60 Years and Counting

Kristi Pronovost The Merit Shop Spokesman Blog

By: G. David Sload, ABC President-CEO

As we ring in 2019, we also bring in a new chapter in the life of ABC Keystone. 2019 is the 60th anniversary of this strong and proud ABC Chapter. As we prepare for this next chapter, it is important to look back and see what brought us to this point. While we don’t want to live in the past, it is important to embrace it, celebrate it and learn from it.

ABC Keystone has had a lot of firsts. In 1959, we became the first Chapter chartered outside the original home state of Maryland. As we turned to 1968, we began Keystone’s first apprenticeship class. We have held classes every year since since that time. Then, 1978 brought about the first chapterowned building, when Keystone built the first 8,000 sq.ft. facility at our current location. Growth in educational offerings would later lead to a 3600 sq.ft. addition of classroom and office space in 1992.

As we entered the 21st century, the Board made a conscious decision to start focusing on workforce development. This led to an increase in staff dedicated to finding what member needs were and then providing those solutions. As we sat in one of the greatest recessions of our time, our leadership realized that once we recovered, our pipeline of skilled workers would be depleted. Therefore, in 2013 Keystone embarked on its most aggressive project, a 20,000 sq.ft. addition and renovations to the existing 11,000 sq.ft. building.

This 5.2-million-dollar project was completed and dedicated in the spring of 2015. Due to strong member support, the project was completed on time and for a cost of 3.2 million dollars. With this expansion, improved apprenticeship training is occurring, and more education opportunities and events are taking place.

You see, ABC Keystone is truly a member-driven organization. It was the members’ visions that drove the chapter to embark on these milestones. Beyond their vision, they put their time, talents and financial resources into making sure their visions became a reality. All of you that have been a part of this should be very proud to call this YOUR association.

However, we are not done. When we begin to celebrate our 70th in 10 years, we need to answer the following questions: What mountains will we have climbed? What peak will we have ascended to? What vision will we have made a reality? What will be our legacy?

January 3, 2019