The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) has released its annual “Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard,” which reviews and grades state-specific policies and information significant to the success of the commercial and industrial construction industry. The scorecard highlights states that have created a free enterprise-based environment where merit shop contractors are well positioned to succeed and calls attention to states where strategic improvements need to be made.
The Merit Shop Scorecard grades states on their policies on prevailing wage and project labor agreement (PLA) mandates and Right to Work status, as well as their construction job growth rate, commitment to developing a well-trained workforce, career and technical education (CTE) opportunities and results, and use of public-private partnerships (P3s).
North Carolina earned top grades for enacting Anti-Project Labor Agreement (PLA), prevailing wage and Right to Work policies that favor free enterprise, using P3s and placing a high percentage of students in colleges or careers after graduating from CTE programs. Respectively, South Carolina ranked sixth.
“North and South Carolina have both created an environment that allows for fair and open competition while promoting a well-trained local workforce,” said Chris Bullard, director of government affairs for the Carolinas’ Chapter. “ABC is committed to promoting free enterprise-based policies that will improve business climates and ensure a level playing field for all contractors.”
ABC of the Carolinas believe that the Merit Shop Scorecard can help promote policies that will attract additional business investment and benefit state economies as a whole by providing valuable information for policymakers, contractors, construction users and other industry stakeholders while focusing on specific areas where strategic improvements can be made.
The Merit Shop Scorecard was developed with input from ABC chapters and industry stakeholders across the country. A full list of state rankings, as well as criteria and definitions, is available at meritshopscorecard.org. The scorecard is also updated with exclusive state construction unemployment rate estimates from economist Bernard Markstein, Ph.D.