Louisiana, Virginia and North Carolina earned the top three rankings in Associated Builders and Contractors’ latest update to “Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard,” which grades states on their prevailing wage and project labor agreement (PLA) policies, Right to Work status, construction job growth rate, commitment to developing a well-trained workforce, career and technical education (CTE) opportunities and results, and use of public-private partnerships.

Illinois, New Mexico and Alaska ranked as the three worst environments for merit shop contractors. Each received a “D” or “F” grade for their policies on PLA and prevailing wage mandates and failure to adopt a Right to Work law; plus, they received poor marks for workforce development incentive programs and their records on CTE graduate placement.

The scorecard highlights states that have created a free enterprise-based environment where merit shop contractors are well positioned to succeed and calls attention to states where strategic improvements need to be made. A full list of state rankings, as well as criteria and definitions, is available at meritshopscorecard.org.