HAZLETON, Pa. — The DeAngelo family founded DBi in the late 1970s before selling the company in 2016. Now, the second generation of DeAngelos has a new company, and they're buying what remains of the one they left behind.
The news came more than a week ago. DBi announced it was shutting down and laying off 2,000 employees across 45 states. More than 150 of them worked out of the company's headquarters in Hazleton.
DeAngelo Contracting Services is purchasing all of DBi's assets in a multi-million dollar deal. The company has already hired back 260 of the employees DBi laid off, more than tripling its workforce.
It's a surreal moment for the co-founders.
"The majority of them, knowing our family knowing the business from before, we're super excited and extremely happy, as well as we were, to hear that this was going on and that we would be getting back into the business," Jarrod DeAngelo said.
Growing up, the DeAngelo's worked alongside many of the employees they are now bringing in to work for the family again. At least 50 are from the Hazleton area.
"It's home to us. We're doing this in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which is a home to a lot of them as well," Paul DeAngelo Jr. said. "We're super excited they don't have to find a job out of town or move out of state or something like that."
DCS wants to grow the business incrementally. It's not planning to reach the scale of DBi overnight.
"Our goal is to downsize the business to more of a manageable size. We don't plan on being in 45 states. We're not going to Canada," Paul Jr. said. "We have our top priority customers and clients that are very critical to the infrastructure of the country that is going to go to work for as soon as possible."
The founders are excited to take on the new challenge, already looking to expand facilities in Hazleton to make room for the new employees.
"Let's go to work," Jarrod said. "It's time; we're ready. We're doing our due diligence on the back end to make it happen, and these folks are really working hard day in and day out to make this thing as successful as possible."
The company's first hurdle is recovering everything it's buying from DBi. That includes some 2,000 vehicles and at least another 2,000 pieces of equipment spread across the country. They're sending out crews to locate those assets and bring them back.