Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national management association for the construction industry which actively promotes the merit shop form of construction. From a modest start by six Baltimore contractors in 1950, ABC has enjoyed a growing membership, now totaling more than 23,000 firms, each dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and management’s right to manage. These beliefs translate into a healthy, competitive and professional climate, the results of which are proudly reflected in ABC member’s construction accomplishments. ABC is the fastest-growing construction trade association in the country because ABC supports the sound merit shop philosophy at the heart of the Free Enterprise system. The Merit Shop is a force for economy and efficiency in construction, regardless of organizational affiliation. The Merit Shop is union and open shop firms working side-by-side, free of interference, providing on-time, on-budget construction with safety, quality and cost effectiveness as our goal. ABC’s pursuit of free enterprise in construction has set the standard for all other associations to follow.
Throughout the country, ABC is an effective force in business development, education, labor relations and industry legislation. ABC is comprised of general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and associates who believe in the merit shop form of construction. Today, open shop contractors perform over 70% of all construction nationwide, and ABC’s membership has grown to over 23,000 which includes over one-third of the top 400 construction companies in the United States. ABC members are located in various chapters located throughout the United States and in Guam.
Particularly successful is the National Center for Construction Education and Research’s Wheels of Learning program, a unique competency-based, modular training program. Wheels of Learning provides a task oriented format which allows employers to structure training programs that best suit a specific project’s and employees requirements. Through a combination of classroom and on-the-job training, workers acquire new skills rapidly with the essential hands-on knowledge that lets them apply their new skills accurately and effectively.
Other ABC sponsored educational programs help keep the industry’s managers and apprentices well-versed in the latest construction methods and technologies. Through ABC, better training results in better construction -- and greater profits.
ABC actively promotes cooperative labor relations and a healthy, competitive work climate for all contractors, regardless of labor affiliations. Towards these goals, each of the ABC chapters across the country can advise and assist in any labor-related questions that might arise. In addition the ABC chapters are staffed with full-time Presidents who can offer additional on-site consultation, as well as contractor referral information and other valuable merit shop data.