ABC’s 2023 Guide to Construction Safety Best Practices Reveals How Contractors Can Be Nearly 7 Times Safer Than the Industry Average

By CE Staff | Originally posted on

Associated Builders and Contractors recently released its 2023 Safety Performance Report, an annual guide to safety best practices on construction jobsites and comprehensive study of the impact of the STEP Safety Management System.

Established in 1989, STEP is a proven system that provides the framework to measure, strengthen and build industry-leading safety programs that enable top-performing ABC members to achieve incident rates 688% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics construction industry average. The annual study is unveiled to coincide with Construction Safety Week, May 1-5.

“ABC’s safety report is the road map and how-to guide for contractors to achieve world-class safety and health,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “STEP participation can lower incident rates and create safer jobsites so that employees can return home to families and loved ones every day. STEP Diamond members are nearly seven times safer than the industry average, achieving an 85% reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rates.”

ABC’s research on more than 850 million work hours completed by participants in the construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades in 2022 identified the following proactive injury and hazard elimination best practices:

  • New hire safety orientation: Companies that conduct an in-depth indoctrination of new employees into the safety culture, systems and processes based on a documented orientation process experience incident rates that are 48% to 52% lower than companies that limit their orientations to basic health and safety compliance topics.
  • Substance abuse prevention programs: Robust substance abuse prevention programs/policies with provisions for drug and alcohol testing where permitted lead to a 59% reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rates and a 62% reduction in Days Away, Restricted or Transferred Rates.
  • Toolbox talks: Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 78% and DART rates by 76% compared to companies that hold them monthly.
  • Top management engagement: Employer involvement at the highest level of company management produces a 54% reduction in TRIR and a 55% reduction in DART rates.

“Top-performing ABC STEP members actively build health and safety into their culture, creating industry-leading, holistic safety programs to protect their workers and deliver for their clients,” said Sizemore. “STEP measures performance on key components, strengthens and expands best practices and builds safety culture. Our people are our greatest asset, and ABC will continue to advance world-class safety for our people through valuable resources like the Safety Performance Report.”

Since 2018, ABC’s Safety Performance Report has captured the results of ABC STEP member companies performing real work on real projects to identify what comprises a world-class safety program. ABC member firms participating in STEP measure their safety processes and policies on key components and the criteria for best practices through a detailed questionnaire, with the goal of implementing or enhancing safety programs that reduce jobsite incident rates.

The 2023 ABC Safety Performance Report is based on submissions of unique company data gathered from members that deployed during the 2022 STEP term, Jan. 15-Dec. 15. ABC collects each company’s trailing indicator data as reported on its annual Occupational Safety and Health Administration Form 300A (“Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses”) and its self-assessment of leading indicator practices from its STEP application. Each data point collected is sorted using statistically valid methodology developed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Survey and then combined to produce analyses of STEP member performance against BLS industry average incident rates. The report demonstrates that applying world-class processes dramatically improves safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work.

New in 2023, ABC added total human health as a key component of an effective safety program. Total human health raises the bar of keeping workers safe to acknowledge and address thoughts and preoccupying concerns that everyone experiences in daily life, incorporating:

  • A whole-person approach to engage a person’s body, mind, heart and soul.
  • Psychological safety that is respectful and inclusive of a diverse workforce.
  • Acknowledgement of the risk of distraction and impairment and responding with appropriate care.

The ABC 2023 Safety Performance Report is brought to you by SafetyHQ, powered by Foundation Software, which is a comprehensive health and safety management application designed to help contractors better manage their health and safety programs.

Any company can participate in STEP. Visit to begin or continue your safety journey.

Breaking Down the Stigma: Prioritizing Mental Health in Construction

By | Originally posted on

The conversation around mental health has shifted since 2016 when the Centers for Disease Control reported that the construction industry had the highest suicide rate of any profession. At that time, the Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention (CIASP) was formed to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health issues. According to Michelle Walker, Vice President of Operations for SSC Underground and CIASP board member, the organization faced resistance at first.

“Some people were saying this isn’t the employers’ job, this isn’t something we should be talking about,” says Walker. Today, she says it’s rare to have naysayers and easier to convince contractors to see the value of investing in mental health.

“Personal success stories are driving the message home,” says Walker. Research from Lyra shows that from 2021–2023, the percentage of workers who said mental health is discussed in at least one way in their workplace nearly doubled—whether through company-wide communications, during team meetings, one-on-one meetings, or peer-to-peer conversations.

