Associated Builders and Contractors Endorses Trey Hollingsworth for Congress

Indianapolis, IN, 8/22/16– Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana/Kentucky (ABC) today announced that it has endorsed Trey Hollingsworth candidacy for Indiana’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Trey Hollingsworth has shown the commitment to free enterprise that the members of Associated Builders and Contractors in the 9th District know will best grow the economy, which means more work and more jobs.” John Roop, President of Capitol City Fence and Chairman of the ABC Board of Directors.
“Trey Hollingsworth has earned the endorsement of Associated Builders and Contractors based on his track record of creating jobs in the private sector and signing checks on the front side. Since he understands job creation first hand, he can lead in Congress for the good of all people in Indiana’s 9th District.” J.R. Gaylor, President, ABC Indiana/Kentucky.
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

Catrona Lanctot: (317) 596-4950

Let’s Talk Skilled Trade Jobs, the Skills Gap and Myths

Thanks to Jason over at Custom Concrete for sharing this insightful post with us. You can access Custom Concrete’s blog at:

Today’s installment is indeed about a hot topic – myths around skilled trade jobs. It’s a subject I’m passionate about.

I strongly believe that attending a four-year college isn’t the only path to success for our young adults. A career in a skilled trade can be just as rewarding in terms of personal happiness and financial reward, but who’s sharing that fact with our middle school and high school students these days? Not many are, and often not even guidance counselors or parents. The next generation of workers’ career path hinges on the advice they receive or don’t receive in high school.  While Mike Rowe is doing a stand-up job, more of us could be spreading the word and opening eyes to the fact that there are more opportunities out there than 4+ years of college debt and a desk job.

“Consider the reality of today’s job market. We have a massive skills gap. Even with record unemployment, millions of skilled jobs are unfilled because no one is trained or willing to do them. Meanwhile unemployment among college graduates is at an all-time high, and the majority of those graduates with jobs are not even working in their field of study. Plus, they owe a trillion dollars in student loans. A trillion! And still, we push a four-year college degree as the best way for the most people to find a successful career?” -Mike Rowe

 So why aren’t more young people picking hard hats, work boots and other skilled labor jobs?

Let’s explore five common myths around blue collar jobs:

  • Skilled labor jobs aren’t in-demand
    • The truth is that there is an ever-widening skills gap occurring in our nation because young people aren’t considering skilled labor careers. There is good work and great pay available right now with these positions, but there is no talent to fill them. It’s becoming an increasing problem nationwide. Come to think of it, we’re hiring!
  • Skilled labor jobs are less important
    • It’s become the cultural norm that if a young adult desires a good, respectable, well-paying job, the only option is to get a 4-year college degree. Skilled trade jobs are often thought of as the career track for those who might not be able to hack it in college. Different really doesn’t mean less important, now does it? Did you know nine of the currentHoosier Hot 50 Jobs are within the skilled trade industry with earning potential ranging from $38,000 to $76,000? Not too shabby!
  • Blue Collar work isn’t stimulating or creative
    • There is a false notion skilled labor is mindless and tedious work. This one makes me laugh a bit. In fact, I know of more office jobs that are more tedious and boring than a skilled concrete job. Think about a job superintendent. He’s out and about all day, seeing new sites, meeting new people, and grappling with new problems. His days are multi-faceted.
  • Skilled labor jobs are dirty
    • Have you taken a look at manufacturing lately? Clean rooms, white manufacturing areas, automation, and Big Data around every corner. You may think working your brain in a desk job sounds better than working with your brawn in a skilled labor position, but in the end every job is about working hard, no matter white collar or blue collar. Mike Rowe notes that our culture is heading down a road where an hour of a plumber’s time is going to cost more than an hour with the psychologist. Let’s help the next generation overcome their fear of dirt and sweat.
  • Young People don’t dream of being a skilled laborer
    • Most young adults have no idea what they want to be when they grow up. Telling them to follow their dreams and passions can sometimes be a mixed bag. Most retirees will tell you their success came when they found the sweet spot of what they were good at and what they chose to work hard at each and every day, not necessarily what they had dreamed of becoming. We need to think about how we guide our next generation of workers from tender ages. Are we nurturing their interests and talents and helping them explore careers where those talents might flourish? Imagine a youngster building amazing Lego structures or detailed blanket forts. Does that little boy or girl realize the love for building could translate into various careers from commercial or residential construction to an architect and everything in between? Let’s help them consider all the options available not just the ones at the end of a 4-year college stint.

For most of us, our careers will span 40-some years and 90,000 hours of our life.  My advice for today’s middle school, high school, and even elementary students is to be engaged in their search for a post-secondary career path. Explore all options. Be curious, and take advantage of trade classes, career fairs, shadowing opportunities and career workshops during your K-12 years. College may not be for everyone, but neither is sitting at a desk for 40+ years. Know your options.


