ABC of California Press Releases

Press Releases


Press Releases

Opinion Editorial by Deborah Wilder and Jean Bjork published in Capitol Weekly on July 22, 2022

There are more women in the construction industry today than ever before.

Historically, the industry has been dominated by males, and while that is still true today, we are slowly challenging this reality as the number of women in construction is steadily increasing. In 2021, women made up 10.9% of the United States construction industry which is up from 9.9% in 2018.

This momentum is inspiring and is a motivator to continue the work of our many dedicated organizations, such as the Women Construction Owners & Executives (WCOE) California Chapter and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of California. As leaders in the industry, WCOE and ABC of California chapters are working tirelessly to recruit, train, and create pathways for women to secure construction careers.

We are striving to increase diversity and inclusion in construction, which means we must advocate for policies that will get us closer to this goal. Therefore, we are proud to support Senate Bill 1115 introduced by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) which will encourage more women to join the industry. The bill will officially establish a ‘Women in Construction Priority Unit’ and help create pathways for women to secure good, high-paying jobs in construction.

As construction professionals ourselves, we know firsthand that women working together is a crucial factor for success. It is imperative to unite and help each other succeed in this industry, and if SB 1115 passes, we will have access to more resources and supportive services that will help women across the state pursue careers in this ever-growing industry.

ABC of California Member Companies Achieve World-Class Safety Performance in Construction Industry

Sacramento, Calif., (May 18, 2022) — Associated Builders and Contractors of California (ABC of California) today announced the California companies that achieved top honors on its national organization’s 2022 Safety Performance Report – an annual study utilizing a safety management system that dramatically improves safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work. 

The report details the dramatic impact of using proactive safety practices to reduce recordable incidents by up to 84%, making the best-performing companies, including 16 companies across the Golden State, 645% safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics construction industry average. 

“ABC of California and our contractor members understand that our people are our greatest asset, and we will continue to advance world-class safety through valuable resources like the Safety Performance Report,” said John Hamo, Chair of the Board of Directors for ABC of California. “It’s the ABC-standard to expect our member companies to be focused on creating a safe and productive work environment for their team members, their families and communities in which they live and work.”

STEP Diamond members are more than six times safer than the industry average, achieving an 84% reduction in Total Recordable Incident Rates. ABC of California commends the following companies in California that achieved Diamond status, meaning they’ve gone above and beyond to achieve world-class safety on and off the jobsite: 

  • Sturgeon Services, Bakersfield 

  • Agbayani Construction Corporation, Daly City

  • Diversified Power Corporation, Dixon 

  • Durham Construction Inc., Clovis

  • Escon Builders, Union City 

  • Hayward Electric Company, Hayward 

  • Helix Electric, Sacramento & San Diego 

  • ENGIE Services Inc., Oakland 

  • Pacific West Controls Inc., Visalia 

  • Rampart Enterprises Inc, Sacramento 

  • Seal Rite Paving & Grading, Fresno 

  • Tao Mechanical LTD, Livermore 

  • Telstar Instruments Inc., Concord  

  • Facilities Protection Systems, Brea 

  • Icenogle Construction Management, Inc, San Francisco


ABC’s research on more than a billion hours of work completed by participants in the construction, heavy construction, civil engineering and specialty trades in 2021 identified the following proactive injury and hazard elimination best practices:

  • New hire safety orientation: Companies that conduct an in-depth indoctrination of new employees into their safety culture, systems and processes based on a documented orientation process experience reduce TRIR by 70% and their Days Away Restricted or Transferred rate by 72% compared to companies that limit their orientations to basic safety and health compliance topics. 

  • Substance abuse prevention programs: Robust substance abuse prevention programs/policies with provisions for drug and alcohol testing where permitted lead to a 70% reduction in TRIR and a 73% reduction in DART rates.

  • Toolbox talks: Companies that conduct daily toolbox talks reduce TRIR by 76% and DART rates by 79% compared to companies that hold them monthly.

  • Top management engagement: Employer involvement in safety programs at the highest level of company management produces a 71% reduction in TRIR and DART rates. 

ABC has studied how to improve construction jobsite safety through STEP since 1989. Participating ABC member firms measure their safety processes and policies on key components and criteria for best practices through a detailed questionnaire, with the goal of implementing or enhancing safety programs that reduce jobsite incident rates. 

Read the report at


About the ABC Safety Performance Report 

The 2022 ABC Safety Performance Report is based on submissions of unique company data gathered from members that deployed STEP in 2021. ABC collects each company’s trailing indicator data as reported on its annual Occupational Safety and Health Administration Form 300A (“Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses”) and its self-assessment of leading indicator practices from its STEP application. Each data point collected is sorted using statistically valid methodology developed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for its annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Survey and then combined to produce analyses of STEP member performance against BLS industry average incident rates. The report demonstrates that applying world-class processes dramatically improves safety performance among participants regardless of company size or type of work. 

