Alex Dahler, of Dahler Electric, is a new electrical contractor in the Mahoning Valley.

Contractor profile: Dahler Electric striving for big business

Dreaming big is something Alex Dahler hasn’t stopped doing since he became an electrician. His interest in the trade started during his high school days. He then attended Mahoning County Career and Technical Center for the electrical program.

After graduating in 2013, he got into the apprenticeship program with IBEW Local 64. He worked for RLM Electric and “Joe” Dickey Electric before starting his own company, Dahler Electric.

Alex Dahler, owner of Dahler Electric, has big plans for growth over the next year and beyond.

Planning for growth

With testing and the first year of business in the rearview mirror, it’s safe to say Dahler is building momentum.

“Being on my own has always been my goal.”

However, the vision doesn’t stop there.

“I want to basically get out there with the bigger companies. There’s not many doing it. A lot of people want to stay small, but I want to be the competition,” he said.

Right now, he’s primarily doing residential and small commercial projects. Recently, he was at Lake Park Tool & Machine replacing old bulbs with new LED lights.

Dahler currently has two employees working with him but hopes to grow by two more within the next year.

“It’s hard to find people who are dependable. I’ve had employees before who just didn’t show up.”

Replacing old bulbs at Lake Park Tool & Machine with LED lights.

He says the ability to ask the union for help finding workers is beneficial.

“They’re already somewhat trained and not new to the industry. They just have to be willing to keep learning.”

Dahler believes that’s a key component to a successful career.

“Just soak up everything like a sponge. If this is what you want to do, things will just take off from there.”

What an apprenticeship means

Like Dahler, an electrician apprenticeship can mean earning a sustainable wage right out of high school. That’s something he’s grateful for and encourages the younger generation to consider.

“You can put a lot of money away quickly. You’re making money at the same time as you’re learning. There’s no debt at all – compared to going to college or something like that.”

Besides more financial freedom, it’s a skill that’s needed everywhere. He also finds that making connections along the way is important.

“You start building contacts with everybody you work for and get in a groove with the other trades as well,” Dahler said.

Dahler has two employees but hopes to add two more in the near future.

Full speed ahead

Although busy, his outlook for the coming years is bright. He admits there are still things to get used to when it comes to running a business.

“What’s different about being on my own is that nothing stops. There are long days, and I’m always trying to balance time with family and other things, but it’s non-stop.”

He does acknowledge the perks of being his own boss.

“The best part is the freedom. I get to make my own schedule. Once I get a couple more people, I’ll hopefully have someone to be more of a manager. Then, I’ll be able to step back a little bit and deal with more business aspects,” Dahler said.

One of his first jobs in 2024 will be moving to a place on McClurg Road in Boardman. It’s an old machine shop that’s rented out to multiple businesses. He’s excited to have more space and continue to grow.

Dahler Electric is a member contractor of NECA-IBEW Electricians, an association of IBEW Local 64 in Youngstown, IBEW Local 573 in Warren and signatory electrical contractors throughout the Mahoning Valley.