Jerry Ouimet, President and CEO of Ames Construction Company, a family-owned civil infrastructure contractor with 5,000+ employees, says their efforts have also shifted since the suicide numbers were first released.

“Our focus evolved from just suicide prevention to mental health and emotional security to a culture of care and treating people like humans, like family,” says Ouimet, who is also a CIASP board member.

Optimize workforce performance

With a shortage of workers, employers are competing for talent and focused on optimizing the performance of the workers they have. “If you’re going to look for a business rationale, your people need to be at their best to win and be successful every day,” says Ouimet. ”You’re just trying to help them be successful.”

The National Safety Council’s (NSC) Mental Health Cost Calculator provides specific information about a company’s cost of mental health (including depression, anxiety, and general mental stress) based on the number of employees, industry, and state. This includes costs for lost time, job turnover and training, and excess health care. The NSC reports that organizations see a $4 return in improved health and productivity for every $1 invested in mental health treatment,

Recent research shows an increasing number of companies offering mental health benefits. In a 2022 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report, from Wellable Labs, 90% of employers reported increasing their investment in mental health programs, 76% reported increasing investment in stress management and resilience programs, and 71% were increasing investment in mindfulness and mediation programs.

Between lagging data for suicides and the pandemic, measuring the impact of suicide prevention efforts is challenging for companies. But the lack of hard data hasn’t kept companies from moving forward.

“I get calls all the time from our folks that they’re grateful that we’re talking about mental health,” says Ouimet. “They’ve been able to implement some of the tools and made a difference in someone’s life. That’s pretty powerful.”

“Unlike other safety trainings, this is something that can impact employees positively in all areas of their life,” says Walker. “It could be a child, a spouse, a friend, or a sibling who benefits.”

Construction industry mental health resources on the rise

According to Walker, the CIASP will be hiring its first executive director in 2023, and developing a roadmap and a toolkit of suicide prevention and mental health best practices for contractors. It costs nothing to take the pledge to stand up to suicide or to access any of the organization’s resources.

In addition, several construction industry associations are also focusing their attention on mental health. In January 2023, The Associated Builders & Contractors National Health and Safety Committee, with input from experts in mental health, addiction, and suicide, announced it had completed the development of a Total Human Health component to its safety program. It encompasses actions, initiatives, and policies that emphasize the health, well-being, and livelihoods of workers by incorporating a whole-person approach to engage workers.

The fact that mental health has an impact on safety on the jobsite is something that resonates with contractors. “If we want a productive, safe workforce, we need to equip people to be in the best mental space possible to be able to do that,” says Walker.

Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), which has supported suicide prevention and mental health programs over the years, formally established a Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Task Force in January 2022. According to Mandi Kime, who serves as Co-Chair of the task force and Director of Safety for AGC of Washington, the first goal of the task force is to create a free open-source clearing house for all of the content that’s available for mental health, suicide prevention, substance misuse and addiction, specifically for the construction industry. A series of powerful videos tell the stories of industry professionals who have struggled with mental health, in the hopes of letting others know they are not alone.

“We need people being boldly vulnerable, people that we look to as leaders in the industry saying, ‘Hey, I struggled, but I got better. And here’s how I got better,’” says Kime.

“I have seen an overwhelming amount of people reaching out to AGC of America; asking for speakers to come to company functions or resources for them to do it themselves, says Kime. “People are really ready to have the conversation,” says Kime.

“I think we have under underestimated people’s willingness to have the difficult conversation,” says Kime. “They just want tools and resources to do it appropriately. They want to do it right; they just don’t quite know how.”

In part 2 of this series, our Step-by-Step Guide to Improving Mental Health and Wellness in Construction will connect you to many of these resources.

The business case for investing in mental health

  • 5 days of work every 3 months are lost by employees who are experiencing depression
  • 19% loss in productivity due to depression1
  • 50% of U.S. workers have left a previous job, at least in part due to mental health conditions2
  • 62% of missed days are attributed to burnout, depression or anxiety3
  • $4 return in improved health and productivity for every dollar invested in mental health treatment4

Women in Construction Event Talks Recruiting, Retention

By  | Originally posted on

May 3—TRAVERSE CITY — Creating a diverse staff can mean many different things.

So can the solutions.

“Diversify Your Crew” was the subject of the fourth Windemuller Women in Construction event on Thursday at Delamar Traverse City. Held solely in TC for the first time, the event drew more than 100 in-person and another 40 virtual participants for an hour-long panel discussion on ways to attract and retain more workers in the trades.

