Engineering consultancy Burns & McDonnell plans to double Chicago footprint

12 February 2019 3 min. read
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Kansas City, Missouri-based Burns & McDonnell will hire 300 employees in Chicago over the next three years, doubling the size of its local workforce.

The design and engineering consultancy currently has two offices in the Chicago area: a recently expanded, 75,000-square-foot downtown location, as well as an office in Downers Grove, Illinois. Burns & McDonnell plans to expand its downtown office footprint by a further 25,000 square feet in 2022.

The firm will need the space, as it looks to massively expand its employee population in Chicago. The 300-person, three-year expansion plan is part of Burns & McDonnell’s nationwide strategy to grow its employee headcount by 1,000 annually.

The employee-owned company, which currently employs 7,000 professionals, provides architecture and engineering services, as well as business, technology, and security consulting. The firm serves a wide range of industries and areas, including aviation, energy, environmental, construction, water, manufacturing, and transportation.

Engineering consultancy Burns & McDonnell plans to double Chicago footprint

"We've been a part of and supported the Chicago community for more than two decades," Scott Newland, senior vice president and general manager of Burns & McDonnell in Chicago, said. "We're committed to creating new STEM career opportunities in the region and building a talented team of professionals to help design and construct the infrastructure that serves as the backbone of our city."

Though the firm will hire a good deal of experienced workers as part of the expansion, Burns & McDonnell also plans to bring in new graduates through its STEM outreach and internship programs.

"Through mentorship and our STEM programs, we're building a deeper talent pipeline and hoping to spark interest in STEM careers at an early age," Newland said.

The firm is likely to attract many eager applicants, as it is a consistently top-ranked workplace. Burns & McDonnell was locally recognized as one of the Daily Herald’s “Best Places to Work in Illinois,” and was named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” 

Newland credits the firm’s employee ownership structure for its winning workplace culture. "Employee ownership is at the core of our firm,” he said. “We act like we own the place — because we do. It fosters a culture of accountability, entrepreneurship, inclusion, and teamwork.

“In turn, this environment helps us attract and retain the most creative, technical and client-focused professionals in the industry - a team ready to take on the toughest challenges our communities and clients face."

In other Chicago office expansion news, Slalom Consulting recently doubled its square footage to 65,000 with its move to the Aon Center. The addition of 200 Chicago employees over the past two years – as well as the launch of its technology product build-as-a-service offering – had placed pressure on the firm to find a roomier location.