High Unemployment? Al Dosch says he can’t find workers!
The national unemployment rate remains over 9% and Montana's rate is still near 8-percent, so you might be surprised to hear Al Dosch of Al's Diesel in Cut Bank say he can't find workers. Al blames the structure of the current structure of unemployment and welfare benefits.
"Right now, If I could find 'em, I would hire 10 more workers by tomorrow morning." If we could find people who have a general idea of what we're doing and "wants to work, we'll even train them." He says, don't get me wrong, there are people out there who need our help, but too many able-bodied people would rather take what the government will give them and not have to work. If he could sit next to President Obama and suggest what's needed to create jobs, he would first say re-structure the welfare-unemployment structure and make all able-bodied people work.
Al is proud of what he calls the "best benefits package in the state." If more private business would pay the benefits package, "like I believe in, people would take the jobs and know they're going to be taken care of.
And then there's the issue of State and Federal regulation. Dosch says "with what it's costing us to satisfy the Federal government on emission controls and stuff, we could probably put 20 new people on tomorrow morning." Dosch says he loves to fish and used to hunt and says we need clean air, water and we need to protect wildlife, but "We're going so overboard with controls, emissions and stuff, it's not doing anybody any good.
Al's diesel fabricates large diesel engines mostly for the oilfield. Their engines are being used in every country in the world and Al estimates they will run 50-million dollars worth of product thru their shop next year.
Dosch bought the business in 1972 and moved it to Cut Bank in 1974 to be closer to the oilfields. The business had its ups and downs in the 80's but his determination kept it going and eventually thriving. Al and his son David moved the business to their current location in 2006 to a massive shop complex along Highway Two. The company currently employs 27 people and as we've said would like to employ more.
When the multi-million dollar shop was built, a portion of the upstairs was built for miscellaneous storage..........capable of holding more than 100-thousand pounds, far more than would ever be needed, but it still wasn't good enough for State & Federal building codes. "They made us tear it all down and build it to where right now we could put 350-thousand pounds up there......which is useless, worthless and will never be used. He estimated it added another 50-thousand to the building cost.
One other issue that Dosch is adamant about is that by law he cannot have anyone under 18 in his shop. If you can't have any young people on the floor, how, he asks "can you teach them to work. He says my dad taught me to work and I taught my son to work and his son David will....one of these days take the business over. He does alot now. Al, at age 80 isn't ready to quit quite yet.