Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction association representing more than 22,000 construction and construction-related firms in more than 72 chapters across the United States. It is one of the few associations within the industry that treats the entire construction team-general contractors, specialty contractors, suppliers, design professionals and associates - as equal partners.
ABC was established in 1950 when seven Maryland businessmen met to counter a massive organizing scheme by the local unions. Their courage and dedication to the merit (open) shop industry spread rapidly, and within time, ABC became the fastest growing association in the United States.
In 1970, 30 percent of the nation's construction was performed merit shop and six of the top 400 construction firms were ABC members. Today, the merit shop accounts for more than 85 percent of all construction across the country, and ABC's membership has grown to include more than half of the top 400 construction companies in the United States.
The merit shop philosophy maintains that the lowest responsible bidder should be awarded the project, regardless of union affiliation. ABC is the only construction organization in the country devoted exclusively to merit shop construction.
ABC represents its members at all levels of government. The association provides a complete range of craft training and management education products and services. ABC also operates the Contractor Referral Service to assist construction owners in contacting the appropriate contractor for a particular project. The dominance of merit shop construction would be impossible to chronicle without paralleling the history of ABC. The two are tied irrevocably together.
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