Jim Nesius, CEO of Wells Concrete

Our condolences go out to the Nesius Family, our neighbors and business partners, at the loss of their dad, brother and uncle; as well as the CEO for Wells Concrete, Jim Nesius.  Our hearts are with you at this difficult time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.wrightfuneral.com/…/James-A…/Lake-Park-MN/1656443

Ike Welcomes new Son

Ike and Kristen Dulas are happy to announce the birth of their son, Grayson Jerome to the family.  Grayson was born Sunday, March 6th, at a healthy 8 lb. 13.8 oz., despite being two weeks early!  Older sister, Juliana (3), will welcome Grayson home.  We welcome Grayson to the Dulas Family!

Power Plant Expansion earns EIC Pyramid Award

The Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s (SMMPA) Power Plant expansion in Fairmont, MN, was awarded the Pyramid Award for Excellence in Construction by Associated Builders and Contractors at the Excellence in Construction Awards Banquet in January.  As part of the construction team, Dulas Excavating was able to attend and accept the award alongside the Joseph Company, the general contractor of the project.

The Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency entrusted their $8.8M expansion of their power plant in Fairmont to Dulas Excavating and the Joseph Company.  The project was programmed to accommodate four new power generators delivered from Germany.

Along with the mass deconstruction of the outdated coal powered plant, special challenges to complete the project were place four mass foundations pads to bear the generators as well as unloading and placing the generators, weighing 97 tons each.

As testimony to the performance for SMMPA, Peter Reinarts, Manger of Generation & Operations, summarized it well by saying, “We relied heavily on their expertise and they went out of their way to build a better power plant.  I cannot say enough how happy we were with the performance.”

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Welcome Michael Michaelis to our Engineering Team

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We are pleased to introduce Michael Michaelis to our Project Engineering Team.  2015 brought wonderful growth to Dulas Excavating Inc., and Michael will be helping out splitting his time in the office with Estimating and Project Engineering, as well as in the field, filling in where needed.

Michael originally started in the field in April 2015 and quickly moved forward in learning how the business works more and expressed his interest in a more in-depth position.  Mike’s main responsibilities will include estimating with AgTek and HCSS, project management working with our subcontractors and vendors; and field engineering with the GPS layouts and client interaction.

Michael comes to us by way of the North Dakota “oil patch”.  He is looking forward to being home every night with his wife, Melissa and two children, Lyla (6) and Royce (5).

Please welcome Mike when you see him around Dulas Excavating and introduce yourself.  He can be reached in our office at 507-553-3938 or email at Michaelis@DulasExcavating.com.

 

 

Establishing Safety as Everyone’s Core Value

Consider these two safety vision statements:

  • “On every project, at all times, safety is our top priority.”
  • “We make no compromise with respect to morality, ethics or safety. If a design or work practice is perceived to be unsafe, we do not proceed until the issue is resolved.”

Both sound great on the surface, yet they reflect two distinctly different safety cultures that are then reflected in the firm’s overall safety performance. The company that considers safety a “top priority” has a total recordable incidence rate (TRIR) twice the national average for a construction company of its size and work type. In contrast, the TRIR for the company that won’t proceed until safety issues are resolved is 0.20. That’s 95 percent below the industry average.

The simple reason behind such vastly different performance metrics lies in how the companies’ leadership and, as an extension, their employees, perceive safety. When safety is perceived as a priority, it means that other priorities—such as schedules and cost overruns—can move to the top of the list. The emphasis on performing work safely, every single time, without exception, is at risk of lagging or being shunned completely. When this type of inconsistent climate is established, safety is only important when things are going well.

A true world-class safety culture—one where a near-miss, let alone an incident, must be remedied immediately—designates safety as a core value upon which every decision, big or small, is based. The foundation of that culture is leadership’s uncompromising commitment to achieving a zero-incident jobsite and their unwillingness to waver from safety as their core value. The structure of a world-class safety culture comes from the belief that not only is every incident preventable, but also that all employees are responsible for their safety and the safety of those around them.

