Kentucky Ranks 37th for Construction Business Climate According to ABC’s Merit Shop Scorecard

Contact: Jeff Leieritz:(202) 905-2104;

Louisville, Kentucky, Dec. 18 – Kentucky is a poor place for contractors to do business according to a
scorecard launched today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). “Building America: The Merit Shop
Scorecard” reviews and grades state-specific information significant to the success of the commercial and
industrial construction industry. The scorecard website,, identifies states, such as
Kentucky, where strategic improvements need to be made to create an environment where merit-shop
contractors are well positioned to succeed and states that have created contractor-friendly business

“Kentucky policymakers have significant room for improvement in creating a business environment where
contractors can excel,” said J. R. Gaylor. “Kentucky policymakers can help reduce the cost of public
construction to taxpayers and make it easier for contractors to expand their operations and create more
jobs in Kentucky by adopting free enterprise-based policies such as banning anti-competitive and restrictive
PLA and prevailing-wage mandates and supporting right-to-work and workforce development programs.”
The merit shop philosophy is the belief that people and companies succeed based on free enterprise
principles within the free market system, which is characterized by open and fair competition and diverse
participants. Those who adhere to the philosophy believe employees and employers have the right to
determine wages and working conditions through either individual or collective bargaining, as they choose,
within the boundaries of the law. They oppose violence, coercion, intimidation and the denial of the rights
of employees and employers. Furthermore, they believe it is incumbent upon all branches of government
to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and that government should award contracts based solely
on merit to the lowest responsible bidder, regardless of labor affiliation.

ABC sees Governor Matt Bevin as a Governor that will provide an era of new leadership that will create an
economy based on free enterprise principles that are essential to making Kentucky a top tier state in job
creation and job growth. Kentucky’s current high rating (b) in Career and Technical training is consistent
with ABC’s ongoing effort to sponsor construction in Kentucky high schools as a pathway to the lucrative
career opportunities in the skilled trades. Without corresponding construction job opportunities after high
school, students are stymied from realizing the great career options in construction. Hopes are high for the
new Bevin Administrations leadership in education and workforce development.

The Merit Shop Scorecard was developed with input from ABC chapters and industry stakeholders across
the country. States were evaluated based on their policies and records on seven key issues:
 Project Labor Agreements (PLAs)
 Prevailing Wage
 Right to Work
 Public-Private Partnerships (P3s)
 Workforce Development
 Career and Technical Education
 Job Growth Rate
Criteria and definitions are available on The scorecard will be updated with
exclusive state construction unemployment rate estimates from economist Bernard Markstein, Ph.D.
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