Seeing Omaha as a largely untapped recruiting ground for engineers, a Minnesota-based company has opened a local office that it hopes will more than triple in size over the next few years.
Lake Superior Consulting, whose clients include the company driving the Keystone XL Pipeline, is starting with a nine-person team at its Omaha site.
Phillip Powers, president of Lake Superior, said industry needs are greater than what his company has been able to keep up with, and he sees Omaha as a fertile recruitment spot.
“Engineering professionals at the moment, finally, are very much in short supply,” he said. “Omaha has a talent pool that is maybe underutilized compared to most locations throughout the country with engineers.”
Powers added: “I do believe Midwestern work ethnic is superior to any other part of country.”
Nationwide, Lake Superior has 150 employees. Powers said industry demand is such that he sees the company potentially growing to 500.
Thursday, Lake Superior will combine a job fair with the grand opening of its Omaha office at 9300 Underwood Ave. From 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., top-ranking officials from the Duluth, Minn., headquarters will meet with engineers interested in the company and job opportunities.
Joe Sproul, who is running the Omaha office as well as directing engineering efforts companywide, said he is particularly looking for engineers and designers with knowledge of the oil and gas industries.
The event also marks Lake Superior's 10th year in business. Mayor Jim Suttle and Chamber of Commerce officials plan to be present.
“It is companies like Lake Superior Consulting that help create Omaha's strong local economy,” Suttle said.
Lake Superior nationally provides integrated engineering services, corrosion control and support services related to the energy infrastructure industry. Among the company's clients are Enbridge and TransCanada, leaders in energy transportation and distribution in North America.
The company also provides energy consulting to municipalities and industries such as electrical power and railroads.
Sproul said the local office's primary focus will be on facilities and pipeline design for the oil and gas industry.