Skilled worker shortage looms for construction firms

After a year of persistent gains, construction confidence is leveling out.  It might be safe to say the recession is now a thing of the past.  But in some markets, contractors have an additional obstacle to worry about:  a lack of skilled labor.

A shortage of skilled workers is looming in the sector, which lost 2.3 million jobs during the 2007-2009 recession and has only recouped lass than half a million jobs, catching employers off guard and causing fear among many.  According to an Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) survey, 86% of construction companies plan to start hiring, however, 62 percent of firms are already complaining they cannot fill key professional and craft worker positions.  AGC represent 30,000 construction firms throughout the nation.  In particular, the key professional and craft worker positions such as equipment operators, laborers and project managers are the hardest to find.

It can be said that the worker shortage is that many contractors have a poor opinion of the local pipeline for preparing new workers and during the recession, construction workers who lost their employment found jobs in the Midwest, greatly in the oil fields of North Dakota; while others moved to healthcare and others were lost to early retirement.

The competition is definitely heating up for contractors as 52 percent of construction firms are losing workers to other construction companies.  As a result, companies are raising wages and improving benefits to retain workers.

Not only does the shortage of skilled workers effect the construction industry, but has become an issue for manufacturing; which was also hit hard by the recession.  Much of the problem is blamed on retiring baby boomers and the fact that construction and manufacturing remain unattractive career paths for high school graduates so training programs have shrunk or evaporated altogether.

For now, strong growth is expected in construction this year, driven largely by the private sector. Public sector spending on construction is expected to stabilize in Washington, as well as state and local government cases.  Contractors will continue to do their best at hiring the skilled labor and will spend more dollars in the future paying more for unskilled labor and spending the money to train themselves.

Sources:  Forbes and Reuters

Business Partners with Dulas Excavating Inc.

Dulas Excavating Inc. keeps WW Blacktopping of Mankato in their thoughts and prayers today.  As a result of a fire, WW Blacktopping has lost all of their office, shop and most of the archived documents.  Take a moment to send your thoughts and prayers to Mitch, his staff and crews and they begin to rebuild.

View Article at Mankato Free Press.

Dulas Excavating Inc. is a business partner with WW Blacktopping on many of the Southern Minnesota area commercial work.

Dulas Excavating part of ABC Awards

Congratulations go out to the Joseph Company of Austin on receiving the Pyramid Award for Renovation at the ABC MN/ND Construction Awards Banquet in January.  Dulas Excavating Inc. was honored to be part of their celebration as a team member of the Riverland College Early Childhood Care & Education Center.

The project consisted of remodeling an existing vehicle repair/storage garage on the campus in Austin, MN into a state-of-the-art 18,000 sf Child Care Facility and 18,000 sf outdoor playground.  Dulas Excavating Inc. was part of the interior demolition and site work team to remove the interior walls of the vehicle shop as well as the concrete floor and full length trench drain throughout the building.  Dulas also regraded the site away from the playground and installed storm sewer to pull the water away from the building.

The Joseph Company and subcontractors achieve a perfect safety record on the project having performed over 19,000 man-hours with zero safety incidents or injuries.

ABC Awards

RJ Ahmann Company merges with David Martin Agency

RJ Ahmann Company has announced a merger with David Martin Agency effective January 1, 2014.  The combined companies will go forward together under the name Ahmann-Martin.  The merger allows both companies to grow while remaining independent and employee owned.

RJ Ahmann, now Ahmann-Martin, is the insurance company for Dulas Excavating Inc. and leads the construction industry in Minnesota for coverage for high risk construction projects.  On behalf of the Heavy Highway Construction Industry, we congratulate Ahmann-Martin on their exciting news and look forward to your continuing service with the construction industry.

Dulas Excavating awarded Thorne Crest Assisted Living Project

Dulas Excavating has been awarded site grading and demolition for the renovation and addition of the Thorne Crest Assisted Living Facility in Albert Lea.  The project consists of construction and renovation of the existing Thorne Crest facility including adding a new Wellness Center.  The project will demolish the old garages and former office building to make room for a new, more space efficient garage structure, along with new parking lot across the whole site.

The project is slated to begin in the early months of 2014.

Dulas Excavating Inc. congratulates I&S Group for their new acquisition of Paulsen Architects

Congratulations goes out to I&S Group of Mankato, MN, for the newly acquired Paulsen Architects. Dulas Excavating Inc. has worked closely with both I&S Group and Paulsen Architects on previous projects and look forward to working with the newly formed group in the near future on projects throughout Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

I& Group is a full-service architecture, engineering and planning firm established in 1973 and is headquartered out of Mankato, MN.  More information can be found at

Congratulations again to the I&S Group.

Thank You Veterans

Dulas Excavating Inc. wishes to express their gratitude and thanks to all of those serving, have served and will be serving to defend and protect our country on this Veterans Day 2013.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. –John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Demolition continues to be a high-risk industry

The Dulas family, along with their employees and staff send their condolences to the Rachel Family in St. Michael, MN, today as Rachel mourns the loss of one of their own, killed in a demolition accident in St. Paul.

This has long been a nightmare of demolition contractors, that one day an employee will not go home with the high risk that demolition carries.  Professionals not familiar with the industry find it hard to understand why simply “taking a building down” could be so hard.

Our prayers are with you on this day, Don and the Rachel Companies.


Dulas Excavating announced as sponsor of Wells Kernel Days

Dulas Excavating Inc. is proud to announce that they are again a proud sponsor of the Wells Kernel Days Celebration.  Dulas will be the lone sponsor of the inflatables on the midway for children young and old.

To see additional activities for the Wells Kernel Days celebration, you can check out the Chamber link at or we have included a copy of the schedule below.


Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events


Positions Available

Dulas Excavating Inc. is currently seeking to fill the following positions:

  • Truck Drivers
  • Equipment Operators
  • Drivers/Laborers

For these positions, all qualified individuals must have a Class A CDL License with a current DOT Medical Card and successfully pass a pre-employment drug screen.  Truck Drivers should have previous experience in the construction industry driving Straight Trucks, Belly Dumps and End Dumps.  Hauling Heavy Equipment is a plus.  Willing and able to work some weekends, including overtime.  All driving and operating positions include laboring.  Good benefits and health insurance for qualified individuals.  Operators should have experience with mid-size excavators and dozers, as well as loaders and skid loaders.

Apply in person to our office at 964 Hwy. 109 E., Wells, MN.