About Us

How we got our start
Associated Builders and Contractors (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 – Charles Mullan, C.K. Wells, Jr., Philip Cloves, Ernest Shultz, Edward Colwill, Charles Knott and Edward Dickinson – helped quickly spread the merit shop philosophy and ABC became the fastest growing association in the United States.

Where we are now
Today, ABC is a national trade association with 68 Chapters and 22,000 members representing more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. We are the VOICE OF THE MERIT SHOP® and the only organization to serve contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and associates of all trades who want to conduct business in an unrestricted market regardless of labor affiliation. Our services include federal, state and local government representation, legal advocacy, education, workforce development, communications, technology, recognition through national and chapter awards programs, employee benefits and information on best practices and business development.

Our mission: To promote free enterprise by advancing the merit shop philosophy in the construction industry through education, advocacy and business services.

ABC Northern California’s history
ABC Northern California (ABC NorCal) was founded in 1976 in Concord, CA. In summer 2008, we expanded our office and training space and moved to our current 26,000 square-foot home in Livermore, CA. Today we represent close to 500 large and small companies across Northern California and train 300+ apprentices per year.