years, ABC has been the leading voice promoting the merit shop philosophy in construction. ABC members are champions of free enterprise and open competition committed to delivering high-quality, safe construction projects awarded to the most qualified bidder based on merit, not mandates or political favoritism. More than 88% of the U.S. construction workforce has freely chosen not to join a union.
Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard
The Merit Shop Scorecard reviews and ranks state-specific policies and data that are significant to the merit shop construction industry. The scorecard celebrates states with business environments that encourage construction industry growth and underscores areas where strategic improvements need to be made to create an environment conducive to the industry’s needs.
ABC PAC: Get Into Politics or Get out of Business®
ABC’s political action committee is your voice in elective politics. ABC PAC works within the federal election process to further the goals of the association through direct involvement in supporting and opposing candidates for president, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. This is accomplished through educating our members on the importance of political activism and through financial support of merit shop candidates. ABC PAC members' contributions are combined with others to jointly support candidates. This provides a unified and powerful voice for the merit agenda. It is also an opportunity to participate in one of the largest pro-business PACs in the nation.
Free Enterprise Alliance
Founded by ABC, the Free Enterprise Alliance advocates for small businesses, entrepreneurs, limited government, fair and open competition and the economically sound principles upon which America was built. FEA works to educate ABC members and their employees, elected officials and the public about the important issues facing the open shop construction industry in America and plays a signiﬁcant role in advancing the merit shop philosophy at the federal and state levels. During the 2021-2022 election cycle, FEA raised an unprecedented $4.8 million and invested over $2.7 million in issue advocacy and, separately, get-out-the-vote campaigns. FEA was active in 30 congressional districts and 21 states fighting against destructive labor policies like the Protecting the Right to Organize Act and reckless taxes and spending.
ABC Helps Members Win Work
ABC creates opportunities for its members to compete for work on a fair and level playing field, and then helps them win work based on merit. ABC defends open competition in construction contracting at the national, state and local levels, opposing government-mandated project labor agreements and prevailing wage laws while supporting right-to-work policies. In fiscal years 2009-2021, ABC helped members win 57% of the value of federal contracts larger than $25 million, worth $73.46 billion.
ABC Opposes Project Labor Agreement Mandates
ABC supports legislation that prevents officials from imposing union-favoring, government-mandated project labor agreements on taxpayer-funded construction projects, which is a win for fair and open competition and taxpayers. Government-mandated PLAs have a dismal track record of increasing costs, reducing competition and discriminating against experienced construction companies and qualified local employees because they are not affiliated with a union.
TheTruthAboutPLAs.com | BuildAmericaLocal.com
ABC Opposes Onerous Taxes
Small businesses need relief from onerous tax policies and growing regulatory burdens in order to succeed and create jobs. The single biggest challenge facing small business today is widespread uncertainty—uncertain economic prospects, an uncertain regulatory environment and uncertain tax policy. While Congress cannot control the ebb and flow of the business cycle, it can (and must) do better to relieve the self-inflicted economic constraints caused by regulatory overreach and anti-growth tax policies.
ABC created FindContractors.com to help members find and do business with other ABC members. Members can search for an ABC contractor, supplier or other construction professional by name, chapter, location, sales volume or type of construction. Plus, it’s easy to find members that have earned an Excellence in Construction® Award, participate in the STEP Safety Management System, earned the Accredited Quality Contractor program credential, qualified for ABC’s Top Performers lists, have federal designations and have signed the Drug- and Alcohol-Free Workplace Pledge. Contractors can also update their membership information.
Accredited Quality Contractor
Launched exclusively for ABC members in 1993, the prestigious Accredited Quality Contractor program recognizes an elite group of contractor members for excellence in quality, safety performance, talent management—including inclusion, diversity and merit—craft and management education and community relations. In earning the AQC credential, each member company commits to world-class safety by achieving the Gold, Platinum or Diamond level in ABC’s STEP Safety Management System. The AQC credential helps ABC members recruit and retain employees, win work and demonstrate corporate citizenship.
ABC’s peer groups give like-minded business owners an environment conducive to sharing ideas and discussing opportunities and challenges—all with the goal of improving their businesses. Peer groups consist of six to 10 ABC member companies within a trade or interest area and with similar annual revenues. Members in the same peer group do not operate in the same competitive market, which fosters trust and an open exchange of information.
