PictureKarl Hudson, 2019 ABC MA Chairman
It is my honor and privilege to serve as chair of ABC Massachusetts as we enter the new year.  I’d like to start by acknowledging the hard work and dedication of outgoing Chair John Anderson, as well as President and CEO Greg Beeman and the entire staff, who work diligently on behalf of our members. 
 
We are in the midst of a five-year strategic plan that includes three primary goals: Workforce Development, Membership Development and Legislative Effectiveness.  And I’m happy to say that we have made significant progress on each of them. 

In terms of workforce development, we graduated the first class of our pre-apprenticeship program in 2018, which was funded by a grant from the Commonwealth Corporation. This program is helping give member companies access to a much-needed group of eager young men and woman with basic construction training.  Most have already been placed.  We have also created the new position of Director of Workforce Development, which has been ably filled by Steve Sullivan.
 
Our training affiliate, the Gould Construction Institute, has achieved record enrollment.  After 32 years of service to ABC, Barbara Lagergren has retired and Julie Kelliher takes over after a two-year apprenticeship with Barbara.
 
Membership drives everything our chapter does, and I’m pleased to say that my predecessors have also put us in a good position on that front.  We are within sight of our chapter goal of 500 members after yet another successful Membership Drive led by Membership Director Ken Ledwak.
 
In recent years we have been increasingly successful both in our advocacy of legislation that would help members and our industry, as well as stopping harmful bills.  During the last legislative session, we successfully fought off a misguided bill that would have held contractors liable for subcontractor violations no matter how many steps removed from the GC.
 
A number of our members also worked hard to re-elect Governor Baker by overwhelming majority.  Gov. Baker’s door has always been open to us.  In addition to seeking and listening to our advice on industry issues, he has balanced the membership on all-important trade boards, where seats had previously been held almost exclusively by union representatives.
 
Great leadership has brought ABC to this point.  It is my commitment and goal to further these initiatives and create an even better environment in Massachusetts for our member companies.  I ask all of you to engage and participate with me during the coming year as we build the future of the construction industry together.  Our next big event is the Planning Conference on January 11.  Please come and help steer the direction of our organization. 
 
Thank you again for the honor and privilege of leading our board this year.  Best wishes for a happy, successful and prosperous new year.