This Labor Day, we continue the decades-long tradition of honoring the American worker. At Associated Builders and Contractors, a national trade association with more than 21,000 members, we know that our workers are our most valuable asset—the people who build where we live, learn, work, heal and play. And as an industry with an earn-while-you-learn education model, we provide a pathway for our workers to constantly hone their skills, advance their careers and achieve the American Dream.

In 2018, ABC signed President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to recruiting, educating, and upskilling more than 500,000 workers by 2024. Two years later, we are well on our way. In 2019 alone, ABC contractor members from across the country invested $1.5 billion to develop their employees, which translated into to 1.1 million course attendees receiving craft, leadership, and safety education to advance their careers in commercial and industrial construction.

ABC Illinois created the Community Builders Program which was designed to create career opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment, create a more diverse and inclusive construction workforce and to help meet the industry demand for skilled craft workers. The program has graduated over 100 participants and connected them to career opportunities with ABC member companies and others. They have become valued employees with endless upward mobility opportunities.

To learn more about ABC Illinois’ workforce development initiatives and apprenticeship programs visit

Alicia Martin, President & CEO, Associated Builders & Contractors, Illinois Chapter

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