THE VOICE OF THE MERIT SHOP®
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 22,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 72 chapters help members win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they 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 of the industry.
- ABC is the merit shop construction industry's voice with the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the federal government and with state and local governments, as well as with the news media.
- ABC's mission is the advancement of the merit shop construction philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free-enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.
- Through its national office and chapters, ABC's objective is to provide its members with an organization to deal with issues on an industry-wide basis.
- ABC's activities include government representation, legal advocacy, education, workforce development, communications, technology, recognition through national and chapter awards programs, employee benefits, information on best practices and business development through an online contractor search directory.
ABC was founded in 1950 when seven contractors gathered in Baltimore, Md. to create an association based on the shared belief that construction projects should be awarded on merit to the most qualified and responsible low bidders. The courage and dedication of those seven contractors - Charles Mullan, C.K. Wells, Jr., Philip Cloves, Ernest Shultz, Edward Colwill, Charles Knott and Edward Dickinson - helped to quickly spread the merit shop philosophy, within time making ABC the fastest growing association in the United States. Today, ABC is recognized as one of the leading organizations representing America's business community and the merit shop construction industry.
To read more about ABC's history, view the Construction Executive article "60 years and Counting."