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ASM History

Through the Years

In 1950, a small group of subcontractors was alarmed by efforts to weaken a state law calling for competitive bidding of sub-trade work. Determined to preserve the law and protect subcontractor rights, they came together to form the Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts (ASM). 

Joe Corwin (1908-2002) and his wife and
law partner,Sally Corwin (1917-2004),
who dedicated their lives to protecting the rights of subcontractors.

With the help of legendary construction attorney Joe Corwin (whose law firm still serves as counsel to ASM today), the founding members formed a legislative committee and set to work. Over the next several years, they not only saved the law, but persuaded Beacon Hill lawmakers to expand it to further strengthen the protections for subcontractors.  As a direct result of their efforts, we have the law as it is today, with separate “filed sub bidding” by 17 sub-trades, as well as direct payment rights for subcontractors and a short, fair form of subcontract in use on all public building work.

Also thanks to the founders' work, we now have in ASM the only statewide association that remains dedicated exclusively to the business issues affecting subcontractors.

Today, ASM is the voice of subcontractors on Beacon Hill  — for all trades, both union and open shop.

Repeatedly, efforts have been made to weaken or repeal the state’s public bidding laws, and repeatedly, ASM has defeated those efforts through strong grassroots opposition. In 2004, ASM helped pass major Construction Reform Legislation that brought improvements to all aspects of public construction while preserving the best of the existing system — including competitive bidding for subcontractors.

Throughout the years, ASM has also been active on other legislative and legal issues affecting private as well as public sector work. One of our most significant accomplishments was passage of major reforms to the Massachusetts Mechanics Lien Law in 1996, achieved in cooperation with other industry groups after several years of negotiation.

While remaining true to our mission to protect the rights of subcontractors, ASM today focuses on providing important resources and connections to help our members build their businesses. We also work in cooperation with general contractors and architects to promote fair business practices that benefit the entire industry. 

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Joseph M. Corwin Award Winners

Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts, Inc. | One Washington Mall, 5th Floor | Boston, MA 02108
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© Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts, Inc. 2012