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Mentors, Friends, Partners

Kansas City engineering firm allies with neighboring MBE

Burns & McDonnell, the civil engineering firm based in Kansas City, and Infinite Energy Construction (IEC), an electrical contractor and certified minority-owned business enterprise (MBE), have entered an alliance to begin jointly providing electrical transmission and distribution engineering services, according to a March 22 press release.

IEC Engineering, a newly formed business unit within IEC, "will work primarily with the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) Group at Burns & McDonnell on projects for electric utilities," the companies said, adding that many large utilities are launching "multibillion-dollar capital investment programs" to upgrade and expand transmission and distribution infrastructure in response to new system demands, "which are being driven by renewable energy sources and the expected rapid growth of charging stations needed by electric vehicles."

While its deal with Burns focuses on energy and infrastructure, IEC also does extensive community work elsewhere, if its Facebook page is any evidence.

An IEC gym and playground project in Cartagena, Bolivar, Columbia.—IEC photo

As part of the aforementioned capital investment plans, however, IEC sees a monetary opportunity for a minority-owned business. "Many utilities have made commitments to allocate a share of this spending toward diverse suppliers that can provide a range of engineering, construction and other specialty services. IEC Engineering has already begun hiring engineering staff and is actively performing design on projects."

Burns & McDonnell is a family of companies encompassing 10,000 engineers, construction and craft professionals, architects, and more to design and build critical infrastructure. Founded in 1898 and working from more than 60 offices globally, the company is 100% employee-owned and also has a growing presence in Chicago.

Burns and McDonnell employees outside Soldier Field, Chicago.—Burns & McDonnell photo

Founded in 1996 in Kansas City, MO, IEC has grown from a regional electrical contractor to a General Contractor serving Federal and Institutional clients throughout the United States.

IEC has a long-standing relationship with Burns & McDonnell spanning nearly 20 years, providing electrical construction services as a subcontractor on a number of projects.

“It’s hard to overstate the impact this collaboration will have on IEC,” says Nilson Goes, president of IEC. “This is an opportunity to enter a very important market that we could not otherwise replicate. We have a long relationship with Burns & McDonnell and consider them to be mentors and friends as well as business partners. We hold similar values as companies and will do whatever it takes to continue earning trust on every project.”

As an electrical contractor, IEC has worked extensively across the U.S. on commercial, military, aviation and industrial projects, providing skilled electrical tradespeople for design-build, design-assist and design-bid-build projects.

“We have a longstanding commitment to go the extra mile with our minority-owned and women-owned business partners to mentor them and help them grow, not just to give them project work from time to time,” says Daniel Sierra, a business development manager at Burns & McDonnell focusing on electrical substation projects. “IEC has a culture and commitment to clients and the community that mirrors what we believe at Burns & McDonnell. We see great things ahead for this alliance.”

As new staff are added to IEC Engineering, Burns & McDonnell will provide extensive training and development aimed at establishing best practices and capabilities utilizing new technology-enabled processes.

“We’ve spent many years developing strong relationships with a diverse supplier base and have come to see that we gain as much value from them as they do from us,” says Luke Ezell, a substation project manager with Burns & McDonnell. “This team creates a win-win for everyone.”

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