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GLENS FALLS — Tom Albrecht faced a decision after playing defensive tackle for two seasons for The Greenjackets local semi-professional team in the mid-1970s.

To accomplish his goal of starting a construction business, he would have to give up football, because he couldn’t risk getting hurt and missing work if he was self-employed.

So at 19, he gave up football and launched Hilltop Construction, and on Thursday he was celebrating the business’ 40th anniversary with a reception at The Queensbury Hotel.

Albrecht, who graduated from Hudson Falls High School and the regional BOCES building trades program, went directly from school to work without attending college.

“I’m a success story that is not usual,” he said.

Albrecht is now one of five family co-owners of the Hudson Falls-based company that employs 26 people, with business about evenly split between residential and commercial construction.

“It’s about building relationships, and that’s what we’ve done over the years,” he said.

Commercial customers include Stewart’s Shops, Six Flags Great Escape and Glens Falls National Bank.

Customers and friends donated items for a silent auction at the reception to benefit Tri-County United Way.

Albrecht was adding to the auction proceeds to bring the total contribution to $10,000.

“This was about giving back to the community,” he said.

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Follow staff writer Maury Thompson at All Politics is Local blog, at PS_Politics on Twitter and at Maury Thompson Post-Star on Facebook.

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