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Canton engineering firm says merger will help it grow

By Journal Staff


CANTON — A merger with a larger Michigan–based company will help Burley-Guminiak & Associates, Consulting Engineers, P.L.L.C. (BGA) of Canton grow and expand its services.

C2AE, an architectural, engineering, and planning firm based in Lansing, Mich., announced Nov. 28 it merged with BGA. The move will help with recruiting new talent to Canton, says Timothy Burley, a partner with BGA.

Unless prospects already lived in the region or had local ties, it was challenging to draw them in, Burley says. Many potential hires, he says, were concerned about a lack of other opportunities in the market.

Being part of a much larger firm will help with those issues, Burley says.

The deal with C2AE will also provide more services for BGA clients. The firm often stuck close to its core expertise in water and wastewater projects, Burley says.

Customers would sometimes ask for work in other areas, but the firm generally turned them down.

“Honestly, we were so busy doing what we were good at, it only made sense to stay in our sweet spot,” Burley says.

Burley says he expects new jobs in Canton as a result of the merger that will allow the office to provide a wider array of services. He says plans are in place for one new hire already.

The deal also solves the issue of succession planning for BGA leaders, Burley says.

“They want to grow,” he says of C2AE.

All 12 BGA employees, including the firm’s leadership team, joined C2AE.



Founded in 1996, C2AE has more than 120 employees and additional locations in Grand Rapids, Gaylord, Escanaba, and Kalamazoo. The firm has projects in eight states and three countries outside the U.S.

Expanding C2AE’s expertise in water and wastewater has been a priority for the firm, C2AE Chairman and CEO Bill Kimble says. C2AE began working with a recruiting firm to add to its staff in that area.

The recruiter came across BGA, which was also looking to expand, Kimble says. The firms then began talking about a merger.

“What this allows us to do is strengthen our resources internally,” he says. “We can take their expertise in their fields and apply to all of our clients, no matter what state they’re in.”

The Canton office will be C2AE’s first outside Michigan. The firm wasn’t specifically looking to expand to New York, but leaders are excited about the prospects here, Kimble says.

C2AE works frequently for state and local governments and on industrial, education, and health care projects. The firm’s work includes road design, municipal buildings, water treatment plants, highway projects, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, hospital renovations and construction projects, and work for smaller health care clinics.

In the private sector, C2AE works frequently on large-scale manufacturing projects and has clients in a number of states, including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

The firm expects to pursue similar work in New York, Kimble says.

“Strategically, the company wants to continue to expand and grow,” he says.

Further geographic expansion is also a goal for C2AE, he adds. That will help remove the firm’s dependence on government clients in just one or two states, he notes.


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