Mesabi Daily News by Bill Hanna
VIRGINIA — Ulland Brothers employees in northeastern Minneosta are getting used to their new $8 million surroundings in Virginia.
And they like the 40,000 square foot facility.
“It’s really good … really nice. It’s going to be a real good deal,” said Dave Debevec, vice president of human resources and safety for Ulland.
Debevec, who lives in Mountain Iron and is originally from Eveleth, said the new facility is geared toward the company’s employees and customers.
“The reason we went down this road is for a clean and healthy place for employees, includng a training room. It will be really good for customer service. It will be clean and healthy and strategic for our employees and customers,” said the 14-year Ulland employee.
The facility will be the base of operations for Ulland field work, maintenance and repair projects. It is consolidating the company’s operation into a new maintenance garage, warehouse facility and administration building just north of Highway 135 behind the St. Louis County motor pool.
Ulland Brothers is among the largest excavating and paving contractors in Minnesota.
The company was founded in 1920, when Oscar and Palmer Ulland began their woodcutting business with little more than a handsaw, an old Ford truck and a simple philosophy: Always keep your word to your customer, always do your best work, and success will follow.
Debevec said the mining downturn has had an impact, but Ulland is well prepared for mining ups and downs.
“Our workload is diversified enough to see us through. We do work with airports, cities, townships, counties and schools along with our mining work.
“We’re busy at the moment. And mining is not shutting down. Mines are still going and need support. And we’re a mining company in our own right with sand and gravel … mostly to support our own operations,” he said.