WASHINGTON, Dec. 21— Tennessee ranks 12th in state rankings for construction business climate, according to the 2021 Associated Builders and Contractors Merit Shop Scorecard.

Tennessee returned to the top tier of the rankings this year based on the state’s continued encouragement of fair and open competition. Rounding out the top five, South Carolina ranked third, Georgia ranked fourth and Wisconsin ranked fifth. Other states to receive an A ranking in 2021 include Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, and West Virginia.

“The resiliency of our outstanding industry has been on full display throughout the year,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC’s vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs. “From economic and regulatory headwinds to talent shortages, supply chain bottlenecks, high inflation rates and a lingering pandemic, ABC member companies continue to invest in their people and deliver work safely, ethically and profitably. The top states in this year’s rankings set the standard nationwide in policies and programs that enable our contractors to do what they do best in delivering work that betters our communities. Equipping the construction workforce with the tools to succeed, such as policies that create an exemplary business environment for merit shop construction contractors, is important for local and nationwide economic stability and the future vitality of this industry, especially considering the expected increase in public construction projects in the coming year.”

Notable drops in the 2021 rankings include Massachusetts, which fell eight spots due to a decreased investment in workforce development and subsequent outcomes, and Virginia, which fell six spots due to its final implementation of both a costly and unnecessary prevailing wage and the repeal of policy of government neutrality on project labor agreements. The bottom tier of states includes Alaska, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Illinois and Washington, each receiving F ratings in project labor agreements, prevailing wage and right-to-work policies.

“We are proud to play a key role in keeping Tennessee open for business for the construction industry,” said ABC Greater Tennessee President, Clay Crownover. “From the numerous training opportunities we provide to advocating on behalf of fair and free regulatory policies, we will continue to advocate on policies to keep our industry thriving for many years to come.”

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Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 21,000 members from more than 19,000 construction and industry-related firms. 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 they work. Visit us at www.abctennessee.com.