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Updated: July 27, 2020

Viking Construction’s focus on quality yields staying power, growth

Photo | Contributed Anthony Gaglio Sr. (left) with his son Anthony Gaglio Jr.


Category | 25-75 Full-Time Employees — Bridgeport-based Viking Construction Inc.

If Viking Construction Inc. had a company motto, it would be this: Always finish strong.

“Our clients and reputation are everything,” said company Vice President Anthony Gaglio Jr. “It’s important for us to leave a good impression.”

That reputation for quality has been a key to the Bridgeport-based company’s staying power and growth, Gaglio said. More than 80% of the company’s work is from repeat business, so ending a project on a high note is crucial.

What else sets Viking apart? Experience, investment in technology and commitment to community, Gaglio said.

“We’re always looking at how we can do [a job] better, safer and faster, and make it more efficient,” Gaglio said. “We never get complacent.”

Viking’s roots stretch back nearly a century, when Gaglio’s great-grandfather immigrated from Italy in 1927 and founded Frank Mercede & Sons construction company in Stamford, a predecessor to Viking.

Gaglio Sr. launched Viking in 1991 with his uncle, Frank Mercede Jr., who sold his stake to Gaglio Sr. in 2006.

The company has grown to 53 employees and boasts a portfolio of projects, many in the public sector, that run the gamut from public schools to assisted-living facilities, wastewater treatment plans, affordable housing complexes, churches, office buildings and more in Connecticut and New York state.

One of its recent high-profile jobs was construction of the Strawberry Hill K-8 Magnet School in Stamford, which is expected to open this fall. Another major project underway is the Willow Creek mixed-income housing community in Hartford.

One way Viking stays competitive is by embracing technology, said Gaglio. For example, it recently invested in software that uses GPS to help calibrate site work, telling a bulldozer how far to lower and lift its blades to remove the precise amount of topsoil a project requires.

Other technology investments have allowed the company to collaborate with clients virtually and keep worksites safe through cutting-edge surveillance tools.

Viking also prides itself on its community involvement. In 2012, it launched the Viking Construction Education Scholarship program as one way to give back to the community.

The four-year, $4,000 scholarship is offered annually to a high school senior or college student who has declared a construction-related major.

Gaglio said one aim of the scholarship is to highlight the benefits of a career in construction, which like many blue-collar industries has struggled to attract young talent to replace retiring workers.

“We’re hoping we can pique an interest,” Gaglio said.

Even as the company grows, Viking continues to treat employees like family, Gaglio said, with many members of the original team still working there today. Gaglio’s mother, Caroline, sister, Jessica, and brother, Chris, also work part time for the company.

“No one works for us, we all work together,” he said.

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