“Diversity means a lot of things,” Team Elmer’s Communications and Marketing Director Tonya Wildfong said. “It could be gender, it could be ethnicity, it could be age, it could be neurodiversity.

“It could be physical limitations. It’s many different things.”

Wildfong was joined on the panel by Surfaces, Inc. co-owner Shari Fouch Prevost and Windemuller Senior Field Operations Manager Devin Hill. The panel was moderated by Builders Exchange of Northwest Michigan Executive Director Lisa Leedy.

A proprietary model from the Associated Builders and Contractors earlier this year estimated the construction industry needs to attract 546,000 additional workers “on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2023 to meet the demand for labor.”

So whatever the industry can do to attract more workers is needed.

“It’s a challenge in our industry and something we have to address,” Wildfong said.

“We just need to spread the word,” Prevost said, noting skilled trades can make 20-30 percent more than other work. “Everyone needs people.”

Construction and other skilled-trades companies need to create a place where all are welcome to not only work, but are given a chance to thrive.

Hill said there needs to be a shift in the culture away from that of it being a “man’s world.” Wildfong and Hill said this often leads to different forms of bullying and harassment, which need to cease.

“We have to create that safe workplace, that workplace where everyone feels safe every day,” said Hill, who also said men need to stop the process of talking to women in a condescending manner or “mansplaining.” “We have to change the narrative. … It’s creating that culture of family where you’re protecting each other … We’re protecting our brothers, we’re protecting our sisters.”

Wildfong said creating a culture of inclusion operates most effectively when it’s done by coworkers, making it not top down, but “side to side.”

In addition to filling workforce gaps, a diverse workforce has other benefits.

“You get more ideas the more diverse your workforce is,” Prevost said.

Wildfong said “everyone has a talent” and can find it in the varied world of construction. “A career in construction can look like anything,” she said.

Leedy said a diverse workforce “will also improve the bottom line” and cited recent data showing there were about 23% fewer men ages 16-24 in construction in the first quarter of 2023 while women in the same age group are showing the inverse.

Mentorships are also important in identifying, attracting and retaining a diverse workforce, especially getting more women into the construction field. Treating everyone fairly — woman or man — is the way for the industry to move forward.

Wildfong said skill training is also vital so each stepping stone can “build a bridge toward promotion.”

Several panelists said construction managers need to listen when staff have questions. Hill said employees who are paid fairly and “feel like they are heard” stay in the business.

A work-life balance also goes a long way. Prevost said workers shouldn’t be afraid to advocate for themselves, especially in such a competitive job market.

“That’s what we do Day One,” Prevost said of the time outside of work. “We’re flexible with family across the board.”

Hill said the trades have an excellent training resource available through Northwestern Michigan College.

But it also comes down to creating a picture of offering a diverse crew in the workplace.

“Image is powerful,” Wildfong said. “If you can see it, you can be it.”

“Who are our best recruiters?” Hill asked the assembled audience.

“We are,” Hill said, repeating the response from the room.

Hill added the industry needs to continue to reach out to students and other school officials throughout the region and cited a recent gathering of school counselors earlier that week, noting just one of those was male.

Leedy talked about approaching all ages about opportunities in the field of construction — she did that while a Girl Scout troop leader in years past and will do the same with her new granddaughter born earlier in the week, whom Hill jokingly asked if she was interested in a job.

“It’s looking at generations to create a pathway for the skilled trades,” Leedy said.

OPINION: Culture Change — Construction Safety Week puts focus on total human health

By Samantha DeAlmeida Roman | Originally posted on

As we mark National Construction Safety Week, our industry needs to focus on total human health, not just physical safety. The Associated Builders and Contractors’ New Jersey Chapter believes that those who have chosen a career in construction are the industry’s most valuable assets.

Construction workers use tools every day, and we must also give them the tools they need to address mental health and suicide prevention. Their mental health must be prioritized as much as their physical safety.

Our passion for safeguarding employee mental health has grown into ABC’s Total Human Health Initiative to better reflect the importance of the person at the center of it all. Total human health is focused on building a resilient workforce connected though relationships and engaged in performing construction work to a high standard. It incorporates a whole-person approach to engage a person’s body, mind, heart and soul; psychological safety that is respectful and inclusive of a diverse workforce; acknowledgement of the risk of distraction; and impairment and responding with appropriate care.

