Where it All Started | October 2023

At the Keystone Chapter, we prepare for a new year as we enter the last quarter of each year. We prepare certain standard things such as our budget, preparing for a new incoming Chair of the Board, and getting all our event and committee dates set. 2024 will be slightly different. In addition to the standard prep, we will get ready for a milestone year. 2024 will be Keystone’s 65th anniversary.

A lot has changed in 65 years. In some respects, it has; in others, it is like it was in the beginning. Sixty-five years ago, our founding freedom fighters were looking to be able to bid and acquire work while having a level playing field. Yes, the unions didn’t think merit shop contractors should be allowed to work on public projects and that the merit shop existed to drive wages to the bottom of the scale.

While we have made great strides in the last 65 years, the current environment wants to turn the clock back. The Biden administration is doing everything possible to pave the way for union contractors and exclude the merit shop contractors. Can you say PLA and RCO? The National Labor Relations Board, as of August 25th, has turned the clock back 50 years to make it easier for employees to organize without a secret ballot cast. Employers need to be paying attention.

We need you, the current members, to continue the battle that our founding members fought for: Free Enterprise and the Merit Shop philosophy. To that end, we want to recognize those members who took on the initial battles and made the Keystone Chapter of ABC a reality in 1959. These still active members are as follows:

While some names have changed slightly over the years, their commitment to ABC has remained steadfast. We will highlight these firms throughout the last quarter of this year in our monthly “Spokesman” magazine. This month will feature Howells Glass Co., Inc., celebrating its 100th year. When you interact with these firms, thank them for starting the movement. Without them, we would not be here. We could not continue the movement without you, our current members. Thanks to all you do to advance the Free Enterprise initiatives and the Merit Shop philosophy.