Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. - Illinois Chapter
Your Merit Shop Voice Across Illinois




The Illinois Chapter

Founded in 1975, Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. - Illinois Chapter is recognized as one of the leading organizations representing the Illinois business community and the merit shop construction industry. The Illinois Chapter represents over 350 contractor and supplier members and trains over 300 apprenticeship and craft trainees each year. Through exclusive membership benefits, safety and craft training, legislative advocacy, and networking events, Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. - Illinois Chapter helps its members develop people, win work, and deliver that work safely, ethically, and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which we live. 

ABC's History

ABC was founded in 1950 when seven contractors gathered in Baltimore, MD to create an association based on the shared belief that construction projects should be awarded on merit to the most qualified and responsible low bidders.  Their courage and dedication to the merit shop philosophy spread rapidly, and within time, ABC became the fastest-growing association in the United States.  Today, ABC is recognized as one of the leading organizations representing America's business community and the merit shop construction industry


Our Mission

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 construction philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.

ABC's objective is to deal with issues on an industry-wide basis through its national office and chapters.

ABC's activities include government representation, legal advocacy, education, workforce development, communications, technology, recognition through national and chapter awards programs, employee benefits, information on best practices, and business development through an online contractor search directory.


Since completing the program... 

"I feel really good. I’m able to provide for myself now. Two years ago, I was living paycheck to paycheck, it was a struggle. Now I make very decent wages."

— April Fowlkes, Learn Your Trade Graduate


Learn Your Trade

We are the Illinois craft training leader and leading USDOL certified Training Program and School for the trades industry. Is a construction trade association representing over 300 companies involved in the commercial and industrial construction markets in Illinois. Learn more at

ABC has become the world leader in apprenticeship and craft training in the merit shop construction industry. ABC now works closely with its educational affiliate, the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), in the development, revision and publication of the NCCER Curriculum, which is competency-based, task-driven, modular craft training curricula based on today's construction industry practices.