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JANUARY 7, 2020

Keep Pointing North

When I was a young worker in the restaurant industry at the Chart House on Shelter Island, we would capitalize on many sailing themes.  One of them that resonated with me then, and still does today, is the saying “Keep Pointing North”.  Loosely translated, it reminds us to aim high, stay positive and keep going. I often use this phrase with staff and instructors and it is my inspiration heading into 2020.

A wise friend shared with me that the race in San Diego will be won by the organization that focuses on its education and training programs with an intent for continuous improvement.  With that in mind, ABCSD will focus much of our effort on improving our apprenticeship programs, our craft trainee programs (including the launch of two new trainee programs – carpentry and service/repair for HVACR) as well as enhancing our Health Benefit program and our committees – including an energized Young Professionals program which includes a mentorship component. 

Apprenticeship Programs.  Our members have been asking for certifications to be part of our program. Well, we’ve done it.  Apprentices across all levels are now able to participate in CPR/First Aid certification, forklift training, aerial boom lift training, heat illness training and crystalline silica training, providing value to the apprentice and the member contractor. 


The piece of feedback we received most about how to improve our program was “increase more lab time for the students.” So in 2020 we will be facilitating more hands-on lab time. 


Online Portals. Our Health Benefit Trustees have been working closely with our third-party administrator, Polycomp, who will be launching an electronic portal that will make it easier for members and students to interact with their health benefit trust information. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting update soon!


We will also be launching a portal in March for the apprentices to be able to submit on-the-job (OJT) hours electronically through a student portal. 


Our Message. Finally, we are going to be loud and proud about sharing our message to all our elected officials and community representatives.  We are meeting with community leaders and educating stakeholders about the life-changing work we do here at ABC San Diego.  Our students graduate with family-supporting, career sustaining jobs and we will be showcasing this all year in 2020.


We appreciate the participation of all our members in our mission to be the world-class construction organization in San Diego where we develop people and help our members win work.  

Keep Pointing North San Diego!

Shandon Harbour

President & Chief Executive Officer

Associated Builders and Contractors - San Diego



Welcome to the world Kaladin Taylor born January 1, 2020. Mom is our ABCSD Admissions Coordinator, Julie Taylor. Dad and husband is a United States Navy Firecontrol Man.


Welcome to the world London Aria Mai born August 30, 2019. Mom is our ABCSD Executive Assistant, Nicole Liu Mai and Dad is ABCSD graduate of our plumbing apprenticeship program, Tuan Mai, now with HPS Mechanical.  


Welcome to the board as our Chair-Elect, Russ Thurman, AJ Kirkwood and Young Professionals Chair 2020 and new board member, Preston Cavignac.

ABCSD  I  13825 Kirkham Way Poway, CA 92064  I  Tel: 858.513.4700  I  Fax: 858.513.2373  I  I

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