ABC is the world leader in apprenticeship and craft training in the merit shop construction industry.

About Associated Builders & Contractors

Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 72 chapters representing 23,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with nearly two million employees.  ABC’s membership represents 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 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. Through its national office and chapters, ABC’s objective is to provide its members with an organization to deal with issues on an industry-wide basis. 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.  Their courage and dedication to the merit shop philosophy spread rapidly, and within time, ABC became 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.


All of ABCIL’s ATP courses are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship (DOL-OA) with the exception of HVAC and CCL. This affiliation gives students the option of becoming Registered Apprentices with DOL-OA. In order to qualify, a student is obligated to complete a separate application and monitoring process and must have a sponsor employer.

A Registered Apprentice receives approximately 2,000 hours of On-The-Job-Training (OJT) annually through their employer supplemented by the ATP classroom training. The OJT component includes progressively increasing apprentice wages correlated with the relevant craft journeyman hourly rate. Contractors who use Registered Apprentices on prevailing wage projects are only required to pay the apprentice wage rather than the normal prevailing wage. On most state-funded construction projects, contractors are required to employ Registered Apprentices in order to qualify to bid the project.

Upon completion of their apprenticeship (generally fours years), a Registered Apprentice receives an Apprenticeship Completion Certificate issued by DOL-OA and is recognized nationally as a qualified journeyman in their respective craft.

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