The ABC 2022 Safety Performance Report is brought to you by ABC Tech Alliance member KPA, which provides safety management software, training and consulting to the construction industry.

About Associated Builders and Contractors 

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at



Fresno Business Journal, April 27, 2022 

As more women continue to build paths in various industries that have typically been male dominated—tech, manufacturing, trucking, construction—they are also building more opportunities as well as buildings.

In March, The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of California, a state chapter of ABC, a national construction trade association, celebrated “Women in Construction Week”, highlighting the initiatives and work of women within in the industry.

“Women in Construction Week” was introduced in 1960 by the National Association of Women in Construction, which was founded in 1953.

Though more women have entered the construction industry in recent decades, women still only make up 10.9% of the people working in the construction industry, according to 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number shrinks for the number of women working on a job site with only 1 of every 100 employees working in the field, according to multinational human resource consulting firm Randstad NV.

Just under 87% of women working in construction hold office positions.

Even with these figures, there are local women in the industry that are building careers and opportunities in the Central Valley.

Read the full article.

Bakersfield Californian, March 23, 2022

This Women’s History Month we are highlighting women who are making a difference in the community here at 23ABC.

Women in male dominated fieldsIf you spend the day with these women, you’ll learn how to use everything from cranes to lifts. Their goal being to show if they could do it on their first day so could any other woman.

“Most of your training you learn here, you don’t have to have much training just the will to work,” said Bonita Sanchez, Welding Foreman at JTS Modular.

Bo started out at JTS as a welder then became a team lead and is now a foreman.

“I am very proud of myself for my accomplishments and where I am at today. It's been a lot of hard work working in this male dominated field. It's pretty hard looking for a job and I’m just really proud of myself.”

According to Bonita, when women get involved in construction there's no limit to the heights you can reach.

Read the full article here.

Opinion Editorial by Lisa Kelly published in the Bakersfield Californian on March 15, 2022

California’s workforce was weakened by the COVID-19 pandemic and while we are regaining many jobs, we have a long road ahead. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, men have largely recouped their labor force losses, while more than 1 million fewer women were in the labor force in January 2022 compared to February 2020.

This trend is concerning, but not surprising. It was widely reported that working women shouldered a significant burden throughout the pandemic. Yet now as we look forward to a post-pandemic economy, there is a unique opportunity to get more women in the workforce, potentially into fields that are predominantly male, like construction, and now is the ideal time. It’s not only Women’s History Month, but National Women in Construction Week took place March 6 to March 12 – making it the perfect time to highlight the opportunities and benefits of working in construction in California.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked my way up to my current position as the vice president general manager at Lalonde Equipment Rental located here in Bakersfield. Lalonde Equipment has been around for more than 50 years — supplying the heavy machinery needed for projects like leveling the runway at Los Angeles International Airport and clearing debris for new freeways throughout California. I’m proud of the work that we do and that’s why I’ve worked here for more than a decade.

Jobs in the construction industry provide women the chance for a fulfilling career path and high wages. Society relies heavily on the construction industry, which most people associate with a hammer and drill, but there is so much more. Construction professionals are involved in almost every aspect of daily life, from building roads and bridges, to wiring lights and power in local grocery stores and schools. Not to mention, a woman can expect to earn 20 percent to 30 percent more in a skilled trade career opposed to a non-construction related career.

I acknowledge there is still work to be done to achieve a fully inclusive and diverse construction workforce, but we must take a moment to celebrate the amazing progress we’ve made over the last few years in building more opportunities for women to succeed in the industry. According to data gathered in 2021, women make up about 10 percent of construction industry workers. While there is still room to grow, this number has increased substantially since 2017. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of women working in construction trades increased by 17.6 percent.

Read full article here.

Statewide Construction Organization Helps Lift Californians Reclaiming  Self-Reliance through Job Training & Opportunity

April is Second Chance Month and Construction is Looking to Hire Reentering Citizens

Sacramento, Calif., April 1, 2022 – The Associated Builders and Contractors of California (ABC of California) today renewed its commitment to Second Chance Month in April – making a pledge to lift those up who are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions. In March of 2021, the White House Proclaimed April as “Second Chance Month,” citing that incarcerated individuals after serving their time should have the opportunity to fully reintegrate into society and that America’s criminal justice system must offer meaningful opportunities for redemption and rehabilitation.

“Second Chance Month highlights the value that reentering citizens bring to California’s construction workforce,” said John Hamo, Chair of the Board of Directors for ABC of California. “These individuals have paid their debt to society and should be given the opportunity to achieve their newly found career dreams. We have inspiring stories throughout the Golden State where ABC of California members are working with individuals seeking that second chance to build a bright future for themselves. California has significant infrastructure needs and requires a skilled construction workforce now and in the future, and reentering citizens can help us rebuild better and stronger than ever before.”

