Trade associations in the construction industry are as varied as the materials used to build. This section outlines and provides links to key membership organizations for all aspects of the industry that are focused on government advocacy, business to business networking, workforce development, and more.
Associated Builders and Contractors
The ABC is a national association representing more than 25,000 construction industry businesses and individuals through 78 local and state chapters. Founded in 1950 to follow the merit shop philosophy, awarding contracts without regard to union membership, ABC encourages open competition and free enterprise. In addition to advocacy across all levels of government, ABC sponsors safety training programs with OSHA, apprenticeship training programs registered with the Department of Labor, green building certification and quality contractor accreditation. Member benefits include management education, networking, legal assistance, insurance programs, and business leads and referrals through the Findcontractor.com website.
Associated General Contractors
Founded in 1918, AGC is a national trade association in partnership with a nationwide network of chapters, and has a membership of over 33,000 general contractors, specialty contractors, service providers and suppliers. As the largest and most diverse association in the construction industry, AGC represents, through its advocacy and its programs, every aspect of the building industry, from government contracting to energy and environment, to transportation infrastructure to municipal utilities. Resources for members include standard contract forms, economic analyses, project delivery systems, safety and health standards information, and human resources practices. Members can subscribe to a web-based compensation reporting tool, and discounts are available for construction management software, as well as access to an exclusive online job board and database just for the construction, design and building industries. Education programs exist for safety, craft, supervisory and specialty training, and for project and executive management.
National Association of Home Builders
NAHB works with over 800 affiliated state and local building associations to represent the home building industry. Founded in 1942, one third of the 160,000 members are home builders and/or remodelers, and the remaining associate members work in fields related to the housing industry, such as mortgage finance and building products and services. Resources for members include information on finding acquisition, development and construction financing; economic forecasts and construction statistics; online tool-kits; and e-learning and other educational programs. Members join at the local home builders association (HBA) level, and that membership includes the state and national associations.
Construction Financial Management Association
Established in 1981, CFMA is the only trade association of financial professionals in the construction industry. Its members represent general contractors and subcontractors, developers, project managers, architects, engineers and suppliers. Associate membership is available to accounting, banking and insurance specialists serving the construction industry. Educational programs such as seminars and workshops are offered at local chapters, and certification as a Construction Industry Financial Professional is offered through CFMA's subsidiary. Member benefits include discounts on various construction industry financial software products; publications such as CFMA Building Profit; and networking at chapter, regional, and national conferences.
American Subcontractors Association
ASA has represented subcontractors and suppliers to the construction industry since 1966. In addition to government advocacy, ASA is also the voice of the subcontractor in the construction industry on such issues as insurance, prompt payment and standardized contracts. Member benefits include the Contractor's Knowledge Depot for educational products and the Contractor's Knowledge Bank, an online tool with free access to documents on virtually all construction-related topics. The Contractor's Compass provides business and economic news, and the Business Forum and Annual Convention are learning and networking opportunities. Marketing benefits include complimentary listing in an online directory that is made available free on the Internet.
Construction Industry Resources
With the right tools and strategies, construction firms of all types can lay the groundwork for prosperity for years to come. This section provides links and outlines private and government resources geared to achieving that result.
2015 BNi Building News Construction Costbooks
BNi Building News publishes costbooks providing labor and materials costs for all aspects of the construction industry. The books are designed to help industry professionals prepare accurate estimates and bids. The 2011 volumes are General Construction, Facilities Managers, Remodeling, Public Works, Electrical, Mechanical, Home Builders, Home Remodelers, National Electrical Code, and Green Building.
The Safety Library
An online collection of risk management articles for the construction industry, this site includes blasting safety and regulations from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; manuals; excavation safety tutorials and checklists; job site safety and security; one call center contact information; and OSHA construction manuals, among others.
SBA.gov - Construction
This site is the new official small business link to the U.S. Government (replacing Business.gov), and the Construction page is a one-stop shopping site for some of the government regulations impacting the industry. Here you will find links to energy efficiency standards from the Dept. of Energy; construction guides from the Department of Labor; HUD and EPA rules on hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos; EPA storm water regulations; and workplace and safety tools from OSHA.
SBA Loan Programs
The Small Business Administration backs various loan programs for small businesses. One that applies to small construction businesses is the CDC/504 Program. This is a long-term financing tool designed to encourage economic development within a community with the partnership of the SBA and a Certified Development Company (CDC). With the help of private sector lenders, financing is provided to small businesses for fixed asset projects such as the purchase of: land, or improvements including buildings, parking lots, and landscaping; the construction of new buildings; the renovation of existing buildings; and long-term machinery or equipment. Business size restrictions, job creation requirements, and maximum loan amounts apply.
IRS Construction Tax Center
The Internal Revenue Service's Construction Tax Center provides helpful tips and related links to tax guides for the construction industry, with information on such topics as accounting methods, excise taxes and energy credits. A listing of professional activity codes for the industry is also provided.