From the President

“All Eyes on Frankfort Kentucky”
The stars seem to be aligning in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky in 2017. The new Kentucky House and Senate leadership, along with Governor Bevin, appear to be interested in labor reform. Specifically, they have discussed Right to Work and Prevailing Wage reform.  ABC has been a successful leader on these issues: namely, Right to Work in Indiana (2012), followed by Right to Work in Michigan (2013) and Wisconsin (2015).

ABC stands for freedom: freedom in the marketplace and freedom for companies and employees to choose who they want to work with and for. Under Right to Work, workers are guaranteed that choice. Employment should not be contingent on forced unionism or forced financial support to unions.
Furthermore, Right to Work has overwhelmingly positive effects on economic growth:

*         Following Right to Work in Indiana, 4 billion dollars in new, economic development have come to the state.

*         Manufacturing (in Indiana and Michigan) bounced back immediately. Indiana saw a 10% growth and Michigan, a 9% growth, effectively ranking them as number 1 and number 2 in manufacturing job growth (2014).

*         Allied Van Lines announced that four of the Top 5 states where families relocated in 2015 were Right to Work States

As to Prevailing Wage reform and repeal, ABC members may have mixed feelings. Some members have established their business models, based around the fact that Prevailing Wage would always be in place. Despite some success with this model, ABC believes that it is in the interest of the greater good to bid projects based on prices established by the free market, rather than on arbitrary government prices. ABC believes that supporting Prevailing Wage reform and repeal is the right thing to do for taxpayers.

ABC is conservative in nature. I read an interesting definition of a “conservative” the other day- after all, what is a conservative? “We cannot conserve the present of the future. Things in the past are like things in the present; they must be judged.” Conservatism at its cores judges based on principle. Therefore, ABC defines our support of legislative ideas based on the principles of freedom: freedoms to workers and companies to fully participate in a market economy where merit, performance, and integrity count instead of forced dues and forced pricing.

2016 Election Re-Cap


Todd Young, U.S. Senate: in early September, ABC endorsed Todd Young for U.S. Senate. A strong supporter of ABC, we are confident Senator Young will support our issues in Washington. Not only familiar with our cause, Senator Young has spent significant time with our membership and association, whether at the ABC facility in Indianapolis or at our annual Legislative Dinner in Washington, D.C.

Eric Holcomb, Governor of Indiana: in late September, ABC hosted a fundraiser for Eric Holcomb for Governor. Familiar with ABC issues, Governor –elect Holcomb repeatedly voiced his support for the association, especially in workforce development. Along with his Lieutenant Governor, Suzanne Crouch, ABC is pleased to see progress continue in Indiana.

Congressional Elections: Trey Hollingsworth, District 9, Jackie Walorski, District 2, and Jim Banks, District 3. ABC endorsed and supported Hollingsworth throughout his campaign. A true believer, Hollingsworth will promote the principles of Free Enterprise throughout his district. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski was re-elected to continue serving Indiana’s 2nd District. Congresswoman Walorski has strong relationships with ABC members in her area and has also devoted time every year to attend our annual legislative dinner in Washington, D.C. The election of Congressman Jim Banks to Indiana’s 3rd district, a loyal friend of the association, secures the interest of ABC in Washington.

At the state level, ABC was pleased to see pro-Merit Shop candidates we had openly supported succeed in their races. To the Indiana State Senate, Aaron Freeman, District 32, and Jack Sandlin, District 36. To the Indiana House of Representatives: Jim Pressel, District 20, and Sally Siegrist, District 26.


Most notably, the flip of the Kentucky House of Representatives to a Republican majority was an incredible victory. Pro-Merit Shop initiatives, brought forth by the Senate, such as PLA reform, Right to Work, and Prevailing Wage repeal were continually extinguished in House.  In the excitement that surrounds the upcoming session, ABC is working to secure strategies and plans to support any pro-Merit Shop legislation that may be brought forward. Watch for political updates issued by the Association in your inbox!

Congressional Appointments: re-election of Andy Barr, District 6, and election of Jamie Comer, District 1. Andy Barr has been a long-time supporter of ABC in Kentucky and a frequent attendee at our legislative events. Jason Nemes was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives (R-33). Jason had been involved in earlier Right to Work efforts as an attorney and will be a strong voice as an elected leader.


All the time, PAC investments, free enterprise funds from ABC, and member’s direct involvement of their own resources, resulted in the successful election of all but one candidate who received our support. Our only loss was that of Representative Connie Eckert (IN). This is an incredible testament to the efforts of the association and its members to promote the Merit Shop agenda!

Young Professionals Program NOW Accepting Applications

Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana/Kentucky is excited to announce the return of our Young Professionals program in January 2017! ABC has implemented this year-long program with the goal of educating your Young Professionals with valuable information needed to successfully participate in leadership roles within ABC. Our program seeks to create a passion for the merit shop, to teach Young Professionals what it means to be a member of ABC, and to learn the political process so as to successfully complete issue advocacy. Furthermore, the program pursues the following objectives:

  • Promote open competition as a key value within the construction industry
  • Promote networking and relationship building among future leaders
  • Promote the role that ABC plays in the industry
  • Promote chapter volunteerism
  • Introduce the Young Professionals to the key programming efforts of our ABC Chapter and our National office.

