Diann emailed this ad to me. It appeared in a local "dollar stretcher" type magazine that comes out once a month packed full of ads. Let me give my take on the ad. DISCLAIMER: I know nothing about the company featured in the ad, won't endorse them, won't criticize them. I simply don't know enough about them to form an opinion, but I'll talk about the ad in generalities.
1) When I began The Amish Cook column back in 1991, there were few Amish populations close to Dayton, Ohio. The closest were Berne, Indiana; Adams County, Ohio; and Hardin County, Ohio. That was it, and the populations still were largely agrarian. Fast-forward over 20 years later and you have Amish communities as close to Dayton as Wayne County, Indiana and Highland County, Ohio. I think it's absolutely plausible that a general contractor in Dayton has "Amish crews" working for them. I have first-hand experience in meeting some Amish laborers who used to hire a driver to take them to a construction project in Columbus, Ohio every day, an almost TWO HOUR drive each way. They did this Monday-Friday for two years. With farming no longer being the Amish mainstay and the economy being in the tank, Amish laborers will go far and wide for jobs.
2) SIGH: this ad IS an example of capitalizing on the Amish, trading off their good name. Disclaimer: I make my living as the Amish Cook's editor, so in a sense I am doing the same. That said, The Amish Cook is an actual person (which makes my job challenging) and I've been doing this for 20 years, long before some of these other outfits, like this one, came along.
3) BEWARE THE BROAD BRUSH: The reason ads like this work is that, yes, Amish craftsmanship is legendary and as a culture a strong work-ethic has been instilled in most Amish. This work ethic can result in some wonderful, sturdy carpentry. Does it mean ALL Amish workers are this way? No. There are fly-by-night Amish carpenters who do shoddy work. I still think the best way to get work done is word of mouth-recommendation. If your Aunt Louise had a deck built and she's satisfied, well grab the contractor!
4) INSURANCE: Amish contractors can be a lot cheaper because they don't carry the same insurance (workers comp, etc) that non-Amish are required to. They have a religious exemption and as they have been competing increasingly in the open marketplace, non-Amish workers are crying foul. What do you think, does this give them an unfair competitive advantage? If anyone has any experience with this company, let us know!