Patriot Welcomes New Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)

Patriot Engineering and Environmental, Inc. (Patriot), a full-service geotechnical engineering, environmental consulting, and materials testing firm with eleven (11) offices located throughout the Midwest and Southeast, welcomes Mr. Jason E. Whittymore, CIH, Senior Industrial Hygienist, to its highly trained and efficient technical staff. Mr. Whittymore brings nearly 20 years of experience providing health and safety expertise in the areas of OSHA standards program development and training, site evaluations/auditing, exposure assessments for chemical, physical and biological hazards, and indoor air quality (IAQ) evaluations. Mr. Whittymore’s emphasis has been providing manufacturing clients with quality services aimed at advancing the protection of their employees’ health and safety. Mr. Whittymore is certified in the comprehensive practice of industrial hygiene by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). He is active in several professional organizations, including industrial hygiene associations on the local and national levels. He has provided numerous technical presentations to clients and the legal community. Please feel free to contact Mr. Whittymore regarding any of your health and safety service needs at (p) 317-576-8058 or (c) 317-605-1675


FCCI Insurance Program to Benefit Associated Builders & Contractors Indiana/Kentucky Chapter Members

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – June 1, 2016 – FCCI Insurance Group (FCCI), a group of financially sound, middle-market commercial property and casualty insurance companies with a Midwest regional office in Indianapolis, Ind., and a strong field presence in Indiana & Kentucky, has partnered with the Indiana/Kentucky chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Inc. to provide commercial package, auto and umbrella insurance coverage and surety bonds to eligible contractor members.

FCCI Contractors Select is a comprehensive approach to commercial insurance and risk management. Eligible ABC contractor members will have access to: insurance coverage tailored for contractors; a local designated insurance service team providing professional risk control and claim expertise; construction-focused education seminars; online risk management resources; and the FCCI HR & Employment HELPLINE – an online resource providing HR management, risk control and employment law information.

FCCI Contractors Select also features a group dividend plan based on the combined loss experience of participating members.

FCCI Surety writes contract surety bonds for a variety of contractors’ and subcontractors’ needs. With a Treasury listing of more than $50 million and a 24/7 online bond system, FCCI has the financial strength and the quick response time contractors need.

FCCI is excited to partner with the ABC Indiana/Kentucky chapter and the following independent agents: Assured Partners of Indiana LLC; Assured Partners NL; BB&T Insurance; Brown & Brown; Energy Insurance; E M Ford; Gibson Insurance Agency, Inc.; Lawton Insurance; MJ Insurance, Inc.; Old National Insurance; Sterling Thompson; Stewart Brimner Peters & Co. Inc.; The Underwriters Group; USI; and Van Meter Insurance.


About FCCI – Working through independent agents in 18 states, FCCI provides commercial property and casualty insurance to more than 18,000 policyholders and commercial and contract surety to more than 17,000 bonded principals. Established in 1959 and rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company, FCCI is headquartered in Sarasota, Fla., and has regional offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more information, please call 800-226-3224 or visit

About Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) – Associated Builders & Contractors is a national association representing nearly 22,000 chapter members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and it’s 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. ABC is the merit shop construction industry’s voice with the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the federal government and with state and local governments, as well as with the news media. ABC’s mission is the advancement of the merit shop philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.

2016 Merit Shop Construction Awards Competition

We are now accepting applications for the 2016 Merit Shop Construction Awards competition! I encourage you all to consider participating. It is our goal to recognize and publicize the outstanding work of our members. Such recognition builds a greater awareness within our industry of the quality of projects performed and completed by Merit Shop companies.


Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana (ABC) hosted its 2016 Graduation Event for Indiana apprentices on Friday, May 20. The event recognized 77 graduates across ABC’s Indiana training sites

Governor Pence’s “Start Your Engines” tour

ABC Indiana/Kentucky was excited to be invited to participate in Governor Pence’s “Start Your Engines” tour of Indiana.

‘Build Your Future’ Expands to Indiana to Help Close the Construction Skills Gap

With construction companies expected to hire more than 61,000 workers in Indiana through 2017, a new partnership between Build Your Future (BYF) and the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation is committed to meeting the demand for qualified craft professionals while helping individuals achieve their career goals. Build Your Future Indiana is a unique collaboration of employers, state agencies and industry associations that encourages residents to learn about construction careers and training opportunities now emerging in the state and to qualify for and obtain careers in these high-demand occupations.

Find out More.

NHS Prep Academy Job Fair

The 3rd Annual Job Fair for the Construction Prep Academy was a huge success!   The contractors were eager to meet young people interested in pursuing construction as a career.  Students took this networking opportunity seriously and were well prepared for their interviews.  All sixteen of the Indianapolis-based ABC students were given three interviews by the fifteen companies represented.

The companies that participated were:

  • Baumgartner & Co. Asphalt
  • Brandt Construction
  • Commercial Trade Source
  • Dilling Mechanical
  • Emergent Construction
  • Ferrer Mechanical Services
  • Fluid Waste Services
  • Fredericks, Inc., Contractors
  • Gaylor Electric
  • Glenmark Construction
  • Gordon Plumbing
  • Kemna Masonry Restoration
  • Merritt Contracting
  • Myers Construction
  • Tech Trades

In just over one week, there have been eleven job offers and numerous second interviews scheduled. Three students have already accepted positions and will be starting their career in construction as soon as they graduate!