About ABC

The Voice of the Merit Shop

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC SD is part of a national association along with 70 chapters across the country to help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members 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.

  • 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 helped to quickly spread the merit shop. Today, ABC is recognized as one of the leading organizations representing America's business community and the merit shop construction industry.

ABC San Diego Chapter and Training Trust were established in 1976, and proudly call the City of Poway home, with a modern headquarters including state-of-the-art construction training facilities featuring full-scale workshops and classrooms. The location serves as a resource for members and trains hundreds of skilled craftspeople in safety, electrical, plumbing, pipefitting, electronic systems technicians and sheet metal trades every year.


Why ABC?

  • Merit-based training & advancement: Trainees are challenged to dig deep and achieve the lifestyle and high-wage career they want through their own abilities and skills — fostering self-motivated excellence and pride in their profession.
  • Value: ABC delivers quality, hands-on craft education at an attractive price point, empowering many trainees to complete their programs and credentials with little to no debt.
  • Quality: ABC training is quality training, aligned with industry demands and delivered by instructors who are experts in their field.
  • Flexibility: ABC’s training is delivered flexibly through web-based programs and on-the-job experiences, leading to national credentials and certifications that are industry recognized and recorded in a national database.
  • Speed: At ABC, you can prepare for a great career on the fast track. Learn and earn!
  • Connections: Through ABC’s training, trainees connect with real skills, employers connect with valuable workers, sending schools and community organizations connect with a quality source of training, and more.
  • Competition: ABC trainees are eligible to compete in the National Craft Championships to showcase their skills and prove their abilities.


Why ABC over the Competition?

  • ABC is trustworthy. Founded in 1950, ABC is a respected organization that holds the highest standards of safety, quality, and integrity. Workers who complete their credentials through ABC then carry the association’s positive reputation into their own careers.
  • ABC is reachable. Quality training, flexible options, national certifications, and affordable tuition come together at ABC to make meaningful craft education accessible and achievable for everyone who wants to learn.
  • ABC builds people. The merit shop philosophy that guides ABC’s training programs and member companies empowers individuals to pursue their greatest potential and make the most of their natural talents. This fosters pride, responsibility, and achievement.


What is unique about ABC?

  • Quality, flexible, competency-based craft training with little to no debt
  • Fast track to a high-wage, high-demand career
  • Industry-recognized, national credentials, and certifications recorded in national database
  • Certified instructors who are experts in their field
  • Personal merit-based training and advancement that puts trainees in control of their own destiny
  • Relevant training programs aligned with industry demands
  • Networking and connections with hiring companies for high placement rates
  • Opportunities to showcase skills and compete against the best in the country at National Craft Championships
  • Sponsorship of Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO)
  • National and local scholarships and college credit
  • Young professional groups for management-level professionals
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • The confidence of connecting with a trusted and longstanding national association