Business Owner Uses Knowledge from National to Take His Company to the Next Level


Chris Ahlers, owner of Ahlers Contracting, has been working in the construction field since he was 17 years old.  He opened his own contracting business 11 years ago, but he knew that he needed management and computer training to take his company to the next level of success.

“I was always good at the hands-on part,  but I felt like I needed to get in and get some education on how to actually run the business and update myself with computer skills,” recalled Chris who enrolled, at the $$Florence Campus and graduated with his business administration—management associate’s degree in November, 2011.

When he decided it was time to return to school, Chris visited several colleges that were located close to his home.  He chose American National University over the rest because of the small class sizes that he found there.  He also liked the friendly and knowledgeable instructors at National who kept him interested and engaged during his classes.

Chris found that he was immediately able to put the computer skills and knowledge that he gained in his classes to use in his business. He also found his contract law and real estate law classes to be extremely beneficial.

Chris is proud that his contracting business has weathered the storm of bad economic times, and it is now flourishing. “We stayed alive, and I’m fortunate that I’m probably one out of every 3 [contracting companies] that’s actually still in business,” he said.

He feels that his degree from American National University has helped fuel the growth of his company. “I can tell that it’s helped my income because I’m more efficient with everything that I’m doing,” he explained.  “I’m a lot more organized. I used to be strictly a pen and paper guy, and it was way too much–scheduling and estimating and costs and just keeping track of it all.  Now, it’s just turn on my computer and there’s everything that I need.”

Pictured above is single dad Chris Ahlers who was able to run his business, care for his three children, and attend college with the help of the flexible class schedules and small class sizes that he found at American National University.

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