An example of this effort shines through in partnerships like the one between Hope Builders and Sunwest Electric, Inc. Hope Builders is an Orange County program that prepares disadvantaged young adults for living-wage careers by providing mentorship, life skills and job training. Sunwest Electric, Inc. is an established leader in the construction industry with 37 years of experience and a member of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Southern California (ABC SoCal) that’s providing job opportunities for those looking for a second chance. Through this partnership, Hope Builders and Sunwest Electric has trained and employed a countless number of reentering citizens for successful careers.

Like the model established between Hope Builders and Sunwest Electric, ABC of California has member companies throughout the state are helping reentering citizens reconnect to the workforce and build futures that last. Hamo added, “It’s a successful program and here’s how it works: member contractors accept matched students, for some contractors it’s more than 10 students at one time, into ABC training programs across multiple disciplines. It’s a win-win scenario – as these students are driven, motivated and changing their lives for the better.”

A similar partnership can be found between the Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California (ABC NorCal) and the Salvation Army Alameda County. Together, ABC NorCal and the Salvation Army sponsor a program that’s providing a new transformational set of skills for individuals in need of personal reform after encountering recovery or homeless programs. While some in this program are switching career paths, others are gaining a change in lifestyle after experiencing substance abuse, homelessness, or a cycle of entries within the justice system.

Throughout the Golden State, ABC of California is building a workforce that is safe, skilled and productive using innovative and flexible learning models and apprenticeships. In fact, ABC of California member companies pay millions of dollars each year into workforce training programs that are connecting students, women, those in underserved communities, reentering citizens, and veterans with rewarding and quality careers in construction. To learn more about this partnership or ABC of California, visit the organization’s website that is found here.


Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 69 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at


Opinion Editorial by Charles Oliver, a Carpentry Apprentice at ABC Northern California Chapter and works at Anderson Pacific Engineering
A little over 7 years ago, I needed a career change. I was in a job that I had no chance of moving forward. I was a high-school graduate who needed more training to build the life that I wanted for my wife and children. That’s when I took a chance with a local construction company and my career took off. Now, I’m getting an opportunity for tuition-free craft training in the Associated Builders and Contractors of Northern California’s (ABC NorCal) Carpentry Apprenticeship Program and I’ve already graduated from the ABC NorCal’s Construction Craft Laborer Program.
As an Oakland resident, I’m a proud student at ABC NorCal apprenticeship program, which is part of a larger statewide organization known as Associated Builders and Contractors of California (ABC of California). ABC of California is a statewide trade association that represents those of us working in building commercial, industrial, public work, and affordable housing projects with state and federally approved apprenticeship programs. Essentially, ABC NorCal and ABC of California have given me the opportunity to build right here in my community.
However, opportunities for me to work and support my family in the City of Oakland may now be shattered. The City is working on a project labor agreement with the building trades union that will limit workers and apprentices like myself, and give those jobs to those who are union-only. I am concerned that the City will be excluding skilled members of the community, like myself, from getting work. I am, along with many other non-union workers are equally, if not more, experienced and qualified. 
It is my hope that the Oakland City Council recognizes how harmful this type of policy is to me and my family. I would like to be able to work on quality jobs and earn prevailing wages right here in my own backyard. I, along with all ABC NorCal apprentices, do top-notch work but will be unable to do that work in Oakland because we don’t belong to a union. We should not be unfairly punished, which is why I’m strongly encouraging the Oakland City Council to support local workers like me and reject this harmful policy.
As we come out of a pandemic and gain our footing, our local and state leaders must look for ways to create career opportunities for all, instead of cutting out people like me from good paying jobs in our own communities. We all know that California Bay Area is an expensive place to live and it’s extremely difficult to make a wage that supports a family, buys a home, and maintains a good quality of life. Yet, I can do that through this apprenticeship training program and it is imperative that it remains a possibility in Oakland. 
There is not time to waste, I hope others can learn from my experience – I’m a California success story. For those who want to learn more about ABC of California’s apprenticeship training programs, visit the organization’s website at If you’re looking for a chance to build a career in California’s construction industry, now is the time to take that leap.
Charles Oliver is an ABC Northern California Carpentry Apprentice and works at Anderson Pacific Engineering.

Newly appointed to lead the Northern California chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Deborah Maus will focus on apprenticeship support and providing long-term career opportunities.

Associated Builders and Contractors' Northern California Chapter Board of Directors has chosen Deborah Maus as its new president and CEO.

