I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as ABC chairman for 2020. The new decade is a time of opportunity and challenge for our industry, and I take heart in the fact that we have so many talented and dedicated individuals devoting time and energy to ABC and the Gould Construction Institute (GCI), our training affiliate.
I’m also fortunate to be the beneficiary of all the progress made in the past year under Karl Hudson’s leadership. We all owe Karl a debt of gratitude for a job well done.
In 2019, membership was up for the seventh consecutive year and we're closing in on our goal of 500 members. In addition to an overall 9 percent increase in members, we had a retention rate of at least 90 percent for the sixth consecutive year. We all appreciate and benefit from the efforts of Membership Director Ken Ledwak.
Building Mass Careers has become an increasingly effective tool for providing member companies with much-needed talent. We've established a resume bank, and organizers of career fairs and other events are now reaching out and asking us to participate.
We’ve also had success educating guidance counselors, who increasingly recommend construction to their students who aren't immediately heading to college. I’d like to acknowledge the roles Steve Sullivan, ABC’s Director of Workforce Development, and GCI President Julie Kelliher have played in our education and workforce development efforts.
ABC saw total attendance of nearly 1,800 at 18 chapter events in 2019. Under the direction of Program, Event and Marketing Director Dan Gearin, our events have become more consistent and professional.
There are also new opportunities on the horizon. Along with other local ABC members, we at Tocco send employees to the ABC Project Management Institute at Purdue University in Indiana. With Phil Hammond of Wentworth Institute as the incoming GCI chair, I believe we can work to establish a similar program right here at Wentworth and save members the time and money of having to send employees so far away.
Government affairs will always be a top priority. We have played a key role in stopping dangerous legislation dealing with wage theft and seeking to create an unreasonable definition of fraud that would only apply to construction. Our new Public Affairs Director Molly Reagan and lobbyist John Bartley are helping us forge relationships with the many new legislators at the State House.
We have continued our positive relationship with Governor Baker. His administration has added more ABC and open shop representation to the important state licensing boards that had been previously been off-limits to us.
There is much more to do. I’m excited about our prospects in the new year and new decade. Thank you for the opportunity to lead ABC and look forward to working with all of you in the coming year!
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