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By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Hiring seasonal workers

Albert Lea, MN (KTTC-DT) --

Lawmakers have praised the economic recovery act to grow jobs and retain them. Now that MnDOT has accepted many contracting bids, it's time for road construction crews to get back to work. Regular seasonal workers are more than happy to get back to work and bring home a steady paycheck for a while. They say it's a job, and that's all they can ask for.

Al Nurnberg just got hired a week ago at Ulland Brothers Construction in Albert Lea.

"The company I was working for, they down-sized a long ways, and you know, the summer didn't look good; they didn't have any work."

Nurnberg got lucky that Ulland Brothers needed a new mechanic for the upcoming busy season. And thanks to the recently passed economic recovery act, the company will actually have a busy season this summer.

"We're going to be able to probably add up to 8 people this year. And I think the bigger picture is, we're going to be able to retain a lot of our core employees that possibly without these projects would have been laid-off this year, this construction season," explains Ulland Brothers Inc. general manager Jeff Carlson.

Ulland Brothers received the bid from MnDOT to overlay two sections on Interstate 90, between Alden and trunk highway 13 in Albert Lea, and the eastbound lanes between Dexter and Olmsted County road 1. These stimulus projects allowed Carlson, to bring back 90 of his seasonal workers.

"We've kept a lot of these guys busy, you know, for 30 years, coming back here year after year. Again, with some of the funding shortfalls we've been experiencing in the last year, it's been tougher and tougher to bring them all back every year."

But there are many more resumes arriving every day to the office, requesting a job. Carlson says he's seeing more and more construction workers coming from the housing industry as well

"Probably well over 100, maybe 150 current applications."

Whether it's welding or operating a machine this summer, having one more job is just one less thing to worry about for these guys.

"Once everything gets rolling, everybody's busy, you know," says Nurnberg. "You don't have time to think about next year, really. You know, you have to worry about this year. Get through this year and whatever happens next year, is going to happen."

Ulland Brothers is still going to through resumes and accepting new ones. The company is set to start work around the end of April, once the road weight limit restrictions come down.

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