George Haley, general manager of Dokoozian Construction LLC, says it might sound corny to use the word “family” to describe his relationship with Allied Steel Construction Inc. However, after more than 30 years working with CEO Delbert Cederberg and watching his son Arthur work his way to company president, he isn’t sure there is a better word.
“Our offices used to be very near each other, walking distance, just down the street at one time,” Haley said. “I watched the kids grow up and Arthur take over the team. Even now I can drive to the shop and talk like we were family. In fact, Delbert stopped in and we caught up the other day.”
Though Arthur Cederberg handles the day-to-day operations as president, Delbert Cederberg has built a solid reputation for Allied Steel since establishing the company in 1974. Arthur joined the company as a teenager in 1984 sweeping floors and learning the business. In 1999, Allied Steel became a corporation, and the majority of responsibility transferred from father to son. In 2010, Allied Steel became Anchorage’s first and only Municipality of Anchorage-certified structural fabricator.
The scope of its business has changed only slightly over the years with a primary focus on fabricating and supplying structural and miscellaneous steel for commercial, industrial and residential buildings. This includes the fabrication of specialty steel staircases, handrails, ladders and canopies. Plus, work on a few unique projects such as building many of the cages at the Alaska Zoo and new caging for the upcoming polar bear Maternity & Transition Facility.
In the past, Allied Steel produced a large number of sculptures that can still be found across the state. The most well-known is “Arctic Amphibian,” an abstract sculpture at the Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Fairbanks; a model of the sculpture is on permanent display in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
“We have one of the best reputations in Alaska resulting from years of delivering projects on time and steel that is detailed and fabricated correctly and fits together in the field with no problems,” Delbert Cederberg said.
“Everything in this business is about reputation, and Allied is at the top of that list,” said Robby Capps, president of F&W Construction. Capps said F&W’s relationship with Allied Steel began as a friendship between Delbert and his grandfather Al Wiederholt well before he joined F&W in 1988.
Over the years, Allied Steel has worked on numerous projects with F&W, including antenna structures, structural steel buildings and most recently the FAA’s Seismic Improvements at Anchorage Center.
Capps describes Allied Steel as an Alaska company that is always there for its customers, they’re all about service, and they always go the extra mile.”
Haley echoes Capps assessment, saying the quality output is consistent. Likewise, the company is always willing to help out with installation projects of all types and sizes.
Allied Steel has been an AGC of Alaska member since 1997. Delbert Cederberg said that AGC has helped connect his company with local contractors and suppliers and he has made good use of its Online Plans center.
The growth of Allied Steel from 1974 to now continues. Back then Delbert Cederberg ran the company alone. Now the roster is made up of 14 employees including Arthur Cederberg; Arthur’s wife, Sasha; and two of Delbert’s grandsons. Not that there haven’t been challenges.
Delbert Cederberg said that deal-ing with new specifications and government regulations has created more red tape. Finding employees with the right mix of skills can also be difficult, especially in an age when people focus more on specialization. And, of course, no one can ignore the looming recession in the state.
Still Allied Steel plans to forge forward, acquiring new customers and building the next generation of structures in Alaska.
Rachael Kvapil is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Fairbanks.