Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) launched an online scorecard that will review and grade state-specific policies affecting the construction industry. “Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard” is a website where builders, contractors and suppliers can view which states have created beneficial or subpar environments for the construction industry.
Quick Overview about the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing nearly 21,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and 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.
What is Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard?
Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard reviews and ranks state-specific information that is significant to the construction industry. The scorecard is a tool to identify states that are embracing the merit shop philosophy via legislation, policies, priorities and valuable programs, as well as highlight states where proactive and strategic improvements need to be executed to create an environment conducive to the industry’s needs. Rankings have been assigned primarily based on the core issues concerning merit shop construction, including state policies on Right to Work, prevailing wage and government-mandated project labor agreements.
US States are ranked based on how construction-friendly they are
Overall ranking (1-51) is determined through a combined score of the seven graded criteria. Ties in combined score being broken by performance on ABC core issues, with secondary consideration given to additional graded criteria.
Every state received a score in each of the following seven categories measuring critical laws, programs, policies, and statistics impacting the merit shop contracting community. An overall comparative ranking was then assigned to each state by considering all measured categories, with particular emphasis given to the first three criteria of project labor agreements, prevailing wage, and Right to Work state laws and/or executive orders.
Ties in combined score were broken by performance on ABC core issues and a consideration of the other scored criteria grades.
- Project Labor Agreements - State policies on government-mandated PLAs on public and publically assisted projects.
- Prevailing Wage - State policies requiring contractors performing work on contracts procured by public entities or with a certain threshold of public funding to pay a government-determined prevailing wage to construction workers employed on a contract subject to the requirements.
- Right to Work - Right to Work law or other statutory protection of a worker’s right to secure employment without being forced to join a union.
- Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) - State allows public sector entities to enter into contracts with private sector entities in which both sectors share the risk and revenue from a project.
- Workforce Development - State provides financial incentives directly to employers or associations that train their workers through registered apprenticeship programs or other industry-recognized programs like those provided by NCCER (formerly the National Center for Construction Education and Research); state provides financial incentives to employers that hire workers that possess an industry-recognized credential or are a graduate of a registered apprenticeship program.
- Education - State policy allows for flexible high school curriculum standards that promote rigorous and relevant skilled trades and career and technical education (CTE) opportunities for career readiness, as well as college preparation opportunities.
- Job Growth Rate - Data provides the Compound Annual Growth Rate in construction from 2011 to 2015 using data from the month of August. States with a higher growth rate were given higher scores than states that had a low or negative growth rate.
- Prompt Pay - State has public and private prompt pay requirements for owners and higher tier contractors to pay subcontractors.
- Immigration/E-Verify - Identifies states that require employers or state contractors to utilize E-Verify. ABC National’s immigration policy calls for federal preemption of state-level immigration-related requirements.
- State GDP - Percentage of state GDP directly resulting from nonresidential construction (2013).
- 2013 Incidence Rate - Data tracks the 2013 incidence rate in construction, which is collected and reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is a lagging indicator, with 2013 being the most recent information reported through the BLS survey process. The rate is calculated as the number of incidents per 100 full-time workers. While this is important information to have on hand, it remains non-scored because the variables that affect incidence rates are numerous and require much greater context to demonstrate the specific conditions that lead to lower rates.
- Occupational Safety and Health Oversight - State occupational safety and health entities versus states controlled by the federal Occupation Safety and Health Administration.
- Construction Industry Unionization Rate - Data indicates how many and what percentage of a state’s construction workforce belonged to a labor union in 2014.
Visit their website and view the scores at www.meritshopscorecard.org.