ABC Champions Inclusion, Diversity and Merit
ABC values inclusion, diversity and equity as an empowering competitive advantage. We believe in creating—and championing—conditions where individuals and organizations are limited only by their own potential and desire, and that career opportunities in this nation should be created and made available to all people. Through Diversity Resource Groups and the National Inclusion, Diversity and Merit Excellence Awards, ABC provides education and recognizes success in achieving an inclusive, diverse construction workforce.
ABC Is Building the Workforce of the Future
ABC works to elevate careers in construction and build the workforce talent pipeline. ABC’s 68 chapters and their affiliates offer more than 800 apprenticeship, craft, safety and construction management education programs—including over 450 government-registered apprenticeship programs—across the country. ABC members invested $1.5 billion to educate their employees in 2022 to provide 1.3 million course attendees with craft, leadership and safety education to advance their careers in commercial and industrial construction. Safety education accounted for the greatest share—59%—of the total workforce investment. ABC works to heighten interest in careers in construction through competitions, awards programs and student chapters. ABC is also proud to support education initiatives like buildyourfuture.org that attract young people to careers in construction.
ABC Honored With Presidential Award for Workforce Development
When ABC signed the Pledge to America’s Workers at the White House in July 2018, it promised to educate and develop at least 500,000 construction workers over the next five years. ABC far exceeded that goal with more than 1.1 million course attendees upskilled and educated in 2019 alone. On Sept. 23, 2020, ABC was awarded the Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award at a White House ceremony for its successes connecting high school students, minorities, reentering citizens, veterans and women with rewarding careers in construction in more than 50 professions.
ABC Helps Members Achieve World-Class Safety
ABC and its chapters strive to provide all members with the knowledge and tools to achieve the highest standard for health, safety, wellness and environment in the construction industry.
STEP Safety Management System
Established in 1989, ABC’s STEP program was developed and written by contractors, for contractors, to establish health and safety as core values. Participating companies measure their safety processes and policies on key components and the criteria for best practices through a detailed questionnaire with the goal of implementing or enhancing safety programs that reduce jobsite incident rates. STEP offers an organized approach for analyzing and developing companywide safety and loss prevention programs that can reduce recordable incidents by up to 85%.
Safety Performance Report
ABC’s Safety Performance Report presents empirical evidence from members doing real work on real projects, which shows that implementing STEP best practices can produce world-class construction safety programs. The 2023 report documents the dramatic impact of deploying proactive health and safety practices—leading indicators such as new hire safety orientation, substance abuse prevention and toolbox talks—to reduce recordable incidents by up to 85%, making the best-performing companies nearly seven times safer safer than the industry average. The 2023 edition was based on data gathered from ABC STEP participants recording more than 850 million hours of work in construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades.
Construction Coalition for a Drug- And Alcohol-Free Workplace
ABC is an active member of the Construction Coalition for a Drug- and Alcohol-free Workplace, which provides companies and organizations with the resources they need to implement effective substance abuse policies and work toward eliminating substance abuse-related incidents on construction jobsites. Take the pledge and become a partner at drugfreeconstruction.org.
ABC Helps Members Improve Profitability
ABC helps members connect with trusted strategic partners for the products and services they need, network with industry thought leaders, and access world-class education and training opportunities.
ABC keeps members updated on key economic indicators for commercial and industrial construction with regular reports and analysis.
- Annual construction spending forecast
- Construction Backlog Indicator
- Construction Confidence Index
- State-level industry unemployment rates
- Analysis of government economic data
- Construction spending
- Construction employment
- Producer Price Index
- JOLTS job openings
Construction Executive Magazine
ABC’s award-winning Construction Executive magazine helps industry leaders run a more profitable and productive construction business. CE covers hot-button issues such as workforce development, insurance, estimating, project management, safety and liability, technology, legislation and regulations through a print magazine, website, newsletter, social media and webinars, including quarterly economic forecasts.
ABC Member Discount Program
From business essentials like insurance and software to great deals on everyday purchases through the online ABC Marketplace that features more than 20,000 participating merchants, a typical contractor with 15 employees could save thousands of dollars each year by taking advantage of ABC member discounts. Employee discounts are also available. In 2022, ABC members saved $33.1 million through member and member employee discounts.
