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August 6, 2020

What does ABC San Diego Mean to You?

When I ask members, students, graduates, vendors, and community leaders “What does ABC San Diego mean to you?” I receive quite a range of answers. It is a wonderful mosaic of responses which highlight the diverse chemistry that is ABC San Diego. For me, ABC San Diego is that emotional pride that grabs me to the point of a lump in my throat when I write about things like this:

Graduation: According to our Division of Apprenticeship Standards consultant, Victor Rodriguez and our Department of Labor Consultant, Arthur Page, ABC San Diego was the only San Diego apprenticeship program that provided a full service, drive through graduation complete with horns, confetti, pomp and circumstance, professional photography and personalized lawn signs for each graduate. Experiencing graduation with the graduates along with their multiple cars of emotional support groups (family and friends), there was that lump in my throat. If you are interested in sharing the experience here is the video reel highlights, click here.

Recruitment:  At home, dealing with a small home improvement project, a gentleman asked my fiancé about his ABCSD t-shirt. The explanation of my involvement followed. The gentleman later approached me and said, “Ma’am, my name is on the waiting list for your electrical program, my name is Eddie. Can you let me know how I am doing on the wait list? I am so excited to join the program.” There was that lump in my throat. I was so excited for him! This got me to thinking, how many Eddies are waiting to get into ABC San Diego and similar programs. With the changing world of hospitality, retail and other industries, how many more individuals could benefit from a training program like ABCSD? I wish we had the capacity to bring everyone in at once.

Politically Speaking: Working together with a diverse San Diego community, we are educating everyone on both sides of the aisle about our bipartisan effort to get more folks trained, broaden our workforce development efforts and ensure that all apprentices are working on San Diego projects. As a second-generation, native San Diegan, I want to see all San Diegans given the opportunity to work on San Diego landmark projects. When the construction community can collectively say, “We built that!” There is that lump in my throat. 

Teamwork: Between members helping members, staff helping members and staff helping staff, we have created quite a village here at ABC San Diego. We live by the mantra that we show up for “you and you” – the man/woman to your left and the man/woman to your right. We march in a line knowing that if we were to fall back, the member or staff next to you will be there to help you keep marching forward. Through the COVID-19 daily emails we have bonded. The staff and instructor team have an energy that propels us forward – even on the tough days. There is that lump in my throat.

I would love to hear what ABC San Diego means to you.  Feel free to engage in the conversation by emailing me at

Keep Pointing North,

Shandon Harbour

President & Chief Executive Officer
Associated Builders and Contractors - San Diego

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

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