Workforce Development


There are limitless opportunities to build the American workforce through government-defined and industry workforce development programs. Innovative and unique platforms can provide the way for all Americans to develop skills to achieve their dreams.

However, with an aging workforce and an insufficient pipeline of new workers, the construction industry faces a critical shortage of skilled craft professionals. According to economic data, approximately 500,000 construction jobs are ready to be filled right now, and that number will increase with economic growth and forthcoming federal infrastructure legislation.

ABC and its 70 chapters are doing their part to train craft and management professionals using innovative and flexible learning models like just-in-time task training, competency-based progression, work-based learning and government registered apprenticeships to build a safe, skilled and productive workforce.


• Policy that reflects an “all of the above” approach to workforce development where workers and employers have the freedom to choose the best way to provide value and build America.
• Continued modernization of the federal apprenticeship law known as the Fitzgerald Act of 1937, which was enacted at a time when labor unions dominated the construction market. As a result, federal and state laws and regulations tend to favor the union style of apprenticeship programs and do not accurately reflect industry-driven programs.
• Career and technical education (CTE) programs that provide motivated students interested in learning a trade with a course of study that combines hands-on craft training in a real-world environment with core academics and classroom learning.
• More flexible options that allow interested students to use federal tuition assistance for employer-driven education and training that results in industry-recognized and nationally portable credentials.


• Inconsistent government actions that conflict with the goal of expanding job training opportunities for all Americans by denying their right to choose to train and work in the merit shop sector of the construction industry.


At ABC, we believe in building people through the merit shop philosophy: that projects and personal advancement should be awarded based on performance, skill and achievement. Our flexible and affordable craft and safety training programs lead to industry-recognized, national credentials for today’s leading construction positions. Together, we help individuals learn, transform and triumph as they pursue meaningful careers that advance their potential and build strong communities.

Employing a construction workforce that is safe, skilled and productive means that ABC member companies take an “all-of-the-above” approach to developing employees by using a number of flexible, competency-based and market-driven training methodologies to build their workforce and deliver value to their clients. Since fighting to get our first Registered Apprenticeship program approved in the 1960s, to developing the “Wheels of Learning” craft training curricula in the 1980s, to the founding of NCCER in the 1990s, ABC has been the gold standard for training in the merit shop construction industry.  

ABC works closely with NCCER, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) education foundation created in 1996 as The National Center for Construction Education and Research. Founded by ABC and leading contractors, NCCER is the industry’s source for craft training, assessment and certification. This ongoing, multi-million-dollar investment in training illustrates the industry’s commitment to training the future workforce. Today, NCCER develops standardized curricula and industry-recognized, portable credentials for more than 70 crafts that have been used in all 50 states and in 20 countries.

Skilled training for all career pathways in the construction industry is vital to America’s growth and prosperity. ABC will continue to work to ensure construction companies’ training needs are addressed.

ABC Chapter and Member-Specific Data:

ABC contractor members annually invest $1.1 billion to train approximately 476,000 construction industry professionals.

  • ABC contractor members annually invest $750 million to train approximately 280,000 craft professionals. 
  • ABC contractor members annually invest $198 million to train approximately 98,000 field managers/supervisors.
  • ABC contractor members annually invest $116 million to train approximately 56,000 mid-level managers.
  • ABC contractor members annually invest $109 million to train approximately 42,000 senior managers

ABC chapters and affiliated training centers offer more than 800 apprenticeship, craft, safety and management training programs around the country. 
 ABC chapters and affiliated training centers offer more than 300 Registered Apprenticeship programs approved by the Department of Labor and/or state governments. 
 Through our partnership with NCCER, ABC chapters offer training at more than 1,400 locations across America.