This sounds great in theory, but what about when there are 150 employees on five different jobsites and superintendents with three distinctly different leadership styles? Or what about the prospect of implementing an uncompromising approach to safety with 4,000 employees worldwide?

Transforming a corporate safety culture isn’t as difficult as it may seem. Again, it all starts with the CEO and senior leadership’s commitment to sending every employee home in the same, or better, condition than which they arrived, and exhibiting that commitment to all employees. That causes a trickle-down effect: Regional managers and superintendents see this commitment to safety as the core value and begin to use it with their crews.

Leaders should reward individuals who stop work when they recognize a hazard or who help a fellow employee safely tie off, rather than basing awards on the number of hours worked without a lost-time incident.

When Paul O’Neill took over as CEO of Alcoa in 1987, he stated unequivocally that his core value was a zero-injury workplace. He needed to change the culture.

Because of O’Neill, the automatic routine at Alcoa became that whenever an injury occurred, the unit president had to report it to the CEO directly within 24 hours and present a plan to ensure that the type of incident never occurred again. Employees who embraced the system were promoted. Floor employees became supervisors, supervisors became directors and directors became vice presidents—if they committed to zero injuries and to learning everything possible from incidents to prevent a recurrence.

What happened next was astonishing: Not only did Alcoa’s safety program change from reactive to proactive, but its entire culture shifted. The keystone safety habits O’Neill instituted resulted in new corporate habits that streamlined the company’s manufacturing process and increased profits (as well as employee salaries).

Transforming a safety culture from one where safety is a priority to one where safety is the core value doesn’t have to be difficult; it just takes commitment and instilling the importance that each team member performs their duties safely and watches out for their coworkers. It means building relationships among employees so that everyone understands that safety isn’t about individuals, but rather the people they work with and their families. It’s an interdependent effort and can be achieved regardless of the company’s size.

Article by Chris Williams, who is the Safety Director for Associated Builders and Contractors.

Employment Opportunities – Truck Drivers

2015 Truck Drivers for Construction Season

Open Date:  3/13/15
Close Date:  5/15/15
Positions Available:  4

Work Type:  Belly Dump, End Dump, Straight Truck Drivers

Work Days:  Weekday, Saturday, Work Varies; 50 hours per week

Benefits:  Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Health Savings Account, Paid Time Off (PTO), Holiday pay, Davis-Bacon Fringe Benefits

Required Skills:  Must have a Class A CDL with Air Brake endorsement and be able to pass a DOT required physical exam.
Experience Required:  18 months

Preferred Skills:  Tanker and Hazardous Materials endorsements preferred

The successful candidate for this seasonal position will possess a Class A CDL with a good driving record.  They will be able to travel to our projects throughout the area.  Some overnights are required, but will mostly be home nightly.

Salary Offered:  $14.00 to $16.00 hourly, dependant on experience.

Interested parties must personally stop into our company office in Wells to submit a job application.
Address:  964 Highway 109 East, Wells.

Contact Crystal Dulas with any questions at 507-553-3938.

Uncompromising Leadership: The Foundation of a World-Class Safety Program

At the start of 2015, Dulas Excavating Inc. sat down with management and created the goals for the year.  At the top of the list, was to up the ante on our safety program.  As we work through the difficulties to create a world class Safety Program, direct connection to the construction industry is realized.  We start by looking at our management to lead by example.

What terms come to mind when thinking of the world’s greatest leaders? Strong. Visionary. Motivational. Committed.  Uncompromising.

Good leaders are liked by their subordinates because they maintain peace and calm. However, great leaders are respected and adored. People will change their lifestyles and their philosophies to achieve their vision of success.

In order to motivate a group of individuals to achieve a common set of goals, great leaders understand that they must lead by example and never compromise on their beliefs. Great leaders foster a culture of excellence, where everyone not only believes in the organization’s core values, but also practices them in every facet of their work.

So, how does great leadership relate to construction safety? Quite simply, it is the foundation upon which all world-class safety cultures are built. Without a leader who truly believes that every single injury and incident is preventable—and expresses that heartfelt belief through his or her daily actions—a culture cannot be built where all employees believe they will return home safely and in the same (or better) condition than which they arrived on the jobsite that morning.

