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Founded in Baltimore, Md. in 1950 to represent the interests and concerns of merit shop contractors, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national organization with nearly 24,000 members in 80 chapters throughout the United States.

Firms that operate under the "Merit Shop" principle strive to ensure that performance is based on ability - if you merit the work you should get it, and ABC works hard to see that you do.

ABC's mission is to promote the merit shop and free enterprise philosophy. ABC is the only construction organization in the country devoted exclusively to that philosophy. And, 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. We help the industry grow by ensuring that merit shop contractors can compete freely in the marketplace.

ABC membership offers many benefits: workplace development, education and training, safety programs, legislative representation, legal assistance, business development, marketing and help with employee health and welfare issues.

National offices

Located in Washington, D.C., National ABC is one of the top lobbying organizations in the country. The ABC logo carries considerable clout with administration officials and federal government leaders on Capitol Hill.

In fact, President Bush was the featured guest speaker at ABC's National Legislative Conference earlier this summer. President Bush spent 45 minutes talking to ABC members in Washington, D.C., signaling the increasingly important role ABC is playing with the political leaders of our country. The President's remarks made it clear he and his staff appreciate ABC and its support, and recognize the growing influence of the association.

National ABC advises our federal government on numerous issues affecting the construction industry. With specialists in government relations, business development, communications, education, safety, finance, fringe benefits, membership, political education, and more, National ABC is recognized as the leader of and the voice for free enterprise in the construction marketplace.

San Diego Chapter

Associated Builders & Contractors of San Diego Inc., a California nonprofit organization, is a construction industry trade association, committed to promoting the merit shop philosophy and protecting the rights of free enterprise in construction.

Chartered in September 1976 with 84 members, the chapter has grown to include specialty contractors, general building contractors, suppliers, associates to the industry and others.

The chapter is governed by a board of directors, representing all segments of the membership. All members have an equal vote, and the right to hold a seat on the board after a formal nomination and vote process. Day to day management of the chapter is the responsibility of a professional staff, supported by a number of volunteer committees, and administered by the chapter president and CEO.

ABC offers members a network from which to learn, to grow and to make a difference. We do this through comprehensive education and craft training, political and legislative action, legal representation, safety planning, management education, business development, and health and welfare services.

San Diego's training programs are among the best in the country. As our programs continue to grow, so too, does the demand for a quality training facility. The new ABC San Diego Training Academy and chapter headquarters, located in Poway, is setting the standard in training for merit shop construction around the country.

Nearly 47,000 square feet, this state-of-the-art facility includes classrooms, instructor's workrooms, audio-video workroom, a bookstore and a 20,000-square-foot lab, complete with six 30-foot roll-up doors for all trades. Here's where ABC trains the future merit shop construction leaders of America.

The San Diego chapter membership represents the best that our industry has to offer. From large, national companies to small, family-owned businesses, ABC members collectively and consistently strive to build better companies, better projects and better lives.

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