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Construction Policy Grades Are In

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

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When it comes to policies and issues affecting the commercial and industrial construction industry, all U.S. states are not created equal.

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has recently reviewed and graded each state based on policies and records on key issues in the construction industry, including the job growth rate and prevailing wage policies.

©iStock.com / IPGGutenbergUKLtd

The trade association graded states on construction job growth and the level of career flexibility.

Arizona, Louisiana, Virginia, North Dakota and North Carolina received the highest marks overall on the “Merit Shop Scorecard.”

Meanwhile, New Mexico, Alaska, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Rhode Island received the lowest grades, ABC reported.

ABC graded the states on project labor agreement (PLA); prevailing wage; right-to-work policies; construction job growth rate; commitment to developing a well-trained workforce; level of flexibility in career and technical education curricula; and the use of public-private partnerships (P3s).

Scorecard Impact

“The Merit Shop Scorecard will be a useful tool for lawmakers and industry stakeholders to explain how state policies affect the ability of contractors to conduct business and expand their operations,” said ABC Director of Labor and Federal Procurement Ben Brubeck.

“The scorecard highlights high-performing states that have enacted policies opposing anti-competitive schemes and restrictive, cost-inflating mandates while embracing fairness in the workplace. It also identifies low-performing states that have failed to foster environments where businesses can thrive, invest and create construction jobs in local communities.”

Merit Shop Philosophy

According to ABC, the scorecard focuses on policies that are fundamental to the “merit shop philosophy.”

Associated Builders and Contractors

The Associated Builders and Contractors' Merit Shop Scorecard is located here. It will be updated monthly.

“[The philosophy] is the belief that people and companies succeed based on free enterprise principles within the free market system, which is characterized by open and fair competition and diverse participants,” the association notes.

Those who follow the philosophy believe employees and employers have the right to determine wages and working conditions through either individual or collective bargaining as they choose, within the boundaries of the law. They also oppose violence, coercion, intimidation and the denial of the rights of employees and employers.

Tucson Skyline
©iStock.com / Phototreat

Arizona is at the top of the class, according to ABC. The state authorizes the use of public/private partnerships on horizontal and vertical construction projects and has adopted an ABC model government neutrality bill regarding project labor agreements.

Furthermore, they believe that all branches of government should act as stewards of taxpayer dollars and should award contracts based solely on merit to the lowest responsible bidder, regardless of labor affiliation.

The scorecard will be updated monthly with exclusive state construction unemployment rate estimates from economist Bernard Markstein, PhD, according to the association.

ABC represents nearly 21,000 members in its 70 chapters.


Tagged categories: Associated Builders and Contractors; Commercial Construction; Government; Government contracts; Industrial Contractors; Laws and litigation; Regulations

Comment from john lienert, (12/8/2015, 10:09 AM)

nice map......what does it mean ? maybe a "key" ?

Comment from M. Halliwell, (12/8/2015, 11:00 AM)

Following the link, it is darker = better.

Comment from Sarah Geary, (12/9/2015, 12:50 PM)

I bet that map REALLY causes problems for certain visually impaired individuals. Perhaps on their next monthly update, they could use a color scheme that is a little less monochromatic.

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