MADISON – Associated Builders and Contractors released its annual Merit Shop Scorecard today, ranking Wisconsin as a state with an above average business environment for merit shop construction contractors.

The ranking rates states on policies and programs that encourage open competition, education and job growth, and award construction contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.

With an overall rank of 12 out of 50, Wisconsin moved up three spots in the rankings from 2017.

“Wisconsin policymakers have built an environment that allows merit shop construction contractors to thrive,” said John Mielke, ABC of Wisconsin president. “By prioritizing policies that support small business owners, the American worker and the overall construction sector, Wisconsin is spurring economic growth across the state, which directly leads to more construction projects and more construction jobs for Wisconsin residents.

Wisconsin’s 2018 Scorecard

Overall Rank: 12
Project Labor Agreement Policy: A
Prevailing Wage Mandates: A
Right to Work: A
Public-Private Partnerships: C
Construction Job Growth: B
Workforce Development Incentives: A
Career and Technical Education: B

During the last legislative session, ABC of Wisconsin scored two decisive merit shop victories:

  • Senate Bill 3 prohibits governmental entities from entering into taxpayer-funded, union-only project labor agreements. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker on April 17, 2017.
  • Assembly Bill 508 eliminated convoluted Department of Workforce Development restrictions that kept employers from being able to train as many apprentices as needed. The bill was signed by Gov. Walker on March 28, 2018.

Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard rates state laws, programs, policies and statistics to highlight those that have created the conditions for growth and identify areas where strategic improvements are needed. Criteria and definitions are available at