THE VOICE OF THE MERIT SHOP®Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 72 chapters representing 22,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms. 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.
- 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.
The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter is comprised of more than 400 member companies with an elected board of directors and a multitude of committees supported by a professional staff. The board is made up of a cross section of the membership, which includes general contractors, subcontractors. material suppliers and professional associates. Based in Tampa, the Gulf Coast chapter was chartered in 1969, spanning the west coast of Florida, from Gainesville south to Naples. Statewide, membership in ABC's five chapters totals over 2,500.
The organization focuses its energy on providing construction firms with a host of membership benefits, including legislative advocacy, apprenticeship training, management education, safety training and business development through networking at chapter events. Members can "meet and greet" at chapter functions such as general membership meetings, general contractor tabletop exhibits, golf tournaments, cigar socials, and our famous fishing tournament.
With all its activities, ABC creates a solid base for high quality construction companies on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Its efforts enhance the character of our community and add to the health of our economy. For more information on how to become a member of the nation's fastest growing trade association, call the ABC office at 813-879-8064.
To read more about ABC's history, view the Construction Executive article "60 years and Counting."