Investing in Construction Technology and Innovation
The ABC construction technology and innovation initiative provides contractor members with education and insights, better access to the tech community and help understanding the inherent value of tech to the industry through the Tech Alliance and Tech Marketplace. It supports incorporating technology and innovation into members’ safety and total human health, political advocacy and workforce development priorities through the Tech Report, Safety Technology Resource Guide and other initiatives.
abc.org/techalliance | abc.org/techmarketplace | abc.org/techreport | abc.org/safetytech
Members can access innovative, cost-saving digital solutions for bidding, project management, safety analytics and more in the Tech Marketplace.
ABC Insurance Trust
Exclusively for members, the ABC Insurance Trust helps members navigate complex benefits needs and specializes in providing medical, dental, disability and life insurance to merit shop construction contractors.
ABC Events Educate and Inspire
The annual ABC convention brings together merit shop contractors from across the nation. The convention includes keynote speakers and industry-specific sessions for CEOs and senior construction leaders; networking events; and the National Craft Championships, Construction Management Competition, Excellence in Construction® Awards, Careers in Construction Awards and Association Excellence Awards. Held in March, the location for the ABC convention varies each year.
ABC Legislative Week
Held each June in Washington, D.C., ABC’s Legislative Week includes Legislative Day (ABC’s lobby day on the Hill), as well as the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Summit and Free Enterprise Alliance Reception.
ABC Users Summit
The ABC Users Summit brings together top project owners and merit shop construction contractors for interactive discussions about how to collaboratively improve upon the planning and delivery of high-quality construction projects. The Users Summit is held annually in May at varying locations.
ABC Leadership Institute
ABC Leadership Institute brings together ABC volunteer leaders to hone leadership, communication and collaboration skills, as well as network with peers. Chapter chairs and chairs-elect are invited to participate in education sessions and the exchange of best practices, all in a collaborative, solutions-oriented environment.
Chapter Presidents Management Conference
The Chapter Presidents Management Conference is held annually to help ABC chapter presidents enhance their association management skills, share effective best practices and network with peers.
The ONE Conference is held annually to help chapter staff with professional development along with peer-to-peer sessions for best practice learning and sharing.
Project Management Institute
The ABC Project Management Institute is a premier education and professional development opportunity for future project management leaders. Developed by experienced contractors and Kirk Alter, a nationally recognized subject matter expert with decades of project management experience, this course is designed specifically to meet the needs of today’s contractors.
ABC Awards Honor the Best of the Best in Merit Shop Construction
Excellence in Construction® Awards
The premier awards program for merit shop construction recognizes the industry’s most innovative and high-quality construction projects across the nation. Winning general and specialty contractor ﬁrms are honored at an annual black-tie awards gala with their entire project team—owners, architects and engineers—to celebrate this prestigious achievement.
National Inclusion, Diversity and Merit Excellence Awards
Recognize members that display exemplary IDM leadership in their company, workforce, supply chain and community with best-in-class recruitment policies, retention practices and training and mentoring programs.
National Safety Excellence Awards
The National Safety Excellence Awards recognize companies that exhibit a continued commitment to jobsite safety and whose safety performance and programs are judged to be exemplary based on data submitted via STEP applications, essay questions and video interviews with company leadership about their corporate safety culture. During the selection process, contractors are judged on self-evaluation scores, lost workday case rates, total recordable incident rates, leading indicator use, process and program innovations and interviews conducted by members of ABC’s National Health and Safety Committee.
ABC’s Top Performers
The only ranking of its kind, the Top Performers lists recognize leading member contractors’ achievements in safety, quality, diversity, project excellence and special designations, ranked by work hours.
Construction Workforce Awards
The ABC Construction Workforce Awards feature the Craft Instructor of the Year, Craft Professional of the Year and Young Professional of the Year. These individuals play critical roles in shaping the future of the construction industry by highlighting construction as a meaningful lifelong career, emphasizing safe and healthy work practices and expanding education opportunities. The winner of each award is announced at the annual ABC convention.
National Craft Championships
ABC’s annual competition celebrates lifelong learning in the merit shop construction industry, with craft trainees from chapter and member training programs competing for national recognition in more than a dozen crafts during ABC Convention. Established in 1987, NCC recognizes upskilling in construction, draws some of the country’s most talented craft professionals and highlights the important role that craft skills training plays in the construction industry.
Construction Management Competition
The hallmark competition promoting careers in construction management features teams of undergraduate students from colleges and universities who test their skills in project management, estimating, safety, quality control and presentation skills. All competition participants are active members of the ABC National Student Chapter Network, which connects local ABC chapters to colleges and universities with construction management programs to build the talent pipeline and mentor future leaders of the construction industry.