Power lineman starts own firm, State Line Construction

For 25 years, Ernest Coger has worked as a journeyman lineman. That means when it comes to fixing power lines or streetlights or traffic signals, he was the guy who climbed up to the problem and solved it.

Over the years he watched a number of his friends and colleagues branch out, start their own businesses and enjoy the successes of owning their own business. That turned on the CFL over Coger's head.

"They gave me the same idea," Coger says.

That was the genesis of State Line Construction and Maintenance. The company based in northwest Detroit (Puritan and Greenfield) specializes in repairing and building out the infrastructure of power lines, streetlights and traffic signals. The firm got its start helping reconstruct the eastern seaboard after Hurricane Sandy.

That allowed Coger to add two more work trucks to his fleet, which currently stands at six vehicles. The minority-owned company currently employs two people but Coger expects to staff up to 15 within the next year as he works to land contracts with the likes of DTE Energy and the State of Michigan.

"There is a lot of work out here right now," Coger says. "There is a lot of opportunity. I feel like I can be part of it."

Source: Ernest Coger, owner of State Line Construction and Maintenance
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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