Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) recently released its seventh annual Merit Shop Scorecard, a ranking based on state policies and programs that encourage workforce development, grow career and technical education, strengthen careers in construction and advocate for fair and open competition for taxpayer-funded construction projects.
Florida returned to the top of the rankings this year based on the state’s continued encouragement of fair and open competition and innovative approaches to recruiting and upskilling craft professionals, many of whom see construction as a worthwhile alternative to careers negatively impacted by the pandemic. A year-to-year high performer, Florida ranked fourth in 2020 and claimed the top rank in 2018 and 2019. Arizona followed Florida in second place this year, down from first in 2020. Rounding out the top five, South Carolina ranked third, Georgia ranked fourth and Wisconsin ranked fifth. Other states to receive an A ranking in 2021 include Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee and West Virginia.
The 2021 Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard rates state laws, programs, policies and statistics in seven categories: project labor agreements, prevailing wage laws, right-to-work laws, public-private partnerships, workforce development, career and technical education and job growth rate.