Burns & McDonnell announced the firm will hire a record 1,000 employees by the end of 2018 and plans to continue to hire 1,000 new employees each year for the foreseeable future. To accommodate that growth, the firm is embarking on phase two of the World Headquarters Expansion with the addition of a 142,000-square-foot, four-story office building and a 550-stall parking garage addition, with partners VanTrust Real Estate.
Currently, the firm has offices in Charlotte, NC and Raleigh, NC, and is planning to open an office in Greenville, SC.
“Burns & McDonnell has a 120-year history of commitment to investing in Kansas City’s infrastructure and creating new jobs,” says Ray Kowalik, chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell. “As a 100 percent employee-owned firm, we credit our entrepreneurial atmosphere, where everyone has a chance to make an impact. As we hire 1,000 new employees each year, we will continue to grow in Kansas City and outside our community, with more than 50 percent of our employees based outside of Kansas City in offices across the country and throughout the world.”
Industries Driving Growth
Kowalik notes a few key trends in the sectors the firm serves:
-A strong economy, due in part to new corporate tax law changes and low energy prices, leading to major investments coming back to the U.S., including chemicals markets.
-The power sector remains strong for Burns & McDonnell. As the generation mix in the U.S. changes caused by more natural gas generation, renewable energy and energy storage creating opportunities in the transmission and distribution and generation markets.
-With a need for greater resiliency in the essential infrastructure our country depends on, the federal budget includes significant funding increases for the Department of Defense and other agencies, much of which will help rebuild and modernize aging facilities.
-Airline passenger traffic is at record levels with growth in the double digits, stressing commercial service airports in North America and the world, presenting opportunities to partner on programs to alleviate congestion.
Kowalik cites project owners wanting more schedule and budget certainty as factors behind the growth forecast. Burns & McDonnell has seen several consecutive years of growth in design-build and engineer-procure-construct project delivery methods that are proven to speed construction and maintain cost control.
“Our diverse business lines allow us to provide full-service solutions to our clients,” says Kowalik. “We have architects, engineers, construction professionals, scientists, marketing professionals and more under one roof, so our clients reap the benefits of a quicker and more seamless experience from beginning to end. It’s a model that helps grow our success.”
Using an integrated design-build approach, the phase two project will be finished in the summer of 2020. The new building will have the capacity to house 780 people, increasing the size of the Burns & McDonnell World Headquarters by 22 percent. By the end of 2018, the firm expects to have 3,225 employees in Kansas City and 6,650 globally.
In 2016, Burns & McDonnell opened phase one of the expansion, a new 310,000-square-foot building on the firm’s 37-acre campus in South Kansas City that could accommodate an additional 1,400 employee-owners and provide a variety of onsite amenities ranging from a childcare center to a health center and pharmacy. The four-story facility serves as the anchor to the Ward Parkway corridor.