This year, ABC added total human health as a key component of an effective safety program in its STEP Safety Management System, an over 30-year-old, proven system that provides the

framework to measure, strengthen and build industry-leading safety programs. Any member company can participate in STEP by visiting

Sadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, construction occupations have the highest rate of suicide, as well as the highest rate of suicides across all occupational groups — a number that is four times greater than the national average. Now more than ever, it is time we prioritize mental health and suicide prevention just as seriously as we do on-the-job safety.


Samantha DeAlmeida Roman, president of Associated Builders and Contractors of New Jersey

There are a number of reasons why workers in the construction industry are at risk for mental health issues and a higher suicide rate than other fields. First, male-dominated industries are more likely to have more suicides, and the construction industry is 97% male, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Because of the stigma surrounding mental health issues, men are also less likely to reach out for mental health support for depression and other wellness issues. Additionally, constantly moving to and from different jobsites can create a stressful environment for workers who are displaced from their families, friends and communities. Working long, irregular hours can cause sleep deprivation and mental and physical exhaustion. Employees may also be affected by layoffs due to seasonal work, economic downturns and the COVID-19 pandemic, causing the loss of income and health benefits. Finally, construction work can be physically demanding and can take a toll on a person’s body, leading to self-medication and addiction problems.

According to the Construction Alliance for Suicide Prevention, there are approximately three jobsite fatalities in construction every day and an estimated 10 to 12 suicides among construction workers. The only way to combat these dire statistics is to change the culture in construction and treat mental health just as importantly as job site safety. The Associated Builders and Contractors of New Jersey has pledged to join other contractors, unions, associations, industry service providers and project owners in standing up for suicide prevention.

For far too long, seeking treatment for mental health issues has been stigmatized, particularly in the male-dominated, so-called “tough guy” construction industry. Not only do we need to normalize mental health and wellness treatment, we need to provide training to our employees and managers to identify those at risk and raise awareness of the suicide crisis in construction. The industry needs to prioritize the early detection of burn-out among our workers and provide them with support, both physically and mentally.

To that end, the Associated Builders and Contractors and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention recently announced a collaborative partnership to address mental health and suicide prevention throughout the construction industry. The goals of the partnership are to improve the mental health of construction workers through effective suicide prevention education, intervention and postvention strategies, as well as to encourage, equip and empower mental health champions in the workforce.

By changing the culture of the construction industry and how we approach mental health issues, we can make a difference in the lives of our workers.

ABC: Government-Registered Apprenticeship System Alone Won’t Solve Construction Labor Shortage

By  | Originally posted on

WASHINGTON, May 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — It would take 12 years for federal and state government-registered apprenticeship programs to educate the more than half a million workers the construction industry needs to hire in 2023, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of recently released U.S. Department of Labor data. ABC estimates that the construction industry’s federal and state government-registered apprenticeship system yielded just 45,000 completers of four-to-five-year apprenticeship programs in 2022.

“Construction of American infrastructure, clean energy and manufacturing funded in part by recent robust government investments in federal, state, local and private projects will be delayed, subject to added costs and/or not built at all unless lawmakers champion all-of-the-above workforce development policies for the construction industry,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs.

“Unfortunately, the Biden administration and some in Congress are pushing funding and policies exclusively promoting the government-registered apprenticeship system to build the construction workforce. This benefits special interests because 75% of all apprentices enrolled in construction industry GRAPs are affiliated with union programs. Yet, the government’s own data demonstrates that the restrictive GRAP system is not meeting the industry’s need for skilled labor and therefore cannot be the only solution supported by government to meet market demand and develop a diverse and inclusive workforce.”

For example, the 2023 Inflation Reduction Act provides $270 billion in tax credits to private developers of clean energy construction projects, but in order to unlock the full 30% value of tax credits, they are required to ensure that 15% of all labor hours on an eligible construction project are performed by government-registered apprentices. Clean energy stakeholders are concerned these requirements will be difficult to meet due to government red tape, making it extremely time-consuming or even impossible to have new GRAPs approved in certain states so the number of apprentices enrolled increases. A lack of apprentices and GRAP capacity, which currently serves 250,000 apprentices, will ultimately increase costs and delay the construction of new projects, undermining the Biden administration’s clean energy agenda.

The DOL is conducting a May 5 listening session on its plans to rewrite regulations for the National Apprenticeship System, which could result in new restrictive policies favoring special interests at the expense of the broader construction industry.

