The Story of the MBA
In 1886 a group of contractors organized the Master Builders' Association of Western PA to fulfill a need for unified contractor representation in organized labor dealings. These men also recognized the value of promoting the common interests of those in the construction industry and the need to establish guidelines for quality and professionalism. Shortly after World War I, President Woodrow Wilson, realizing the acute need for a national cooperative effort on the part of the construction industry, suggested an idea which has matured into a national organization consisting today of over 33,000 construction contractors organized into 100 chapters throughout the fifty states and Puerto Rico - the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
In 1922, the MBA was proud to be recognized as one of the founding chapters of the AGC and a part of this huge family of builders boasting a combined annual volume in excess of $100 billion and providing employment to more than 3.5 million workers. Exposure to national construction trends and the availability of AGC resources and contacts help MBA members improve and expand their operations. To read the story of the original charter, click here.
Recognizing the need for specialized management and jobsite services, due to the complexity and sophistication of the construction industry, the MBA incorporated an industry advancement fund into the collective bargaining agreements to further enhance the contractor's competitive stance in the market. Founded in 1961, this industry fund, called the Construction Advancement Program (CAP), provides support services in the areas of safety, public relations, legislation, human relations, industry relations, education and apprenticeship.
To demonstrate its collaborative spirit, in 1985 the MBA expanded its membership to include respected subcontractor groups such as the Master Interior Contractors Association (MICA) and offered its administrative expertise to established organizations. Then in 1998 the MBA negotiated an unprecedented seven-year agreement with the Carpenters, Cement Masons, Laborers and Operating Engineers.
In 2009 the MBA added to its rich history by moving into its new headquarters, a 10,000 square foot building located in Green Tree. The building, which received a Gold LEED Certified Rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, is aesthetically striking and functional for the membership.
In 2011 the MBA celebrated its 125th Anniversary. This event was celebrated across the country in Harrisburg and Washington DC, during legislative sessions, and in Las Vegas at the AGC Annual Convention. In the region, the MBA used the landmark anniversary to unite with area owners and architects to remember the marquee projects that the membership has built since its inception in 1886.
Presently the MBA is the voice of construction in Western Pennsylvania. The combination of MBA services, its administration of CAP programs and national affiliation with the Associated General Contractors of America, assures architects, construction users and developers that MBA contractors provide the best value for the construction dollar.