Maus' career has spanned over 25 years in strategic and operational leadership, including executive positions in transportation systems management with Parsons Brinckerhoff (now WSP USA) and the South Natomas Transportation Management Association in Sacramento. She made her move into construction trade associations in 2017, when she took on her most recent role as CEO of the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors of California. 

Read more here. 


ABC of California Announces Over 300 Members Achieve World-Class Safety Standards Through ABC STEP Program

California Construction Companies Continue to Make Safety a Top-Priority

Sacramento, Calif., October 26, 2021 – Associated Builders and Contractors of California (ABC of California) today announced 324 contractor members have achieved world-class safety standards through the Associated Builders and Contractor’s STEP Safety Management System.  According to ABC’s 2021 Safety Performance Report, STEP participants, regardless of company size or type of work, can reduce recordable incidents up to 85%, making the best-performing companies more than six times safer than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average.  

“ABC of California is challenging the status quo by placing safety as a top priority in the industry. By encouraging members to achieve and maintain world-class standards, we are creating a culture where safety is an obligation, not just a goal,” said John Hamo, Chair of the Board of Directors of ABC of California. “In fact, 10% of the STEP participants in California are Diamond level participants which are 655% safer than the industry average and we only expect this number to grow.”

STEP participants measure their safety processes and policies on key components the goal of implementing or enhancing safety programs that reduce job site incidents.

“STEP participants have demonstrated a commitment to create the conditions for all to do their work without incident,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “An industrywide commitment to total human health is also essential to ensure both the physical and mental health and safety of our workforce. By implementing proactive safety measures, such as substance abuse programs, new hire safety orientation and toolbox talks, STEP participants are committed to consistently raising the bar when it comes to safety performance.”

Founded more than three decades ago, STEP has evolved into a world-class safety program that dramatically improves safety performance among construction industry participants. Ratings range from Diamond, the highest, to Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Participant.

To learn more about the STEP program, visit



Associated Builders and Contractors of California is a statewide construction industry trade association that represents members across California. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC helps members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at

Opinion Editorial by Gilbert Diaz,an Electrical Apprentice at ABC and works at Champion Electric | October 25,2021

Three years ago, I was in federal prison wondering what life would be like on the other side of my sentence. Looking at my life now, I’m grateful that I found a purpose and a trade that gave me a second chance.

I owe a lot to the Associated Builders and Contractors of California (ABC of California) Electrical Apprenticeship program and Champion Electric for treating me like a member of the family. Because one person had faith in me, I was introduced to the program that almost sounded too good to be true and I felt like I had a bright future ahead.

ABC of California offered me a competitive wage, health care coverage, classroom and field training, and hands-on experience with Champion Electric where I am learning the craft from experts in the industry. It is hard work, but it beats the alternative which could’ve landed me in a different spot than I am today.

My situation is not so unique - almost 1 in 3 Americans have a criminal record. For most of us, a criminal record is a significant barrier to employment and leads to instant rejection from some jobs.

That’s why we desperately need more programs – like ABC’s apprenticeship programs and the high road contractors that participate - that are designed to give hardworking people a chance to prove that they can achieve their goals and establish a career regardless of their past.

I am a perfect example for why apprenticeship programs work and why we should have more of them. Going through the program and getting a good job has given me the flexibility to pursue my passions outside of work like starting a boxing gym to help youth in my community.

Because of my apprenticeship, I started a training program at a boxing gym in Riverside to keep young kids out of trouble and provide them a safe place to go after school. We’re trying to expand the program to include afterschool care, tutors to help with homework, and eventually become a place where if they keep up their grades, they can train for free.

Thankfully, ABC of California has been working to develop its apprenticeship programs and has officially been approved to set up an additional facility in Riverside County that will expand training to 150 more students and new jobs for employee administrators. 

With more companies hiring than ever before, this approval comes at an ideal time to get more people into strong programs that will help people reach their full potential. Especially in the construction industry, we need more programs like the one at ABC of California to funnel people with diverse backgrounds into these positions.

There is a severe labor shortage that has spread across the state and country. ABC of California apprenticeship programs have a low barrier to entry which allows more people to be eligible to participate and eventually work as a trained and skilled apprentice in the field. 

Not only are these programs providing unique opportunities to work, but they are also a recruiting tool for companies like Champion Electric to find hardworking and properly trained apprentices. Over the years, Champion Electric has worked with hundreds of apprentices and many of them have stayed with the company for decades.

Riverside County is lucky to have this new training facility to help train and employ hundreds of apprentices throughout the years. For anyone looking for a second chance, I encourage you to check out an apprenticeship program that can help you find a long-term career and the ability to grow into the person you want to be.

Gilbert Diaz is an Electrical Apprentice at Associated Builders and Contractors and works at Champion Electric. He gives special thanks to Julian Ville and the HairDoctor Family.