Annie Tooley

Conner Holmen


Conner grew up knowing he wanted to work in construction like his dad, who worked as a project manager for a construction management engineering firm.

“I’ve been around equipment since I could walk, and I always wanted to do this. My first job was landscaping during high school. As soon as I graduated, I started as a laborer at an excavation company when I was 18,” Conner said.

After spending a few years learning the ropes as a laborer, shop hand, pipelayer, and equipment operator, he decided it was time to start running his own company, In-Depth Excavation, full-time.

Once he quit his well-paying operator job, it didn’t take long for Conner to take on his first big project as a business owner. He recalled, “I started this company when we were given the opportunity to bid on a subdivision project. We took a leap of faith and rounded up a crew. We got with some dealers to get equipment, and we did a $3 million, 120-house subdivision as our very first project.”

While many developers are hesitant to award projects to brand-new companies, Conner thought In-Depth’s lack of experience may have helped land the job.

“I sat down with the developers who were investing in the project. They formed their company on a leap of faith, and they liked what I was trying to accomplish, so they gave me a chance,” he explained. 

Conner loved his career, and he had plenty of advice for young people who want to get into the industry:

“If this is your passion and is the industry you’re looking to get into, do anything you can do to get out there. When you get out of high school, think about taking a year before college and try something outside of your comfort zone. That could change everything. My younger sister is a college softball player. This isn’t what she wants to do with her career, but she’s worked for me for three years during the summer. She loves it, and she works hard.”

You're never too young to run your own Dirt World business—Conner was in his 20's when he started In-Depth Excavation. And one of the best ways to get there is by getting hands-on experience in the field. Learn about the Dirt World roles you can have that'll prepare you to run your own business. 

Role: Owner
Business Leader
Field Support

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