Associated Builders And Contractors: LA No. 1 Construction Environment In U.S.

NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana has the No. 1 construction environment in the nation, according to a new Merit Shop Scorecard called “Building America,” provided by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). 

         States were ranked on seven criteria including PLA Mandates, Prevailing Wage, Right to Work, Public-Private Partnerships, Workplace Development, Career and Technical Education and Job Growth Rate.

         The Top Ten Construction Environments in the U.S. are:

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1 – Louisiana

2 – Virginia

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3 – North Carolina

4 – Arizona

5 – Georgia

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6 – South Carolina

7 – North Dakota

8 – Idaho

9 – Tennessee

10 – Iowa


         ABC gave Louisiana an “A” for its rank in every category except for Job Growth Rate, in which it received a “C.”

         The Merit Shop Scorecard is a project by ABC, a national 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.

         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 that 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. Lastly, the Merit Shop philosophy contends that the destiny of all Americans can be best served by cooperation, reconciliation and following the tenants of free enterprise and a democratic government.

         The Merit Shop Scorecard reviews and ranks state-specific information that is significant to the construction industry. The scorecard is a tool to identify states that are embracing the merit shop philosophy via legislation, policies, priorities and valuable programs, as well as highlight states where proactive and strategic improvements need to be executed to create an environment conducive to the industry’s needs.

         Additional consideration has been given to a number of other factors that impact the industry, including state authorization or prohibition of public-private partnerships, availability of grants and incentives for employers that value training and inclusion of career and technical education credits in high school requirements, among others. Other valuable and construction-relevant data has been provided separately on each state’s page, including information related to prompt pay requirements, safety figures and a graph tracking the state-level unemployment rate in construction from month-to-month.

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