“Try and better yourself one percent a day, and by the end of the month you’ll be 30 percent better than when you started.”
That’s the advice Dillon Talberg, a fourth-generation Local 49 member from Gilman, Minnesota, says has inspired him to remain successful throughout his six years being a member.
Talberg said his interest in working in the construction industry began when he was four years old going on the job site with his father.
“My dad was a crusher operator and would take me out to the job site all the time. So, after I graduated from high school, I knew that I wanted to be in construction,” Talberg said.
While Talberg found a job within the industry out of high school, he knew that he needed more experience to make it further.
“I attended Central Lakes College for their 13-month heavy equipment program, but after graduating, I spoke with an instructor at the Local 49 Training Center who gave me more information about joining the union,” Talberg said.
Talberg officially became a Local 49 member when he landed a job with Minnesota Utilities and Excavating where he worked primarily on highway heavy jobs.
While Talberg started working in highway heavy, he quickly learned that wasn’t his true passion.
“I completed pipeline training at the Local 49 Training Center and eventually got into doing some directional drilling, and I just fell in love with it,” he said.
“I was fortunate because my uncle got me on the Dakota Access Pipeline Access job, which was a huge opportunity for me,” Talberg added.
Working on the Dakota Access Pipeline project not only taught him so much about the industry but about the comradery that being a Local 49 member brings.
“There were more than 100 years of experience on that crew altogether. They taught me to learn anything and everything I can, pay attention to my surroundings, and that if I can’t make it out here, I can’t stay. That just gave me the motivation to try harder and do my best every single day, Talberg said.”
The Dakota Access Pipeline project isn’t the only high-profile job Talberg has been a part of. He has worked on pipeline projects stretching from Sacramento, California to Washington, DC.
“It’s cool traveling to new places, meeting new people that come from a different lifestyle and truly making good friends,” Talberg said.
Talberg added the pace and frequency of the work are what drew him toward working on pipelines.
“Whether it’s snowing, raining, or sunny, we’re still working. I figure I’ll spend my twenties and thirties busting my butt now and accomplish everything I can,” he said.
Becoming a Local 49 member is something that Talberg says he is immensely proud of and he hopes the legacy will continue.
“My family is very supportive of me and impressed with everything that I have accomplished since leaving high school. I’m proud to be a 49er, and I hope one day if I have kids that they’ll decide to join,” Talberg said.
For more stories like Dillon’s visit www.local49.org