Without a leader who refuses to compromise on safety as the core value upon which all decisions are based—be it with corporate management, the men and women in the field or the clients who pay the bills—the systems and processes that make up a company’s safety program and the actions of those on the jobsite become poisoned and ineffective.

Leadership commitment means the president or CEO not only believes that every single injury and incident is preventable, but also works tirelessly to reinforce that belief among all employees.

One letter from an insurance carrier explaining how a company’s experience modification rate (EMR) had increased due to a serious injury stated: “While the primary goal is not to have accidents, some incidents are unavoidable.” When statements such as these invade a company’s safety philosophy, it’s a clear sign the culture is flawed. In this instance, leadership has accepted the perceived inevitability that one of their employees will be injured on the job. They may be committed to a zero-incident jobsite, but they don’t truly believe in it. That works its way through the company and becomes accepted by employees and management, and the results can be fatal.

Uncompromising leadership means a leader refuses to bend his or her core beliefs for the sake of profits or schedules. Great leaders believe and reinforce that safety isn’t a priority, but rather a core value of the company. Priorities change; core values do not. It is the fundamental basis on which a firm operates and for the decisions it makes. Uncompromising leadership manifests itself in many ways:

  • expecting employees to stop work when faced with a potentially hazardous situation and rewarding them for protecting themselves and others;
  • pulling employees from a jobsite if they believe the owner or general contractor has emphasized delivery dates over the safety of their people; and
  • walking the jobsite in full PPE so employees see that even the CEO must follow the policies and procedures that he or she has helped create.

Leadership is critical when transforming a safety program from good to world-class. Without the commitment of senior leadership to achieve a zero-incident workplace, jobsite conditions and attitudes will not change.

This excerpt was taken from Construction Executive, Workplace and Safety, written by Joanna Masterson.  Follow @ConstructionMag; @DulasExcavating;

Business Associate & Friend of Dulas Excavating, Mark J. Mensing passes

It is with deep sadness that we announce that our friend and business associate, Mark J. Mensing from United Builders of Blue Earth, has lost his battle with an aggressive form of cancer on July 20th, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth.

United Builders, along with Mark and Jerry Dulas, go back 30 years together working on different projects together, most recently with our second generation at the United Hospital District Renovation and Addition, in Blue Earth.  Mark was extremely dedicated to his job and proud of the construction business him and his partner, Kurt Abel had formed more than 30 years ago.  Mark will truly be missed in the Southern Minnesota construction arena and our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark’s business family as well as his personal family.  We have included Mark’s obituary below.

 

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BLUE EARTH

MARK J. MENSING

MARK J. MENSING, age 60, of Blue Earth, passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014, at Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 26, 2014, at 11:00 AM, at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth, with Fr. Peter Schuster officiating.  Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Blue Earth.  Visitation time will be from 4:00pm‑7:00pm Friday, July 25, 2014, at Patton Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 400 E. 14th Street in Blue Earth, and 1 hour before the service at the church.  Web tributes may be left at www.pattonfh.com

He was born April 29, 1954, at Blue Earth, the son of Norbert J. and Selma (Klatt) Mensing.  He graduated from Blue Earth High School in 1972, and later attended Mankato State College.  On August 26, 1978 he married Mary M. Vosler.

Mark was very dedicated and proud of the work that he and partner Kurt Abel and all the staff at United Builders have accomplished over the years. He enjoyed fishing trips to Canada with friends and family, and most of all time together with his wife, children, and granddaughter Zoa.

He is survived by his spouse, Mary Mensing of Blue Earth, son, Paul Mensing of Rochester, daughter, Nicole (Bart) Oelke of Blue Earth, sister, Carol Timmons of New Prague, sister, Sharon (Steve) Mastain of Minneapolis, sister, Diane (Jim) McNulty of Minneapolis, brother, Mike (Sue) Mensing of Blue Earth, brother, Dan (Becky) Mensing of Blue Earth, and granddaughter, Zoa Oelke of Blue Earth.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Linda Tenquist, and brother-in-law, Pat Timmons.

A memorial has been established with UHD Hospice in Mark’s name.

 

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.