In addition, the ABC-opposed National Apprenticeship Act introduced in Congress on April 25 further entrenches the rigid registered system, failing to address critical workforce needs of our nation’s construction industry and substantially restricting apprenticeship opportunities currently serving thousands of contractors.

“Government-registered apprenticeship programs are one of many solutions that are part of ABC’s all-of-the-above solution to workforce development,” said Brubeck. “ABC’s 68 chapters are educating craft, safety and management professionals using innovative and flexible learning models like just-in-time task training, competency-based progression and work-based learning, in addition to more than 300 federal and state GRAPs across over 20 different occupations, in order to develop a safe, skilled and productive workforce. In addition, ABC member companies administer GRAPs independent of ABC’s network and  invested an estimated $1.6 billion in construction industry workforce development in 2021.”

In the 118th Congress, ABC supports the Training America’s Workforce Act (S. 1213), the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act (H.R. 1477/S. 722) and the Jumpstart Our Businesses by Supporting Students Act (H.R. 793/S. 161).

Visit  to learn how ABC is building the people who build America.

Erika Walter Associated Builders and Contractors (202) 905-2104

Republican Goodrich announces run for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District

By Kokomo Tribune, Ind. | Originally posted on

May 7—Chuck Goodrich, currently a state representative and president and CEO of Gaylor Electric, is running for Indiana’s Fifth Congressional District.

Goodrich, who represent the state’s 29th House district, announced is candidacy for the Republican nomination Friday at the Mill Top Banquet & Conference Center in Noblesville.

“Hard work, humility, and grit: that’s how I was raised,” Goodrich said according to The Hamilton County Recorder. “That’s how we raised our family. That is absolutely the thing I am going to take to Washington, D.C.: the work ethic on those three Midwestern values.”

Goodrich also said “There is a need for people in DC” who understand what it takes to run and build a business, who have met the pressures of meeting weekly payrolls, dealt with rising healthcare costs, lived with workforce development challenges, like immigration and inflation, and have first-hand experience on the cumbersome impact of regulations and taxes. I understand these challenges, and I want to bring my perspective, a conservative perspective, to the conversation.”

Goodrich is a graduate of Purdue University and has built a career at Gaylor Electric, an Indiana-based company, for the last 28 years. Goodrich began as an intern and worked his way up through the organization and eventually bought the company in 2014. He lives in Noblesville.

Current Fifth Congressional District incumbent Victoria Spartz, R-Noblesville, announced in February she would not seek reelection in 2024. Indiana’s 5th Congressional District consists of all of Hamilton, Tipton, Madison, Grant, Delaware counties and nearly all of Howard County.

Construction Career Fair Hopes to Pique Interest Among High Schoolers

By Kent Pierce | Originally posted on

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) — The construction industry is desperate for new workers.

That’s why the Connecticut chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors held a construction career fair for hundreds of high school students in Wallingford Wednesday. The idea is to get them interested in construction trades before many of them have picked a career.

“Just like learning about the different careers you can go into with this type of stuff,” said Cheshire High School Freshman Drew Veno. “It can take you pretty far. I’m anxious to see what I can get out of it.”

You can get a lot out of it, according to Chris Abel, Membership director of the Associated Builders and Contractors.

“They can have a very lucrative career. In a lot of cases, they don’t have to go get the college degree,” Abel said. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but they don’t have to stack up that large amount of debt, the tens of thousands of dollars if not more.”

Students are even allowed to operate actual construction equipment. Ward High School Senior Matthew Robilotto got behind the controls of an excavator and found the big machines required the smallest movements.

“Just minor adjustments. Move slightly to the right or slightly to the left,” Robilotto said. “It was almost precision-based how he wanted me to move it.”

As much fun as it all is, there is a serious message, and that is the serious shortage of workers in the industry. Organizers say that just to fill the vacancies this year alone, they need 600,000 new construction workers.

For some of the students, like Cheshire High School Freshman Nahum Gonzalez, construction runs in the family.

“My dad does a lot of construction,” Gonzalez said. “He always takes me to his job and teaches me a lot of stuff about electricity and just building stuff.”

“They may not know what field, specifically, they want to go into,” said ABC Connecticut chapter president Christopher Fryxell. “Other students maybe have no idea what they want to do after high school and this will be their first taste. Hopefully they like what they see because there’s incredible opportunities out there.”

Construction is soaring to new heights, and these students can, too.

