Trimmer Construction Education Fund

TCEF exists to promote a safe, skilled, sustainable, and diverse workforce by providing funding for the direct support of training initiatives/programs or the expansion of a training facility that promotes careers in the merit shop construction industry. Formerly known as the Merit Shop Foundation, the Trimmer Construction Education Fund was established in 1971.

Our Mission

Trimmer is the premier resource for construction education funding, aggressively promoting merit shop education in the United States and providing a climate in which the industry has access to a trained, skilled, safe and sustainable workforce.

Our Strategy

The Trimmer Construction Education Fund allocates resources to drive sustainable long-term growth and competitive advantage by focusing on awareness, capacity and opportunity.

Our Goal

Trimmer’s goal is to attract, train and retain talent through educating the public about the varied opportunities a career in the construction industry has to offer. 

Our Namesake

John Trimmer was the first executive vice president of Associated Builders and Contractors 60 years ago and was a tireless champion in promoting the merit shop philosophy. 

His lifelong commitment to the merit shop and his efforts to provide educational opportunities to those in the construction industry set him apart as a true innovator and leader. 

It is because of his many accomplishments and his vision and efforts to lend a voice to the industry that the fund bears his name. 

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TCEF-Funded Initiatives


Johnny Sanchez

Jennifer Stolzenburg

Treylan Harris

Pipefitter Helper, EXCEL Group

Reina Montoya

Electrical Inspector, City of San Diego

Kawanna Freeman

Instrumentation Technician, Dow Chemical — Plaquemine

Joshua Favale

Electrical Journeyman, Laser Electric

ABC Arkansas Chapter
New 9 x 16 video screen, high-def Panasonic laser projector purchased for their training center along with tables and chairs to seat up to 100


ABC Arkansas Chapter
Bill Roachell showing US Congressman French Hill the plans for the new front office building—where classrooms and a conference center will be located.


ABC Arkansas Chapter
Demo work on the front of the new building—this is where the classrooms will be located in the front building.


ABC Arkansas Chapter
ABC members enjoying the ABC Arkansas's 2nd
“ABC Catfish Friday” of the summer in their training center.


ABC Connecticut Chapter
Learning by Doing initiative.

ABC Minnesota/North Dakota Chapter
Safety Trailer- a mobile training unit that can house indoor or outdoor training sessions.

How to Apply

Apply for a TCEF Grant today. Using the linked application below, email a single PDF file with all required information to Betsy Strock at [email protected].

The applicant and/or its organization must support training for the merit shop construction philosophy. ABC chapters, chapter affiliates and ABC members must be in good standing.


Mailing Address

440 First Street, N.W.
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20001


Grant Applications and Status Reports

For November 2024 review:

Due Monday, Oct. 14

For February 2025 review:

Due Monday, Jan. 13

For June 2025 review:

Due Monday, May 12


Betsy Strock
[email protected]