This is a great opportunity to educate and inspire a new generation of leaders within Associated Builders and Contractors.

To APPLY Today, Visit the Young Professionals Page and download the appropriate application and/or Program Details.


ABC OF INDIANA/KENTUCKY Hosts Annual Merit Shop Construction Awards Gala

[Indianapolis, Indiana]  Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana/Kentucky (ABC) hosted their annual Merit Shop Construction Awards Gala at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

The purpose of the Merit Shop Construction Awards Gala is to recognize Excellence in Merit Shop Construction. Members from across the chapter submit a variety of projects to compete for the esteemed “Award of Excellence” and “Award of Merit.” Those given the “Award of Excellence” are eligible to compete in the ABC National Excellence in Construction competition. This national competition is a great way to give recognition to the incredible work conducted by Indiana/Kentucky members.  The event also features the “James W. Rabold Award of Safety Excellence,” given to exemplary safety leaders in the chapter and the “S. Douglas Trolson Image Award,” presented to members for their involvement in ABC and in the construction industry as a whole.

This year’s event featured Ben Davis High School J-ROTC for the presentation of the colors and Joanna Reinhardt who sang the national anthem. The ceremony recognized 31 winning projects- presenting over 79 Awards of Excellence and 20 Awards of Merit to those involved on those projects.  For the first time ever, ABC had a winner from every council in the chapter! This is a big milestone for us and we are very grateful for everyone’s participation and interest. The Presidential Sponsor, BKD, LLP awarded Holladay Construction with the prestigious Presidential Award, given to an Award of Excellence recipient for the positive community impact of a project. James (Jim) Rabold presented his award to four outstanding members, and J.R. Gaylor presented two members with the S. Douglas Trolson award.

Details on the winning projects can be found in the Indianapolis Business Journal, coming the week of October 12, 2016. For those winning projects outside of the Indianapolis area, ABC is working with news outlets local to those winners to ensure your achievements are celebrated.  ABC is very proud of chapter’s performance in this year’s event.

To learn more about the Merit Shop Construction Awards Gala, contact Catrona Lanctot at


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.  Visit us at




The ABC Construction Prep Academy has kicked off the 2016 – 2017 school year. Featuring a variety of juniors and seniors from local high schools, the Prep Academy prepares students for careers as Craft Professionals by providing an overview of the many construction trades available through Associated Builders and Contractors. Our students combine technical education with hands-on learning and gain first-hand experience in construction. The ABC Construction Prep Academy was founded by J.R. Gaylor as way for students interested in craft training to begin their careers as craft professionals while completing their high school requirements.

The Academy features two programs: Prep Academy I and Prep Academy II. Prep I students are given an overview of the trades offered at ABC, with each area supplemented with necessary safety certifications, such as OSHA 10, and relevant field trips to active job sites. Prep Academy II (for high school seniors only) allows for students to enroll in the adult apprenticeship program at ABC (Level I in the trade of their choice), so that they can get head start among their peers on a career in the skilled trades.

ABC members have been great supporters of the students in our academy, offering tours of job sites, sending skilled tradesmen to our lab to assist with hands-on learning, and by working with ABC to arrange summer internships for students to gain relevant work experience.

“The ABC Prep Academy offers our students real-word, hands-on experiences not found anywhere else.  Students who stay in the program have the opportunity to begin their apprenticeships in the trades their senior year.  How great is that?” – Mark Wilkinson, Internship Coordinator, Noblesville High School

If you think your student body could benefit from joining the ABC Construction Prep Academy, please contact Claude Street (information above) or call (317) 596-4950 for more information.


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.  Visit us at

If you would like more information on our Prep Academy, please contact our Community Liaison:
Claude Street

Associated Builders and Contractors Endorses Eric Holcomb for Governor

Indianapolis, IN, 9/21/16– Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana/Kentucky (ABC) announced today that it has endorsed Eric Holcomb’s candidacy for Governor of Indiana.

John Roop, the 2016 ABC Board Chairman stated, “Indiana is moving in the right direction economically due to our strong Republican leadership in the Governor’s office. Eric Holcomb and Suzanne Crouch will continue this great leadership for the continued betterment of our state.”

“The goals and the values set forth by the Holcomb-Crouch ticket align perfectly with those of ABC, “ said J.R. Gaylor, President of ABC Indiana/Kentucky, “We share a belief in the freedoms that allow economic development and job growth, which, in Indiana, have far exceeded most other states during the last 16 years of Republican leadership. At ABC, we see no reason to change this positive trajectory.”

ABC Indiana/Kentucky is the leading voice of promoting free enterprise within the construction industry. ABC’s merit shop philosophy drives member services, political advocacy, and the need for all types of industry training and education.


Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Indiana/Kentucky represents commercial and industrial contractors, who believe in the merit shop philosophy. ABC Indiana/Kentucky and 69 other chapters around the country help members develop people, win work, and deliver that work safely, ethically, and profitably for the better of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at and

Contacts: Catrona Lanctot: (317) 596-4950