High School Students Get Hands-On Construction Career Day

By Jennifer Joas | Originally posted on

High school aged students from across Connecticut were invited to a hands-on career expo highlighting construction jobs.

Associated Builders and Contractors hosted a career expo to entice high school aged students to consider a range of construction jobs across the state.

“There’s a critical shortage of skilled trades people and incredible opportunities for students to leave high school, go directly into the trades and earn an incredible living in construction,” said Christopher Fryxell, the president of the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Connecticut chapter.

ABC estimated there is a need for an additional 600,000 skilled trades people to meet 2023 demand nationwide.

Fryxell said he wanted the 800 students who attended the Construction Career Day in Wallingford to walk away knowing there are good, high paying jobs available, including  apprentice programs where people can work while they learn.

“They’re going to school while they’re working, learning their trade, earning money. They come out of that program without any debt compared to some of their peers leaving college with mounds of student loans and student debt. And often times, in the construction industry, they’re making more money than their peers who are coming out of a four-year bachelor program,” said Fryxell.

Students had the chance to operate excavators, climb utility poles, run survey equipment, learn about plows, concrete, electrical, welding.

VIDEO: Equipment Training Program Expands in Indiana

By Frank Raczon | Originally posted on

The Prosser Career Education Center in New Albany, Indiana, is expanding its Heavy Equipment Operator Program.

The education center is partnering with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and MAC Construction to build a new facility to better facilitate learning for the student. The program is one of 28 different programs at the school for students at more than two dozen high schools across six Southern Indiana counties, WAVE reports.

One goal of the new Heavy Equipment Training Center is to eliminate factors like weather from the training curriculum.

Watch the video and read the article.

Source: WAVE

ABC Announces the 2023 National Craft Champions

By Contractor Magazine | Originally posted on

The 34th annual competition showcased the skills and expertise of nearly 200 of the nation’s top-performing craft professionals.

WASHINGTON, DC — Associated Builders and Contractors has announced the winners of the 2023 National Craft Championships. The winners were honored at ABC’s Careers in Construction Awards ceremony during ABC Convention 2023 in Orlando, Florida, March 15-17.

The 34th annual competition showcased the skills and expertise of nearly 200 of the nation’s top-performing craft professionals, including carpenters, electricians, pipefitters, plumbers, welders and more, all vying for top honors in 16 competitions with skills on display in 12 crafts. NCC also featured a team competition with journey-level craft professionals from different crafts working to complete a joint project. The competition included a two-hour online exam and a six-hour practical performance test.

“ABC’s premier skilled trades competition showcases the best construction craft professionals in the industry,” said 2023 National Chair of the ABC Board of Directors Milton Graugnard, executive vice president, Cajun Industries LLC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “These individuals brighten the future of the merit shop industry, build America stronger and highlight the countless career opportunities available in construction. From Texas to California and Iowa to Massachusetts and all across this great country, these craft professionals traveled to Florida to demonstrate their superior skills, education and safe work practices.”

Established in 1987, the National Craft Championships celebrate and recognize upskilling in construction, draw some of the country’s most talented craft professionals and highlight the important role that craft skills training plays in the construction industry.

ABC offers more than 800 education programs across 68 chapters to help train the next generation of construction workers. Its flexible, earn-while-you-learn craft and safety training leads to industry-recognized, national credentials for today’s most sought-after construction crafts. ABC is committed to showing the promising career path the industry provides, from apprenticeship to journey-level worker to business owner.

Milwaukee Tool has been the official tool sponsor of NCC since 2019. The company provides tools and prizes for NCC competitors. The competition is supported by volunteers, generous sponsors and in-kind contributors who plan and execute this event annually. For more information, visit

Winners in the Plumbing portion of the competition were:

Safety: Richard Barnhart, Frey Lutz Corp., ABC Keystone Chapter

Bronze: Bryce Traut, TDIndustries, Construction Education Foundation

Silver: Alek Angster, Z3 Plumbing, ABC Southern California Chapter

Gold: Briar Bessmer, Henry Miller Mechanical, ABC Heart of America Apprenticeship Trust


Winners in the Pipefitting portion of the competition were:

Safety: Edgar Uresti, Jr., Performance Contractors, Inc., ABC Greater Houston Chapter

Bronze: Maxwell Witt, Manhattan Mechanical Services

Silver: Byron Alford, TDIndustries, Construction Education Foundation

Gold: Tristan Wright, TDIndustries, Construction Education Foundation


View the full list of the winners of the 2023 National Craft Championships.